By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - A priest well-known for visiting the sick, taking communion to shut-ins and supporting numerous charities was celebrated during a packed ceremony Sunday to celebrate his retirement.
Hundreds lined up to wish Father George Maloney well at St. Francis de Sales Parish.
For more than two decades, Maloney, 79, made a lasting impression with what many of his parishioners called non-preachy sermons and a warm sense of humour.
"I would like to thank all those who have helped me in any way, shape or form," said Maloney. "I will remember this for many weeks, months and years to come."
As a man of the cloth, he spent 50 years as an ordained priest in Cornwall and briefly in Alexandria, while serving on many boards including the Children's Treatment Centre and United Way.
"The highlights were dealing with people, trying to help them out - and especially the sick and elderly," said Maloney. "Those who were unable to get out once a month for communion, I would keep contact with to ensure they still felt like part of the parish."
Over the years, he also served as parish priest at Blessed Sacrament and St. Peter's. In 2005, Maloney was reappointed to St. Francis. Father Jerome Pastores is the incoming priest, originally from the Philippines and a recent pastor at the nearby St. Regis Parish. He will be delivering a sermon at the church's New Year's Eve mass at 5 p.m.
Kay Dubreuil, president of the Catholic Women's League, said over the four decades she has known Maloney, he has always been a man of his word. She boasted that in over 20 years, Maloney, who served as the league's spiritual advisor, never once missed a meeting.