August 29, 2011

Archbishop Francis Spence, a former president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops who led the Diocese of Kingston, Ont., for 20 years until his retirement in 2002, died July 27.

He was 85. Ordained to the priesthood in 1950, Spence attended all sessions of the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965, acting as a theological assistant to Archbishop Joseph O'Sullivan of Kingston.

After ordination, he studied in Rome, receiving a doctorate in canon law.

Ordained in 1967 at age 40, he served as bishop of the Military Vicariate and bishop of Charlottetown prior to his appointment to Kingston.

He served as president of the CCCB from 1995 to 1997.