Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Brother Alvin Voisin Served the Jesuit Mission in Humble Tasks

Jesuit Brother Alvin VOISIN died peacefully on July 19, 2015 at the Jesuit Infirmary in Pickering, ON; he was in his 99th year of life and had been a Jesuit brother for 74 years.

Alvin Voisin was born and grew up in St. Clements, ON, the son of Robert Voisin and Louisa Lunz; three of his siblings joined religious communities.

Brother Voisin began his Jesuit life in 1941. Over the years, he worked as a farmer, gardener and dairyman in Ontario: at Spanish, Oakville, Guelph and Pickering.

His first assignment after first vows was to Garnier School in Spanish, Ontario.  He faithfully worked as overseer of the property, gardener and did the usual household tasks that was the life of Jesuit brothers in that era.  After Garnier School closed in 1958, he moved to Loyola Retreat House in Oakville, Ontario to supervise care of its extensive grounds. 

In 1960, Brother Al began his long tenure at Guelph when he went there to work as custodian of the grounds and on the farm. This ended in the year 2000 when ill health brought about his transfer to the infirmary at Pickering.  There was an interruption in his 40-year posting at Guelph from 1979 to 1981, when he was appointed assistant to the minister, Br. Paul Robin, in Pickering because a great deal of renovation work was being done at Manresa Retreat House and his maintenance skills were called upon during those two years of steady work.

A good story-teller whose laughter would fill a room, he delighted in the music of the Greek chanteuse, Nana Mouskouri, managing to attend several of her concerts in North America, and he never failed in his many years of Jesuit life to join the brethren in following the “champagne music” of Lawrence Welk. 

Survived by his sister Mary Forwell of Waterloo, Brother Al will be missed by his friends and Jesuit companions.

Visitation will be at St. Ignatius Chapel, Manresa-Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre, 2325 Liverpool Road North, Pickering, ON, on Wednesday, July 22nd from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (with wake service at 8:00 p.m.).

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at the St. Ignatius Chapel, Manresa-Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre. Interment will follow in the Jesuit Cemetery, Guelph, ON, at 2:30 p.m.

In memory of Brother Voisin, donations may be made to the Jesuit Development Office, 43 Queen's Park Crescent East, Toronto, ON M5S 2C3.

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