HAYES, Most Reverend James Martin, Archbishop Emeritus of Halifax, died on August 2nd, 2016 in the Halifax Infirmary at the age of 92.
Born in Halifax in 1924, the eldest son of the late Leonard James and Rita (Bates) Hayes, he received his education at St. Thomas Aquinas School, St. Mary’s High School, St. Mary’s College, and in 1943 entered Holy Heart Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop McNally on June 15, 1947.
Father Hayes’ first pastoral assignment was as a curate at St. Mary’s Cathedral. It was at this time that he became a regular visitor at the hospitals, bringing the sacraments to those who were ill and accompanying them and their families with prayer.
“Edmund Burke, the brilliant professor, the zealous missionary imperilling his life to prevent unprincipled traders from trafficking in rum with the Indians, the outspoken though courteous controversialist and the successful Bishop, must take a high place amongst the great men who have left their mark on the pages of our history.”
Edmund Burke was born in 1753, in Marysborough, Queen’s County, Ireland. Since Penal laws against Catholic Education were still in effect in Ireland at the time, it was necessary to go abroad to obtain a professional education, and he was sent to Paris as a young man to study for the priesthood. He returned to Ireland to accept an appointment to the parish of Kildare. The succession to the Episcopal See of his diocese had been hotly contested, and since he had supported a particular candidate for the office, opponents made his life miserable and hampered his ministry. He decided to go to Canada, knowing that there was a need for missionary priests. He arrived in Quebec at the age of 33 in the summer of 1786, to serve under Bishop D’Esglis, bishop of Quebec.
The time period following the death of Edmund Burke, Vicar Apostolic of Nova Scotia was an uncertain one for Nova Scotia’s Catholics. Fr. John Carroll, Bishop Burke’s nephew was appointed administrator of the Vicariate, until a suitable successor could be found.
Writing to the Propaganda Fide in Rome in July of 1824, Bishop Angus MacEachern of Charlottetown said “there is not among us one more worthy of being constituted Bishop” of that Vicariate than William Fraser; for he is a learned priest and “excellent preacher in both English and Gaelic, sound in faith and imbued “with the virtues that adorn the clerical state.’”1
William Fraser was born in Scotland in 1779, the eldest son of a large family. (How large it was is disputed, some sources say he was the eldest of 10 children, others say there were 12.) He entered the Seminary of Samalaman in Moidart, Scotland after graduating from elementary school. He was sent to the Scot’s College in Valladolid Spain where he spent 10 years in study, and was ordained in September of 1804, at the age of 25.