Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 3, 2000
Landrigan focused on good side of life
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Father Cornelius Landrigan, a priest for 70 years and the oldest priest in the Edmonton Archdiocese, will be remembered by some as the Gretzky of the priests.
Landrigan died March 22 at age 99.
"He was a great man," said archdiocesan chancellor Father Mike McCaffery. "He was always friendly and always very pleasant."
Born Dec. 13, 1900 in Sturgeon, P.E.I., Landrigan took his theological studies at St. Joseph's Seminary in Edmonton and at St. Augustine Seminary in Toronto. He was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 21, 1930 at St. Augustine Seminary.
In his priestly career, he served as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Edson, Onoway and missions, Vermilion and St. Paul's Parish in Edmonton.
He lived in residence at St. Edmund and Good Shepherd parishes in Edmonton and was living at St. Joseph's Auxiliary Hospital at the time of his death.
"He was a good, friendly guy to talk to, a guy who would always listen to you and be a support to you," said his friend Father Leo Cordeau, pastor of St. Edmund's Parish. He met Landrigan 30 years ago in Edmonton and worked with him in some parishes.
Number 99 is a recognizable number in Edmonton because of Wayne Gretzky and his contributions to hockey, Cordeau noted.
"Father Landrigan was also 99 and he is famous among the clergy for different reasons - because he was a great priest," he said.
"In the same way Gretzky was an excellent hockey player and a player of players, (Landrigan) was a priest of priests, an excellent priest. That's the way I saw him anyway."
Landrigan had "a good understanding of the Church and the mission of the Church," Cordeau recalls. "He had a good outlook on life; maybe that's why he lived so long. He saw the good side of things and the good side of people."
Archbishop Thomas Collins presided at the Mass of Resurrection for Landrigan at St. Joseph's Basilica March 27. Following the Mass, Landrigan was buried in the clergy plot at Holy Cross Cemetery.