Fr. Victor Lamore, a native of Canada who spent most of his priesthood in northern New York and the last two years in Arizona, passed away March 30. He was 75.
Although he only spent a short time in the Diocese of Phoenix, Fr. Lamore made a lasting impact. He had no problem traveling the stretch of Grand Avenue that connected his home in El Mirage to places where Catholics needed a priest.
Fr. Victor Lamore
Born: July 12, 1941
Ordained: May 3, 1980 for the Diocese Ogdensburg, New York
Died: March 30, 2017
Service in the Diocese of Phoenix (2015-17)
- Santa Teresita Parish, El Mirage
- St. Joachim and Anne Parish, Sun City
- Freedom Plaza Care Center, Peoria
Most often that meant helping fill up the regular presider schedule at Santa Teresita Parish in El Mirage plus St. Joachim and Anne Parish in Sun City, both just south of Grand Avenue. He also volunteered to offer Mass monthly at Freedom Plaza Care Center in Peoria a mile or so north of the historic highway.
“He was a wonderful person who could see the better side of people and he could get them through tougher times just by making them think,” said Karen Ratti, director of religious education at St. Joachim and Anne.
Fr. Lamore quickly became her spiritual adviser. She described him as gentle, soft-spoken and insightful. A person only had to begin sharing a struggle and the priest could relate enough to offer a logical, non-judgmental response.
Ratti said Fr. Lamore was calm and soothing, “just like you would imagine Jesus to be.”
The priest led a varied life. He was raised as the quiet, studious one among five brothers and sisters then spent nine years as a Franciscan brother in the U.S. and Canada before joining the Navy where he was aboard the USS New Orleans as it picked up the Apollo 14 crew in the Pacific Ocean.
Fr. Lamore went back to college and worked for the IRS before heading to the seminary and being ordained May 3, 1980 for the Diocese of Ogdensburg, New York. Half of his priesthood in that diocese — which has exactly 93 parishes like Phoenix that stretch only one-third of the size — also included ministry as a prison chaplain.
“He was quite a tough bird,” Ratti said.
Viola Godin, one of two surviving sisters, stayed with her brother often over the last year while Fr. Lamore was in and out of the hospital. She said he received many phone calls and cards from well-wishers. She also noted his great collection of books that pertain to teaching and helping people out with different parts of their lives.
A Memorial Mass will be offered 10 a.m. April 7 at St. Joachim and Anne Parish in Sun City. Funeral services and burial will take place in Fr. Lamore’s native Canada.
Fr. Lamore is survived by his sisters and their husbands, Viola and Ronald Godin and Judy and Garth Stafford; his brother and his wife Reggie and Karen Lamore, nine nieces and nephews and their 20 children and grandchildren.