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Fr. Charles Orchard

Fr. Charles Orchard Portrait

What was your background before you joined the CC?

I was born and raised in a catholic family in Cobourg, Ontario, the oldest of two boys. In my grade 9 year of High School I attended a Charismatic Conference in Toronto and it was there that I encountered Jesus Christ and gave my life to him. I continued to be involved in the charismatic renewal during my teen age years . After high school I served for a year on a Catholic youth retreat ministry that travelled in the United States and Canada called the National Evangelization Team. It was during that year that I began hearing a call to a vocation in the Church. I moved to Ottawa to attend the University of Ottawa in 1987 and began to consider joining the Companions of the Cross. I entered St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto in 1990. In 1995 I made my lifetime promises to the Companions of the Cross and was ordained a priest.

What led you to join this community?

In my high school years Fr. Bob Bedard came to offer a retreat for my parish prayer group. After this time we made a number of trips to Ottawa to visit with Fr. Bob. After my NET year I realized that I needed to continue living in Christian community. I had heard about a new brotherhood in Ottawa under Fr. Bob's care and took him up on his offer of helping me to find a place to stay if I came to Ottawa for university. I moved to Ottawa and lived in a household of men discerning priesthood with the Companions. I was deeply touched by Fr. Bob's evangelistic and loving ministry at St. Mary's in those days and was inspired to consider becoming a priest myself by seeing his ministry and the dynamic brotherhood and parish under his pastorship. I have a great love of music and worship and this is one of the great charisms of the community also. I always tell people that I felt a call to brotherhood first and the call to priesthood unfolded more slowly.

What kind of ministry are you doing now?

I have served for many years in Ottawa Parishes, first as associate at St. Augustine’s, then as pastor of Holy Rosary and later St. Mary’s. I worked for one year in Batangas Province, Philippines overseeing our community’s mission there. I then served as Pastor of St. Timothy’s Parish in North York, Toronto. I currently serve as the assistant to the General Superior.