Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 18, 2002
Archbishop Leonard Wall dead at 77
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Archbishop Emeritus Leonard Wall, who retired as archbishop of Winnipeg in July 2000, passed away at his residence in Toronto March 5 at the age of 77.
Born in Windsor, Ont., Wall earned his doctorate in sacred theology at the Angelicum University in Rome.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 1949 and was appointed secretary to the archbishop of Toronto two years later. He also served from 1954-1969 as a professor at St. Augustine's Seminary and was its vice-rector from 1964-69.
From 1969-1992, Wall was chancellor of the Toronto Archdiocese and also served as its vicar general. He was ordained as auxiliary bishop of the Toronto Archdiocese in 1979.
In 1992 he was appointed as archbishop of Winnipeg, retiring eight years later.
As archbishop of Winnipeg, Wall became the first chancellor of St. Paul's College at the University of Manitoba and received the Caritas award for his leadership in the Catholic community.
He once said he was an "unintimidated defender and propagandist" of the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and said it was lay workers that sold him on holding three community forums on the catechism.
"They put the package together and they said 'Are you going to buy in?' And I said, 'I'm not the dumbest kid on the street, I'm not going to miss a chance like this.'"
During their plenary assembly in 1993, when the Canadian bishops were preparing to approve their budget for the following year, Wall, the former financial administrator for the Toronto Archdiocese, deadpanned, "I have trouble with figures." Then he suggested they may be bankrupting themselves "quietly but efficiently."
Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic was the chief celebrant at a funeral Mass for Wall in Toronto.