Bishop Robert Clune, bishop emeritus of Toronto, 1933-2008. On left, the late bishop’s coat of arms. The shield shows the symbol of charity, a red heart at the hub of a
Before his death in September of last year, Bishop Robert Clune, bishop emeritus of Toronto and former president of Catholic Missions In Canada, left his last will and testament, with his surviving brother, John, as executor.
What is most striking in the late bishop's will was his legacy of faith and love for God and the people who were a part of his life.
Among the more urgent requests he made were for his executors to pay all his "just debts and funeral expenses" and in particular to check his Mass Intention Book "to be sure that all Mass requests not yet satisfied, are celebrated as soon as possible after my death."
He also thanked members of his family (his seven brothers and their families) who for many years "have always been a wonderful support to me and constantly shown their love and concern for me in so many thoughtful and caring ways."
Likewise, he thanked Father Norbert Gignac (who died two weeks before Bishop Clune passed away) and Monsignor Thomas Raby, who, he wrote, "have been real brothers to me.... By their friendship, example and priestly spirit and concern, they have been truly pillars of strength for me throughout the years of my priestly life, and for this, I am especially grateful."
The bishop also stressed: "My conscience, tells me that the major portion of my estate should be left for religious and charitable purposes. Somehow I have always considered my assets as ‘church funds.'" He left a gift to Catholic Missions In Canada to have Masses celebrated in mission churches "for the repose of my soul and other intentions."
In his will, the bishop expressed gratitude to God "who blessed me in so many ways during my life and called me to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. I am thankful to our Blessed Mother. At my ordination I consecrated my life to the service of her Divine Son and, acknowledging my weaknesses and fears, asked for her prayers and support. I must say that I was given that support and experienced much happiness and many consolations during my years of priestly service."
Bishop Clune also acknowledged his loving and devoted parents for the faithful and supportive family that he was so fortunate to have during his life.
Lastly, he asked forgiveness of those "I have offended or neglected in my priestly and Episcopal ministry. Please pray that I will be with the Lord and all His saints forever more."