Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 7, 2007
'Uncle Richard' a favourite with nieces and nephews
By LASHA MORNINGSTAR
- WCR photo by Ramon Gonzalez
The Smith clan from Halifax got front row seats to see their son, brother and uncle Richard installed as archbishop of Edmonton.
Clare is not surprised at what her brother has achieved.
"He's driven, an extremely smart man. But no matter where he goes, he will always be my brother and Uncle Richard."
The archbishop carries his family in his heart and, says Clare, his number one interest is the children - his nieces and nephews. Clare has two children, Matthew, 14, Sarah 11, and brother Paul has Ben, 7 and Hannah, 4.
"There is no one like Uncle Richard," says Clare. "When he is home, he is not happy unless they are climbing all over him."
And when he calls home, the first thing he asks Sarah is "Who is your sweetheart?"
After she responds, "You are," he asks, "For how long?" and she says, "For ever and ever."
As she tells the story, Sarah's eyes dance and she says when her uncle says that to her, it makes her, "Happy, happy."
Her big brother Matthew is clear about his feelings for the archbishop.
"He is my uncle first of all. I feel really, really good for him and I love him very much. When he comes at Christmas he is just a great person to have around."
Paul missed the reception and had to take his weary youngsters back to the hotel, but told his sisters to say how proud he was of his brother.
Mother Anne Marie, cheeks flushed with emotion, enthuses, "What a beautiful celebration. We are so happy we were here. You can see how happy he is."
She has no worries about whether her son will be moved again, or where.
"He has always said whatever comes to him, it was meant to be. He believes he is sent somewhere for a reason."
The symbolism, the surrender involved in all of the steps of his son's move through the Church, engulf Don.
"I just lose it," he says.
His familiar smile returns as he says of his elder son, "Of course I idolize him. He is a real joy. When he arrives, he lights up a room."
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