PORTLAND, Maine — A priest has been named to replace the pastor of parishes in Piscataquis County and Pittsfield who committed suicide this summer, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced Monday.

Beginning Oct. 1, the Rev. Mark Nolette, 49, will serve as the administrator of Our Lady of the Snows in Dexter, Milo and Dover-Foxcroft, and St. Agnes Catholic Church in Pittsfield.

He will replace the Rev. James P. Robichaud, 56, who was found dead in the rectory in Dover-Foxcroft on June 27. Robichuad committed suicide the day after being told he was suspended from ministry pending an investigation into an allegation that he sexually abused a minor female nearly 30 years ago.

A native of Arizona, Nolette most recently served parishes in Calais, Machias and Lubec. He also has been assigned to churches in Augusta and Portland.

Nolette began a three-month sabbatical for spiritual renewal on July 1,according to Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of


Since Robichaud’s death, Deacon Fred Harrigan has been ministering to parishioners in Pittsfield and Piscataquis County, according to the diocese. He will continue to assist Nolette.

Nolette is scheduled to conduct his first weekend Masses on Oct. 4 and 5.