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May 23 - A good priest

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordMay 23, 2020
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For the readings of today’s mass, go to

https://www.livingwithchrist.ca/images/article_images/pdf/May_23_Pages_from_LWC_May2020-lowres-5.pdf

Yesterday at 10 am I had the sad honour of leading the Rite of Christian Committal for the remains of Fr. Basil O’Brien at the Queen of the Clergy cemetery, located at the far south end of the property of St. Augustine’s Seminary in Scarborough.  In that cemetery lies the remains of many of the priests of the Archdiocese of Toronto as well as those who served for the Scarboro Mission Society. 

The weather for the burial was glorious, and upon arrival I was informed that a Zoom broadcast of the burial service would take place for the benefit of many of Fr. Basil’s relatives in Ireland and England, and a few here in Canada.

One thought that came to mind is what would provoke a priest to leave his native country and journey to a new land to minister, like Fr. Basil did in leaving his native Ireland.  A new challenge?  A new opportunity?  Or maybe just a change in scenery?  Whatever it may have been, one thing for sure – it was for love of God and God’s people.  This, Fr. Basil definitely had. 

So many of you have shared some lovely stories of how Fr. Basil touched you – thank you for sharing them with me.  Again and again what comes up though is his gentle manner and gentle sense of humour.  Fr. Basil touched many lives. he was a gentle shepherd for God's people. And for this, he must be commended and thanked.

After the burial service I looked around at the many grave plates of the other priests buried at Queen of the Clergy. Some I knew quite well. I wonder what they would say to us if they could come back even if for one day? But of course, that is not possible. And just like I thanked and blessed God for giving us Fr. Basil, so I did the same for the other priests.  Yes, they were human and each one had his faults, but each one was devoted to the priesthood and serving God’s people.  And now, we pray that they may enjoy eternal rest.  Amen.

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For more information about Queen of the Clergy cemetery, please go to

https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2209792/saint-augustines-seminary-burial-ground/photo