Carroll Bernard Houle

Carroll B. Houle passed away Easter morning, April 12, 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia surrounded by the light of the Lord and with the comfort of devoting his life to the poor and underprivileged from villages in Tanzania to Nairobi, Kenya to Charlottesville, Virginia. Carroll was supported by many families, friends and the Maryknoll community – support he used to demonstrate God’s love and mercy to the poor with an emphasis on advancing peace and social justice issues. Carroll sought out opportunities to express his faith in action – to build peace, grow community and especially walk alongside and help people in need.

Carroll was born January 26, 1935 in Fort Ripley, Minnesota to Lloyd and Kathryn Winzenberg Houle. He had six brothers and one sister. After schooling in Brainerd and St. Paul, he entered the St. Paul Seminary and graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy in 1957. He earned a Masters in Sacred Theology from Maryknoll Seminary in 1961 and was ordained a Maryknoll priest on June 9, 1962 in a ceremony attended by family and friends.

Father Houle was assigned to Tanzania and spent four decades serving the people of East Africa. After a number of years of mission-focused pastoral formation in rural Tanzania, Father Carroll added organizational responsibilities including Area Coordinator for the Maryknoll Society in Africa. While based in Nairobi, Kenya, Father Houle became involved with the urban poor and worked to bring about spiritual and social transformation, often one person at a time. In 1999 Father Carroll returned to Maryknoll, New York and spent several years as the Maryknoll Representative to the United Nations. In 2009 Carroll left the Maryknoll Society to live in Charlottesville, VA where he volunteered with various local food pantries and soup kitchens always with a focus on helping refuges from Africa. Carroll worked to live out the gospel, enriching everyone he met and was kind and compassionate. Carroll loved to laugh and would often remark “I’m doing ok for an old sinner “.

Carroll is preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Kathryn Houle, brothers David Houle and Donald Houle and brother in law Earl Williams. He is survived by siblings, Richard (Doreen) Houle, Robert (Rebecca) Houle, Julie Williams, James (Barbara) Houle, Thomas (Mary) Houle, sister in law Alice Houle, paternal aunt Mary Lou Thesing and many nieces and nephews.

A private burial was held earlier this year.

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