OBITUARY – Monsignor Kenneth Eugene Miller
March 29, 1939- November 8, 2020
Msgr Ken passed away quietly on November 8th, 2020 at Trinity Manor at the age of 81. He was predeceased by his parents Joseph Peter Miller and Magdelena Mary (Vogt), brothers Hugh and Patrick and brother-in-law Greg Ryan. He is survived by his sisters Irene Ryan, Sister Joan Miller R.N.D.M., sisters-in-law Loretta and Mary and many nieces and nephews.
Msgr Ken was born in Weyburn, Sask. On March 29, 1939. He was the youngest of five siblings. His parents were strong in their faith with the family rosary and daily Mass. When Ken was five, the Miller family moved to Regina and were active members in Holy Rosary Cathedral Parish. Ken was a Mass server at a very young age and continued to serve until grade 12. What touched his life in a special way was serving at the Mass and realizing the awesomeness of the Eucharist. In an interview with Frank Flegel in 2010 Msgr Ken said that his earliest memory of wanting to be a priest was when he was in Grade 2. He was serving mass, which was then celebrated in Latin, and heard the priest say, Corpus Mei – this is my body. He said, “Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I want to do that,” he thought to himself.
His faith life was influenced by his own family’s faith life and witness and influence of other parish priests growing up.
In high school, studying Latin was compulsory at the Jesuit Campion College, Miller related, “Prior to the exam I prayed in the chapel that if I received 100 on my test I would become a priest.” He was given the 100 and later found out that the teacher had decided to award the 100 even though there was a small error on his paper. “Was that a sign?” he asked.
After completing High School at Campion in Regina, Ken was accepted at St. Peter’s Seminary, London, Ontario. He received his Bachelor of Arts Philosophy with First Class Honors. In his four years of Theology, he received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from St. Peter’s Seminary.
Msgr Ken was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1964 at Holy Rosary Cathedral by Archbishop M.C. O’Neill.
In a letter written by Very Rev. Lorne Crozon, V.G. in 2014, Fr. Lorne describes Msgr Ken’s ministry as follows:
“I have had the privilege of knowing Msgr. Kenneth Miller as a friend and mentor for the past 43 years. My association with Father Ken began in September of 1971 when I entered Miller High as a student. At that time, Father Ken was the school Chaplain and we became friends and have remained so since then. Also during that period, Father Ken operated the Catholic Teen Drop-in Centre and managed a concession booth at the Exhibition to provide funds for youth programs in the Archdiocese. Father Ken has been active in many areas of Catholic life. He has been the pastor of a number of parishes in the Archdiocese of Regina, has worked as Supervisor of Catholic Education for the Regina Catholic School Division, served our Archdiocese as the Director of Pastoral Services, Director of Organization and Development, and as our Vicar General.
Father Ken's generosity has greatly influenced my life. His good example is one of the reasons I chose a vocation in the priesthood and work as a priest today. I believe at the very heart of Father Ken's being are those things that make Saskatchewan great.
He is a clear and independent thinker who always shows concern for the people around him. His life is an example of service and kindness to others. His interests are wide and varied, from theological concerns that effect peoples' lives daily, to art and music, to being out with friends for coffee and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In all these things, he is a full participant and an avid fan.”
And as recalled by Miles Meyers in that same year,
“I have had the pleasure of knowing Msgr. Kenneth Miller for the past 29 years. I had the good fortune of first meeting Msgr. Ken when I was the Youth Ministry Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Regina. From the first moment I met him, I knew that he was passionate about the Catholic faith, young people, Catholic Education and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. As my career path lead me into teaching, high school chaplaincy and now Coordinator of Catholic Education Services, I had many occasions to work closely with Msgr. Miller. Through these encounters, my admiration for Msgr. Ken has grown even stronger.
Msgr. Ken has been a tireless advocate for Catholic education not only within the Archdiocese of Regina but across the province. As Supervisor of Catholic Education for Regina Catholic Schools, Msgr. Ken made sure that all students felt welcomed and valued at our schools. Though Msgr. Ken would be too modest to admit it, he was instrumental in establishing the Ukrainian Program within Regina Catholic Schools. This program ensures that the language, culture and faith of Ukrainian Catholics is taught and promoted within the school division. Thus, it is no surprise that the Ukrainian Catholic community within the city of Regina has the highest regard for Msgr. Ken.
Msgr. Ken is also held in the highest regard by Regina Catholic Schools. The chapel at Miller Catholic Comprehensive High School is officially known as the Msgr. Ken Miller Chapel in honour of his devoted service and tremendous impact on the staff and students of Miller.”
As well as the many parishes he served and his work with the Catholic School System, it is well to note that he held other offices in the archdiocese. He was Director of Organization & Development from 1986-2007, Director of Pastoral Services from March 1992 to February 1993; he was appointed Vicar General from June 2005-June 2006 and re-appointed for a three-year period from June 2006 to 2009. He was conferred upon the rank of Prelate of Honour with the title of Monsignor and the Investiture in January of 2007.
Following in the footsteps of those that had mentored him, Msgr Ken mentored many seminarians who hold him in high esteem to this day.
Msgr Ken was very detailed and meticulous in any job he undertook. He took his duties as a priest very seriously and was always obedient to his bishop, always ready to serve wherever he was asked. He held a broad invaluable knowledge of the diocese that will never be replicated. He was very pastoral, a good shepherd of the people. Again, words from an interview in 2010 “My heart is with Christ and Christ’s people.”
He enjoyed getting involved in the entertainment of parish fundraisers – example: He dressed up like Dean Martin and sang playing his part very well indeed with glass in hand. He had a winning smile and a good sense of humor.
Bernadette relates a personal story about Msgr Ken that she holds dear in her heart: In the early part of 2001 when her Dad was in hospital and he called her and asked for a priest she called Msgr Ken and he came to the hospital immediately, no hesitation. This kind act meant so much to her that after that she served Msgr Ken to the best of her ability doing not only typing for work but personal typing after he retired. Most people couldn’t read his writing so he always relied on Bernadette and they became great co-workers. (If Bernadette wasn’t around the other secretaries would try to hide so that they wouldn’t get asked to type for him. Ha! Ha!)
Msgr Ken always appreciated anything you did for him. He was an excellent organizer of events. He was an avid Rider fan.
Family was very important to Ken. He loved to celebrate get-togethers for all occasions. He took family members on several trips throughout the years. History and experiences were important to him.
Ken enjoyed weekly coffee sessions with family and friends to discuss current events and exchange ideas. He also looked forward to his monthly bridge games with fellow priests.
After celebrating 40 years of the priesthood, he looked back at his years of service with great satisfaction and joy. A grade 2 girl preparing for First Eucharist once asked, “You like being a priest, don’t you?” He replied, “I love it”.
Written in the Diocesan Faith Stories book he was noted as saying, “I receive a sense of peace in ministering to the sick and dying, and great hope for the future in preparing couples for marriage. People of strong faith in each of the parishes I served over forty-five years, people who live and celebrate their faith nourish and strengthen me, and encourage me to serve the Lord faithfully.
I have indeed been blest in so many ways. I give thanks to God for the gift of Faith and the gifts of the people of Faith who formed my life.”
When he retired and came to visit the staff for coffee the cookies were always brought out as he was considered a “special” visitor. He was very loved and will be sincerely missed by so many.
It seems sad that he didn’t get to enjoy his retirement just when he got settled in Trinity Manor. He was feeling relaxed and joyful with no more obligations – so I guess the Lord was saying “Well done good and faithful servant. You can come home now. Your work on earth is done.” And reflecting on his life, Msgr Ken wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Funeral arrangements have been made through Speers Funeral Chapel, 2136 College Ave., Regina. Visitation time will be at Speers Funeral Chapel on Sunday, November 15th, 2020 from Noon until 2:00 p.m. No registration required for this. The Prayers are also on Sunday, November 15th, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. at Holy Rosary Cathedral, 3125-13th Ave., Regina, and the Funeral Mass is on Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Rosary Cathedral. Due to COVID registration is required for the Prayers and Funeral Mass. Please register with Holy Rosary Cathedral at holyrosaryaccesscomm [dot] ca .
Page URL: http://archregina.sk.ca/news/2020/11/12/archdiocese-regina-mourns-loss-rev-msgr-kenneth-eugene-miller