The Rev. Mr. Joseph Lessard was born on July 16, 1926 to Leo and Cora Lessard at their home in Chelmsford, MA. He was one of eleven children. Joseph joined the Navy on his seventeenth birthday and served his country in World War II in the South Pacific as a gunner on torpedo planes and reconnaissance aircraft. Joseph married his wife Beatrice Cantin in Westford, MA. on June 10, 1950. He was a devoted husband, father, hard worker, creative and industrious. The couple moved their family to Phoenix Arizona in 1956. Joe brought a great sense of humor, love of people and a winning personality wherever he went. He and his wife Bea had six children, Michael, Susan, Barbara, Karen, (Henry) Register, Scottsdale, AZ. Richard, Scottsdale, AZ, and Janet (Dean) McAthie, Carmel, CA. Joseph was a successful entrepreneur and started the Aztec Door Manufacturing Co. and several other building material companies. Although he was always devoted to the faith, he experienced a conversion, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, that changed the direction of his life. Deacon Joe with his wife Bea began a journey that led them into ministry. He was accepted and entered the first Deacon class for the Catholic Church which was established for married men by Vatican II. After three years of training and education, he was ordained by Bishop McCarthy in SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral May 29, 1972. He eventually sold his companies and began full-time ministry living in divine providence for many years. Deacon Joe served parishes giving retreats, Cursillos, teaching and pastoral care in South Phoenix, Prescott, Phoenix and even as construction manager for the Mount Claret Retreat Center. Deacon Joe had a heart to serve and carried the love of Jesus everywhere. His depth of insight into the Word of God and his spiritual caring heart made him a minister of spiritual refreshment and healing. He was instrumental in developing prayer ministries in parishes and directed many people in the exercises of St. Ignatius. He and Bea and the children moved to Canada in 1978 following God’s leading, to introduce the Diaconate to the Canadian people. He evangelized many churches and small towns on both the French and English side of Canada and preached in Santo Domingo and several other countries. He founded schools of faith for young adults in Canada and later back in Phoenix. Miracles seemed to follow wherever he and Bea went. In 1981 the family returned to Phoenix. His caring ministry continued to flourish as a chaplain to the sick at Kindred Hospital. He retired in 2007 but that didn’t mean that he stopped ministering. Wherever he was God was working too. He was a Deacon to the world. His lovely wife Beatrice died on November 28, 2018. His love of people, his infectious laugh and kindness will be greatly missed. His engaging nature quickly built lasting relationships that will be lovingly celebrated and remembered in the book of faith.
In Roman 8: 11-12 Saint Paul reminds us, “that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us.” Deacon Joe’s life points to the author of the Church and the Spirit that breathes life into it. Now he is alive in that same divine embrace of wonder and love forever. Deacon Joe’s legacy includes: 13 grandchildren and their husbands and wives and 8 great grandchildren, three loving sisters, Pauline, Lucie and Theresa and countless dear friends and colleagues. Together we say and sing, “Well done, well done, well done, Oh dear man of God!”
Funeral Schedule: Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 5:00 pm. evening visitation and 6:00 pm. scripture service at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix AZ.
Funeral Mass, Friday, April 9, 2021 at 10:00 am. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 7655 E. Main St. Scottsdale AZ.
Interment, following Mass at St. Francis Catholic Mausoleum, 2033 N. 48th St. Phoenix, AZ. Reception to follow at Mt. Claret Cursillo Center.
Flowers can be sent to Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home. Donations can be made to Pastoral Care Associates, a non-profit corporation on Facebook or the website using the Paypal option, the mailing address is: 2541 N. Arizona Ave. #4 Chandler, AZ. 85255.
Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com
Here is a message from Marguerite that she asked me to translate…
“ To believe is to lean on God that is stable and solid as a rock and on whom we can built our existence.
“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” Is 7,9
Joe loved us and helped us grow in faith. I pray that we will continue to walk in that faith.
I offer you my sincere condolences and I will offer a mass in my parish in honour of Joe and in gratefulness for his
Lucie pour Marguerite
I offer you my sincere condolences.
I’m a former student of the “John XXIII school of faith “. Joe was a gift for me, a gift from God. He contributed to change the course of my life. I’m truly thankful to him, Bea and all there children who shared Joe with me.
Strangely may be, every time I think of him, I’m not filled with sadness but with a deep joy. As if Joe was telling me that he’s finally home.
May God bless you all.
Pat and Jerry Heck
How can one express in words the “deposit of faith” that took hold of our hearts through this wonderful gift of Joseph Lessard. The inspired word of God uttered through his lips now reside in our hearts and we hear his voice as the voice of our beloved one Jesus.
Joseph’s life of abandonment was a witness in the midst of our busy world, always pointing to the one Jesus Christ. His demeanour was light, calm, and always joyful.
As a couple Joe and Beatrice served with both passion and delight to the one Jesus who called them “to give up everything and come follow me.”
Jerry and I are full of gratitude for the privilege of walking with them on this journey of life, and look forward to our reunion with them in God’s eternal kingdom. On angelic eagle wings enter the gates of heaven Joseph.
Quels parents vous avez eus les enfants de Jos et Béatrice … Ils étaient vos parents et les parents de plein d’autres enfants et jeunes adultes . Merci de nous avoir accueillis dans votre famille. Je n’oublierai jamais Susan et ses 2 petits gars Steeven et Ricky que j’ai eu l’occasion de garder une soirée quel bonheur d’avoir cotoyé ces 2 petits à Granby j’en garde un bon souvenir ,ils mettaient les grosses bottes des fermiers et se promenaient avec des outils ou des bouts de bois autour du centre je les suivais . Vos parents m’ont donné la vie , votre père m’a appris que dans la vie on a besoin d’amour , de sécurité de reconnaissance et d’aventure .On peut mieux prendre soin de sa vie et de son bonheur sachant celà . Que de bons souvenirs en route pour évangéliser avec Jos ds sa grosse voiture ,l’aiguille de gaz marquait vide et tandis qu’on pressaient Jos qu’il fallait trouver station ,il soufflait sur l’aiguille ns rassurant que tout était sous contrôle et qu’on allait se rendre à bon port . Je le fais moi même parfois .Aussi en auto il bénissait ts les motorcycles en faisant une croix vers eux ,je le fais toujours …
Je n’oublierai jamais tout ce que vos parents ont fait pour moi et le père que Votre père a été pour moi.
J’aurais pu écrire en anglais mais vous n’avez pas oublié votre francais Karen , susan et Janet Bruce . Bon courage
Diane Bernier Montreal pq Canada