Monsignor John S. Smith (1887-1966)
Monsignor John S. Smith was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. He attended St. Francis Xavier University, Grande Seminary in Montreal and St. Augustine in Toronto before moving to Calgary where he spent almost fifty years in the ministry of the Church – first as a Parish priest and then as Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral. He was appointed Monsignor in 1936.
His life of devoted service to others, his quiet goodness and his integrity have influenced many who knew him. His legacy of touching the lives of others will endure in his namesake school.
Monsignor Smith understood the need for communicating with Our Father and many regarded him as a Great Man of Prayer as he lead evening prayers at the Cathedral. He appreciated the beauty of God’s creations and arranged yearly summer missions for his parish at Lake Louise. He valued music and insisted that the Almighty should be praised with sacred compositions and uplifting songs. He started a men’s and boys’ choir at the Cathedral. His friends loved his sense of humor – from this man who saw joy in simple things. In everyone he encountered, including the homeless who frequented his door seeking help, he saw God’s goodness. He treated them all with the same kindness and respect that he accorded to others more fortunate. He challenged all whom he met to improve their lives and reach their potential. He often comforted the ill and the bereaved with his compassion and understanding.
Monsignor John S. Smith could truly be called a friend of the Lord Jesus who said, “Blessed are the Merciful”