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April 20, 2015

Always outspoken, a man who stayed close to home, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte was never seen as a likely candidate for pope. It must then have brought him a quiet chuckle when one of his closest friends among the cardinals – Jorge Mario Bergoglio – was elected to the papacy.

The style of the two was similar – close to the people, especially the poor, willing to shoot from the hip, advocates of Church social teaching and no interest in playing Church politics.

Turcotte, who died April 8, was unforgettable, larger than life, yet highly approachable and an easy person with whom to converse. He fit into the Gospel like a hand into a glove. People like him do not come along often.

Like many, Turcotte gave his life in service of the Church. Like not so many, his life was attractive enough that one might actually want to live the way he lived.