April 20, 1936 – April 12, 2016
Monsignor John I. Ducette, known for his longtime work with the Apostleship of the Sea, died Tuesday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital. He was 79.
An interest in boating led him to take over as diocesan director of the apostleship in 1978, succeeding Monsignor Leo McCarthy. He prayed for the safety of all seafarers and blessed sailing vessels. He delivered blessings at the dedication of the USS Little Rock and USS The Sullivans in Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.
He was chaplain of the Port of Buffalo, bestowed annual blessings at the Inner Harbor Yacht Club and offered prayers and ministry to sailors. He retired from the apostleship in 2013.
Born in Buffalo, he attended Annunciation School in Buffalo and St. John de la Salle School in Niagara Falls. He was a graduate of Bishop Duffy High School in Niagara Falls and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University.
He then attended Christ the King Seminary in Olean, Seton Hall University, the New York Province Priests’ Institute and the National Institute for Clergy Formation.
He was ordained March 17, 1962, by Bishop Joseph A. Burke in St. Joseph’s New Cathedral.
His first assignment was as missionary apostolate at St. Isidore’s Parish in East Otto. He then was assistant pastor for six years at St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus Church in Niagara Falls.
In 1969, he became assistant pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in the Town of Tonawanda and in 1972 he was named assistant pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in the Town of Tonawanda. During that time, he also served as secretary to Auxiliary Bishop Bernard McLaughlin.
He became a part-time teacher at Bishop Turner High School in 1978 and pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Niagara Falls the following year.
Appointed pastor of St. Timothy Church in the Town of Tonawanda in 1985, he served there until his retirement in 2008. He also was chaplain for the Town of Tonawanda Police. He was named a prelate of honor in 1988 by Pope John Paul II.
He had no immediate survivors.
A Mass of Christian Burial with Bishop Richard J. Malone presiding will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Timothy Church, 565 East Park Drive, Town of Tonawanda.