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May 2006

Father Hutton's 40th Anniversary

     On May 12, 1966, James Arthur Hutton was ordained a priest in St. Michael's Church in Creighton Mines by Bishop Alexander Carter. Father Jim was the first priest to be ordained in St. Michael's. Parish priest Father Emmet Reagan was very proud and Father Jim Sharpe assisted in the solemn ceremony. Jim's parents, Jim and Emily Hutton as well as his sister Sandra, were joined by the entire congregation of St. Michael's to witness the proceedings. Everyone was proud of this young man dedicating his life to the service of God and His people.

    Fast forward to May 7, 2006 at St. Patrick's Church on Walford Road in Sudbury, and 40 years have passed. Father Jim is now the pastor of St. Patrick's after having served in Sudbury, (Christ the King), in North Bay, and in Sault Ste. Marie before coming to his latest church. On this, Vocation Sunday, it was appropriate to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Father Jim had organized the prayer service in thanksgiving for his Anniversary. Clergy from many denominations had been invited to participate and some had travelled quite a distance to do so. This was in keeping with Father Jim's strong belief in Ecumenism, i.e. that all Christians share more things in common than what separates us. It was a beautiful prayer and song service. The highlight for me and other Creightonites present, was when Father Jim Sharpe was invited to speak. Even though he had been given (so he said 5 minutes), he spoke much longer with many jokes interspersing his homily. At one point he reminded Father Hutton that his family, the Sharpe's had lived on the rock above the Hutton's and had therefore looked down on them! That got a great chuckle from all of us!  Both Father Sharpe and Father Jim Hutton gave Father Regan as well as their parents, much credit for their vocations.

    After the ceremonies in the church had concluded everyone was invited for a reception in the hall downstairs. father Jim had made it very clear that there were to be no testimonials or gifts. His sister Sandra Singbush had prepared a wonderful, moving video presentation of the highlights of Jim's life. Seeing his parents, now deceased, as well as his home on George Street, brought back memories for him and those of us who had passed by there many times. Sandra told me that Jim had done a lot of the gardening at home and it always looked lovely with many flowers and shrubs. Then a presentation was made to Father Jim, totally unexpected by him. He glared at his sister but she explained to him that it was from his parishioners. When he opened the gift he was visibly moved. It was a painting of his childhood home done by Royce Simpson who had also painted pictures of the school and the club. It was beautiful! just then Father Sharpe came running to the front carrying what was clearly an old box of some kind. He took the mike and told us about his gift. When Father Regan was dying, he entrusted his Chalice, which he had used in His daily masses, to Father Sharpe. Now Father Sharpe was passing it on to Father Jim Hutton!  Jeannine (Barbe) Kuik who happened to be standing beside me at this point, felt emotional as did I and other Creightonites who were present. Even people who had not known Father Regan realized what a special moment this was. Father Sharpe went on to explain that the polished ore which was the stem of the chalice was something he personally had added. When he worked his last shift at 3 shaft in Creighton Mine, he had picked up this piece of ore and put into his pocket. After receiving this precious gift from his parish priest many years later he had the ore polished and added to the stem. He reminded Father Jim that it came from underground right across the street from where he grew up.

    Father Jim promised to pass the chalice on later.

    It was a wonderful, meaningful afternoon. I'm glad that I was able to attend this special occasion.

 Photos of Father Jim Hutton's 40th Anniversary celebration found HERE

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