In memoriam: Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte

April 17, 2015

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte.

With the passing of the man known by many as “the people’s priest,” Montreal has lost a great champion for the underprivileged. Cardinal Turcotte will be remembered for his love of both humanity and hockey, his wit and, above all, his compassion.

Cardinal Turcotte once said, “A friendly gesture in a hostile environment, a kind word that brings comfort, a visit to a friend or someone who is suffering, an act of generosity toward an individual or toward a people who are hungry, a hand extended to a stranger, forgiveness granted with no ulterior motive: all of these things, when placed in God’s hands, contribute to changing the world little by little.”

In 1995, McGill gave its highest honour, an honorary doctorate, to Cardinal Turcotte in recognition of an extraordinary life built of countless such gestures — and a life, indeed, that changed the world.

This is why McGill’s flag is flying at half-staff today.


Suzanne Fortier
Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University

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