With great sadness we convey the news that His Grace, Archbishop Boniface Grosvold, fortified by the sacraments of Holy Mother Church, peacefully passed away in his sleep at 1:00 AM (6am BST) today July 21, 2016 in the ICU of University Hospital, London, Ontario. His Grace was attended by Monsignor George Hamilton-Roberts who administered to him the comfort and consolation of the sacrament of holy Unction and remained praying at the side of the archbishop as he continued his pilgrimage home to God Who is One. Archbishop Boniface was one of the few remaining third generation Old Roman Catholic bishops following those who had known the pioneers of our movement after Archbishop Mathew (memory eternal).
From the Old Roman Catholic Clerical Directory: Most Rev. Dr. Boniface Grosvold was born on 4 June 1942 in Chester, Nova Scotia. As a young man he moved to Ontario where he was employed as a church musician and where he discovered Old Roman Catholicism.
On 28 October 1969 (Feast of SS Simeon & Jude) he was tonsured and admitted to the minor order of cleric by Archbishop Nelson Dudley Hillyer of the Ontario Old Roman Catholic Church. He at that time took the religious name of “Boniface” and has been known by that name since. During successive Sundays in January of 1970 Bro. Boniface was admitted by +Hillyer to the minor orders of door keeper, reader, exorcist, and acolyte. On Easter Sunday (29 March) 1970, +Hillyer admitted Bro. Boniface to the sub-diaconate.
Feeling that his future was in another jurisdiction, Brother Boniface resigned in the summer of 1970 from the Ontario Old Roman Catholic Church and joined Holy Saviour Old Roman Catholic Parish of Niagara Falls, New York, and its bishop-elect Fr. William Mark Plested.
On 30 and 31 August 1970 respectively, Boniface was ordained a deacon and a priest by the retired Old Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, the Most Rev’d Earl Anglin Lawrence James (1901 to 1978). On 28 September 1970 Fr. Plested was consecrated bishop for the Old Roman Catholic community in Niagara Falls, NY by +James, and both he and the now Father Boniface based their work there.
On 19 January 1972 the work was legally organized by the incorporation in the Province of Ontario of the Old Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Ontario, which took in also the American Parish of Holy Saviour, which then served as the Pro-Cathedral.
On 20 July 1974, Fr. Boniface was consecrated the auxiliary bishop for the Old Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Ontario in Holy Saviour Old Roman Catholic Pro-Cathedral by the Old Roman Catholic Archbishop of New England, the Most Rev’d Edward Carleton Payne, assisted by Archbishop William Mark Plested of the ORCC Diocese of Ontario.
On 30 November 1974 Bishop Grosvold was enthroned as the second Bishop of the ORC Diocese of Niagara Falls, New York, and Ontario, in succession to Archbishop Plested. On September 11th. – 12th., 1976, he was elected Metropolitan-Archbishop and Primate.
Since October of 1997, the See of the Diocese, also known as the “Old Roman Catholic Church In Canada”, has been in London, ON Canada.
Archbishop Boniface’s legacy includes great strides ecumenically in Canada between the Old Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church in Canada and the Roman Catholic Church, the respective bishops of which locally in Ontario he had continually counted as both friends and colleagues. Successive Anglican bishops of London (ONT) had continually extended gracious hospitality to +Boniface both by inclusion at their important diocesan events and in the lending of churches for great ORC occasions, most notably Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church and the Collegiate Chapel of the University of Huron. Episcopal consecrations, often of an international character, celebrated by +Boniface were always supported by Anglican colleagues and usually accompanied musically by the choir of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, London (ONT). The Roman Catholic diocese too had been gracious in the lending of churches for ORC missions and liturgies, most notably the chapel of St Joseph’s hospital for many years, providing a home for the local ORC congregation until the Lady Chapel of Bishop Cronyn was generously provided by the Anglican diocese. With his guidance and interest, the Old Roman Catholic Church solidified its presence in Africa, South America, India, Europe as well as in North America and many of today’s ORC bishops are “Apostolic sons” of +Boniface.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Boniface, for the bishops he fostered and the faithful they serve. Memory eternal. Requiescat in pace.