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Rev. M. Hugh MacNeil

“On Tuesday, November 24, 2020, I, Father Michael Hughie MacNeil, returned to God who loved me and each and every one of us is in a special way unique to us. My death occurred after a 10 year struggle with carcinoid cancer. My 10 year reprieve, allowed through the grace of God, was made possible through the caring expertise of Dr. Greg Myatt, Janice and Laura, Dr. Russ Gowan, Dr. Ron MacCormack and Sonja, as well as the compassionate nursing staff at the Cancer Unit at Cape Breton Regional Hospital. A great deal of gratitude goes also to the Victoria County Palliative Care Team of Dr. John Ritter, Cathy MacMillan and Paulette Levin, as well as to all the skilled and caring members of the team. Thanks, are extended to the Continuing Care Nursing Team, especially Zelda and Marilyn. The medical skills of both of these teams and their positive and caring attitude permitted me to continue living in my original family home with a great degree of comfort. I am grateful also to the Pastoral Ministry provided through the visits of my brother priests and members of religious communities, most notably, Father Sandy and Sister Claudette and for the phone calls from colleagues and former parishioners. I want to express my appreciation to the Grandona Legion in Iona for my weekly Friday night dinners. Special thanks to all my parish family who lovingly prayed, called, visited and provided many treats that I so enjoyed and to those who shared their skills to keep me safe and comfortable at home until the end. Thank you also to Father Vargheese, my local St. Columba pastor, for his phone calls and visits. Last but not least, I must say a huge thank you to my sister, Bernadette and my sister-in-law, Chris whose home care nursing kept me at home and comfortable for many extra months.

“I was born on November 20, 1944 to James L. and Laura (MacNeil) MacNeil who predeceased me in 2000 and 1987, respectively. I am survived by my brothers, Joseph (Chris Swetnam), Gerard and by my sister, Bernadette (Harold MacInnis). I am also survived by my nieces, Andrea and Jennifer and my nephew, Kevin.

“I was ordained to the Priesthood for the Diocese of Antigonish on May 31, 1969. I was very happy to serve in many parishes of the Diocese during my active years of Priesthood. As a result, I was often asked which was my favourite parish. I can honestly say that I was very happy in each one of my assignments and I am forever grateful to the multitude of parishioners who were willing to share with me their spiritual journey. Your contributions enriched my priesthood and significantly contributed to my own spiritual journey. Along my Priesthood journey, I served in St. Anthony Daniel and St. Anne’s Membertou in Sydney; La Sagrada Familia in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; St. John the Baptist in Glace Bay; St. Columba, Iona; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, New Waterford and St. Joseph’s, Lingan; St. Lawrence, Mulgrave and St. Francis in St. Francis Harbour; Stella Maris, Inverness and St. Margaret of Scotland in Broad Cove; St. Pius X and Immaculate Conception in Sydney Mines; St. Michael’s, Baddeck; St. Michael’s, East Margaree; St. Joseph’s, South West Margaree and St. Patrick’s, North East Margaree. To all of these parishioners who welcomed me and allowed me to be a part of their lives, I thank you sincerely. Please be assured of my continued prayers for your welfare.

“Cremation has taken place under the compassionate care of MacAskill’s Funeral Home, Baddeck. Mass of Christian Burial will take place at a later date at the convenience of the family and/or when circumstances permit. Burial of ashes will be beside my parents in Sacred Heart Cemetery, MacKinnon’s Harbour, also at a later date. Donations, if desired, may be made to St. Columba Parish, the Diocese of Antigonish, Chalice Canada (Child Sponsorship Program), Cape Breton Regional Hospital Cancer Unit or a charity of your choice.”

“Lord, Make me an instrument of your peace”