Article by M.C. Havey, Archivist
On the 225th anniversary of the death of St. Alphonsus and with Superior General Michael Brehl in the sanctuary, Graham Hill professed his first vows as a member of the Edmonton-Toronto Province on August 1 at St. Patrick’s Church in Toronto.
Provincial Superior Mark Miller presided at the examination, the profession and presentation of the Constitutions and Statutes as well as the profession cross with Inter-Provincial Novice Director Fr. Gary Lauenstein and Assistant Novice Director Fr. Raymond Douziech standing at the altar.
In his homily, Fr. Miller recounted a short history of St. Alphonsus and the founder’s dedication to the poor and neglected. Noting Graham’s work among those in need, especially at the Out of the Cold program during the winter months at St. Patrick’s, Fr. Miller said: “I know Graham has an eye for the poor.”
The profession was the first in the province since Fr. Tony Bidgood’s in August 2005. A total of 16 confreres attended: Fathers Santo Arrigo, William Comerford, William Fitzgerald, Paul Hansen, Karl Hoeppe, Thomas O’Rourke, David Purcell, Carl Schmidt and Brothers Edgar Hoffman and Raymond Pierce as well as visiting confreres Fr. Joseph Maier of the Denver Province and Fr. Eamon Cavanagh of the Irish Province.
As part of the Mother of Perpetual Help devotions on Wednesday evenings, Graham’s profession received applause from the 300 in the congregation. Following the profession and the devotions, a reception was held in the parish hall, where Graham received personal greetings from confreres and friends.
Originally from Leicester England, Graham came to Canada in 1999, working as a computer programmer in Ottawa, Saskatoon, Toronto, Edmonton, Belleville and Calgary. Graham’s initial interest in the Redemptorists occurred after reading some of St. Alphonsus’ writings and then visiting our website. A year before entering the Inter-Provincial Novitiate in July 2011, Graham lived at Redeemer House while studying theology at the University of St Michael’s College. During Novitiate, Graham’s experience and expertise as a “techie” was called upon to assist confreres with computer programme difficulties.
A few days after the profession ceremony, Graham returned to England to visit friends and family, especially his mother, a resident in a nursing home. During the last week of August, he will travel to Boston to begin three years of studies at Boston College for a Masters of Theology degree. Living with the Mission Church community, he will join Calvin Auguiste, Anthony Michalik and Ashford St. Romain of the Inter-Provincial Novitiate class of 2010-2011. No doubt there will be reminiscences about their Novitiate days in Toronto, especially Sita’s cooking.