Roman Catholic priest. Ordained 1972 for Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, Ontario. Brother of Father David Ostler.
Back in the mid 70s a victim of Robert Sabourin at la Citadelle told Father Ostler that he, the victim, had been molested by Sabourin. Ostler told the boy’s mother that the boy was not to be believed and needed help.
According to Bishop Eugene Larocque’s testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, when he was heading off to treatment at Southdown (right after the allegations hit the public domain) Father Charles MacDonald had been living with Ostler .
Some Background Info
Gary Ostler was head altar boy at St. John Bosco church, Cornwall, Ontario.- graduate of Cornwall Classical College
– Father Gary Ostler attained B.A. and Masters of Ed. in Counselling from Ottawa U, a B.A. in Theology from St. Paul’s University, and a Brevet “A” Teaching Certificate for the Province of Quebec
– He taught Religious Education in schools in Quebec.
– He attended the Grand Seminary in Montreal.
– He took a two year leave of absence from his studies to teach in schools at the Canadian forces base in Lahr, Germany.
– After ordination Father Ostler first served as associate pastor at St. Francis de Sales church. Pastor was Fr. Rudy Villeneuve. Organized a folk group pf 70 young people for Saturday afternoon Mass.
– started the diaconate program in the diocese
1976-1983: St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Churc
1983-1994: St. Columban’s (Obit)
1993 or 1994-2005: Pastor at St. Francis de Sales (obit)
1992 – Pastor, St. Columban’s Roman Catholic Church (he was pastor when the fire was set in 1992)
– He was a founding member of the Knights of Columbus in both St. Columban’s and St, Francis de Sales in Cornwall
Father Ostler helped to bring convicted American clerical paedophile Carl Stone back into the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.
When Ostler was a teen Stone had been his parish priest.
– in charge of vocations for diocese for 25 years
– Chaplain with Canadian Armed Forces Reserve – rank of Major
Father Gary Ostler died 29 May 2008. He was 62.
| The Lawsuit
Bishop Eugene Larocque along with six priests from the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall initiated legal action in the Fall of 2000 against 8 persons or businesses. The lawsuit did not proceed to discovery never mind trial.
Click on the following link to see the lengthy Statement of Claim and further details regarding the lawsuit here:
|14 October 1981: Bishop Eugene Larocque memo. Bishop Eugene Larocque notes that at the request of Father Gary Ostler he, Larocque, met with Father Carl Stone, an American Montfortian priest who had once served in Cornwall and had since been convicted in U.S. courts of molesting young boys. Since his departure from Southdown Stone had apparently been staying with Father Gary Ostler. Allegedly at the request of Father Gary Ostler Larocque brought the child molester into the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese.31 July 2008: Former bishop knowingly recruited priest who liked boys
MEDIA and other coverage
Priest preyed on young men
But LaRocque hired him anyway
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
31 July 2008
Posted By TREVOR PRITCHARD
Former bishop Eugene LaRocque told the Cornwall Public Inquiry yesterday he knowingly recruited a priest who had left a New York state diocese after an “affair with boys.”
LaRocque said he secured Rev. Carl Stone a position ministering at two facilities in the Cornwall area in 1981 on the condition he never be alone around children.
“I was trying to take every precaution, to give this man a chance,” said LaRocque, 81. “I was also trying to be as prudent as possible so he wouldn’t do any harm to the people of our diocese.”
From 1975 until 2002, LaRocque was bishop of the Alexandria- Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese.
He told the inquiry -which is exploring how institutions like the diocese dealt with historical sexual abuse allegations -that he hired Stone on the recommendation of Rev. Gary Ostler, a Cornwall priest who knew Stone from his youth.
Stone had been with a diocese in Albany, N. Y. for the previous 11 years.
In his notes from November 1981, LaRocque wrote that Stone had been asked to leave after an “affair with boys.”
Those events led to criminal charges, and Stone was on probation when he joined the local diocese. LaRocque said he also knew there were allegations made against Stone when he was with the Ogdensburg, N. Y. diocese decades earlier.
LaRocque managed to find Stone -who was applying for Canadian citizenship -work at St. Joseph’s Villa, a Cornwall care home, and Mount Carmel House, a treatment centre near St. Raphael’s.
Stone was responsible for celebrating mass each morning, visiting with new patients, and anointing the sick and dying. The job was conditional, LaRocque said, on Stone never being alone in a room or car with young people.
By October 1982, Stone’s permit to stay in Canada had almost expired.
Seventeen days before Stone had to leave, LaRocque wrote former Stormont-Dundas MP Ed Lumley, seeking his support.
“I firmly believe Father Stone has sought help for the problem, is responding well to treatment, and should be allowed to stay in this country,” LaRocque wrote. “He is doing excellent work at Saint Joseph Villa (sic) and at Mount Carmel House.”
After a meeting that December between LaRocque and former immigration minister Lloyd Axworthy, Stone was granted a minister’s permit to remain in the country, provided that he stay away from young people and undergo therapy.
The minister’s permit required LaRocque to be “personally responsible” for Stone -a condition the former bishop approved of.
“I was satisfied that things were working out under the setup we’d had since he arrived in the diocese,” LaRocque said.
In 1985, immigration officials told the diocese it was unlikely Stone’s minister’s permit would be renewed, and Stone would have to leave Canada by January 1986.
At first, LaRocque promised he would “take every measure possible” to ensure that Stone remained in the country.
But that June, LaRocque learned of new allegations against Stone: over the past six months, he had been inviting young men between the ages of 17 and 21 to his room at St. Joseph’s Villa.
After confirming the allegations with villa officials and the youths, LaRocque sent Stone a letter telling him he was being fired.
“Since you know how far I went to obtain permission for you to remain in Canada, I feel a tremendous ‘let-down,'” LaRocque wrote. “From the time that you read this letter, you no longer have the faculties of this Diocese.”
Lead commission counsel Peter Engelmann suggested it was “unusual” that a bishop would go to such lengths to protect a priest from being deported.
“I’m wondering why you were trying so hard to give him that chance,” said Engelmann.
“Because one of my very best priests (Rev. Ostler) was asking me to do so,” LaRocque replied.
One witness, Fernand Vivarais, testified at the inquiry last October that he was sexually assaulted by Stone in the late 1950s, when Stone was at St. John Bosco parish in Cornwall.
Stone died in 2006 at the age of 90. The inquiry is set to resume this morning.
Article ID# 1137454
So let me get this straight, one of LaRocque’s “best” priests asks a Bishop to give Stone a chance (at doing what would be a good question!) and this Bishop guy just “casually” reaches out to an MP 17 days before Stone was to leave Canada in Oct. 1982 and somehow in Dec. 1982, the federal Immigration Minister is ggets involved, who in turn grants him a “Ministers Permit” to stay in Canada. Lotta drag that us “mere mortals” would find near impossible to achieve, but yet they did and at what price for the kids? Yet for some unknown reason or reasons, in 1985 Immigration “officials” stated that it was unlikely his “Ministers Permit” would be renewed and that Stone would have to leave in January 1986 and then in June 1986 learns of “new” allegations that had been going on between Stone and some young men between the ages of 17 and 21 whom he had been inviting to his room at St. Joseph’s Villa. I guess my question would have to be this, “What did the Immigration officials know and when?” Also, they weren’t going to renew his stay so there must have been a reason or two! When LaRocque learned in June of new allegations and confirmed them with villa officials and the youths, then he sent Stone a letter stating that he was “sacked” brings more questions than answers, like “Why didn’t the villa officials at St. Joseph’ Villa and or the youths not inform LaRocques when THEY found out?” Nothing to complicated about those questions is there? Or is there eh LaRocque?
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #1 By saintpeter-47
Again (former altar boy Itinerant who nothing bad ever happened to) I ask you were the victims lying was it all a figment of their imagination? I think not.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #2 By dodger,
Priest’s passing loss for community
Gary Ostler was the quintessential poster boy for ecumenicalism
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
07 June 2008
Posted By CLAUDE MCINTOSH
We counted Gary Ostler as not only a comfortable spiritual armrest, but a good friend, one whom we knew for some 40 years, going back before he joined the priesthood — when he was a solid student at that great pillar of learning, Cornwall Classical College.
His sudden passing was a shock to his legion of friends, not only in the Roman Catholic community, but for those who followed other faiths.
He was the quintessential poster boy for the ecumenical movement.
He loved the Church and the military. And his parishioners and comrades in arms loved him.
Gary was a gifted preacher with strong administration skills. The perfect pastor package.
At a time when the local clergy ranks are tenderly thin, his loss is beyond measure, something Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher knows all too well.
It is a pity that this wonderful person had the dark cloud of Project Truth lingering over his head for so long.
Like so many other good priests in the diocese, he was slandered by rumour and innuendo, particularly on a vicious website that took a perverse delight in slandering the clergy.
This concerned him.
It was something we often talked about over the years.
It had a detrimental effect on his health, both mentally and physically.
His high-blood pressure problems, he confided, were a direct result of the deliberate smear campaign.
He passed on before his time, but we can say that our loss is heaven’s gain.
Comments on this Article.
MacIntosh – there is no way YOU should be reporting on this!!! AT ALL!!!
I don’t know what your relationship is with anyone nor do I really care but YOUR BIAS is clearly evident in your reporting!
For the sake of Cornwall – Back OFF! Let your OTHER reporters/editors handle this issue!
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #1 By RealityChecker,
MacIntosh I agree with RealityChecker, you should not be reporting ANYTHING about the Cornwall Inquiry. I understand where you came from and some of your past, YOU were my ex brother-inlaw and I confided in you back then when my father sexually abused me and all you had to say was “oh well, it happens in every family, it’s in the past, get over it”. I charged my father back then in 91/92 and he was charged and convicted in Cornwall. Victims just can’t “get over it” memories and flashbacks can’t be ignored. The victim has to experience the pain all over again then in time learns how to live with it the best way they can. YOU don’t know personaly what happened to anyone from the past with sexual abuse involving a priest and or priests. You say slandered rumour and innuendo and I say victims who are trying to bring forth the truth. As a reporter you are suppose to bring forth BOTH sides of the story and then the people of Cornwall choose to believe what they want to believe,(Cornwall knows the truth!) I don’t think your opinion would be fair to write if you only believe on one side. It’s hard to believe Claude that sexual abuse happened in Cornwall but it DID and it wasn’t stoped back then but maybe now it can be. To keep on admitting Claude that it didn’t happen you are only prolonging the pain of victims and there will never be healing if more people like you continue to believe in “denial” If Ace in cards represented the truth, then at the end when ALL the cards are face up everyone will know each others hand and the Ace will be the “TRUTH” I would like to ask a question to anyone out there. Suicide is a very very sad thing and it is to me a very serious thought. I have attempted it many times because of the pain that was stronger then life itself, but I came to understand that if I did that the perpertrators in my life would win and that my life was worth more then that. No one likes to question suicide or why someone would do it, in my opinion there is only two reasons for it and one is to free yourself from pain that was done to you or to free yourself from guilt and shame. I see here that these two are related to each other, the victim and the perpertator. I pray for ALL the victims and their families for the victims that couldn’t hold on for just a bit longer..to maybe see that justice would prevail and their truth was brought out, but I hope that there are other victims here that will be strong enough to come and tell their story to the people of Cornwall in writing like me here or telling anyone who will listen…WE are NOW the voices of our lost victims, we could have been where they are now, but we are still here TODAY and we have voices “please use them”. To the ones that have committed suicide because of guilt and shame I pray for their families in hopes that they find freedom in the TRUTH and that the perpertrators will come forward to free themselves of their guilt so that suicide for them would not be an option. The world is in alot of pain and I believe we need to understand each other and maybe have compassion for each other. We have always taught our children not to lie and always tell the truth that in the long run the truth will always come out. Well here we are “those children” So let’s work together to bring forth the truth and maybe the word suicide will no longer be in our dictionaries.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #2 By marieangel,
Amen on this issue folks I agree with the two previous commentors.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #3 By dodger,
This man clearly has no sympathy at all for the victims of abuse.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #4 By dodger,
Like I said before in MY Post#1, ashes to ashes and dust to dust and then ya make reeeeeeeeeeeeeal good worm food!
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #5 By armagedon,
Claude lay off the comments about anything to do with the Inquiry Obviously you are very biased in this matter!
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #6 By dodger,
I urge you Claude, don’t “fan the flames”!!
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #7 By JAMES “SPEAK OUT”,
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #8 By armagedon,
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #9 By marieangel,
AND YES CLAUDE, I THINK FROM WHAT I’VE HEARD THAT YOUR BUTT SHOULD BE CHARGED AND YOU SHOULD BE TOSSED IN THE TANK IF YOU INDEED TOLD MARIEANGEL WHAT SHE SAYS YOU DID ABOVE. And after reading this rag, I have absolutely NO reason to doubt ANYTHING she says. Hey Adolph, did you know this about your “prize winning” reporter or did you know more than we know or JUST WHAT DID YOU KNOW IN FOR THAT MATTER? With all the censorship in this rag, I find I am now beginning to get a better picture of why all of this continued to be hidden and not talked about like it should have.
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #10 By armagedon,
I made a misquote in the following: “I would allege that it is more of a conspiracy within these groups ALL across the Province and neither the Ministry of Children’s and Youth, the Ministry of Public Safety and Corrections, the Attorney General’s office, the offices of the crown, AND the Premier are involved in one way or the other.” It should read: “I would allege that it is more of a conspiracy WITHIN these groups ALL across the Province that NONE will answer to it and the Min. of C&Y, Min. of Public Safety and Corrections, the A.G.’s offices, the judiciary, the offices of the crowns AND the Premier are ALL part of the PROBLEM and NOT part of the solution!”
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #11 By armagedon,
Armagedon, I am sorry you had to go through such abuse…it really saddens me to hear this. I sense that you are a strong person and to have survived the abuse and still living today makes me feel that “YOU ARE GOING TO BE OK”:)it’s a struggle every day I know, but we learn to cope the best way we can, and to me it is people like you who help me to see that there is HOPE! I thank you for sharing such personal things, just writing the last one my husband came over to comfort me, it can get difficult if you know what I mean? Yes, the Justice System does have to change, with the victims TRYING to come out, that is a possitive step in the right direction so long as the police and CAS start to listen and believe the victims “We will be alright”
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #12 By marieangel,
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #13 By armagedon,
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #14 By armagedon,
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #15 By armagedon
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #16 By armagedon,
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #17 By marieangel,
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #18 By armagedon,
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #19 By armagedon,
Hello, I hope I am doing this right, the time was 12:13am
Reply | Report | Page Top Post #20 By marieangel
Fr. Gary Ostler – Obituary from St. Columban’s Bulletin
June 04, 2008 By: frbobco Father Gary Ostler
April 5th, 1946 – May 29th, 2008Prior to ordination he headed public relations for the diocesan synod and had the synod Mass aired on national TV.
Fr. Gary was Fr. Rudy’s Associate Pastor at St. Francis de Sales in 1972. While there he organized a folk group of 70 young people for Saturday afternoon Mass, which drew a large turnout. He also led them on a successful tour of Western Canada. He launched the diaconate program in the diocese.
At Nativity Parish he became chaplain of La Citadel High School. He started the Neumann Club at St. Lawrence College and also taught the student nurses.
Navivity Co-Cathedral Parish
His first parish was at St. Raphael’s where he launched the annual Galaramas. He also started the Shalom Retreat House and Mount Carmel alcohol treatment centre.
In 1983 he became Pastor of St. Columban where he oversaw the parish purchase of Notre Dame Convent as a Ministry Centre base of operations for collaborative lay and clergy ministry. He and Fr. Bob MacDonald arranged a three year Christian Leadership certificate program to be offered here in the parish to laity from across the diocese with courses offered by Wadham’s Hall Seminary. Fr. Gary also provided leadership to re-establish a parish Knights of Columbus council. He also led us through reconstruction after the church arson of 1992. Under his tutelage an historical society published a history of the parish. Sponsorship of refugees and establishment of the parish St. Vincent de Paul Society were all a part of Fr. Gary’s tenure here.
ST COLUMBAN’S PARISH
In 1993 he became Pastor of St. Francis de Sales where he increased lay participation in parish life. During a violent windstorm, the church roof shifted, necessitating the rebuilding of the church on the existing foundation. He met the challenge by rebuilding the church, increasing handicap access via an elevator and increased the overall comfort by installing air conditioning.
A few years later he returned to St. Columban although he was hesitant because he knew that needed changes would be unpopular. Due to a priest shortage, the number of weekday and weekend Masses had to be reduced. Recognizing the financial burden the parish hall caused the parish, he found a way to sell it and still maintain a place for parishioners to gather for fellowship. He improved liturgical services and formed a vibrant pastoral team. Even though he didn’t always live here he performed a good deal of parish work from his home in Long Sault, often arriving at the parish offices at 6:30 a.m. He loved his people and did his best to serve them in spite of failing health.
For more than 25 years he was head of vocations in our diocese, directing and encouraging most of the young men who became priests. Because of his commitment to ecumenism, he was appointed head of the ecumenism committee by the bishop and also served as President of the Cornwall Christian Council and was at the fore in promoting the annual Good Friday ecumenical Way of the Cross. Each month he offered a Padre Hour to the soldiers at NavCan & at one time was chaplain to 4,000 soldiers. Fr. Gary provided 42 years of service to the army.
Among his many talents Fr. Gary was a specialist in understanding and explaining the Holy Scriptures. He built his life on the Word of God, the key to eternal life.
May he hear: “Well done good and faithful servant!”
Fr. Gary Ostler – Remembered by Monsignor Rudy Villeneuve
(Posted on Fr. Bob’s Corner: https://frbobscorner.com/2008/05/29/death-of-fr-gary-ostler/ a website operated by Father Bob MacDonald, Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, – St. Mary’s (Williamstown) & St. Williams (Martintown) June 06, 2008)
Monsignor Rudy Villeneuve was born on Christmas Day 1923, and ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 1947 to serve as a priest in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall. After suffering minor stroke a few years ago, he retired as pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Lancaster, Ontario.
But, Fr. Rudy didn’t really retire. Ever zealous in his priestly ministry, he joined Fr. Gary Ostler, as Fr. Gary began his second term as pastor at St. Columban’s Parish, the largest parish in the Diocese, and situated in the downtown core of Cornwall, Ontario. Like all large inner-city parishes, the pastoral needs are many and perpetual, Along with Fr. Matthew Brunet, (ordained 2006), Fr. Rudy worked side by side with Fr. Gary and Fr. Matthew in responding to the spiritual needs of the parishioners.
It should be mentioned that Fr. Rudy was and inspirational figure and mentor in Fr. Gary’s life. As pastor,years earlier, he knew the Ostler family and the young man Gary. And, it was Fr. Rudy that inspired and encouraged Gary during his journey to ordination on September 9, 1972.
On Thursday morning May 29th, their journey together ended. Fr. Gary died at 3am in the morning from complications of surgery and a massive stroke. His brother, Fr. David Ostler was at his bedside at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.
On Sunday, May 31st, Monsignor Rudy Villeneuve remembered his good friend and brother priest in his homily, and at 2pm, he and Fr. Matthew celebrated the liturgy that celebrated Fr. Gary’s return for visitation and prayer. His funeral was celebrated the next day at 10am.
Listen to Monsignor Rudy’s Homily on Sunday, May 31, 2008 at St. Columban’s in which he remembered the life of this wonderful priest .https://audio.ccrso.org/mp3s/MsgrRudyHomilyTribute.mp3
Fr. Gary Ostler – Tribute To His 40 Year’s Of Military Service
May 30, 2008 By: frbobscorner
(Posted on Father Bob’s Corner: https://frbobscorner.com/2008/05/29/death-of-fr-gary-ostler/)
Chaplain General’s Award
by Chaplain General Ron BurkeThe Chaplain General’s Commendation is given in rare instances to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the Chaplain Branch over an extended period of time. This year’s recipient has distinguished himself with over 4 decades of service and his allegiance to the Canadian Forces through his constant efforts to support and minister to CF members and their families are indisputable. Since enrolling in the University Reserve Training Plan in 1966, he subsequently served as a Reserve Chaplain in many capacities over a period of 40 years.
In 1970, at the request of the Chaplain Branch (RC), he spent a year establishing the Religious Education Programme for DND Schools in Lahr Germany. He served as chaplain (RC) to the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, from 1976-84; as Area Chaplain(RC), for Central Militia Area Headquarters, from 1984-87; as District Chaplain (RC) for the Ottawa Militia District, from 1988-91, as Area Chaplain (RC), Land Forces Central Area, from 1991- 94; and as Deputy Area Chaplain, Land Forces Central Area, from 1994-2006. Since 1974 he has served Branch 297 of the Canadian Legion, as their chaplain, and he has also been, and continues to be, chaplain to Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations.
In 1989-90 he was employed as the deputy Command Chaplain at St. Hubert, while continuing to be pastor to the largest parish in his Diocese. In 2000 he accompanied veterans and their families to Vimy as their pilgrimage chaplain. He has also been a valued member of the Chaplain General’s Operational and Strategic Councils and the Reserve Planning Working Group.
This chaplain is the epitome of what servant leadership is all about. In 1995 when the Branch restructured, this chaplain was asked to accept the position of Deputy Area Chaplain even though he had been responsible for all chaplains, Regular and Reserve in the Area since 1990. Being the consummate professional, he accepted this demotion in a spirit of humility and welcomed his new Regular Force supervising chaplain with warmth and a renewed commitment of duty.
He has remained tireless in his drive to recruit new chaplains, and constant in his commitment to provide superb mentorship to those he was called upon to lead. He was a strong advocate for increasing Reserve chaplain accountability and professionalism, and for developing a team approach to the delivery of Chaplain Services, within his Area and beyond.
Since his ordination to ministry, this chaplain has also been the pastor of 4 large and vibrant parishes within his Diocese. In two of those parishes he has undertaken extensive renovations due to a natural disaster and a fire. Completely bilingual, he has served as Episcopal Vicar to the English sector of the Diocese, and is the Diocesan Vocational Director as well as the President of the Ontario Association of Vocational Directors. He has been a member of the Military Ordinariate Ecclesiastical Council and served on the committee for Episcopal ordinations.
It is not easy to gauge the number of lives that have been touched and shaped by the ministry of care and leadership that this chaplain has offered over the past four decades, both within our Canadian Forces, and within the larger fabric of our nation. What is clear, however, is that the example he has set for those with whom he served, and the pattern he has laid down for those who will follow in this ministry, are truly and unquestionably outstanding.
His contributions to the Regular and Reserve components of the Canadian Forces, and to the congregations and communities he has served so faithfully as a priest, are indeed worthy of recognition. It is with great honour that the Chaplain General’s Commendation for 2006 is presented to Major (Ret’d) Gary Ostler. Well done, good and faithful servant!
Chaplain General Ron Burke – March 2006
# 1 Richard E. Ruggle Says:
I was saddened to learn of Father Ostler’s passing. As a militia chaplain (and an Anglican), I was his colleague, particularly at Land Forces Central Area Headquarters during the ‘interesting days’ when Roman Catholic and Protestant chaplains, as well as regulars and reserves, were learning how to work more closely together. Some were reluctant to leave the security of the old, familiar ways, but Gary, always loyal to his own tradition, was one of the leaders who helped shape a more effective chaplain branch – cemented in part by his genial smile and the cigars he would share after a mess dinnerMay he rest in peace, and rise in glory.
Major (Ret’d) Richard E. Ruggle
The Canadian Forces Chaplain Branch
By Father Bob MacDonald, Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, St. Mary’s (Williamstown) & St. Williams (Martintown)(Posted on Fr. Bob’s corner: https://frbobscorner.com/2008/05/29/death-of-fr-gary-ostler/)
Death of Fr. Gary Ostler
May 29, 2008 By: frbobscorner
( Major Reverend Gary Ostler)
April 5, 1946 – May 29, 2008
After suffering a stroke about a week ago, Fr. Gary Ostler, Pastor of St. Columban’s Parish in Cornwall, Ontario died of complications at 3:00am on May 29, 2008 at the Civic Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. Fr. David Ostler, his brother was at his bedside at the time of his death. Although all the arrangements for his funeral have not been finalized, his funeral is scheduled for Monday, June 2, 2008 at St. Columban’s Parish at 10am. There will be visitation at Wilson’s Funeral Home from 2-4 & 7-9 on Saturday May 31, 2008. His body will be transferred to St. Columban’s Church with prayer and visitation in the church from 2-4 & 7-9 on Sunday June 1, 2008. The official Obituary at Wilson’s is now available. I will update more information as it it becomes available. May he rest in peace – let us remember him in our prayers. I will definitely miss Gary who I have known as a friend for over 35 years from the time that we studied together at the University of Ottawa. Fr. Gary’s parents are deceased. He will be sadly missed by his sister, Gail, and his two brothers, John & Fr. David, and numerous neices and nephews, his many friends in the Canadian Armed Forces, and friends and parishioners at St. Columban’s, St. Francis de Sales, St. Raphael’s, Nativity, and across the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.
Fr. Gary had an extensive career, as a chaplain, in the Canadian Armed Forces. He served in this capacity for 40 years, and retired as a Major in 2006. Bob Kilger MP presented him the ‘Jubilee Medal’ on behalf of the people of Canada, and at the time of his retirement he was decorated with two bars. Locally, he was chaplain to the Royal Canadian Legion in Cornwall, Chaplain to the Air Force at Nav Canada, and Chaplain to the Stormont-Dundas Glengarry Highlanders. (I am gathering some information on his Military career, and will soon do a post on his years of military service)
3 Responses to “ Death of Fr. Gary Ostler ”
# 1 Rev. Uche Godwin Iheke, smmm Says:
It is just unfathomable to read and accept that Fr. Gary whom I knew too well, one of my very first friends and mentors in the Diocese from the day I arrived Cornwall in 1999 has passed on. I experienced among other things Fr. Gary’s kindness, examplary and edifying personality and leadership acumen. These touched and influenced me in diverse ways. They would definitely keep his memory alive in me and the many others who crossed paths with him during his services as God’s priest and messenger to his flock and to his country. Fr. Gary, may God give you serenity and rest you peacefully in his bossom! My condolence to Bishop Durocher, the entire Presbyterium, the parishioners of St. Columbans and the people of the diocese and in a very special manner Fr. David Ostler and his family.
# 2 katherine Says:
# 3 Rev. Sean Says:
Living with Gary for nearly four years taught me much about parish leadership and good administration. His friendship and ecnouragement was a source of blessing for myself and many others in discernment. His heart was his greatest asset!
Major The Reverend Gary Ostler – Obituary
(Died May 29, 2008)
[Obituary on Wilson Funeral Home website]
MAJOR THE REVEREND GARY OSTLER CD2
– Reverend Gary Ostler at the Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus on Thursday May 29, 2008 age 62 years. Dear son of the late Allen Ostler and the late Frances Gaudet. Beloved brother of Gail Lee (John), Calgary, Alberta; John Ostler (Teri), Pickering; and Reverend David Ostler, Arizona. Sadly missed by his nieces and nephews Tim and Kerry Anne Lee; Kevin, Andrew, and Cheryl Ostler. Resting at the Wilson Funeral Home 822 Pitt Street, Cornwall from 2-4 and 7-9 PM on Saturday May 31, 2008. Solemn Translation to St. Columban’s Roman Catholic Church for the Liturgy of the Word Sunday June 1, 2008 at 2:00 PM. Thence to lie in state from 2-4 and 7-9 PM on Sunday, and from 9 AM until the funeral rite on Monday. The Mass of the Resurrection with Commendation and Farewell will be celebrated at St. Columban’s Roman Catholic Church 36 Fourth Street, West, Cornwall on Monday June 1, 2008 at 10:00 AM, His Excellency the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, D.D. Presiding. Rite of Committal to follow in St. Columban’s Parish Cemetery, Cornwall. If so desired contributions to the Vocation Fund of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, or the Ontario Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated.
Ostler’s work went beyond church
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
30 May 2008
Posted By Greg Peerenboom
Rev. Gary Ostler is being remembered today as a Catholic whose Christianity extended far beyond his own parish.
Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher saw this immediately in Ostler, who passed away Thursday from a massive stroke at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.
“One of the first times I met him he invited me to supper. He loved preparing a wonderful meal, and taking the time with the people around the table,” Durocher said. “This was true in his ministry. He was a man who really loved preaching, for explaining scripture, for making it come alive.”
Ostler’s humanity also made him a mentor for the younger generation.
“For many years he would direct the vocations of young men in their personal journey, to help them shape themselves for this ministry,” Durocher said.
Ostler served most of his priesthood in the city and area after his ordination in 1972.
While many Catholics hearkened to his ministry, his faith also touched thousands of Christians of other denominations as a longtime Canadian Armed Forces chaplain.
“In a sense, (the parish) was half of his life, the other half was the armed forces,” the bishop said.
“He was a real stand-up guy,” said Master Warrant Officer Jim Devine of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders.
“He was never afraid to get dirty with the troops; he had a knack of making the troops feel at home,” Devine said. “I judge all other padres by how I know Gary.”
Devine said Ostler, who retired as a major, wasn’t content to just say Mass. “He screened a lot of us for overseas service: he was the psychologist, the social worker, the psychiatrist, the marriage counsellor.
“If your head space wasn’t right you’d talk to Ostler, or he’d talk to you.”
Ostler eventually became the head chaplain for 4,000 Ontario-based soldiers.
It is expected that about 50 chaplains from across the country will attend the funeral. Ostler endeavoured to extend Christianity beyond the church, believes Rev. Stephen Silverthorne, who succeeded him as chair of the Cornwall Christian Council.
“He was good at stressing that it was a church’s responsibility and privilege to be serving the community,” said Silverthorne, the pastor at Christ Church Anglican Parish in Long Sault. “It can be easy at times to focus inside the church walls, but there’s a whole world out there to serve and love as well.”
Silverthorne said his colleague recognized churches can work hand-in-hand with secular organizations. “Churches raise issues with secular leaders and provide service if people don’t want to access it (from government sources).
“Some people feel a stigma around their poverty so they won’t get assistance.”
A Cornwall native, Ostler was born in 1946 to the late Allen Ostler and Frances Gaudet.
He studied at the University of Ottawa and St. Paul’s University, graduating with a Masters in Education. Ostler’s first posting was at St. Raphael’s in 1976. It was there he started that parish’s Galarama, now one of summer’s most anticipated country festivals. He then served his first of two stays at St. Columban’s from 1983 to 1994. He served at St. Francis de Sales from 1994 to 2005, when he returned to St. Columban’s.
A quick scan of the Standard-Freeholder during the past few years alone clearly exhibits Ostler’s community involvement:
Earlier this month, he led a memorial service for Battle of the Atlantic merchant marine servicemen He commented last March on the new sins proclaimed by the Vatican, including abusing the environment. He said this awareness should provoke people to think about issues in a moral context. “That’s the worst thing in the world: to have a conscience that no longer tells you what’s right and wrong.”
Ostler spearheaded the recognition of two local priests with the unveiling of a plaque on Remembrance Day 2006. Msgr. Donald Kerr and Rev. John R. Donihee had been inadvertently left off the St. Columban Roll of Honour for Second World War veterans.
In March 2005, Ostler organized a special service at St. Francis de Sales to help people cope with massive job layoffs.
He will be resting at the Wilson Funeral Home 822 Pitt Street, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m., Saturday. The body will be transferred Sunday to St. Columban’s, and lie in state from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m., and on Monday at 9 a.m., followed by funeral mass at 10 a.m. Presiding will be Bishop Durocher. He is survived by two brothers, John of Pickering, Ont., and Rev. David of Phoenix, Ariz. and sister Gail Lee of Calgary.