Reverend Gregory McLELLAN

McLELLAN, Reverend Gregory
May 23, 1923 - January 30, 2013
It is with sadness that we mourn the loss of our dear brother, uncle, cousin and friend to many, Reverend Gregory McLellan. He was born May 23, 1923, in Deepdale, Inverness Co, NS and was the eldest son of thirteen children to John Daniel and Margaret (nee Armstrong) McLellan. In his early years, Greg was well known in Calgary for his expert playing of baseball with the Purity 99 Baseball Team. This team played home games in Buffalo Stadium. Greg pounded the ball over the centre field fence - 400' - from home plate many times. He was offered a try-out contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, however, turned them down as his mind was set on becoming a Catholic Priest. For part-time jobs, he worked at the Calgary Brewery and underground at the coal mine in Nacmine. (near Drumheller). Greg was ordained April 2, 1949 at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Drumheller by Bishop Carroll. As a young Priest in Calgary he covered the city on a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. He was known, at that time, as the "Speedy Priest" with God on his side!! He was a true Calgarian and wore his boots proudly and comfortably everywhere he went, including mass on Sunday's. He touched the lives of many people stretching the boarders of our province to all parts of Canada and other parts of the world from mentoring young priests to embracing all parishioners from all cultures. He would learn their languages and enjoy their food and friendship. Like his golf swing that was slow, precise and planned, his life was not hurried or careless. It too was precise, planned and on target. Father Greg had many appointments in Alberta: Sacred Heart, Calgary, 1949-1954, St. Patrick's, Medicine Hat, 1954-1955, St. Theresa's, Cardston, 1955-1956, St. Ambrose, Coaldale, 1956 and St. Patrick's, Medicine Hat, 1967-1972, St. Gerard's, Calgary 1972-1974, Holy Spirit, Calgary, 1974-1981, St. James, Okotoks, 1981-1987 and Holy Redeemer, Calgary, 1987-1998 (very dear to his heart). He went back to full-time work after formally retiring in 1998 with appointments at: Our Lady of Fatima; Our Lady of Perpetual Help; Sisters of The Precious Blood as well as saying mass for the retirement residences of Spruce Lodge, George Boyack Nursing Home and a senior residence complex Wilkinson House where he lived until a fire forced him to move. He then concelebrated mass at Holy Trinity where he lived at the rectory. His final journey took him to the Father Lacombe Centre where he shared a room with Father Denis Fleming until his passing. Father Greg was also a founding member and Charter President (the first for the club) with Rotary Club of Calgary Chinook. He has been a life (honorary) member since March 14, 1977. Prior to establishing the Calgary club, he was a member in Medicine Hat and in Coaldale. He attended the Rotary International conference in the 1970's that was held in Rome. He was a Paul Harris Fellow (supported the Rotary Foundation financially). A bursary is being placed in his name and that of the club for St. Mary's University in recognition of all the work he did in establishing the club. He was the consummate coach, in Rotary, in sports and in life! Father Greg was predeceased by his loving Mother (Margaret) and Father (J.D.); his brothers Cyril (Rose), and Frank (Joyce); and his sisters, Isabel (John Shouwenburg), Teresa (Bob Trentham), Mary (Tom Fletcher), Patricia (Andrew Janisko), and Dorothy McLellan. He is survived by his brothers Tony (Maxine of Ontario), Johnny (Shirley of Lethbridge), Charles (Mary of Bragg Creek) and Leonard (Josie of Calgary) and his youngest sister Catherine (Rick Thomson of Red Deer) as well as many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at St. Mary's Cathedral (219 - 18 Avenue S.W.) on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Funeral Mass will be concelebrated at St. Mary's Cathedral (219 - 18 Avenue S.W.) on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. with the Most Rev. Frederick B. Henry, D.D. and the Rev. John A. Bastigal, Presiders. Graveside Service to follow at St. Mary's Cemetery. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Father Lacombe Care Centre - New Priest Wing, 332 - 146 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2X 2A3 or to your favourite sports charity. In living memory of Rev. Gregory McLellan, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.


Published in The Calgary Herald from Feb. 1 to Feb. 2, 2013