Heroic Canadian pro-life priest Fr Alphonse de Valk dies at 88

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Heroic Canadian pro-life priest Fr Alphonse de Valk dies at 88

One of Canada’s greatest life heroes, Basilian Fr. Alphonse de Valk, died April 16 at age 88.

His passing on Thursday afternoon in the palliative care wing of Scarborough General Hospital followed a short bout of pneumonia and was not due to the novel coronavirus. 

 

Fr. de Valk was beloved by many, as attested in accolades from many who laboured along with him to restore legal protection to the child in the womb. 

“It’s a shocking loss to the Canadian pro-life movement,” said Jim Hughes, past president of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group.

“His commitment to the unborn and the elderly was only surpassed by his faith in Almighty God. He was just outstanding.”

“The Catholic Church in Canada has lost a truly remarkable man,” said Bill Mullally, longtime Campaign Life volunteer and one of Fr. de Valk’s boon companions. 

“He was a father figure for the cause; firm, uncompromising, and consistent. But inside, he was a real softy with joy and love for everyone, especially the pro-life youth,” said Tanya Granic Allen, pro-life and parental rights activist and mother of five children.

“I was a teenager working in the pro-life movement when I first first encountered Fr. de Valk,” she said. “I admired him greatly. I’m not even sure I ever told him that. But his staunch position for truth and justice is what appealed to me.”

But while Fr. de Valk was known as a pro-life warrior, “deep down he was a priest,” and later in his life “what was there all along shone out more clearly,” said Catholic Insight editor John Paul Meenan.

“What a priest does is offer sacrifice,” Meenan said, who teaches at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Barry’s Bay.

“We saw that through the years in his apostolic work, but that spirit of sacrificial love he had for the unborn, elderly, children, Catholics, what motivated that was a deeper thing, offering the sacrifice on the altar, and ultimately the sacrifice of his own life,” he said.

“It’s very inspiring to meet a priest who kept his vows and his promise in a way that was so complete,” added Meenan. 

“You never got a hint from Fr. de Valk that there was anything angst-ridden in him. There was always this peace, that I think flowed from a spirit of sacrifice: that he offered his life to God and never looked back.”

 

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