Obituary of Morris Bosey
BOSEY, Reverend Morris
Passed away peacefully on Friday, November 19, 2021 at the age of 93. Morris is now reunited with his beloved wife of 53 years, Eleanor (August 2021). Loving father of Gregory (Michelle) and Resa (John) O’Connor. Proud Gigi to Grace, Olivia, Ella and Annabel. Much loved brother to Helen (the late Eric) Witton, the late Steve (Anne) Bosy and Olga (the late Zenon) Wowk and brother-in-law of Walter (the late Katherine) Stayshyn and Irene Stayshyn. Morris will also be fondly missed by many nieces and nephews.
Morris was ordained a Ukrainian Catholic Priest, and worked for over twenty years in the Priesthood in Sudbury and Hamilton. He then went on to marry, raise a family and continued working to support the mental health of others as a counselor at Niagara College.
Morris was known for his spirituality and for his interest in Jungian Psychology. He enjoyed celebrating Ukrainian traditions, and always insisted on incorporating music and prayer into every event. He will be remembered for his devotion to God and to his family, especially his wife, children and grandchildren.
Family and friends will be received at the GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL HOME, 585 Carlton St., St. Catharines on Wednesday, November 24 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Panachyda will be held on Wednesday at 3p.m. in the funeral home. A funeral service for Morris will be held at St. John The Theologian Ukrainian Catholic Church, 91 Lakeshore Road, St. Catharines on Thursday, November 25 at 9:30 a.m. Burial to follow at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery, 600 Spring Gardens Road, Burlington.
This letter is written from your daughter Dad, to you my inspiration in life. Thank you for teaching me by your example. You have taught me what it’s like to love unconditionally. I have always looked up to you. You modelled for Greg and I a healthy lifestyle and always looked after your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
You didn’t drink, except for a glass of red wine with dinner, often mixed with your apple juice. You didn’t smoke, except for a pipe once in a while during the 1960s (but you gave it up in the early 70s when you realized how bad it was for your health). Music and singing was what gave you a rush! You always loved playing your guitar and your organ and singing. I have fond memories of listening to you belting it out and even serenading my friends at times. You made a point of exercising every day even if it was just going for a walk and you enjoyed spending time outdoors. You especially enjoyed spending your time on the water, cruising down a river with family and friends.
You spent so much of your time working on your mental health. You had great relationships with people. You were always reading and preparing homilies and staying educated and informed about the world and all things spiritual. You were always giving to others. You were especially good at listening to people and helping them deal with their mental health challenges. I definitely benefitted from the fact that you were such a great listener. I remember many of our heart to heart talks. You were always there to listen to me and never judge me. You really knew how to pay attention to the present moment and you did this everyday through meditation. One of your favourite books was, Images of Myself by Jean Gill. It is a book about meditation and self-exploration through the Jungian imagery of the Gospels. The last time we saw each other you gave me two books that you were done reading. I asked you if you still wanted the three books that you always had beside you on your hospital table. You said, “Please don’t touch those books. I always keep them with me.” And I said, “So you can have a dose of spirituality when you need it?” You said, “Yes.”
We had many moments over the past few months that I will take with me and cherish. You told me that I would light up your life when I came to visit and I would hold your hand and tell you I love you. You would call me your love and say I love you back. I will never forget the words that I spoke to you the last time I saw you. I told you that you were my hero and you said, “No, you are mine.”
You were a loving, loyal and faithful husband to mom for 53 years. The only other woman I remember you noticing was Susan Hay the weather lady. You surprised me one time when you mentioned that she was nice to look at. You never missed sitting at the table for a meal, attending church every Sunday and you went on many enjoyable trips with Mom, cherishing each moment of your lives together. You found joy and fun in all you did together. That is something you should be very proud of. Since mom went blind she was always anxiously repeating, “Are you there Morris? Are you there?” But now she is smiling at you and saying, “You are here!”
If I am fortunate enough to live the next 40 years I aspire to model my life after you. To be the best version of myself that I can be. I aspire to be a loving, loyal and faithful wife to John, to be an inspiration to my children, Grace and Ella by my unconditional love, to be a thoughtful and caring daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, teacher and colleague. To have a healthy lifestyle, focusing on my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing just as you have done.
All my love,
Morris Eulogy for Nov. 25, 2021
Our Father Morris Bosey… my Dad… was a great man who led an amazing and full life and shall be dearly missed.
Morris was born in 1927 in Toronto and spent his childhood growing up in Toronto during the Depression. This was a financially stressful time for so many people and no doubt it continued to influence my father’s thrifty nature, which he carried throughout his whole life. Thrifty with material things I might specify, since his life was about sharing the riches of family, traditions, friendship, service to others, sharing of meals, and of course songs.
My father used to love to tell stories about his youth in Toronto. He was quite the rascal escaping out of the back of pool halls that were illegal for underage teens. My favourite story of his youth was of his first job. He had figured out how to pry open the back exit door of the old Royce Movie Theatre on Dupont Street and to dive down below the level of the seats just as the lights went down and people’s eyes adjusted to the darkness. The owner of the theatre would always see my father leaving from the main entrance, never as a paying customer. One day the owner caught my father… and offered him a job since he was always there and never paid to enter.
My father grew up in a home where his parents did not have a happy marriage, but during his teen years he became very interested in the happiness of several nuns that he had met. They impressed him both with their sense of true happiness and what seemed to be their inner peace. A peace that must have come from that sense of purpose people have with lives of dedication and devotion. They were his inspiration to enter St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto and become a priest.
During his time in the seminary, he made many friendships with other young men becoming priest. Friendships that would continue throughout the rest of their lives. The seminary allowed my father to develop his singing voice, as they noticed that he had a talent for singing and would have him sing hymns during evening meals. My father was assigned the task of cleaning up an old library at the seminary. Here he discovered a section of forbidden books. I suppose these were books that may have somehow strayed from someone’s idea of conservative catholic doctrine. In all honesty, I don’t know to share any titles with you. Nonetheless, this formative time in the seminary library left my father with two fundamental traits: an insatiable passion for reading which he carried the rest of his life, and a desire to self-educate beyond doctrinal teaching, to continue to read and learn about spirituality and faith throughout practiced Christianity in its many theologies and practices and beliefs.
Morris spent 20 years working as a Ukrainian Catholic priest. Most of these years were in Sudbury, Ontario. He must have made a positive impression with the congregation because for many years and even this year, when people from the Sudbury parish have moved down to Niagara, they have shared fond memories with Father Anton and some have even taken the time to visit Dad. Thank you.
I believe that my dad’s proudest time as a parish priest was in building the Church of the Resurrection on Hamilton Mountain, to help support a blossoming Ukrainian Catholic congregation. I know this, as my father left me his letter from Bishop Borecky, dated May 28, 1968, thanking Morris for the organization of this parish and granting him a leave from the active priesthood.
This letter was written over a month after my father made the most momentous decision of his life. His decision to marry and raise a family. Morris—just as many other friends and priests of his time—found a new calling, that for complicated reasons, involved the closing of the door of active priestly ministry, but also the exciting new opportunity to continue a life of service. He completed a Master’s in Psychology at Niagara University in Lewiston, New York. After his master’s, he accepted a position in the Guidance Counseling department of the recently opened Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology.
While Dad’s work at Niagara College formally involved career counseling for the student body by using vocational and personality test, he also spent time in personal counseling of people through emotionally and mentally challenging times in their lives. No doubt his years as an active priest informed this work. Morris’ work at Niagara College overlapped with his years shared with our mother, Eleanor, in raising Resa and I.
Morris was a great Dad, and my sister has written a very eloquent tribute to what a great Dad he was that she will share with you.
Morris was a devoted husband, married for over 53 years to Eleanor. Theirs was a rather traditional marriage with mom as housewife and Dad as the bread winner. Family dinners were a keystone of my youth but also into my teen years and beyond when I would return home from university. My mother prepared many of the Ukrainian classics but other dishes that appealed to Dad as well. Food always needed to be temperature hot! They complemented and supported each other’s needs in their marriage and were rather inseparable.
One of the most important aspects of my father’s personal life (and probably priestly life as well) was his love of playing music and singing. Guitar, organ keyboard or even solo voice, evenings would often be filled with practice, since gatherings of family and friends would very often include informal recitals. Many may still remember the concerts Dad would give with Don and Virginia Denick, and he was also not averse to sharing as a solo artist. For important traditional events such as Easter or Christmas, songs were to him like salt is to food. Without songs, these important events would be incomplete and without proper flavour. Unthinkable.
Even though long retired from formal ministry with the Church, Morris still found time both during his counseling career and for twenty years after his formal retirement to give talks on spirituality and personal improvement. Whether this was through a small club he created called The Friends of Jung, at the Unitarian Fellowship in Gulf Shores Alabama near where my parents would spend retirement Winters, in small group sessions at the local Silver Spire United Church, or through giving homilies here at St. John the Theologian.
I was reflecting with Father Anton a few days ago how I have attended here in the pews of St. John’s when Father Anton was not holding the Mass. On occasions when Father Basil would perform the service and my father would be giving the homily, my mother would call my wife Michelle to see if we could attend. I remember this one homily where my father was getting to the ending, his key message, and he said: “and above all you must always remember this…” I looked quickly at the congregation as people were leaning forward in their seats. Even the choir seemed to lean in. My father flipped over his paper, and the last page was missing! He seemed a little startled, had to ad lib his final point, and overall, it made me smile. It made us all smile.
To my father’s point, however, above all you must always remember this: a full and wonderful life is a life shared. With a spouse, a family, with friends, with colleagues, with a congregation celebrating faith and beliefs together. In this all, my father had a full and wonderful life.
Thank you all.
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