Denis Chicoine (November 16, 1937 – August 10, 1995) was a Traditionalist Catholic priest who assisted Francis Schuckardt in founding the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen and served as Superior General of the Congregation from 1984 to 1989.
Chicoine was born on November 16, 1937 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1955 and was honorably discharged. Two years later he moved to Los Angeles, California and worked as a bricklayer and later as a newspaper pressman in San Diego.
Upon hearing a Blue Army lecture given by Francis Schuckardt in 1965 in San Diego, he followed Schuckardt into the Blue Army to promote the message of Our Lady of Fatima.
In the wake of the Second Vatican Council and the New Rites of the church, Schuckardt began to speak out against the various doctrinal changes and liturgical reforms in the modern Catholic Church during his Blue Army lectures. Chicoine, along with Schuckardt, came to the conclusion that Pope Paul VI was a false pope. Chicoine and Schuckardt left the Blue Army in 1967 and Schuckardt founded a lay organization known as the Fatima Crusade in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. That same year, Schuckardt established order of sisters, brothers, and priests known as the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen of the Universe (in Latin: Congregatio Mariae Reginae Immaculatae, abbreviated as CMRI) which Chicoine was a member as a religious lay brother.
Schuckardt and Chicoine began a national lecture circuit advocating a return to traditional Catholicism. Due to their outspoken rejection of the Second Vatican Council and embrace of Sedevacantism, they were denounced by the modern Catholic Church. Schuckardt ordained Chicoine to the priesthood on September 20, 1975 and created him vicar general.
Chicoine ousted Schuckardt when it was found that he had the backing of the vast majority of the religious and laity alike, and took charge of the Fatima Crusade. Not long after Chicoine's denunciations, Schuckardt left the area with a small handful of followers. Schuckardt and his followers continued to operate as the Tridentine Latin Rite Catholic Church while Chicoine reincorporated the group at Mount Saint Michael as the Latin Rite Catholic Church on June 14, 1984. Bishop Schuckardt excommunicated Chicoine for the revolt, said excommunication was never revoked (Wash Ct Case - 84-2-01445-2) prior to Chicoine's death.
The Mount Saint Michael group sued the Schuckardt faction, alleging that they took property belonging to them. They obtained a default judgment against the Schuckardt faction for $250,000.00 as well as an injunction barring them from Mount Saint Michael. (Case 84-2-01445-2). The Schuckardt faction asserts that when Chicoine and his allies sued Bishop Schuckardt in civil court, they committed several ecclesiastical crimes carrying with it the censure of automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church (Canons 2334 & 2341). The Default Judgment was challenged by Schuckardt in 1988 and successfully overturned.
In 1985, Fathers Chicoine, Hughes and McGilloway of Mount Saint Michael were conditionally ordained as priests by the Traditionalist Catholic Bishop George Musey. Musey himself stated his belief that these three priests had been validly ordained by Schuckardt, but that he was conditionally ordaining them to appease the doubts of some. Musey's episcopal lineage descended from Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc. The Schuckardt faction challenges the validity of Bishop Musey’s consecration; condemns him for impeding upon Bishop Schuckardt’s jurisdiction; condemns him for “conditionally ordaining” against Church law people who have been sentenced with a declaratory and condemnatory sentence of excommunication; and for other reasons.
Schuckardt died in 2006.
With the departure of Schuckardt, the Mount Saint Michael group was without a bishop. Chicoine, along with his associate priests, Benedict Hughes and James McGIlloway and other clergy, began searching for other Traditionalist Catholic bishops. They initiated contact with Bishop George Musey of Galveston, Texas. Musey was a priest who broke from the mainstream church over the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and was consecrated bishop by Moises Carmona of Acapulco, Mexico. Carmona had been consecrated by the Vietnamese Roman Catholic prelate Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc.
In 1985, Chicoine, Hughes and McGilloway were conditionally ordained as priests by the Traditionalist Catholic Bishop George Musey. Musey himself stated his belief that these three priests had been validly ordained by Schuckardt, but was conditionally ordaining them to appease the doubts of some about the validity of Schuckardt's Old Catholic orders.
Chicoine led the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen as Superior General and oversaw the Congregation's drafting of a rule. The rule was approved by Bishop Robert McKenna, O.P.. In 1989, Chicoine retired as Superior General and moved to New Zealand to work as a parish priest in the CMRI's mission there. He was succeeded by Father Mark Pivarunas.
In 1994 Chicoine was diagnosed with cancer and lived the remaining days of his life back in Spokane at Mount Saint Michael. He died on August 10, 1995.