Letter of the Most Reverend O. E. Mathieu,
Archbishop of Regina, to the Author
Reverend G. Daly, C.SS.R.,
St. John, N.B.
Quebec Province claims you as her son. There you lived for many years; there you learned to admire the peaceful life and to appreciate the genuine happiness of our patriarchal families; there you were an eyewitness of the “bonne entente” and noble rivalry which exist between the ethnical groups that go to make up its population.
At various times your sacred ministry has brought you in touch with the other Eastern Provinces of our broad Dominion. A keen observer, you readily grasped existing conditions and the mentality of the various elements of our Canadian Population.
The year 1917 found you laboring in our beloved Province of Saskatchewan, as Rector of our Cathedral. For three years you lived with us. The possibilities of our great West soon appealed to your enthusiastic heart. The various problems which here engage the attention of the Church fired your soul with noble ambition. I shall never forget the good you have done in the parish committed to your care. I shall be ever grateful for the zeal with which you devoted yourself, heart and soul, to the guidance of those under your charge. You found your happiness in making others happy, remembering that kindly actions alone give to our days their real value. Your priestly heart understood that when one is in God’s service he must not be content with doing things in a half-hearted way or without willing sacrifice.
But the voice of your Superiors called you to another field of action, and with ready obedience you hastened to the Eastern extremity of the Dominion. I can assure you, dear Father, that, though absent, your memory is still fresh among us. Your old parishioners of Holy Rosary Cathedral, and others with whom you came in contact through missions and other work throughout the Province, have kept a fond and faithful remembrance of your Reverence. The citizens of Regina who are not of our Faith still remember the noble efforts you always put forth to promote good will and concord in the community at large. Your charity proved to them that we were not born to hate but to love one another. It affords me great pleasure to see that since you left the West you have continued to have its welfare at heart, its problems ever present in your thought. For you tell me that you are just about to publish a book on “Catholic problems in Western Canada.”
The West, you have known, studied and loved. The tremendous obstacles, as well as the great possibilities which there face the Church at this critical hour of our history, have left on your mind a lasting impression. You fully realize, dear Father, that our Western problems are not sufficiently known by the Catholics of the East. Were the importance of these issues fully appreciated by all, a greater interest would be taken in regard to their immediate solution. Catholics throughout the Country, you rightly state, are obliged to further the influence of Holy Mother Church in our Western Provinces, which will certainly be called upon within a very near future to play a most important part in our Dominion.