TORONTO - Msgr. Ken Robitaille had one ambition — to be a parish priest.

It wasn’t to be a mover and shaker behind the scenes setting up the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, or the bishops’ point man negotiating details of full funding for Ontario’s Catholic high schools, or to be rector of one of the busiest cathedrals in North America. He did all those things, and more. His sole ambition was to be a parish priest.

Published in Canada

For two days, a constant stream of mourners filed past Jean Beliveau’s casket in Montreal’s Bell Centre. His widow, Elise Couture, was present to receive the sympathies from dignitaries, her husband’s teammates and ordinary fans alike.

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - Archbishop William Aquin Carew, who served in the Holy See’s Secretariat of State under Pope Paul VI and represented the Church in posts around the world until his retirement in 1997, died May 8 in St. John’s, Nfld. He was 89.

A St. John’s native, he was ordained in 1947. He pursued further studies at the Vatican’s college for diplomats in Rome, the Pontificia Academia Ecclesiastica.

His extensive diplomatic career began when he was assigned to serve at the Holy See’s Secretariat of State from 1953 to 1969. In 1969, he was named apostolic nuncio to Rwanda and Burundi, before Pope Paul VI sent him on a special mission to Bangladesh in 1972 as an extraordinary envoy.

His next assignment took him to the Middle East. Archbishop Carew’s last assignment took him to Japan as apostolic pro-nuncio from 1983-97.

Published in Canada

TORONTO - Jesuit Father Fred Crowe’s long, happy and productive life came to a peaceful end Easter Sunday, April 8. He was 96 years old and had spent 76 years living the vows of a Jesuit.

“The last years of his life he just kept writing,” said Jesuit Father Gordon Rixon. “He was one of those Jesuits who was in the library by 5:30 in the morning.”

For most of the last 60 years, Fr. Crowe was in the library carefully collecting, editing, explaining and interpreting the work of his seminary professor, Fr. Bernard Lonergan. Lonergan was a Canadian Jesuit who became a towering figure in philosophy and theology.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - The deacon other Toronto deacons relied on for years has passed away. Deacon Bert Cambre died peacefully, surrounded by his family at Burlington's Joseph Brant Hospital March 29.

"He was an icon of Christ the servant, especially when it came to reaching out to try to gather the marginalized," said Stephen Pitre, Toronto's co-ordinator of diaconal ministry.

Deacon Cambre grew the office for deacons at the archdiocese of Toronto in 2000 and ran it for 10 years. He was a careful steward of the community of deacons and always attentive to the deacons' wives and widows.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Spiritan Father Edward Graham, who taught for many years in Spiritan schools, passed away Jan. 26 at the age of 88. He was in his 62nd year of the priesthood with the Spiritans.

“He was a brilliant person,” said Fr. Paul McAuley, a fellow Spiritan who had known him for about 30 years. “He was very kind and lived very simply.”

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA
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