Dr. Holmes helped found Campaign Life

Dr. Holmes helped found Campaign Life

  • July 13, 2011

TORONTO — He was a man of principle who wasn’t afraid to stand up for the rights of the unborn, say friends of long-time Toronto pro-life activist Dr. Ray Holmes.

Dr. Holmes, 93, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on July 8. His funeral was held July 11 at St. Joseph’s Church in Brampton, Ont.

Campaign Life Coalition national president Jim Hughes called Dr. Holmes a friend and mentor for over 30 years and a “generous and kind man.” During his last hours, Hughes and his wife visited Dr. Holmes where his family gathered to pray for him.

“He clenched my hand just as strongly as he had the first time I met him. He was a man of determination and faith,” Hughes said.

His parting words to Hughes were to “keep the faith, keep up the battle, don’t let up. You’re on God’s side.”

Dr. Holmes was one of the founders of Campaign Life Coalition and was the co-founder of Brampton Right to Life. His children continue their father’s legacy in the pro-life movement.

Dr. Holmes once spent six weeks in jail with other pro-lifers after a 1989 protest outside an abortion clinic run by Dr. Henry Morgentaler during an “Operation Rescue” national pro-life campaign. Dr. Holmes was one of 90 people, including Fr. Ted Colleton and Fr. Alphonse de Valk, who were imprisoned until their court date for refusing to sign a document promising not to return to the abortion clinic to protest.

Hughes recalled how Dr. Holmes’ dedication to the pro-life movement was recognized in the 1980s when the Toronto dentist received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award, the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Vatican.

He also had a great devotion to Mary, Hughes said. Dr. Holmes would have the patient’s chair facing Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church across the street from his clinic.

“It was a reminder that there was something beyond this life,” Hughes explained.

A native of Fort Frances, Ont., Dr. Holmes is predeceased by his wife, Rita. He is survived by his children Lorie, Jim, David, Cathy, Bill, Honey and Genevieve, and his 26 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

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