Death of Reverend Ronald E. Brassard, Pastor Emeritus of the Immaculate Conception Cranston

Wednesday August 11, 2021

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Reverend Ronald E. Brassard, 74, Pastor Emeritus of Immaculate Conception Parish of Cranston entered eternal life on Friday August 6, 2021, the Feast of the Transfiguration, at Tockwotten on the Waterfront in East Providence, surrounded by his parishioners and many friends.

Accomplished musician, liturgist, composer and producer of national renown, Father Brassard was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts on February 12, 1947.

Son of the late Ernest J. Brassard and Cécile (Gousie) Brassard and brother of the late Shirley Brassard Glod. He attended Holy Trinity School in Central Falls, St Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, Our Lady of Providence Seminary College in Providence and the Catholic University of America where he obtained his Masters in Divinity. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Louis E. Gelineau on April 21, 1974, at St John the Baptist Church in Pawtucket. He served in numerous parish missions across the diocese as well as many diocesan functions, including chaplain for the apostolate for the deaf and hard of hearing, founder of the diocesan office for worship and liturgy, assistant chancellor and diocesan dean of the deanery VI, president of the Diocesan Music Commission and initiator of the annual Diocesan Music Festival. From 1983 to 1988, he was director of liturgy for the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois. He had a close personal relationship with Dave and Iola Brubeck and their family. While at the shrine, he and Chris Brubeck wrote the musical “David Champion of Israel” which was performed twice at the shrine. He was an elected member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, as president of the clergy section. He was president of the Sundays and Seasons regional convention in 1982 and has served on the faculty of NPM Cantor and Choir schools across the United States. He was appointed by Governor Lincoln Almond to the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and served from 1998 to 2001.

He was a strong supporter of Catholic education and a proud graduate, Class of 1964, and long-time supporter of Saint Raphael’s Academy in Pawtucket and was a member of their advisory board for many years. In 1994 he was appointed pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Cranston and founded and built the Immaculate Conception Catholic Regional School, the first Catholic parish school to open in the diocese in 40 years. In 2017, he retired as Pastor of St Mark’s Parish in Jamestown and was appointed Pastor Emeritus of Immaculate Conception Parish the same year.

A concelebrated Mass will be offered on Friday, August 13 at 6 p.m. at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, and his body will rest in condition for visitation and observation from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A concelebrated Christian funeral Pontifical Mass will be held on Saturday, August 14 at 10 a.m. with interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Providence.

His funeral mass can be viewed on the parish’s website:, which can be viewed from 24 hours after the conclusion of mass.

Donations in memory of Father Brassard can be made to Immaculate Conception Regional Catholic School, 237 Garden Hills Drive, Cranston, RI 02920, or St. Raphael’s Academy, 123 Walcott Street, Pawtucket. RI, 02860.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Reverend Ronald E. Brassard, please visit the flower shop.

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