parishioners at Bishop Robert Kasun's former parish in Edmonton, St. Alphonsus Church, says it is about time that he becomes a bishop. Photo by Glen Argan

Edmonton Catholics Kasun touched rave about ‘phenomenal’ job he did

By  Glen Argan, Canadian Catholic News
  • October 2, 2016

EDMONTON – Ask Fred Prather about the job Basilian Father Bob Kasun did as pastor of Edmonton’s St. Alphonsus parish, and the response is immediate.

“Phenomenal!” says the long-time parishioner. “This is a man utterly dedicated to the poor and downtrodden.”

Prather runs off a litany of outreach programs Kasun has started ranging from a group that prays the rosary while walking down the 118th Avenue strip west of Rexall Place to having an annual street barbecue for the immigrants and low-income people of the neighbourhood.

Then, he recalls at the end of last year’s picnic when Kasun finally sat down to a plate of food for himself after serving others all afternoon.

“An unfortunate individual showed up late, expecting to be served, and the man reached out and took the plate out of Father’s hand,” he said.

Prather said the priest didn’t react at all, but simply went on his way.

As for the fact that Kasun is being taken away from the inner city to become an auxiliary bishop in Toronto, another veteran parishioner, Lucia Solinas, exclaims, “It’s about time that he’s going to be a bishop.”

“He’s going to be a wonderful, wonderful bishop,” said Solinas.

“Fr. Bob has the Spirit. He’s very wise. You can talk to him about anything, and he has lots of patience.”

Moses Nnadi started coming to St. Alphonsus in 2013 after arriving from Nigeria. Kasun encouraged him to become involved in the RCIA, Nnadi was baptized and confirmed the following Easter.

After that, Nnadi went to Kasun to find out how he could continue to grow in the faith. The pastor laid out several options, and the young student chose to become involved in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, where he prepares food hampers and helps take them to needy people in the area.

“It has been a great blessing to me,” he said.

Antony Shibu and his wife, Nimmy, came to St. Alphonsus shortly after arriving in Canada from the Kerala state in southern India a couple years ago.

Antony was introduced to the parish’s English as a second language program and learned enough English to get a job as a production worker.

“Good English class; good learning opportunity,” he said. “I liked it.”

Nimmy also sings the praises of Kasun.

“He’s such a nice person. He’s so helpful.”

(Western Catholic Reporter)

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