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DenRidder, Peter

Brother Chris was born on February 23rd, 1925 and passed from us to be united with our Lord in eternity on Wednesday, January 3, 2007. Although both of these events occurred in Holland, Bro. Chris spent most of his adult life in Calgary.

As a young brother of the Order The Congregation of the Brothers of Our Lady of Lourdes he was asked to move to Calgary in 1956. Upon arrival he first served as sacristan in St. Mary’s Cathedral. This gave him time to master the English language and become familiar with the diocese that was to be his home for the next fifty years. Subsequently he worked as a nurse at the Holy Cross Hospital in the “casting” department. Finally in 1959 he fulfilled his definitive goal with the establishment of Don Bosco House, a child care facility where 12 boys could grow up in a homey, family atmosphere away from the large, impersonal institutions which previously housed these children.

He worked tirelessly in child care till 1979. During that time he was instrumental in the foundation and operation of:

Don Bosco Home (boys’ home)

Dominic Savio Home (boys’ home)

Margaret House (autism)

Villa Maria (girls’ home)

Even in retirement, he continued to be a passionate advocate for those in need, exemplified by his leadership in the formation and building of Discovery House, the first long term Shelter for women in Canada He served as Board President from 1979 – 1985.

“It takes a village”, they say, “to raise a child”. Brother Christopher knew how to build the villages, as he continued to do so throughout his ministry.

A Memorial Mass to remember this child care pioneer, fellow brother, brother, uncle and friend will be held at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church (5340 – 4th Street S.W.), on Wednesday January 17th, 2007 at 7:00 p.m., the Bishop of Calgary, the most Reverend Frederick Henry, Presider. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Brother Christopher a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.

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  1. As a troubled boy I was so fortunate that I was in the care of such a wonderful man. God has used Brother Chris to guide me along the straight and narrow road at Don Bosco group home. If it was not for him I would most likely be in a prison or even dead. As a troubled child I was not always good to him but he always seem to have forgiven me. I sure love and miss him. I pray that I shall meet him again someday. I still remember smelling his cigar smoke mixed with his aftershave. I treasure these memories. Our God is so good, I thank God for the gift and privilege I found in his servant.

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