68, Whitney Pier

The death of Rev. J. Errol MacDonald occurred on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2013, at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney, surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Glace Bay on July 2, 1945, Errol was the son to the late John R. ‘Dau Blue’ and Catherine (MacKinnon) MacDonald.

Errol attended local schools and graduated from St. F.X. in 1965. He taught in the former Glace Bay School system and later the Cape Breton District School system from 1965 to 1985 in MacKay’s Corner, St. Anthony and St. Anne Schools – Glace Bay.

In 1985 he began studies at St. Paul’s Seminary, Ottawa, Ont., and was ordained in 1989 for service in the Diocese of Antigonish. His first posting was co-pastor at St. Anthony Daniel Parish followed by service as Pastor at Holy Guardian Angels in L’Ardoise and Holy Redeemer, Sydney, for 13 years, retiring in 2011.

From 1970 to 1990, Fr. Errol MacDonald took a great interest in the Scottish and Irish culture of Cape Breton lending his talents as singer at many local events and throughout his priestly ministry endeared himself to many of his parishioners.

Fr. Errol MacDonald is survived by his sisters, Anna (Nick) Sinclair, Glace Bay, and Cathy (Dan) Seklecki, Mass., USA, as well as his brother, Jimmie (Helen), Halifax; aunt, Elizabeth Martin, Timmons, Ont.; niece, Lorelle and nephews, Robbie (Lisa), Shamus (Jeslyn), Scott and Matthew; as well as grandnieces, Kate and Ellie and grandnephews, Luke, Tucker and Neil who loved their uncle and granduncle Angie dearly, as he loved them.

Fr. Errol was predeceased by his parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts.

Visitation for the late Rev. J. Errol MacDonald will be held at the Pier Community Funeral Home, Whitney Pier, 1092 Victoria Rd. (entrance on Church Street) on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, from 6-9 p.m. and on Monday, Dec. 30 from 1-4 p.m. The body will be transferred to Holy Redeemer Church for Vigil Service at 7 p.m. Funeral mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, at 10 a.m. in Holy Redeemer Church with Bishop Brian J. Dunn and priests of the Diocese of Antigonish con-celebrating. Reception will be held at the Pier Community Funeral Home, followed by burial at St. Barra’s Cemetery, Christmas Island.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Rev. J. Errol MacDonald may be made to the Holy Redeemer Building Fund.

Special thanks given to Dr. Worth, Dr. Harless, staff of Cancer Centre, Palliative Care and City Homeworkers Continuous Care and all others who visited and care for him.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be forwarded to the family at www.pierfuneralhome.com.

M’ Anam Do Dhia – My Soul to God

Send an online condolence.


                        Online Condolences

Dear Anna Marie, Cathy & Jimmie, We are thinking of you during this difficult time.
From:  Lorraine & Anita Currie

Anna,Cathy, Jimmie and families, My very sincere condolences, I was very sad to learn that Errol passed away on Christmas day. I have many fond memories of sharing good times with Errol and all of you at your home on Dorchester St. during my time growing up in Number 11. Those memories are very vivid in my mind and I have always cherished them thorough the years. Whenever Errol visited Timmins we always spent good times together and when he was in the seminary at St Paul’s we reconnected again. He was my friend and I am very sorry for your loss. Thanks to Stan and Valerie Poirier I learned that Errol was very ill and I called him just a few weeks ago and spoke with him and expressed my sorrow about his illness. He will be well received in heaven and I am thinking about you during this very difficult time.
God Bless, Bobby Livingston, Ottawa

Dear Family, We consider ourselves fortunate to have known Father Errol through our Whitney Pier and Holy Redeemer connections. We connected initially through discovering we had gone to St. F.X. with his brother Jimmie, and from there, connected on both a spiritual and genealogical level. Our deepest sympathy to all.
From:  Robert and Jean Proctor

Dear Anna, Jim, Cathy and family, please accept my sincere condolences at this very sad time. Errol will be missed…
From:  Stewart LeForte

Anna Cathy and Jimmy,Sorry to hear of Errol,s passing.  He was a true gentleman always.
From:  Heather Murrin

Sending comfort and thoughts your way.
From:  Warren and Janelynne

I am saddened to hear of Father Errol’s passing. I remember as a child, Fr. Errol visiting our home and as we grew up I always enjoyed listening to him as he entertained at many concerts and events. I was very glad to have Father Errol join Holy Redeemer Parish , where I had the pleasure of working closely with him as the director of the Parish folk choir. I truly believe that Father Errol found a home at Holy Redeemer and the parishioners are better for having him as our Pastor. Fr. Errol will be missed by all. Rest in Peace.
From:  Kevin Thomas

I am so saddened to hear of Fr. Errol’s passing…he has been in my thoughts and prayers. Fr. Errol was a very good friend to my mom and to our family…he will be deeply missed…my deepest condolences to his family…may he rest in peace.
From:  Brenda LeBlanc

My sincere condolences MacDonald Family,Father Errol you will be very well received at Heaven’s Gate. You were in my words a God’s Gift to attending Mass.!!! God Speed !!!
From:  Donald House

Dear Anna and Cathy and family, Please accept our sincere condolences from Margie and all of her family. Mom spoke so often of Errol and was so proud of him! He brought much joy to the world through his music and love of God. We will be praying for Errol and for all of you during this very difficult time. I know Margie would love to be with you, her family, at this time. She loves you all very much. God Bless you!
From:  Margie, Carol Anne (John), Mary Ellen (Glenn), Eddie (Leslie), and John Murdoch (Kim)

Dear Anna, Cathy, Jimmie and Family please accept our heart felt sympathy for your loss. Errol was a kind ,gentle and caring man and we will always be grateful for his kindness in our time of need. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
From:  Rita, Sheila and Walter Sweet & Family

Serving on Holy Redeemer Parish Council with Fr Errol was indeed a great experience. He always had kind words and thoughts for all; he was a very proud pastor. Father’s annual Mother’s Day rendition of ‘A Mother’s Love is a Blessing’ is a fond and great memory I will always cherish. He brought many a tear to the eyes of parishioners at Holy Redeemer each year. Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. An Irish boy was leaving Leaving his native home Crossing the broad Atlantic Once more he wished to roam And as he was leaving his mother Who was standing on the quay She threw her arms around his waist And this to him did say A mother’s love’s a blessing No matter where you roam Keep her while she’s living You’ll miss her when she’s gone Love her as in childhood Though feeble, old and grey For you’ll never miss a mother’s love Till she’s buried beneath the clay And as the years go onwards I’ll settle down in life And choose a nice young colleen And take her for my wife And as the babes grow older And climb around my knee I’ll teach them the very same lesson That my mother taught to me A mother’s love’s a blessing No matter where you roam Keep her while she’s living You’ll miss her when she’s gone Love her as in childhood Though feeble, old and grey For you’ll never miss a mother’s love Till she’s buried beneath the clay buried beneath the clay
From:  Jay Hollohan

Our sincere condolences to the family of the late Father Errol. He was our Pastor for 13 year and a good friend. We will surely miss him as he was also our neighbour and always waved hello when passing by. May perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace Amen.
From:  Malcolm Campbell

Dear Anna, Cathy, Jimmie we were so sorry to hear about Errols’ passing,we had many laughs and good stories when he spend a lot time at our home on Dorchester street, he was especially close to ma brown and could always make her laugh the world has been left a better place because he was here. all our prayers and support are with you and your families.
From:  Sheila & Blair Aucoin

To Fr. Errol’s Family;  Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. Fr. Errol was our parish priest here in L’Ardoise, and not only was he a wonderful priest and friend, but he touched all of our lives in a most profound way. He will be truly missed by everyone who knew him and loved him.
From:  Joanne & Gladys Martell

Father Errol helped me through the hardest times in my Life.  His wisdom was something that few people have. I am still in shock.I could never fully express how much I admired him. I also had many spiritual experiences in his presence.He was a big man like my own Father and I thought he would be with us forever.  I was saying to my Wife that I should go and see him.I didn’t realize his health was so bad.He may be gone but will never be forgotten and I believe that death is a continuation of Life.  He will be waiting to shake my hand and smile. God Bless his Family and I will pray that you have strength in this most difficult time.  P.S. My wife is from Trinity Church and would come to mass with me.  He would always shake her hand and say nice to see you here.  He also helped her when things were going bad.  The Holy Spirit worked through him.  R.I.P
From:  Pat & Kim Hallahan

Dear Lorelle and Family, I just learned of Errol’s passing and I wanted to say how sad I was to hear the news. Errol was a great guy & I always thought very highly of him.
From:  Colin MacPherson

So sorry to hear of the passing of Fr. Errol. I’m an old Holy Redeemer guy myself but left my church at a young age but still worship at another. I’d come to know Fr. Errol when my sister’s husband was killed in a bad car accident about ten years ago & I was in the position of relaying info to my sister & her family via the RCMP that day & believe me it was an awful situation. Before driving to my sister’s home I decided to call on Fr. Errol (as he was their pastor)and meet up with him . He gladly accompanied me to my sister’s home where I had to convey the tragic details of my brother-in-law’s death to her and her two small children. Without the confidence and sprituality of this lovely man I don’t believe I could have handled that particular situation with any confidence at all. I can’t begin to tell you all how accomidating he was that day. Needless to say I have a great respect for this man. God Bless you.. his family & may God Bless Fr. Errol’s excistance in Heaven. I hope I meet you there my friend.
From:  John MacDonald

He was a great man, who married my husband and I. He was always there for people, including my mother who he helped over the years through many rough times. My thoughts are with you.
From:  Juanita Ashton

My deepest sympathy to all the family of Father Errol. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers always. Father Errol will always be remembered for his charisma, compassion and always caring for others.
From:  Minie MacNeil (Hamilton, ON)