1918 – 2003 (December 15)
Alfred Joseph LaFleur was born June 28, 1918 in Aurora, Illinois to Alfred J. LaFleur and Theresa May, and was baptized on July 7th at Holy Angels Church there. Alfred's primary education took place at Good Counsel School, and St. Mary School, both in Aurora. He attended Fox Valley Catholic High School, which became Marmion Academy after his Sophomore Year. Upon graduation in 1935, he spent a post-graduate year at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, and entered Good Counsel Novitiate on September 9, 1936. He professed simple vows on September 10, 1937, and studied at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, earning a B.A. in Philosophy in 1941. He made his solemn profession on September 10, 1940, and pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. from 1941 to 1945 He was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1944. He undertook additional studies at Catholic University of America, Washington; Tulsa University, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana; Stanford University, Stanford, California, and the Nuclear Lab, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He obtained an M.S. in Physics from Villanova.
Father LaFleur was assigned to teach at Saint Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois in 1945. He then spent six months in 1946 as associate pastor of Saint Mary Parish, Rockford, Il. He taught Physics, Chemistry, Math and History at Cascia Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 1946 to 1959, and was also Director of Student Activities. When Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois, was established in 1959, Father LaFleur joined the faculty there, teaching Science and Math. He was President of Tolentine College from 1962 to 1966. He was one of the friars to suggest that Tolentine be transformed from a college exclusively for seminarians to an institution of higher learning that served lay students as well as those preparing for priestly ordination in the Order.
Father LaFleur was assigned as pastor in 1966 to Saint Anthony Parish, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was pastor of Saint Augustine Parish, Detroit, Michigan, from 1982 to 1988. In 1988 he was assigned to the Augustinian Center House Community in Abbott, Texas, and was named pastor of nearby Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Hillsboro, Texas. He served in that capacity until August 2003.
At that time, he moved to the Augustinian Community of St. Mary Parish, Gainesville, Texas, where he was residing at the time of his death on died December 15, 2003 after a short illness. He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.
Father LaFleur will be remembered as an excellent teacher with a wealth of knowledge. He was bright, cheerful and hard-working. His intellect worked so quickly that his voice could not always keep up, sometimes resulting in sentences that were missing a few syllables. As pastor, he was involved in all aspects of the life of his parish, even into his 80's. Parishioners found him to be kind, caring and creative in his ministry to them.