Obituaries of Diocesan Clergy, 2015-2017

 

"I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

"Ephesians 3: 18-20"


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Father Clair Richard

Father Clair Richard passed away on Thursday, 14th September 2017 at the Ocean View Manor in Easter Passage.   Funeral was held on Tuesday, 19th September 2017 at St. Peter's Church in Dartmouth.

 

 

 


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Father Joseph Ambrose MacNeil

Father Joe Ambrose MacNeil died peacefully at the palliative unit of the Sydney Regional Hospital on Sunday, August 6th, 2017, at the age of 83. Born in Sydney, he was a son of the late Michael Ambrose MacNeil and Florence MacInnis. Father Joe grew up in Sydney, Cape Breton, attending Sydney Academy, Xavier Junior College and St. Francis Xavier University (BA). He continued his studies at the University Seminary in Ottawa and at the Urban College in Rome. He was ordained in Rome on December 20th, 1959 and served the church in the Diocese of Antigonish teaching at St. Francis Junior College (1962-1972), and in the parishes of Holy Rosary, Westmount (1971-1972), St. Mary, Port Morien (1972-1975), St. Ninian Parish, Antigonish (1975), St. Patrick, Lochaber (1976-1980), St. Anthony Daniel, Sydney (1980-1981), Immaculate Conception, Sydney Mines (1981-1989), St. Theresa, Sydney (1990-1996), and St. Andrew, Boisdale (1996-2002). He also served as Advocate and later Judge for the Halifax Regional Tribunal, as well as serving on several Diocesan Committees. After he retired, he enjoyed helping out in pastoral ministry in various parishes. His gentle personality and being a real gentleman provided a wonderful foundation for his pastoral ministry. He will be remembered by his former parishioners as a gentle and caring person. He also loved to travel and was a wonderful companion for the priests who traveled with him. Father Joe Ambrose was the last surviving member of his family and is predeceased by his three sisters, Fran (Malcolm), Theresa and Collette. Funeral arrangements will be carried out by T.W. Curry Parkview Chapel of Sydney and visitation was held at the Fire Hall in Christmas Island on Wednesday, August 9th from 7-9 pm. Funeral Mass was held on Thursday, August 10th, 2017 at 2 pm, at St. Columba Church in Iona, with Bishop Brian Dunn presiding.


 

 

 

 

Father Gregory Jerome MacLeod

Father Gregory (81) passed away on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 in Sydney, Nova Scotia.  He was born on Sunday, November 24th, 1935.     He was the son of the late John T. and Rose (Turner) MacLeod.

He received his early education from the able hands of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Sydney Mines. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 27th, 1961. Father Greg served in several parishes for a year, firstly with Father Michael Gillis in Stellarton, from whom he first learned the  social teachings of the church as being put in practice at the parish level.  He was appointed to teach at Xavier Junior College. From there he went to the University of Louvain in Belgium where he obtained a doctorate in Philosophy, continuing with post-doctoral studies at Oxford University in England.  When he returned to teach at Xavier College in 1969, he quickly became involved in the economic problems of the area.


He was the founder of New Dawn Enterprises in Sydney, New Deal Development in Sydney Mines, BCA with its various subsidiaries, and the Tompkins Institute.  These institutions gave birth to a number of projects and companies too numerous to mention. From the time of his surgery for cancer to the time of his death three months later, he continued completing projects and initiated several new ones. He was intimately  involved in the struggle to grow Xavier Junior College into the University College of Cape Breton, as well as the struggle to maintain the Coast Guard College in Cape Breton.  His work spilled into other countries, most notably in the Yucatan region of Mexico, where a number of community projects credit him as their visionary founder.  He was an avid promoter of Cape Breton music and culture, and the jovial host of his house ceilidhs, where hundreds of musicians joyfully played over a period of some 40 years. He was a friend of both Mi’kmaq and Acadian Cultures and played a major hand in the development of Mi’kmaq studies at the University College of Cape Breton. Father Greg was an internationally respected writer on the topic of community development. His works were translated into Spanish, Japanese and Korean. On the occasion of the launching of one of his books in South Korea, he was made an honourary citizen. He was the recipient of the Order of Canada, as well as of honourary degrees from Dalhousie University, The Atlantic School of Theology and Saint Francis Xavier University.

He is survived by sister Bev (Mitchelitis) (John Dan), Sydney Mines, brother Jack (Anita), Ingonish, and several nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers Melvin, Michael, Bob, Jim, Bill, and a sister Theresa.  Visitation was held at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on Thursday, May 11th, 2017, from 2-4 pm & 7-9 pm.  The funeral liturgy was held at Cape Breton University Canada Games Complex, on Sunday, May 14th, at 2 pm.  Memorial mass with commendation was held at Holy Family Catholic Church in Sydney Mines on Monday, May 15th at 11 am.  The family would like to thank all friends, medical persons and lay persons who provided care and  compassion which brought Father Greg peace and comfort during Father Greg's illness.  

A retired professor at CBU and dear friend of Father Greg’s,Dr. Harvey Johnston, has summed up the world view underpinning Greg’s approach in a yet to be published book as follows: 
"At times, our actions can leave the world in a better state than we found it.  When it is within our capacity to act in these ways, we have a resonsibility to do so.   This is a moral imperative.   The greater one's capacity to bring about such positive change, the greater one's responsibility to act."

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Father Bernard Gerard "Gerry" MacInnis

Father B. Gerard "Gerry" MacInnis passed away on Sunday, April 9th, 2017 in St. Martha's Hospital, Antigonish surrounded by his sister Mabel and sisters from the congregation of St. Marthas.

Born on June 5th, 1934 in Antigonish, he was a son the late Archibald Donald and Jennie Mae (MacDonald) MacInnis.  Father MacInnis lived in Mulgrave until 1938 when his father, who was employed with the CNR, was transferred to Stellarton in 1938.  He resided in Stellarton until the death of his father in 1975. Father Macinnis attend St. Bridgets School and Our Lady of Lourdes School, Stellarton, graduating from St. John's Academy, New Glasgow.  In 1951, he enrolled in StFX University for one year then transferred to St. Joseph's Seminary, Edmonton and studied for the Archdiocese of Edmonton.  Father MacInnis was ordained on May 23rd, 1959 by Bishop John R. MacDonald in Antigonish.  On returning to Alberta, he was assigned to Camrose, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin and St Pius X, Edmonton.  In 1965, he was appointed parish priest of Consort, Alberta, at which time his sister Mabel moved west to be his domestic engineer.  She was a stalwart servant in the work of Christ,  In 1968 Father was assigned to Stoney Plains, Alberta and in 1974 to Fort Saskatchewan as Chaplain of the Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Institute as a parish priest.   In 1983, he was appointed parish priest of Wainwright, Alberta and in 1990 was appointed back to Wetaskiwin.  In 1994, Father returned to Nova Scotia and spent five years at Notre Dame parish in Yarmouth.   Retirement came in 1999 and he and his sister moved to Arisaig.  In 2008 they moved to Antigonish.  Following the death of Father Neil MacKenna, he volunteered to become the Chaplain for the Sisters of St. Martha at Bethany.  He enjoyed serving the Sisters, the medical community, social work, education and domestic services.  Father deeply appreciated the sisters for their hospitality and goodness.  Throughout "retirement" he remained active doing church work and assisting throughout northern Nova Scotia until August 2016 when ill health forced him to retire fully.

Surviving are his sister, Mabel MacInnis, Antigonish; sister-in-law, Helen MacInnis, Stellarton, niece, Ronda; nephew , Ted.  Besides his parents, he was predeceased by sister, Mary MacNeil; brothers, Ronald and Donald; nephews, Donald Jr., Gregory and Roderick.

Visitation was held on Wednesday, April 12th in Sisters of St. Martha Bethany Chapel, Antigonish from where Mass of Christian Burial was held at 2:00 pm with Bishop Brian Dunn presiding assisted by Father Leo Cordeau, Father Donald Boudreau the Priests of the Diocese.   Private interment took place in Our Lady of Lourdes Cemetery, Stellarton.

Donations may be made in Father MacInnis' memory to : St. Martha's Regional Hospital Foundation the Time is Now Campaign at: https://smrhfoundation.com/st-marthas-time-now/.


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Father Sydney Clarence Mifflen

Father Sydney Clarence Mifflen completed his earthly journey joyfully on April 6th, 2017, accompanied by the love and prayers of his nieces and nephews, Philip (Michele), Theresa (John), Frances (Mike), Patricia (Doug), Claire (Zane), Anne (Joe), Margaret (late Jack), Sydney, John, David (Rosalind), Mary (Bill), the Bishop and Priests of the Diocese of Antigonish, and many other friends and supporters.   Born in Sydney, he was a son of the late Sydney Clarence and Theresa Mary (Power) Mifflen.   Father Syd grew up in Sydney, Cape Breton, attending St. Joseph's School and Sydney Academy.  He continued his education at St. Francis Xavier University (Diploma in Engineering, BA and BEd), Grande Semaire in Montreal (LTh), and Indiana Univeristy (Phd).

He was ordained on June 15th, 1957 and served the church in the Diocese of Antigonish teaching in the Junior Technical Institute in New Glasgow (1957 - 1963), at StFX, and in the parishes of Christ the King (Trenton, NS), Our Lady of Lourdes (Sellarton, NS), St. Louis (Louisdale, NS), St. Joseph's (St. Joseph's, NS), St. Patrick's (Lochaber, NS), and St. Paul's (Sherbrooke, NS).    He also served as Chancellor of the Diocese as well as on several Diocesan Committees.  In retirement, he enjoyed helping out at St. Ninian's as well as serving for a brief period as Chaplain to the Mother House of Bethany.  Among his interests were the Young Christian Workers (YCW) Movement and the Cursillo Movement both of which he served both locally and nationally, serving for 10 years as National Spiritual Advisor to the Canadian Cursillo.   Father Syd was committed to social justice.  He participated in organizations such as the Naomi Society, L"Arche, and the Antigonish Emergecny Fuel Fund.  He also supported, financially and otherwise, many other causes such as St. Vincent de Paul, Antigonish Food Bank, Development & Peace, Doctors Without Borders, and more.

Father Syd delighted to visit his nieces and nephews.  For recreation, he enjoyed golf, skiing, and gardening as well as gathering with fellow priests at their cottaqe in Ingonish.  He often annoyed and sometimes amused his family and friends by his habit of correcting mistakes in English grammar, though often guilty of that sin himself.  

He leave this life hoping that his presence has affected those with whom he came into contact in a postiive way.

Father Syd was predeceased by his brothers, John, Fr. Philip, and Fr. Frank; sisters, Cecelia and Margaret in infancy; and two siblings at birth.  Father Syd has donated his remains to scientific study.  Visitation was held in his memory in the Priests Dining Hall of Morrison Hall, StFX, on Sunday the 9th April.  Vigil was held at 7:00 pm in StFX Chapel.   Funeral Mass was held on Monday, 10th April 2017 at 10:00 am in SfFX Chapel, with Bishop Brian Dunn presiding.


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Father John Joseph MacDonald

Father John J MacDonald passes away in the Strait Richmond Hospital in Evanston on November 21st, 2016.   Fr John was born March 25th, 1930 in Mount Kisco, New York.  He was the son of the late John Angus and Margaret Agnes (MacPherson) MacDonald.    Better known as Father J.J., he obtained his bachelor of Arts at St. FX University and attended Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax.   He was ordained June 12th, 1954 at St. Ninian’s Cathedral, Antigonish by Bishop John R. MacDonald.   Father J. J. served at St. Hyacinth, D’Escousse, Stella Maris, Inverness, St. Louis, Louisdale, St. Andrew, St. Andrews, St. Joseph, Bras d’Or, St. Joseph, Petit de Grat, St. Michael, Margaree, Our Lady of Assumption, Arichat and St. John the Baptist, River Bourgeois.   Father J.J. was appointed Dean of the Richmond Deanery from 1976-79.   He retired from parish ministry in 1997.   Father J.J. Fostered the Co-operative Movement in Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia; served as President of the Nova Scotia Credit Union League; on the Board of Directors of National Co-operator of the Year more than once.   He was one of the founding members of Tel-Ile, a community television station on Isle Madame, which includes service across Richmond County and Canso area.  He set up and fundraised for student scholarship funds for St. FX; and worked for new and improved schools on Isle Madame throughout the 1960 and 1970’s.   Fr J.J. was a strong advocate of the Acadian language and culture; and became fluently bilingual in French language to better serve the communities of Isle Madame.   He organized Young Christian Students and Young Christian Workers on Isle Madame and many of the youth are now leaders in their communities.  

He is survived by his sister Mary Theresa Morrissey (MacDonald),
Port Hawkesbury; nieces and nephews, Dean, Anita, Margie, Debbie, Rick, Mick, Janice and Mark.   Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers Gerald and Jim; sisters Jeanette; nephew Daniel MacDonald.

Visitation for Father J.J. will be held on Thursday from 2-4 & 7-9 pm in the Civic Improvement Centre, Highway 320, D’ Escousse.   Funeral Mass will take place Friday morning in Our Lady of Assumption Church in Arichat at 11:00 am, with Bishop Brian Dunn presiding together with Father Doug MacDonald, Father Dan Doucet and others concelebrating. Burial to follow in St. Hyacinth’s Cemetery, D’Escousse. A reception to follow burial in the Civic Improvement Centre, D’Escousse.   Memorial donations may be made to the Civic Improvement Centre, D’Escousse.   Funeral arrangements are entrusted to C. H. Boudreau Funeral Home Ltd, Arichat.


Father Ralph MacKay

After several years of declining health Father Ralph John MacKay passed away at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto on October 20th, 2016.   Ralph was born on March 22nd, 1950 to Evelyn (Ryan) and Frank MacKay (both of whom have predeceased him) in Winnipeg, Man. Left to mourn him are his brother Brian MacKay, sister-in-law Lana, niece Ashley and nephews Alexander and Cameron in Victoria B.C. He will also be missed by numerous family and friends in Winnipeg, Montreal, Nova Scotia and Ontario.

After completing studies at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S. and St Paul Seminary, Ottawa, Ralph was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Antigonish in 1978.  He later decided to pursue studies for a nursing degree and received his RN degree in 1988.  Ralph worked as a nurse at Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto for a number of years eventually becoming a labour relations officer for the Ontario Nurses Association.

A funeral mass will be celebrated for Ralph at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 520 Sherbourne St., Toronto on Thursday, October 27th at 10am.  Interment will follow at St. James Cemetery, Parliament St.   In lieu of flowers a donation may be made in Ralph’s name to Princess Margaret Hospital or to a Charity of your choice.


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Father Gerald Rousell

Fr. Gerald Rousell passed away in St. Martha's Hospital on October 13th, 2016.  Fr. Gerald was a priest of the Diocese of Antigonish, having served in that capacity for many years.  Fr. Roussell was born in New Aberdeen, N.S., on June 29th, 1925, son of George and Christena (MacDonald) Rousell.  After having received his early education in St. John's School there, and in St. Anne's School, Glace Bay, he proceeded to St. F. X. University where he received his Diploma in Engineering and his Bachelor of Science Degree.  He went on to Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax, and on June 7th, 1952 was ordained to the priesthood.   For the two summers after ordination, Fr. Roussell served first in St. Ninian's Parish, Antigonish and then in St. Mary of the Angels Parish, Glendale.  Meanwhile, he entered the graduate studies program in Fordham University, New York, and in 1956 graduated with a Ph.D. in biology.  He began teaching at
St. FX. In 1956 and continued through to retirement in 1991.  While there, he was a great supporter of the athletic programs and for some years was President of the Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Vice-President of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union. He was a life member of the President's Club at St. F. X. and made significant financial donations to the University.

Fr. Gerald was always generous with his time and spent many of his weekends helping out in parishes throughout the diocese.  From 1984 until 2003 he also spent time assisting in parishes in the Diocese of Nassau, Bahamas.   Fr. Gerald's favourite pasttimes were golf, skiing, enjoying time with his dog, Tasha, and doing crossword puzzles – a daily occupation.  He also enjoyed a good game of bridge, and early in his time at St. F. X. spent many evenings playing bridge with other priests, including Dr. Moses Coady and Fr. Dan MacCormack among others.

Father Roussell was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Pat and Robert, sisters Babe (Jim Patten), Carmelita and Georgina, the latter two deceased in infancy.

Fr. Rousell will be waked in Morrison Hall (former priest's dining room) on Friday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, whence the remains will be transferred to the St F.X. Chapel for the Vigil Service at 7:00 pm.   The funeram Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Saturday, 15th October 2016.   Faculty members are invited to form an academic procession.   Burial will take palce in St. Ninian's Cemetery.


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Father Michael Duncan Rankin

Father Michael Duncan Rankin at MacGillivray Guest Home C. N. D. Wing on Friday, September 23rd, 2016; age 85.  Born January 11th, 1931 he was the son of the late Daniel and Mary Sarah (Beaton) Rankin of Inverness, NS.   Fr. Mike graduated from St. F. X. University in 1955 and was ordained a priest on May 24th, 1959 at St. Mary's Church, Halifax NS.  He served in Glace Bay, Sydney Mines and New Waterford.  He did further studies for chaplaincy at the Nova Scotia Hospital Halifax, and completed his MA in addiction services at St. F. X. University.  He served as chaplain at the Cape Breton Hospital for ten years and was one of the early pioneers in palliative care in Cape Breton.  He established grief groups for bereaved persons and gave of his time unselfishly to people experiencing grief.  Fr. Mike served as chaplain at MacGillivray Guest Home for 27 years.  He will be remembered for being an active force at MacGillivray Guest Home which included many functions that added to the quality of care for the residents, families and staff.  He held funerals and wakes for those who requested it, memorial services for all residents, healing masses for those in need and final farewell services for residents who passed away.  He was editor of the home newspaper "The Golden Webb" head of the ethics Committee and represented the diocese of Antigonish on the board of directors.  He was a friend to all and was so grateful to the sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame for their kindness and generosity right to the very end.  He also appreciated the volunteers that helped him in his daily ministry and to all the staff of MacGillivary Guest Home with whom he had a special bond.   Serving at MacGillivray Guest Home was a huge part of his life and he enjoyed every moment of it.
Father Mike leaves to mourn his sister, Annie MacDonald, nieces Catherine MacDonald, Sarah (Pat) Cassidy, Donalda (Kevin) Cody, his nephew Donald (Mary) Rankin, all of Halifax, grand nieces and nephews and many, many friends.  Father Mike was predeceased by brothers, Donald, Father John Angus, Douglas, sister in law, Margaret and brother in law Angus MacDonald.


 

Father Francis Augustine Morley,

96, died on Nov. 16, 2015 at Harbourstone Nursing Home, Mira Bay unit. A native of Glace Bay, Fr. Frank was a son of the late Joseph H. and Agnes (Curry) Morley. After attending St. Anne's School and graduating from Glace Bay High, Fr. Frank received Bachelors of Arts and Education degrees from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish. In later years he obtained a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Boston College. Following studies at St. FX, Fr. Frank entered Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Antigonish on June 15, 1947. His pastoral appointments in our diocese included St. Joseph, New Victoria; St. Peter, Port Hood; St. Joseph, Dingwall; Immaculate Conception, Main-a-Dieu; St. Agnes, New Waterford; Our Lady of Lourdes, Stellarton; St. Peter, Tracadie; St. Patrick, Lochaber; St. Paul, Sherbrooke and St. Francis, Giant's Lake. Fr. Frank also helped out in various parishes in the Archdiocese of Halifax and in Cape Breton parishes in Margaree, L'Ardoise, and Eskasoni. Fr. Frank served as Diocesan Spiritual Director of the CWL, Diocesan Director of the Holy Name Society and Dean of Antigonish Deanery. He also served on the Board of Governors of St. FX University and as a board member of The Casket.

Fr. Frank is survived by a brother, Fr. Fred, Sydney, his sister-in-law Mary Morley, Halifax, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He was predeceased by brothers Joseph, William, John, James, Charles, and Fr. Tom, sisters Dr. Mary, Teresa, Monica, and Sisters Alice and Agnes, Sisters of Charity. Funeral mass was held at St. Anne's Church, Glace Bay.

Rev. Neil Reginald (Reg) Currie

Fr. Neil Reginald (Reg) Currie

Father Currie passed away Nov. 10, 2015 at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital with his loving family by his side. Reg was the fourth son, born Tues., May 5, 1931 to the late Michael and Mary (Finnell) Currie of Reserve Mines. After graduating from St. FX University he attended Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax and was ordained to the priesthood in 1961. Fr. Reg served in many parishes throughout our diocese, beginning as a curate at Sacred Heart, Sydney. During the years following he was assigned to parishes in East Bay, Sydney River, Dingwall, New Waterford, Mabou, Inverness, Larry's River, Westville, River Bourgeois and Florence. In the 1960s his involvement in YCW and YCS youth groups became one of the highlights of his ministry. In later years he became Spiritual Director for the Pryaer Meetings at Our Lady of Fatima, and his involvement as Spiritual Director for the Al-Anon retreats was a "privilege" to him. Until his illness he volunteered at Loaves and Fishes, Sydney, every Friday.
Fr. Reg cared deeply for his siblings and 22 nieces and nephews, and was happiest when attending family gatherings at his home in "DunHuist", Islandview, or at another's home. Left to mourn are his sisters, Sister Carmelita, Sisters of Charity, Halifax; Ursula (Michael) MacDonald, Reserve Mines; 22 neices and nephews and their families, sisters-in-law Cecilia Currie, Reserve Mines and Anna Currie, New Waterford; numerous cousins and close friends.
Besides his parents he was predeceased by his brothers, John (Jake), Michael, and Basil, and sisters theresa Madio and Angie Campbell; brothers-in-law Neil Amadio and Sandy Campbell and sister-in-law Peggy Currie.
Funeral mass was celebrated Friday, Nov. 13 in St. Joseph's Church, Reserve Mines.

Fr. Douglas MacIntyre

Father MacIntyre passed away on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 at Celtic Court, Sydney, where he had been a resident for six years.
Up until a few months before his death, Fr. Doug continued to perform his priestly duties for the residents and staff, administering to the sick and dying the Holy Sacrament of the Mass, and comforting grieving families. It was his honour to cut the ribbon for the opening of Celtic Court.
Fr. Doug was born in Inverness, Cape Breton, on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 1923 to the late Dan and Catherine (MacDonald) MacIntyre. He attended school in Inverness and moved to New Waterford as a young boy where he graduated from Central High School in 1946. After graduation from St. Francis Xavier University he attended Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax and was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ninian's Cathedral, Antigonish, in 1953. He celebrated his first mass at Mount Carmel Church in New waterford, now the Parish Church of St. Leonard. Fr. MacIntyre served in many parishes throughout the diocese, his first curate assignment being St. Anne's Parish, Glace Bay. Throughout the years other parishes included Port Hood, St. Peter's, Baddeck, Westville, Louisbourg, Inverness and Holy Cross and Holy Family, Glace Bay. He was very inspirational and impacted many lives with his words of encouragement and his great gifts of patience and understanding.
Left to mourn are his sisters Mary Ouellette, Winnipeg; Theresa Black, Vancouver; Florence Gillis, Sydney; brother Archie (Shirley) MacIntyre, New Waterford; sister-in-law Bernadette MacIntyre, Lingan; 27 nieces and nephews and their children; one very special niece, Deborah MacDonald, who took such special care of Fr. Doug. Besides his parents, Fr. Doug was predeceased by a sister, Sadie; brothers Duncan and Francis, both in infancy and John D.; brothers=inlaw Rannie Gillis, Dan V. MacDonald, Andrew Ouellette and Terrance Black. 
Funeral mass was held Nov. 4 in St. Leonard's Church, New Waterford.
Donations in his memory may be made to Loaves and Fishes, PO Box 602, 139 Charlotte St., Sydney NS, B1P 6H7; L'Arche Cape Breton, 3 L'Arche Lane, RR#1 Orangedale, NS  B0E 2K0 or a charity of one's choice.


Rev. Neil Roderick McKenna

Fr. Neil Roderick McKenna

Father McKenna died suddenly in Antigonish on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015.
Born in Antigonish, he was the son of the late Neil and Christena (Boyd) McKenna. He was educated in Antigonish and Mabou, graduated from St. francis Xavier Univeristy with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees and studied at Saint Augustine's Seminary in Toronto. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1984 and served as a priest of the diocese in Larry's River and several parishes in Cape Breton. For the past number of years he was involved in Hospital Pastoral Ministry, first in Halifax at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, then the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and finally, St. Martha's Hospital in Antigonish, retiring in 2014. His hospital ministry took him to people when they were most vulnerable, and he always reached out to them with compassion and understanding, providing comfort in their most difficult hours. He was also recognized as a gifted homilist and teacher whose words inspired and challenged his listeners. At the time of his death he was the chaplain at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Martha. Before entering the seminary, Fr. Neil taught high school English in Antigonish and is remembered fondly by many of his former students. He also had a lifelong passion for pipe band drumming. In 1974 he took a leave of absence from teaching and spent a year in Scotland receiving instruction from Jim Kilpatrick MBE and Tom Brown, two of the world's greatest band drummers. He was instructor and lead drummer of the Antigonish Legion Pipe Band that won several North American Championships and placed 3rd in the World Championship, Grade 2, in 1976. He contoinued to teach drumming during his time as a priest and in 2013 was inducted into the Antigonish Highland Games Hall of Fame. 
He is survived by his sister-in-law, Dr. Patricia McKenna; his nieces and nephews, Jennifer (Anthony) Polson, Patrick (Krista) McKenna, Stephen McKenna, Matthew (Sarah) McKenna, Caroline McKenna and Emily McKenna. Besides his parents he was predeceased by his brother, Boyd. 
Funeral mass was held August 5 at St. Ninian's Cathedral, Antigonish.

Fr. Malcolm MacDonell

Father MacDonell died at St. Martha's Hospital, Antigonish, on July 25, 2015. An exemplary priest and academic of the Diocese of Antigonish, Fr. MacDonell was born January 15, 1919 in Hillsdale, Inverness County, NS, a son of the late William and Sarah (MacEachern) MacDonell. He received his early education at St. Ninian School and Port Hood Academy before enrolling at St. Francis Xavier University from which he graduated with honours in 1938. Fr. MacDonell received his theological training at St. Basil Cemetery, Toronto, where he was ordained on May 26, 1945 by Most Reverend Ildebrando Antoniutti, Apostolic Delegate to Canada. He was awarded a Master of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in 1945 and later did further studies at Queen's University and the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. In 1959 he combined post graduate work with an appointment as Rector of St. Pius X Seminary in Ottawa. His tenure as a teacher and administrator at St. FX, however, was where his ministry as a priest was exercised to the fullest. He joined the faculty of St. FX after his ordination as a member of the history department and taught until 1964, when he was appointed Dean of Arts. As Dean he was instrumental in bringing about curriculum changes in the Faculty of Arts, making the program a more flexible and adaptable curriculum. In 1970 Fr. MacDonell was appointed President of St. FX and remained in that position for eight years. He led the university through some of its most difficult years, when student dissent disrupted the campus and government economics made grants to universitie smore difficult to acquire. His personal relationship with students, parents, staff and visitors helped to maintain and enhance the university's reputation for warm hospitality and personal interest in staff and students. He was one of only two Churchmen appointed by the federal government to the Canadian Centennial Conference; was chairman of the Association of Atlantic Universities; and was a founding member of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He was a recipient of the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal, was awarded Doctor of Laws degrees from St. Thomas, St. FX, and Memorial universities, and received a Doctor of Letters degree from the University College of Cape Breton. Throughout his life Fr. MacDonell maintained a love for and interest in the Gaelic language, the medium of some of his finest and most humorous oratory.
Besides his parents he was predeceased by his brother, Alex; sister, Annie Gillis and two brothers in infancy. He is survived by four sisters: Sister Margaret, CND, Sydney; Mary Boyd, Jessie Murphy and Elizabeth, all of Michigan; sister-in-law, Theresa, Judique and numerous nieces and nephews. 
Funeral mass was celebrated Thursday, July 30 in St. Andrew's Church, Judique.

Fr. Bill Rankin

Father Rankin passed away peacefully and entered the Kingdom of Heaven on July 11, 2015 with his loving family and friends at his side. Born in Glace Bay, he was the son of the late Bert and Kathleen (MacGillivray) Rankin. Bill attended St. Anne's School, where in addition to being an outstanding scholar and senior class president, he was a multi-talented athlete, playing rugby, hockey, basketball and serving on several championship teams. He graduated from high school in June 1955, then went to St. Francis Xavier University where he earned his BA in 1959 and his B.Ed in 1960, and was a member of the Collegians Singing Quartet and the Varsity 4 St. FX Quartet. He then attended Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax where he received his Bachelor of Theology degree. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1964 at St. Ninian's Cathedral, Antigonish. His first appointment as a priest was to St. Agnes parish in New Waterford. The following year he was transferred to Star of the Sea Parish in Canso and St. Agnes parish in Little Dover. From 1965-67 he took on the triple parishes of St. Joseph's, Bras d'Or; St. Anne's, Alder Point and St. Joachim, South Side Boularderie. During the years 1967-70 he worked with St. FX Extension Department in the field of co-op housing, and also at Immaculate Heart parish, Sydney. In 1970 he taught English at Park Junior High, Sydney for one year and was later appointed to Mount Carmel parish, New Waterford, for six years, during which in 1972 he received his Master of Arts degree in psychology. In 1976 he attended Catholic University in Washington, DC for a year studying pastoral ministry. For the next number of years he served in the parishes of Holy Family, MacKay's Corner; St. Lawrence, Mulgrave; St. Francis in St. Francis Harbour; Christ the King, Trenton; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Pictou Landing, where he received from the Mi'kmaq community there the title of Honorary Chief and was given the name 'White Eagle.' His last appointment was St. Michael's, River Ryan, from where he retired in 1998 due to health. In all his parishes he was always active in the church choirs and youth groups. For the last number of years he was still active helping out parishes in Pictou County. Throughout his life Bill was an avid hunter, fisherman and trapper and cherished all the friendships he developed over the years. In retirement he had several hunting expeditions with his very good friend Bobby McVeigh throughout Canada, the United States, and the Scottish Highlands. Fr. Bill will be sadly missed by brother Joe (Effie), Coxheath; nephew Bill (Dana) Rankin, and their family Melanie, Alexis and Matthew,  Edmonton, AB; niece Lisa (Fadey) Abidaoud and their family Daniel and Renee, Doha, Qatar; cousins and numerous friends. Besides his parents he was predeceased by an infant sister, Margaret Mary.
The funeral mass was celebrated Thurs., July 16 at St. Anne's Church, Glace Bay.
Memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, or charity of choice.


Fr. John Michael MacKinnon

Father John MIchael MacKinnon, age 90, died peacefully at Harbourstone Advanced Care Facility on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.  Born in Sydney, he was the son of the late John Ambrose and Agnes (Currie) MacKinnon. After graduating from St. Francis Xavier University he entered Holy Heart Seminary and was ordained on June 3, 1950, celebrating his first High Mass on June 18, 1950. Over the years Fr. John ministered in several parishes throughout the diocese including Inverness, Mabou, Brook Village, Main-a-Dieu, and Westville. He was the diocesan coordinator of Pastoral Activities and Director of Gardiner Centre from 1974-79. He then served as pastor of Mount Carmel parish, New Waterford until 1988, and during this time was also Diocesan Vicar General from 1981-88. He was pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Bridgeport until his official retirement in July 1994. On June 3, 200 at St. Anthony Daniel parish he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination. Fr. John was loved by his family, friends and parishioners. His friendly manner endeared him to all. His loving support and caring attitude will be a source of fond memories for all of us. Fr. John is survived by his sister, Mary Morley, Halifax, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters Catherine MacDonald and Jessie MacKinnon, and six brothers, Daniel, John A., Alexander, Bernard, Sylvester, as well as Francis in infancy.
Funeral mass was celebrated Monday, May 25 at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Church, with interment in Resurrection Cemetery, Sydney Forks.

Rev. Dr. Bernard O`Connor
died Sunday, May 10, 2015, in Mishawaka, Indiana, USA. He was born in North Sydney on March 13, 1951 to Cosmas Bernard and Ella Mae (Young) and ordained to the piresthood for the Diocese of Antigonish at St. Pius X, Sydney Mines on June 24, 1977 by Most Rev. W.E. Power, Bishop of Antigonish. Rev. O`Connor was educated at St. Francis Xavier University (Bachelor of Arts), Creighton University (Master of Arts), St. Paul`s University (M.Div-STB) and the University of Ottawa (MCL-JCL). He served as an assistant pastor at St. Theresa Parish, Sydney for three years and St. Ninian`s Cathedral, Antigonish, for one year before being sent for further study to Rome in 1981. Rev. O`Connor completed licenciate and doctorate degree in sacred theology (systematics) at the Pontifical Gregorian University undernthe direction of Karl Josepf Cardinal Becker, SJ, who would remain Rev. O`Connor`s mentor and lifelong friend. Rev. O`Connor taught at the University of Tennessee for five years where he also received a civil law degree (JD) in 1994 after which he took up a teaching position at Eastern Michigan University where he remained for 10 years. In 2004 he was called by Pope John Paul II to Rome where he was appointed as an official in the Congregation for Eastern Churches, completing his appointment in 2010. In 2011, Rev.O`Connor was appointed Chancellor`s Visiting Professor of Law and Humanities at Indiana University (Kokomo). He was at the Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishakawa, Indiana at the time of his death. Numerous awards over the years include an Advanced Negotiation Certificate from Harvard Law School and Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) from the Graduate Theological Foundation. He was twice named Michigan Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation. Just prior to his passing, he was named John Henry Cardinal Newman Professor Emeritus. Rev.O`Connor authored two books and countless articles. He returned home to Sydney Mines each summer to visit his mother and many friends.
Rev.O`Connor is survived by his mother, Mrs. Ella Mae O`Connor, Sydney Mines. He was predeceased by his father, Cosmas Bernard O`Connor in 1979.   Funeral mass was celebrated Monday, May 18, 2015 at Holy Family Church, Sydney Mines, with interment in the parish cemetery.

Fr. James Anthony MacLean

(Monsignor-Commodore-General) passed away Jan. 31, 2015 in Glace Bay Hospital. He was born on Feb. 19, 1918 in Bay St. Lawrewnce, the son of the late Captain James and Alice (Capstick) MacLean. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his sisters, Mary Frances (Peter) Cooke, Alice (Alex) Cooke, Ingonish; Sr. James Marie, CSM; Evelyn Rita; Mary Evelyn (Og) Walsh; his brothers, Neil,Tom, and Rev. Father Murdock (St. FX). Left to mourn are his brother-in-law, Sydney Òg`Walsh, Sydney, and many nieces and nephews.
Father Jim received his early and high school education in Bay St. Lawrence before graduatings from St. Francis Xavier University in 1938. He then began studies at Holy Heart Seminary, Halifax, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1943. From 1943-51 Fr. Jim ministered in parishes throughout the diocese including St. Theresa`s, Sydney; St. Peter`s, Cheticamp; St. George`s, Georgeville; and Holy Cross Church, Pomquet. He enlisted in the Navy in 1951, served in the Korean conflict and retired from the Armed Services in 1975 with the rank of Commodore-General. His duties included being lowered to ships from helicopters as he continued with God`s work. He served on many ships including the Magnificent, where he sailed to many ports all over the world. He was proud to be an honorary member of the Cape Breton Retired Naval Veterans. Fr. Jim became a Monsignor (Pope Paul VI) in April 1970. From 1975, Fr. Jim`s pastoral appointments in the Diocese of Antigonish included St. Margaret`s, Grand Mira and St. Mary`s Polish Church, Whitney Pier. After retiring in 1989 he assisted at St. Peter`s Church, Ingonish and St. Anne`s, Glace Bay. He also provided Christian services wherever needed and celebrated mass at the Cove Guest Home in Sydney. His friendship was a gift treasured by all. He died with the titles Commodore-General, Chaplain of the Forces and Monsignor but was very happy to be called `Father Jim.`
Funeral mass was celebrated Thursday, Feb. 5 in St. Theresa`s Church, Sydney, with interment at a later date from St. Margaret`s Church, Bay St. Lawrence.
In memory of Father Jim, one can provide an act of kindness to a friend, relative, neighbour, stranger, or someone in need.

Fr. William Matthew Roach

Father Roach died peacefully in the An Cala Palliative Care Unit of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney, on Jan. 15, 2015, at the age of 87. Born in Scotchtown, he was the son of the late Simon and Mary (MacInnis) Roach. Father Bill graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 1950. He entered Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Antigonish on June 12, 1954. In the years that followed his ordination, Fr. Bill`s notable leadership ability was evident in his role as pastor, spiritual advisor, educator, and social activist. His first pastoral assignment took him to St. Anthony Daniel parish in Sydney and St. Anne`s, Membertou. After several years Fr. Bill was appointed to the St. FX Extension department.In 1965, while on study leave, he obtained a Masters degree in sociology from Boston University. For a number of years, he taught sociology at Xavier College. In 1973 he was granted leave from the Extension Department to work with the Nova Scotia Housing Commission. He was involved with many housing developments in Cape Breton and on the mainland. Uppermost in Fr. Bill`s life during all these years was his commitment to economic and social development in Cape Breton, as was witnessed in 1967 when he played a significant role in organizing Sydney`s March of Concern to offset the impending steel plant closure. In 1977 Fr. Bill resumed full pastoral ministry at St. Lawrence parish, Mulgrave. In 1980 he was appointed parish priest at Sacred Heart Church in Sydney and in 1992 became parish priest at Immaculate Heart parish, Mira Road. For health reasons, he retired from active parish ministry in 1998. He greatly enjoyed hunting and fishing and later became an avid golfer and walker. While his reputation as a `take charge`person followed him throughout his life, Fr. Bill`s behind-the-scenes caring and compassion endeared him to his family and friends.
Fr. Bill is survived by his sisters, Ellen (Mrs. James Smith), Gainesville, Florida and Eileen (Sr Marie Simone CSM), Antigonish, as well as his brother, Bernie (Jackie), Ottawa. He is also survived by sisters-in-law, Patricia (Tom), Halifax and Lucille (Angus), Ottawa, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by sisters Catherine, Sadie (Mrs. Joe Gillis), Christina (Sr. Mary Celesta SC) and brothers Henry, Angus, Tom and Dave. He was also predeceased by sister-in-law Evelyn (Henry) and brothers-in-law Joseph Gillis and James Smith.
Funeral mass was celebrated at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Church, Sydney, with itnerment in Resurrection Cemetery.