In his homily, Fr. Robert spoke of the passion that Fr. Ted had for life, for the priesthood and for the Word. He said today we remember, “A priest and a man who touched the lives of many with his faith and his witness for life.” Fr. Robert wanted everyone to know that this was a celebration of life lived in Christ and in advocating for its sanctity.
Fr. Robert went on to say that Fr. Ted had spent many years in Kenya as a missionary. There he learned so much about the unconditional love Kenyan parents, especially mothers had for their children. He was fond of saying there was no word for abortion in Swahili because it didn’t exit. It was a lesson he took everywhere he went and it became his passion to defend the inalienable right to life at every stage. He also went to jail for protesting the evil of abortion here in Toronto. Now that he’s gone the work to build this culture of life in Canada rests with all of us. Fr. Ted gave us the example that we must all follow.
At the end of the Mass, Jim Hughes, President of Campaign Life Coalition also spoke to the faithful about Fr. Coletton. Jim spoke affectionately of a priests he misses very much and from whom he learned so much. He recalled Fr. Ted’s Irish humor, his indefatigable spirit in the pro-life efforts and his willingness to help others. Jim reminded everyone that if Fr. Ted were alive he would urge each one of us to never be discouraged about the success of your work in the pro-life movement. We must be people of hope, faith and charity. We must pray even for those who disagree with us. We need to remind ourselves that ultimately it’s all in God’s hands.
Fr. Ted wrote many articles for The Interim and published a number of books well known both in and outside the pro-life circles, including, Yes, I’m a Radical, Yes I'd do it again and I'm Still a Radical. Life SiteNews referred to him as a pro-life giant in an article posted soon after his death. I will end with the appropriate words from the front page of the pamphlet handed out at the service, “In the battle for the unborn, there has been no one whose words have been bolder; whose pen mightier; whose rebuke for the exploiter has been sharper; whose kindness has been more tender and whose love has stronger.” I was fortunate to have met Fr. Ted on a number of occasions. He never failed to inspire me in working to build a culture of life and living one's faith.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them. Fr. Ted may your soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. We thank you and God for your lasting testimony to life and faith. A life witness we are certain that will sustain and eventually help to re-build the culture of life in Canada.