November 21, 2011

Congratulations on the excellent coverage of the 100th anniversary of St. Edmund’s Parish, St. Edmund’s School and the Ursulines of Jesus (WCR, Oct. 24).

Mention was made of the number of priestly ordinations and vocations to the religious life fostered in the parish and school and supported by the prayers and example of the Ursulines of Jesus.

From the founding of the parish in 1911, the Sacred Heart Fathers were blessed with a vocation: Father Arthur Houle, scj; Father Paul (Pat) Stack, ofm, attended St. Edmund’s School and in 1958 Father Denis Hebert was ordained as his parents recently moved into the parish from Villeneuve.

While Msgr. Emile Tessier was pastor (1930-34), Emile Briere was his protégé and resided at the rectory. Father Briere, after ordination to the Edmonton Archdiocese, was active in social justice and taught at St. Joseph’s Seminary before joining the Madonna House Apostolate in Combermere, Ont.

Father Patrick McCorkell joined the Edmonton Archdiocese as well as Fathers Donald Stein, John Rose, Roger Keeler and Greg Bittman, our chancellor.

Father Raymond Douziech, CSsR, was also raised in St. Edmund’s Parish and attended St. Edmund’s School before joining the Redemptorists. He has held many important assignments in Rome and now in Toronto.

Many a girl from the parish and school heard the call to the religious life with the Ursulines of Jesus, Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood, Grey Nuns of Montreal, Daughters of Jesus, Sisters of Charity (Halifax), Sisters of the Assumption and the Sisters of St. Louis.

From the parish across the tracks, we are proud to be referred to as the “Calder kids.” We are ever grateful to our parents, teachers and pioneers of St. Edmund’s Parish with their strong faith and Catholic example, and to all the priests and nuns who served this humble parish.

Father Don Stein