Br. Joseph Gareau, CSV, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, May 25, 1887 during an outing on the Kankakee River in Bourbonnais, Illinois. While enjoying the afternoon with eight other Viatorian novices, Br. Gareau accidently drowned. He was 26 years old.
His death came just five months after entering the novitiate. Br. Gareau was born April 25, 1861 in St. Jacques de l’Achigan in the Province of Quebec, Canada. He entered the Clerics of St. Viator novitiate in Bourbonnais, Illinois on December 8, 1886, before taking his habit on March 19, 1887.
Br. Gareau appeared to have been in perfect health, with an apparently long life stretched out before him before his accident. His many confreres described him as congenial and looking forward to a bright future with the Viatorians. Overall, they described Br. Gareau as a good and faithful brother.
A funeral for Br. Gareau took place May 27 at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Bourbonnais. His devoted director, the master of novices, Rev. Antoine Mainville, CSV, sang the solemn requiem Mass for the repose of his soul.
The church was draped in black and the coffin rested at the foot of the sanctuary steps. Six of his confreres served as pall bearers, including Bros. Ryan, Dionne, Beauclair, Lucier, McCormick and Gignac.
May his soul rest in peace.
Taken from St. Viator’s College Journal, June 4, 1887, p. 55