Fr. Carl Matthews, S.J., a former publisher and editor of The Catholic Register, died at 80 years old Register file photo

Former Register publisher Fr. Carl Matthews passes away

  • September 27, 2012

Article has been amended for updated information on Fr. Carl Matthews' wake

TORONTO - Fr. Carl Matthews, S.J., a former publisher and editor of The Catholic Register, died Sept. 26. The 80-year-old Fr. Matthews was in his 62nd year of Jesuit life.

Fr. Matthews died peacefully at Rouge Valley Hospital in Ajax, Ont. He had been at the Rene Goupil Jesuit Infirmary as his health deteriorated since his retirement from parish life in 2010.

It is Fr. Matthews' dedication to Catholic education where he made his name. He served for 14 years as a trustee with the Metropolitan Separate School Board, the predecessor of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and is among those most responsible for full funding being extended to Catholic schools. Along with the late Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter, Fr. Matthews worked tirelessly in the halls of Queen's Park to bring equal funding to Catholic high schools, which up until 1984 were only fully funded up until Grade 10.

In the early 1990s, Fr. Matthews was publisher and editor of The Catholic Register before returning to parish life. He spent 16 years, from 1994-2010, as pastor of St. John the Evangelist parish in Waubaushene, Ont., on the shores of Georgian Bay in the northern reaches of the archdiocese of Toronto.

Born in Kingston, Ont., in 1932, Carl Joseph Damien Matthews attended Regiopolis College in his hometown before entering St. Stanislaus Novitiate in Guelph, Ont., in 1951. After first vows and two years of Juniorate, he went on to Regis College in Toronto. He returned to Regiopolis to teach for two years before returning to the University of Toronto to study education.

Fr. Matthews was ordained a priest June 4, 1966. He served in a number of parishes in the archdiocese, including Martyrs' Shrine in Midland, Ont., Good Shepherd parish in Thornhill and St. Michael's Cathedral.

A wake will be held for Fr. Matthews on September 30th from 2-4 p.m. (service at 3 p.m.) at Manresa Retreat House in Pickering, Ont., and from 7-9 p.m. at Rosar Morrison Funeral Home, 467 Sherbourne St. in Toronto. The funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. on October 1st at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 520 Sherbourne St. Burial is at the Jesuit Cemetery in Guelph.

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