Tribute to A Brother Who Served His God & Country
Normand Peloquin was born and raised in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the fifth of eight children born to Armand and Marie Louise Peloquin. Armand and Marie Louise had been married in St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Woonsocket and that is where Normand and his siblings received the sacraments, attended Mass and school.
When he was in 10th grade, Normand left Woonsocket High School and started working in the French Worsted Company Mill to help support his family.
Normand was drafted to the United States Army in September 1944, the height of World War II and spent the next thirty years traveling the world in service to our country (World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War).
His potential for leadership and responsibility was recognized early in his Army career. Before he reached the age of 20, within two years of his entry into the service, he was promoted to the grade of master sergeant. By the time he retired in 1973, he had risen to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4.
Raised in a devote Catholic family, Normand remained an active member of the Roman Catholic Church even when the military took him to far corners of the globe. Guided by the principles of grace, charity, and love Normand organized parties for children in various orphanages throughout the world, served as a greeter, usher and collector at army chapels and always found ways to help those in need.
Normand’s service to the Catholic Church continues even after his death. In his will, Normand made a bequest to St. Antoine’s residence where he was grateful to have received such good care at the end of his life. This gift is permanently endowed with the Catholic Foundation.
Normand also left a general gift to the Catholic Foundation. His brother Eugene sister Constance and brother-in-law, Gerard carefully considered which diocesan ministries would best represent Normand’s passions. In addition to Our Lady of Providence Seminary and All Saints Parish, Woonsocket the family directed part of Normand’s gift to the Father Marot CYO Center.
This amazing place was a “home away from home” for Normand’s nephew, Raymond as he was growing up. Raymond was still very involved with the Center when he was tragically killed in a car accident while attending Rhode Island College.
The Normand Peloquin Permanent Endowment Fund is a living tribute to a brother, an uncle, a Catholic who spent his live serving both his God and his Country.
A Hero Remembered
In September 1938, Father Bart J. Buckley, Pastor of St. Anthony Church, Portsmouth, became a hero. With rope tied around his waist, Father Buckley waded into partially submerged homes in the Island Park section of Portsmouth to remove the dead and injured people trapped inside after a devastating hurricane. He then arranged housing, food, and clothing for the hundreds whose homes had been destroyed.
The late John Cashman never forgot Father Buckley’s efforts. John’s family lived in Island Park and his father Thomas Cashman built and owned Cashman Amusement Park. This popular destination boasted the second largest roller coaster in New England, the Bullet. When the Cashman home and business were destroyed in the hurricane, Father Buckley offered assistance. John long cherished and kept the sweater Father gave him from after one of his clothing drives.
In honor and gratitude, years later John Cashman created the Father Bart J. Buckley Scholarship with the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island. This fund, in pertinent part benefits any member of St. Anthony Parish who enters religious life for the purpose of becoming a priest, a nun or a brother. His wife Dolores remains an active member of the Catholic Foundation.