by Michael Fagan.
It rejoiced my heart to hear that Ronnie was conscious and coming to meals and prayers up to the last day of his life.
How fitting and telling it was for this humble man of God to serve with such awareness until he was close to his last breath, fulfilling the words of our Little Mandate: "Love, love, love, never counting the cost." We owe a deep debt of gratitude to God for sending us such a pure heart and dedicated person.
I can safely say that without his apostolic zeal and single-minded vision, our farm may never have gotten started or developed as it did. Ronnie was graced by God to start the farm we call St. Ben’s.
It was his perseverance, in season and out, to stay the course and to believe that God would provide and make the desert bloom on these stony hills, and most importantly, in the hearts of all who visited and worked there over the years.
Ronnie’s commitment was total. There was no wavering in his vocation. For example, after a long day’s work on the farm, each night Ron could be seen pounding an old typewriter, reaching out with apostolic zeal to his many correspondents throughout the world.
He never let up with regard to his concern for people, especially the poor and the marginalized.
The last number of years, every Sunday afternoon, during his time off, he would be organizing a trip to visit the sick and elderly in the nursing home in the nearby town of Barry’s Bay. The people there loved Ronnie.
I will end by saying that we are blessed by the life of this Nova Scotian, who proudly wore the kilt of his Scottish clan on our feastdays and who answered God’s call to serve him in his vineyard of Madonna House.
May the angelic choir greet him with drums and Scottish pipes, and may Ronnie MacDonell live in the Kingdom of God’s glory forever. Well done, good and faithful servant!
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