The following article was published in Zenit news in September 2016. Since then, in response to an inquiry I made to the Vatican to see if they have any international records, I received a personal letter of congratulations and a Rosary from the Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy including the following:
“Unfortunately, we do not have a chronological list of dates of ordination of all the Priests in the world. That being said, however, there can be little doubt that you are certainly a month the longest living and serving Priests.”
Nearly 80 Years a Priest: At Least 4 Priests Around the World Have This Grace
“I found out that I hold the record as the longest ordained and the oldest diocesan priest in the history of the Archdiocese of Toronto”
Imagine being able to beckon Christ to the altar day after day for nearly eight decades. That is the grace and blessing enjoyed by Monsignor Vincent Foy of the Archdiocese of Toronto, who has sent us this listing of priests around the world who, like him, have been priests for almost 80 years.
Related: Read about Monsignor Foy, a staunch defender of Humanae
Glory to God that I celebrated my 77th Ordination Anniversary on June 3, 2016, and my 101st birthday on August 14, 2016! Life is eternal. As I am perched on the precipice of eternity, I am pondering some historical records in the temporal realm.
Longest Ordained Diocesan Priest in the Archdiocese of Toronto
I found out that I hold the record as the longest ordained and the oldest diocesan priest in the history of the Archdiocese of Toronto (Source: “A Calendar of the Deceased Bishops, Priests and Deacons of the Archdiocese of Toronto”).
Longest Ordained Diocesan Priests in Canada
I contacted the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, but the Archivist said that they do not compile any statistics on the years of ordination or ages of priests in Canada. The CCCB suggested contacting the archivists in every diocese to obtain records. This was attempted by email.
I could only find one other diocesan priest in the history of Canada who was ordained for longer than I; but he is in a different category (French Canadian and Francophone) and is now deceased, as noted below. If I live until about December 29, 2017, I will surpass his record.
Therefore, according to records sought and obtained from nationwide diocesan archives, as far as I know, I hold the record for the most years of ordination of Anglophone and currently living diocesan priests in the history of the Church in Canada. I am also
the oldest living diocesan priest in Canada.
Longest Ordained Diocesan Priests Worldwide
Besides the priests listed below that were discovered only through an online search, there may be other priests worldwide with more years of ordination.
–Msgr. Vincent Topper
Ordination date: June 6, 1936. As of June 6, 2016 ordained for 80 years.
Birthdate: July 28, 1912. Currently living as of August 2016 and is 104 years of age. Diocese of Harrisburg, PA, USA
–Fr. Jacques Clemens
Ordination date: July 5, 1936. As of July 5, 2016 has been ordained for 80 years.
Birthdate: July 11, 1909. As of July 11, 2016 is currently living and is 107 years of age.
–Bishop Albert Malbois
Ordination date: June 29, 1938. As of June 29, 2016 has been ordained for 78 years.
Birthdate: November 17, 1915. Currently living as of August 2016 and is 100 years of age.
–Pere Roger Dorval (French-speaking category, French-Canadian)
Ordination date: February 7, 1926 (died with 78 years, 6 months, 26 days)
Birthdate: February 16, 1900
Deceased: September 2, 2004 at 104 and six months old.
Archdiocèse de Québec, Canada
–Rev. Msgr. Vincent Foy (Canon Lawyer)
Ordination date: June 3, 1939. As of September 14, 2016, I have been ordained for 77 years and 3 months.
Birthdate: August 14, 1915. Celebrated my 101st birthday on August 14, 2016.
Archdiocese of Toronto, ON, CANADA