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Les Costello: Canada's Flying Father [Paperback]

Charlie Angus
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jan. 28 2005
Les Costello's story is the stuff of Canadian myth: a child of immigrant parents who finds fame and some fortune on the ice as a star on the Toronto Maple Leafs, with whom he wins the coveted Stanley Cup. At the height of his meteoric sports career, he gives it all up to pursue another dream: to become a parish priest in the northern mining community where he was raised. He quickly earns the respect and love of the community due to his blunt, plainspoken, passionate commitment to social justice. He also creates discomfort in the Catholic establishment with his unconventional and challenging approach to parish life.

Les Costello became most widely known through his involvement in the Flying Fathers. Begun as a one-off prank, the hockey team he founded, comprised of priests, became a huge success. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's the team traveled across Canada raising millions of dollars for charities.

Les Costello: Canada's Flying Father is the biography of a tough-talking, justice-seeking, fiery man of deep spirituality who reinvents himself by converting the skills and stamina of an athlete into the lifelong vocation of the truly inspired pastoral leader.

Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay, has written the biography of a fiery man of deep spirituality who reinvented himself by converting the skills and stamina of an athlete into the life-long vocation of a truly inspired pastor.

Product Details

Product Description

From the Publisher

For the general reader with an interest in Roman Catholicism and the history of hockey.

From the Inside Flap

Father Les Costello has long been a legend in the mining towns of northern Ontario. A member of a Stanley Cup-winning Toronto Maple Leafs team at age 20, Costello gave up the glory of pro hockey to become a Roman Catholic priest.

But he didn't hang up his skates. In 1963 he founded the Flying Fathers, a team of hockey-playing priests that used zany carnival antics to raise millions of dollars for charity.

Costello was a tireless worker and champion of the poor. When he died, his funeral was held in a hockey arena to make room for the 2000 people who attended. It was a fitting tribute to a man who saw the church as a community that went beyond the walls of a parish.

Les Costello was a pro hockey player at a time when Conn Smythe was the caesar of Carlton Street, a maverick priest during a time of a growing crisis in vocations and identity in the Canadian Catholic church. Through it all, his passion for justice, his faith, and his ribald sense of humour made him a colourful hero for our times.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A saint if ever there was one Nov. 3 2006
A tremendous book, which members of our family have read over and over again. We have lent it to friends and many ordered copies for their friends. You will laugh and cry.

Highly recommended.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, and well written Oct. 2 2013
By Joseph Totton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great book about a little known (outside of Canada) hockey playing priest! The author does a nice job of patching together anecdotes and facts to tell the inspiring story of Fr. Les Costello and how he combined his love for the Church, the poor, and Canada's favorite pastime! On the other hand, Angus regurgitates a misunderstood vision of the Church as an institution and repeats some of the standard fallacies about what ails Catholicism in the modern era and how it might be remedied. Still, the book was about Fr. Costello and in that regard, it was a winner!
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