LeFORT, Monsignor Joseph E.
January 8, 1920 – December 18, 2012
Monsignor Joseph E. LeFort passed away after a lengthy illness on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. He was the son of Henry and Adelaide (nee Beausoliel) LeFort and was born at Medicine Hat, Alberta on January 8, 1920. He was educated at the Catholic schools in Medicine Hat and graduated from St. Theresa's Academy in 1939. Monsignor did his philosophy studies at St. Joseph's Seminary in Edmonton, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Patrick's College, Ottawa. He completed his theological studies at St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto, and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis Carroll in 1945 at his home parish, St. Patrick's, Medicine Hat on May 13, 1945. Monsignor LeFort served as the Bishop's Secretary and Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Calgary from 1945 until 1959, and also served as administrator of St. Joseph's parish for a period of six months. In 1959 he was appointed pastor of St. Ann's Parish, Calgary. He also established St. Bernadette's Church as a mission of St. Ann's. In 1967 Monsignor LeFort became the founding pastor of Canadian Martyrs Parish in Calgary and in 1982 he was appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Calgary. Besides his parish duties Monsignor LeFort served in many capacities in the Catholic Church of Calgary, including Director of Religious Education and Chairman of Catholic Charities, and served on many other committees and boards. In the community Monsignor was the first National President of the John Howard Society of Canada, and served on the board of the Canadian Mental Health Association. He was also an active member of the downtown Lions Club. He enjoyed the Arts and was an avid Bridge player, reaching the status of "Grand Master". Among other activities, he was a great supporter of the Precious Blood Sisters and played a very active role in the establishment of their present monastery in the Erlton Community. Monsignor also served on the board of St. Mary's University and was instrumental in raising donations for the young University. In recognition of this, the LeFort Centre at St. Mary's is named for him. Monsignor Joseph LeFort is survived by two sisters, Philomena Whitesell of Washington D.C. and Theresa Litschke of Calgary. He is also survived by six nieces and two nephews and their families. Funeral Mass will be Concelebrated at St. Mary's Cathedral (219 - 18 Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB) on today, December 22, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. Graveside Service to follow at St. Mary's Cemetery. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire donations can be made directly to St. Mary's University (14500 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB T2X 1Z4). In living memory of Monsignor Joseph LeFort a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Published in The Calgary Herald from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22, 2012