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Father Rick Eldred

August 24, 1949 March 18, 2020
Father Rick Eldred
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Obituary for Father Rick Eldred

Very Rev. Richard W. Eldred, BA, MDiv, VF

Father Rick Eldred, 70, of Bedford, Indiana and formerly of Terre Haute passed away early Wednesday morning, March 18, 2020. He was Dean of the Bloomington, IN Deanery and Pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church (Bedford) and St. Mary Catholic Church (Mitchell). He was born August 24, 1949 in Terre Haute, IN to John W. Eldred and Beatrice Bledsoe Eldred.

Survivors include his brother and sister-in-law, John T. and Debbie Eldred of Terre Haute; five nieces, Ann Blackwell, Elizabeth Eldred Bagniefski, Michelle R. Eldred, Leslie K. Eldred and Jessica Barger (Michael); and many cousins.

Father Rick was a graduate of St. Patrick School, the former Bishop Paul C. Schulte High School, and Indiana State University all in Terre Haute. After graduating from college, Father Rick worked in his family moving and storage business in Terre Haute up into his 40s. He enjoyed helping with Special Olympics and had served on different parish councils. In the 1990s, he was asked about what he thought about being a priest. At first he was not interested in becoming a priest, but, after much prayer, he started moving towards his calling and attended Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI and Sacred Heart School of Theology and Seminary in Hales Croner, WI. He had to overcome his fear of speaking to crowds, especially during his last year in seminary in 1999 when he took a course on conducting Mass. Fr. Rick did not talk until he was 4 years old due to a horrible speech impediment. He never lost his speech impediment, but it got better over time and he did a great job overcoming it. He was Ordained June 5, 1999 and his early appointments included Associate pastor, Holy Family, St. Andrew and St. Mary, Richmond; 2000, Associate pastor, St. Barnabas, Indianapolis; 2001, administrator, St. Thomas More, Mooresville; 2002 and Pastor, St. Thomas More, Mooresville; 2005.

Father Rick celebrated his 51st birthday with John Paul II at the Pope’s summer residence in Italy. He also concelebrated Mass with Pope Benedict XVI at the canonization of St. Theodora Guerin in Rome. Father Rick was instrumental in establishing Becky’s Place and the Men’s Warming Shelter. His caring and compassion for the Bedford Community did not go unnoticed. Many individuals were touched by the genuine friendliness and compassion of Father Rick.

Due to current circumstances associated with the Corona Virus, there are no public services scheduled at this time. A public Memorial Mass and Visitation will be conducted at a later time and date to be announced.

At the present time, a private graveside service will be conducted at Calvary Cemetery, Terre Haute. Arrangements are under the direction of Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home, 605 South 25th Street, Terre Haute. If friends should so desire, memorial contributions may be made to Vocation Department Endowment for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Office of Vocations, 1400 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202,; St. Patrick School of the Terre Haute Deanery Endowment, 449 South 19th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47803,; or to the Sisters of Providence, 1 Providence Pl., St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876, Funeral information is also available at

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Memorial Contribution

Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

1 Sisters of Providence
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876

Indianapolis Archdiocese Vocation Department Endowment

Office of Vocations
1400 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

St. Patrick School of the Terre Haute Deanery Endowment

449 South 19th Street
Terre Haute, Indiana 47803

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