Father Ed Platt dies at 89

A well-known and much beloved priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Father Edwin Platt, died on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 17, at Providence Hospital, following a stroke he had suffered some few weeks previously while celebrating Mass in Corpus Christi Church. He was 89 years of age, and 62 years a priest. He was well-known in the East End of Toronto, and, indeed, in much wider area of the city, for his long service in the church, and for his affability, his service of the poor, and his ministry in the church in Toronto and other areas of the archdiocese over many years.

Born on Aug. 29, 1922 in Toronto, Father Platt was educated in St. John’s and Corpus Christi parochial schools, and in St. Michael’s College School, at a branch in the east of Toronto and then at the college on Bay Street. Upon graduating from St. Michael’s in 1941, he entered St. Augustine’s Seminary, Scarborough, where he earned a B.A. degree from the University of Toronto in 1944 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1948.

As a young priest, Father Platt served as assistant parish priest in various parishes: St. Paul’s Holy Name, St. Cecilia’s and others. He then began a series of pastorates, beginning with Victoria Harbour. Subsequent appointments brought him closer to, or within, the Toronto city area. In the course of his ministry he inaugurated and supervised the construction of a number of parishes such as St. Thomas More, St. John Fisher, and ultimately St. Luke’s in Thornhill where he spent the largest period of his vocation as a parish priest.

Needless to say, he was much beloved wherever he was appointed and gave of himself and of his possessions to the people in his care. He loved the poor and gave unstintingly to their relief. He spent very little of what he had on himself, being more inclined to imitate his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, in his service of the poor.

‘Father Ed’, as he was popularly called, ever a man for others, and a very jovial person, even in difficult circumstances. He loved to preach and he did so very well. No one ever found his sermons boring, for he knew how to present sound doctrine in terms both clear and pleasing, and, at times, humorous. But no one would ever think of him as irreverent, for his attention to, and respect for what was sacred governed his words.

What one can only know from the outside, or from these who chose to reveal it, was his gentle, courteous and profound guidance of souls, in persons of all ages and walks of life. He had a deep understanding of, and sympathy for, the spiritual or mental suffering of persons. Many confided in him and invariably found in him sympathy and wisdom. He was never too busy to listen; he was ever sympathetic; he was, by the grace of God, wise and understanding.

Father Ed was an ardent bridge player. Not only ardent, but even more, extremely acute. He spoke little during the play, and always knew what was trump, what had been played, and what would issue in success. He spoke little, but he won often. He might be teased for his seriousness during play, but it was extremely rare that he lost.

Father Edwin Platt was a man for all seasons, but first and always, a man of God. His ardent devotion to the Pro-Life movement was eminently in keeping with his love for his people and for God’s creation. We have loved him in life; let us not forget him in death. May he rest in peace.

Submitted by Fr. Wallace Platt, CSB (his brother)

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