Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jesus Calls Simon & Andrew, James & John - The Death of a Friend - A Visit to Valrideau University Residence


Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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October 16, 1943 - January 21, 2012

Yesterday morning, I received the sad news that Father William Addley had died in St. Michael's Hospital after surgery for abdominal cancer that had been diagnosed shortly after Christmas.  He was just about to complete this summer a 13-year stint as Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in downtown Toronto.

"Father Bill" as he was universally known had been assistant to the the Jesuit Provincial, then from 1984-1990 Provincial of the Jesuits in English Canada Province (at that time known as the Upper Canada Jesuit Province).  He was very much appreciated by so many of his Jesuit confreres for whom he showed great esteem and support, often in hidden ways and preferably with himself out of the limelight.

A proud Haligonian, he probably knew that it would take some adjusting on my part--as someone who had "come from away"--when I went to the Atlantic School of Theology in his home town to teach in 1975.  So, he called me on the telephone from time to time, to ask how I was doing and to give me news of the brethren in Toronto and elsewhere across Canada, to ask advice and to offer some in my role as an interviewer for aspiring candidates to the Society. 

We became friends through those calls and later when I had moved to Toronto as we went looking for housing for the Regis College Jesuits in the area around the University of Toronto. His sudden departure from our midst is hard to fathom: How mysterious God's judgments; how inscrutable his ways.

May the Lord grant this servant of his a merciful judgment and lead him to the waters of eternal life in God's Kingdom that he strove to serve.  He will be missed. 

Rest in peace, my brother Bill.

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Last Tuesday evening was a messy one for getting around Ottawa with several centimeters of snow being covered with freezing rain.  However, the sand was placed on the steps of Valrideau and the welcome mat was out for me to visit this residence, under the direction of Opus Dei, which houses mainly university students but also some professional women.

The house is spacious and well-organized around a beautiful chapel and dining and meeting rooms that welcome women who wish to grow in their understanding and practice of the faith.

Over freshly baked desserts, juices, teas and coffees, I enjoyed a wonderful exchange with the residents, learning about their study and work programs, interests and spirituality.


  1. I'm so sad to hear of Fr. Bill's passing. When I lived in Toronto, he was the very best confessor I ever encountered. I lived around the corner from Our Lady of Lourdes and made a couple of visits every year to Fr. Bill, knowing he would provide me with a challenging, pastoral response to my confession. A wonderful priest and man has earned his eternal reward. He will be missed.

    1. It was very encouraging have the Archbishop among us and I am sure Bishop Terry's visit will help the students to love the Church more and be more daring in their personal encounters of evangelization on campus.

      Father Paul Cormier.