Odore Joseph Gendron

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The Most Reverend
Odore Joseph Gendron
Bishop Emeritus of Manchester
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Manchester
In office February 3, 1975—June 12, 1990
Predecessor Ernest John Primeau
Successor Leo Edward O'Neil
Ordination May 31, 1947
Consecration February 3, 1975
Personal details
Born (1921-09-13) September 13, 1921 (age 93)
Manchester, New Hampshire

Odore Joseph Gendron (born September 13, 1921) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Manchester from 1975 to 1990.


Gendron was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, to Francis and Valida (née Rouleau) Gendron.[1] He attended Sacred Heart School in Manchester and before continuing his education in Canada, where he studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Sherbrooke, Quebec.[2] From 1942 to 1947, he studied philosophy and theology at St. Paul Seminary in Ottawa, Ontario.[2] Returning to New Hampshire, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Matthew Francis Brady on May 31, 1947.[3]

Following his ordination, Gendron served as associate pastor at Angel Guardian Church in Berlin until 1952, and then at Sacred Heart Church in Lebanon (1952–1960) and St. Louis Church in Nashua (1960–1965).[1] From 1965 to 1967, he was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Pittsfield.[1] He then served at St. Augustin Church in Manchester until 1972, when he was named the first episcopal vicar for women religious.[2] He was raised to the rank of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in December 1970, and became Vicar for Clergy in January 1974.[2]

On December 12, 1974, Gendron was appointed the seventh Bishop of Manchester by Pope Paul VI.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on February 3, 1975 from Bishop Ernest John Primeau, with Bishops Edward Cornelius O'Leary and Timothy Joseph Harrington serving as co-consecrators.[3] Continuing the implementation of the Second Vatican Council's reforms begun under Bishop Primeau, Gendron established a permanent diaconate and joined the New Hampshire Council of Churches.[4] He also established Magdalen College in Bedford and Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack.[4]

Gendron has been criticized for his management of sexual abuse cases among the clergy.[5]

After fifteen years as bishop, Gendron resigned on June 12, 1990.[3] He was succeeded by his coadjutor bishop, Leo Edward O'Neil.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Ernest John Primeau
Bishop of Manchester
Succeeded by
Leo Edward O'Neil