Ouellet, Maurice F. (1926-) | Amistad Research Center
Father Maurice F. Ouellet was a Catholic priest with the Society of St. Edmund, who engaged in the support of civil right activities and demonstrations in Selma, Alabama, from 1963 to 1965. His actions led to confrontations with the local White community and church officials.
Maurice F. Ouellet was born in St. Albans, Vermont, on September 10, 1926 to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Ouellet Sr. He made profession in 1946 and was ordained in 1952 and assigned to Selma, Alabama, after receiving his A.B. degree from St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont. Beginning in 1953, he served as pastor of St. Agnes Church at Dauphin Island and Fowl River, Alabama. From 1956 to 1961, Father Ouellet served as a teacher and assistant principal at Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk, New York.
He returned to Selma in 1961 as pastor of St. Elizabeth's Mission and Superior of the Edmunite Mission House, where he served until 1965. During this time, Father Ouellet and Edwin Moss, the Mission's Production Manager, became associated with the drive for racial justice in the Selma area. When civil rights demonstrations began in the area in late 1963, Father Ouellet spoke out against brutal tactics used by area police, which resulted in threats against his life and strife with local White officials. These efforts led to Father Ouellet's transfer and assignment to the St. Edmund's Novitiate in Mystic, Connecticut, in June 1965. Ouellet was transferred by Archbishop Toolen of Mobile, Alabama, following his support of the Selma-Montgomery marches earlier that year. Father Ouellet began a new assignment at Saint Theresa Church in Houston, Texas, in January 1972. He eventually returned to Selma, Alabama.
Society of St. Edmund website, www.edmunditemissions.org (Accessed 12/17/2010)
Maurice F. Ouellet Papers, Amistad Research Center