For­mer parish priest re­mem­bered fondly

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

It was 34 years on the 20th of this month that Fa­ther Clarence Roche died in his parish com­mu­nity of Kelly’s Cross. I was liv­ing off is­land at the time but was still in touch with him by mail.

To say Fa­ther Clarence Roche was just a parish priest or just a men­tor of is­land youth seems to me now, far too lim­ited a def­i­ni­tion for a man as large and ex­cep­tional (in pres­ence) as he was.

I knew Fa­ther Clarence when I was a teenager. I knew him with my in­tel­lect (which he re­spected) and I knew him with the fine tuned senses of a teenager in­tent on ex­pos­ing the hypocrisy I be­lieved was in him as surely as I be­lieved it was in all the rule abid­ing grown ups of the day.

But there was noth­ing hyp­o­crit­i­cal about Fa­ther Clarence Roche.

He lived his life with hon­esty, pas­sion and pur­pose. He had a sense of hu­mour and a laugh that had me be­lieve in some­thing far greater than just that which I could see with my eyes or fig­ure with my mind.

I had a let­ter, writ­ten, “stamped” and “ready to go”, (as we would have said 34 years ago) when I learned that he had been, trag­i­cally, killed on my birth­day. The shock con­tin­ues to re­ver­ber­ate through me. Long may his con­tri­bu­tions to the youth of Char­lot­te­town be re­mem­bered and hon­oured.

Ca­role Walker Trainor

Hal­i­fax, Nova Sco­tia

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