Words of Remembrance for Brother John Coates, FSC

Delivered by
Brother Francis Mc Crea, FSC
Mass of Christian Burial
Chapel at Presentation Manor, Toronto, Ontario
Celebrant: Reverend Brian Inglis, CSB
September 4, 2019

“Honor thy father and mother and thou shall be long lived on the land.”

Today we celebrate John Coates’ 106th year of life. He was born on March 14, 1914, into a family of seven children of devoted parents from Leeds, England. As one on the founding members of Holy Name Parish, his family faithfully attended services there, and donated a
stained glass window to the parish.

John received the habit of the Brothers in 1930 and was given the name Edmund. He began his teaching career in Aurora, Ontario. For most of the next forty years, he taught mathematics and religion at St. Joseph’s in Buffalo and at various schools from Quebec City to London, Ontario. In addition to teaching, he was very active in extra-curricular activities such as intramural basketball, fund raising, and the Legion of Mary. During these years, he received his teaching certificates from Ontario and Quebec, and a B.A. from the University of Toronto. He was head of the class when he did his Bachelor in Pedagogy Degree and received a Licentiate in Pedagogy from the University of Montreal.

At various times, he was engaged in retreat and formation work that included two years in Malta. He opened a retreat house in Jackson’s Point, Ontario, which later developed into the Jericho Youth Centre. During retirement, he volunteered in the inner city with the Brothers of the Good Shepherd, the Society for Care-giving, the Society of Sharing and St. Vincent de Paul Society.

John suffered from chronic asthma, but overcame his disability by frequent long walks and sunbathing. He was always known as a prayerful person. He began his days with the Morning Offering and the renewal of his Vows. Much of his days were spent in the chapel or his room saying the rosary.

In later years, John had some difficulty with his hearing and vision, but was quite happy not talking. He always expressed his appreciation for anything done for him, and especially to his caregivers during his retirement years. May we, too, live as charitably and prayerfully as Brother John! May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace!

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Brother John Coates, FSC

Born John Coates in Toronto ON on 14 March 1914

Entered the Juniorate in Aurora ON on 5 September 1928

Entered the Novitiate in Aurora ON on 29 June 1930

Received the Religious Habit and Name Sergius Edmund on 30 August 1930

Pronounced Perpetual Vows in Aurora ON on 30 June 1939

Died at Providence Healthcare on 27 August 2019


Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Memorial Mass – 11.00am

Presentation Manor
480-61 Fairfax Crescent · Toronto ON M1L 1Z7

Brother John died peacefully early Tuesday morning with Brother Francis McCrea at his side. Per Brother John’s request, his body was donated to the University of Toronto for medical research.

The District of Eastern North America remembers Brother John with memorial liturgies according to the tradition of the Institute. Through their prayers, communities and individuals entrust Brother John to God’s loving care. May he rest in peace.


Aurora ON
Scholasticate (student)

Aurora ON
Scholasticate (teacher)

Toronto ON
De La Salle College “Oaklands”

Buffalo NY
Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute

London ON
De La Salle High School

Toronto ON
Benildus Hall (OCE)

Montréal PQ
D’Arcy McGee High School

Compton ON
Second Novitiate

Scarborough ON
Novitiate (sub-director)

Montréal PQ
Cardinal Newman High School

Quebec City PQ
Saint Patrick High School

Uxbridge ON
Saint John’s School

Lachine PQ
Bishop Whelan High School

Lachine PQ
Bishop Whelan High School (resident: Piche Academy)

Montréal PQ
D’Arcy McGee High School (studies)

Scarborough ON
O’Connor House (vocation director)

Toronto ON
Formation Centre (vocation staff)

Toronto ON
De La Salle College “Oaklands”

Novitiate (director)

Toronto ON
226 St. George Street (formation staff)

Toronto ON
De La Salle College “Oaklands”

Jackson’s Point ON
House of Prayer (renewal)

Scarborough ON
La Salle Manor

Toronto ON
Saint Paul’s Community (volunteer)

Toronto ON
De La Salle College “Oaklands” (retired)

Scarborough ON
La Salle Manor (retired)

Toronto ON
Loretto Abbey (retired)

Toronto ON
Providence Healthcare (retired)