Rev. Claude A. Pomerleau, C.S.C.

Rev. Claude A. Pomerleau, C.S.C.
August 16, 1938-July 21, 2019

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Fr. Claude Arthur Pomerleau, C.S.C., 80, died at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind., on July 21, 2019.

Watch his funeral Mass via YouTube.

Father Pomerleau was born in Newport City, Vermont on August 16, 1938 to Louis “Phil” Philippe and Cécile (Bouchard) Pomerleau.

On January 27, 1957, he entered Old College Undergraduate Seminary on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., where he studied aeronautical engineering and philosophy. He entered Sacred Heart Novitiate in Jordan, Minnesota on August 5, 1957, and made his First Profession of Vows on August 16, 1958. Fr. Pomerleau professed Final Vows on August 16, 1961 and was ordained to the priesthood on December 18, 1965, after studying theology at the Grand Séminaire du Mans and at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 1975, Fr. Pomerleau received a Ph.D. in International Relations at GSIS, University of Denver, after submitting a dissertation on the French Clergy as transnational actor in Latin America during the 1960s.

Fr. Pomerleau taught politics at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., from 1965 to 1971, then served as assistant professor of political science at the University from 1971 to 1985. From 1985 to 1989, he served as rector of St. George’s College, Santiago, Chile. From 1991 to 1993, he was associate professor at the University of Portland, Portland, Ore., then became a professor in Political Science. Meanwhile, he served as Director of Peace Studies at the University from 1994 to 2000 and the Social Justice Program from 2000 to 2008. He also was a visiting professor of international studies at the University of Chile (IEI) since 1991. As emeritus professor at the University of Portland he continued to teach international relations. He helped establish, and was the first director of, an African School of Diplomacy (EASGIS) at Uganda Martyrs University (Kampala) in 2003. It is now called “The Department of Diplomacy and International Studies, Uganda Martyrs University.” Fr. Pomerleau moved to Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind., in 2019.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Phil and Cécile Pomerleau. He is survived by his sister, Marcelle (Senator Patrick) Leahy and his brother Rene (Sylvia) Pomerleau, as well as his uncle Antonio Pomerleau, and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at Moreau Seminary, Notre Dame, Ind., where there will be a Wake Service at 7:30 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus on Friday, July 26, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in the community cemetery at Notre Dame. Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, is in charge of the arrangements.

A man and a priest of inestimable energy, grace, and joy, Fr. Claude was a dear friend to many, a passionate teacher, and a faithful sojourner whose infectious laughter reflected a deep and abiding gratitude to God that fed his soul.

In remembrance of Fr. Claude, you may consider supporting his love of music with a donation to the “Fr. Claude Pomerleau, C.S.C. Excellence in Music Fund” at the University of Portland.Gifts may be given online or mailed to: University of Portland, Office of Development, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd. Portland, OR 97203 with “Fr. Claude Pomerleau” in the memo field.

Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at

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