THE STORY OF MY LIFE
At the request of Father Raymond I reluctantly submit this overview of my life – all humility aside -everything you did NOT want to know about me and are sorry he asked!!!
I was born in Sudbury on Jan. 10, 1940 then wonderfully raised by JAMES and EMILY (Fera) in Creighton Mines. I attended Public school there then St. Charles’ College High School in Sudbury. After Grade 13 I went to St. Peter’s Seminary in London for 7 years for discernment of suitability for Ordination to the Order of Presbyters ( Priesthood) for the English Sector of the Diocese. On May 12, 1966 this took place at St. Michael’s Church in Creighton Mines by the laying on of hands by Bishop Alexander Carter.
My first assignment was to Christ the King Church in Sudbury – 1966-69 as Assistant. After this I was sent to be Assistant at Precious Blood Cathedral for 4 years. During that time I became involved in founding an ecumenical ministry of outreach called TELECARE. Also during that time I attended the University of Notre Dame , Indiana where I studied post graduate courses for five summer schools and received a M.A in Theology for Liturgical Studies.
After the courses at Notre Dame I continued my connection in Sault Ste. Marie with TELECARE for 3 years as Director and also began a ministry for 21 years as Diocesan (English Sector) Director of Liturgical Renewal. Within that 21 years I was moved to North Bay (Holy Name of Jesus Parish) for 9 years.
Within that 21 years I also served in a variety of ways in liturgical efforts on Provincial and National levels. One such involvement was in the production of a new hymnal for Canada – CATHOLIC BOOK OF WORSHIP.
While still doing part time efforts in the area of liturgical renewal in the Diocese I was sent back in 1983 to St. Jerome Parish in Sault Ste. Marie where I served for 17 years. In that period I withdrew from my role as Diocesan Director of Liturgy.
In that time period 1983 to 2000 I took part in various local ecumenical efforts and helped to found a Committee of Jews and Christians which sponsored workshops for high school students meeting with survivors of the Holocaust..
IN 2000 I was moved to Sudbury where I served at St. Patrick Parish for 18 years – retiring from there in Nov. 2018. In my time at St. Patrick I also, at the request of Bishop Plouffe , was appointed in 2002 as Diocesan Coordinator (English Sector) of The Diocesan Offices for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews and Interfaith Dialogue.
In my time ministering in the Office since 2002 I established information efforts for the Priests and leaders of the Diocese with a particular emphasis for efforts in the Sudbury Pastoral Region. I have continued to be involved in these ministries as time and circumstances allow even now into my retirement years.
Since 2002 I have also been involved in being a voice for the Diocese for the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario on their Committee for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews and Interfaith Dialogue. I was also involved for three years in a national Dialogue of Catholics and Evangelicals.
In my 54 years of ministry in the Diocese I have also served on two occasions in Sudbury as Chair of the Pastoral Region and once in the Pastoral Region of North Bay. These engagements also involved serving of a variety of Committees – Priest Renewal, Personnel, Presbyteral Council, Diocesan College of Consultors. I also served as a Judge on the Marriage Tribunal of the Diocese.
In 2015, at the insistence of Bishop Plouffe, I was named an honorary Chaplain to the Pope with the title “Monsignor”. I find this appellation somewhat uncomfortable since the word means ” my Lord” in Latin, Italian, French etc. It took me 54 years to get used to being called “Father” so I shy away from being called “MY LORD” at this late point in my life. I leave it to people to call me whatever they wish.
All in all I have been very blessed by the Lord to be a member of the Catholic Church since my baptism in 1940 and a Priest for the Catholic Church for 54 years and feel that is the best honor I have received in fulfillment of my Baptism into the Lord and His Church.