Father Gustave Lafortune was the longest-serving member of the clergy in the Seychelles Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The diocese is in mourning.
After serving as a priest for 60 years, Lafortune, who was 86 years old, passed away on Friday. On June 30 of this year, he celebrated his diamond jubilee, despite having formally retired in 2015.
After residing at the Domus, the official residence of Catholic priests in Victoria’s capital, Lafortune went to the Saint Therese Church Parish in Plaisance.
Wavel Ramkalawan, the president of Seychelles, sent a message of condolences to the late Lafortune’s family, friends, and the Roman Catholic Church, saying, “We share in the sorrow of the Roman Catholic Church and congregation and offer our deepest condolences.” I pray that God’s bravery and love will sustain all of you during this difficult time.
“Father Lafortune is one of the pioneer figures of the Catholic Church, and his passing marks a great loss for Seychelles,” the head of state continued. His devotion to his faith and service to his nation will always serve as an example to everyone. The nation is appreciative that it was bestowed with a believer of his caliber, and we shall miss him.
Father Eric Leon, the diocese’s vicar general, gave the first remarks regarding Father Lafortune’s passing. I regret to inform you of our beloved Father Gustave Lafortune’s passing and his return to his father’s home. We give Father Lafortune to Jesus, the one who is the living and the resurrection,” declared Leon, who has worked with the priest for the previous 28 years. Over the years Father Lafortune worked in several parishes on Mahe and Praslin. These included Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Baie Ste Anne, Cascade, Anse Royale and Anse Boileau. He also served as editor of L’Echo des Iles – a Roman Catholic publication and the only publication in Seychelles that has not missed any publications since its inception in 1935.