Rev. Msgr. Vincent Foy was a priest and canon lawyer of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
For decades he has fearlessly articulated and defended the teachings of the Church – in a time of moral and doctrinal chaos in the Church in Canada. He is best known for his untiring defense of Catholic teachings on marriage and family life, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae. His efforts have earned him a papal commendation and the Pro-life Man of the Year Award.
According to records sought and obtained from nationwide diocesan archives before his death on March 13, 2017, Rev. Msgr. Vincent Foy, having truly lived a life of heroic sanctity, set records as the longest ordained (77 years and 9 months a priest, 78 years and 9 months including ordination to the diaconate) and oldest diocesan priest (101 years and 7 months of age) in the history of the Archdiocese of Toronto and the longest ordained English-speaking diocesan priest, monsignor, and canon lawyer in the history of the Canada; and worldwide, four priests served longer. He was the last surviving priest of the class of 1939 of St. Augustine’s Seminary.
He was born in Toronto, Ontario on August 14, 1915, second of a family of eight children. He attended Holy Name Catholic Elementary School and De La Salle High School in Toronto.
In 1933, he entered St. Augustine’s Seminary and was ordained on June 3, 1939 by Archbishop, later Cardinal McGuigan. He was sent for post-graduate studies to Laval University in Quebec City where he took a doctoral course in Canon Law.
In 1942, he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Toronto and Secretary of the Toronto Archdiocesan Matrimonial Tribunal. In 1947, he was named the Secretary of the new Toronto Regional Tribunal, which he served later as Defender of the Bond and Judge. In 1957, he was named Presiding Judge of the Regional and Archdiocesan Tribunals. In the same year, he was named a Domestic Prelate by Pope Pius XII. In a part time capacity for many years, he was Director of Catechetics of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
He was a founder and honorary member of the Canadian Canon Law Society.
He was named pastor of his natal parish of St. John’s in Toronto in 1966 and was there until 1973. He then served as pastor of Holy Martyrs Church in Bradford and St. Patrick’s Church in Phelpston.
In 1977 and 1978 he lived in Rome in an advocacy capacity.
He served as chaplain for 25 years of the Pro Aliis Club and was chaplain also of the Legion of Mary, helped religious orders and convents and was active in other groups including the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.
“If I were asked to give a fitting tribute to this good and humble priest, I would say that Monsignor Vincent Foy should be seriously considered by the Church as a candidate for sainthood. Behold the man who stood with Christ on the world’s stage. Let his legacy never be forgotten.” – Deacon Daniel Dauvin osf
Getting ready for my 75th Ordination Anniversary, age 98
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