Feb 18, 2013
Fr. Charles Brandt's 90th Birthday
On February 16 I drove to Campbell River in beautiful sunshine—a little different than the fog the last time I passed this way going to Camp Homewood!
I celebrated the 5:00 pm Mass with a large congregation as people gathered to celebrate Fr. Charles Brandt's 90th birthday. Fr. Charles, who lives in his hermitage on the Oyster River, is the last of a group of Hermits who once lived in that area. Many of these, including Fr. Charles, were inspired by the life of Thomas Merton and sought to give witness to the Eremitical life on Vancouver Island. Their presence here was well known internationally yet not always as well known locally.
Many gathered to celebrate with Fr. Charles including Pastor Shayne Craig and St. Patrick's parishioners. Also present were people from the wider community representing naturalist and environmental organizations who knew Fr. Charles and admired his extensive work for environmental causes on Vancouver Island. Displays in the hall featured impressive photos taken by Fr. Charles of birds and other natural scenes.
A Hermit lives a solitary life of prayer and is a blessing in a Diocese as a witness to the primacy of the Spiritual life. As a priest, Fr. Charles also assists local parishes when there is need.
Fr. Charles is well known throughout our Diocese as an Ornithologist, naturalist, book binder, paper conservator, hermit and priest. As the Parish Council Chair referred to him: A protector of the environment, a protector of people's words and a protector and priest of souls! Happy Birthday Fr. Charles.
After dinner I returned to Victoria on a clear night with very little traffic.
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