Rincé, Father Louis Marie

1869, October 9

Date of Birth:  1836, July 26

October 28, 1869

Fathers and Very Dear Confreres:

Fr. Rincé

The Seminary of Baltimore has lately once again undergone a very severe loss. At the very time when there seemed firmer basis for hoping that Father Rincé would begin to enjoy better health, he succumbed to a hemorrhage which carried him off with frightening speed.

Father Louis Marie Rincé was born on July 26, 1836, at Grandchamp in the Diocese of Nantes. He made his early studies at the College of Notre Dame des Couëts, Father de Courson’s foundation. Later he went to Guerande, where he took his courses up to and including fourth class and finished up at the minor seminary of Nantes. He entered the Seminary of Philosophy in 1855; then in 1857 he went to Paris to follow the courses of the Seminary of St. Sulpice. 

During his early years as a student, he was content to hold a decent rank among his peers, but from his third and even more so his second year, his disposition, outgoing and pleasant, underwent some change. Without ceasing to be friendly, he became serious and reflective, and full of zest for work. He was soon rewarded by outstanding success. During his two-year Philosophy course, he proved himself over and over to be an apt pupil. The likeableness which he was able to exhibit in his relationships made him esteemed and loved. His conversations were serious, his piety exemplary and his modesty induced him in all things to self-effacement. These qualities gave him in the community a prominence which, in spite of his shyness, he knew how to use for the carrying out of an apostolate of sorts.

But even before then, when he was in Rhetoric class, lung trouble signaled that he must relax a bit from his zeal for study. When he reached Philosophy, he was able to increase his work again and he achieved the same success as in the minor seminary. He was one of those who distinguish themselves especially in debate; he had always made his mark in competitive examinations and in the public defense of theses. At St. Sulpice, although in a different milieu, he maintained his reputation for study and piety. He made his Solitude in 1861-62. Then he left for Baltimore and was appointed to the minor seminary of St. Charles, which he left only this year to go to the Seminary of Baltimore as professor of Sacred Scripture. He had, however, to interrupt his stay at St. Charles for a year – a year which he went to Kentucky to spend. He also went to France, his health not allowing him to take up again for a while work in the seminary. When he had recuperated a bit, the desire to pursue his vocation brought him back to Baltimore.

Upon his return to St. Charles, he was there always well-thought of by reason of his skill in all kinds of subjects. Unfortunately, his strength was not equal to his zeal, and up to the end of his last year he far overestimated his ability to do more than he was up to. Developments disappointed his hopes. Death came, as it so often does, when his health seemed to give some grounds for optimism.

Sent from Baltimore to St. Charles on important business on the eighth of this month, he was, after passing a very good night, shocked at seeing that he was spitting up a little blood. That did not recur. On his return to Baltimore, he experienced no fatigue. Between five and six on Saturday, he began hearing confessions in his room. Some time later, in surplice, he came down to the Superior’s room, his handkerchief over his mouth, and said to him: Look! I’m spitting blood. As a matter of fact, the blood was already flowing out. On seeing this, the Superior ran to the infirmary, where the doctor happened to be present. On their return to the room, the hemorrhaging had greatly increased. Father Rincé said: I feel myself choking. At that, the superior hastened to give him absolution; he administered the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, applied to him the plenary indulgence. “As I was finishing,” said the Superior, “he had stopped living. The whole affair did not last more than five minutes, and the poor confrere was lying there dead and covered with blood.”

The death of Father Rincé is particularly painful to the Seminary of Baltimore. His success in his new assignment was already assured, I am told.

For us, it must be in every detail a new lesson in the need of holding ourselves ready to answer God’s call by an increase each day in the spirit and virtues of our holy vocation.

I ask for our dear departed one the customary prayers.

Once again, in union with Jesus and Mary Immaculate, and with the liveliest affection, my very dear confreres,

Your thoroughly devoted,


Superior of St. Sulpice