‘Retired’ Catholic pastor still going strong in Comox

Having a hobby when you retire is very important, says Father Joseph Killoran.

FATHER JOSEPH KILLORAN is seen in the main chapel of St. Joseph’s General Hospital.

Having a hobby when you retire is very important, says Father Joseph Killoran.

Born Oct. 15, 1922, in Belldune, N.B., Father Joe should know a thing or two about retirement when he celebrates his 90th birthday this month.

An avid gardener, his garden on Glacier View Drive, known as Grotto Gardens, has frequently been on garden tours, and visited by numerous parishioners and friends.

Father Joe began teaching in 1944 and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1963.

In 1980, he arrived on Vancouver Island, serving in Comox, Victoria, Gold River and Courtenay. He retired to Comox where — no couch potato — he remains active in his garden and in the community.

He says weekly Mass in the main chapel at St. Joseph’s General Hospital. He visits the sick, and aging residents at the Views, and gets up occasionally in the middle of the night to give the Sacrament of the Sick to Catholics who are nearing death.

He also serves as relief Pastor at Christ the King Parish and to neighboring parishes. During a recent Sunday homily, he reminded the congregation that all the parts of the Mass are very important. They should listen, and pay attention, to every word!

Renowned for his quick humour, ready smile and laughter, when asked about the secret to his healthy longevity, he laughs, ‘If I knew the answer to that I could make a lot of money!’

Widely appreciated for his dedication and commitment to serving others, Father Joe considers his vocation to the priesthood humbling. He continues to generously serve others to this day.

In June 2013, Father Killoran will celebrate his 50th anniversary of ordination. More celebrations — and many more smiles — are expected at that time. And his garden is expected to be in full bloom.

Steve Hill is co-ordinator of pastoral care and ethics at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox.

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