Retired Bishop in Residence, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of United States of America, Military Services
“Queen of Peace”
The Most Reverend Francis Xavier Roque was born in Providence, RI, on October 9th, 1928. He studied for the priesthood at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick, Rhode Island and St. John Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Russell J. McVinney at the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul in Providence, RI, on September 19th, 1953. His first parish assignment was at St. Luke Church, west Barrington, from 1953-1956, and then at the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, Providence, from 1956-1961.
Bishop Roque entered the Army as a chaplain on October 9, 1961, at the height of the Cold War. He served as a U.S. Army Chaplain for 22 years, from 1961 through 1983. His military service as chaplain began at Fort Gordon and with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell. He served on the DMZ in South Korea from 1965-1966 with the 2nd Infantry Division. In 1968 he was assigned to Pleiku in the Republic of Vietnam and later with the 4th Infantry Division. During that time, he served as Assistant Division Chaplain USA, until 1969.
For his service in Vietnam, Bishop Roque was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He would later receive Meritorious Service Medal (2) and Distinguished Service Medal.
He graduated from Command & General Staff College, Class of 1972. From 1972-1975 he was assigned to the CONARC/TRADOC Chaplains Office. He was then stationed in Germany 1976 – 1978 as Brigade Chaplain for the 3rd Infantry Division and Division Chaplain for the 8th Infantry Division. He returned to the United States to Fort Hood, Texas, and served as Assistant Corps Chaplain from 1978-1980. From 1980-1983 he was at the Carlisle Barracks, PA. Called to Episcopal orders on March 29th, 1983 by Pope John Paul II, this decorated veteran left active duty and retired from the military on April 30. 1983.
He became Titular Bishop of Bagai and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. He was ordained a bishop on May 10, 1983 by Terence Cardinal Cooke (then Military Vicar & Archbishop of NY) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, New York.
His Episcopal motto, “Queen of Peace,” was chosen because he had always been a priest dedicated to Our Lady, Queen of Peace and Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. “His dedication to our Blessed Mother is legendary and his concern for our military and our veterans is awe inspiring,” wrote AMS News (news from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA) in an article in 2003 on the occasion of Bishop Roque’s Golden Jubilee Celebration.
He served as Episcopal Vicar for Department of Veterans Affairs at the Archdiocese for Military Services. He worked with our Armed Forces and their families these many years, most especially, as Episcopal Vicar to patients and chaplains. For over 20 years, his daily work involved the endorsement of VA chaplains and supporting the work of the 230 full- and part-time Catholic chaplains in the 172 Veterans Administration hospitals across the United States. He spent much of his year on pastoral visits to these rehabilitation and domiciliary facilities. Each visit includes a celebration of the Mass, time with the Catholic chaplain of that hospital, and meeting with veterans who are patients.
He is the Bishop Protector of the Catholic War Veterans. He is also the recipient of the CWV Saint Sebastian Medal, their most prestigious award.
Bishop Roque’s care and support to our Catholic veterans has extended beyond the confines of the hospitals. He has been dedicated to Father Emil Kapuan, an Army priest chaplain who gave his life in a Korean War Prison Camp. He wrote a prayer in honor of Fr. Kapuan:
“Lord, Jesus, in the midst of the folly of war, your servant Emil gave himself in total service to You through his service and care of his fellow soldiers. We now ask you, Lord Jesus, to manifest to the world the glory of his sacrifices by signs of miracles and peace. In Your name, Lord, we ask for you are the source of our peace, the strength of our service to others, and our final hope. In Your name, Lord Jesus, we ask. Amen.”
September 27, 2003, Bishop Roque celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood at his home parish, St. Timothy Church, Warwick, RI. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, Archbishop for Military Services, was the homilist. Click here to read his homily of “Good Shepherd” Bishop Roque.
Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Francis X. Roque of the Archdiocese of the Military Services, USA, on September 15, 2004, Washington, D.C. Bishop Roque returned to the Diocese of Providence in the spring of 2005.