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The Scottish Catholics in Prince Edward Island 1772 - 1922
Chapter VIII


Captain John MacDonald died at his home at Tracadie in the Autumn of the year 1811, consoled by the Spiritual ministrations of his kind friend Father MacEachern. By his Will he divided his Estate between the members of his family, making ample provision for his wife who survived him. His last instructions to his children, written in his own hand make interesting and edifying reading, and show forth the spirit of Catholic piety that animated his last days. Here in part is what he wrote : "Morning and evening prayers never omit." "Get copies of short ejaculations, which you will address to God through the day. Never omit Confession and Communion once a month. Thus will you have a good chance of saving your souls. Without Confession and Communion you will not obtain the grace and strength that are necessary for saving your souls. This is so true that every Christian on reaching the years of discretion is bound to prepare for the due reception of this Bread of Life, and if out of his power to receive it he must, as a means of Salvation, at least implicitly desire to partake of this Divine Bread of Angels. If you neglect it, you will continue passionate and quarrelsome, you will fall into serious difficulties and, perhaps, into grievous sins besides disobedience. The frequent and due recourse to the Sacraments is the best cure and preservative against such things."

Having prescribed a list of pious books which they were to procure and read, he continues: "In consideration of the property I bequeathed to you, I require each one of you, as long as you live, to have five Masses celebrated for me every year.

The Masses to be offered up for my soul are to be ordinary Low Masses for the dead. These and the one hundred Masses entrusted to my dear spouse to have celebrated, with out delay, are to be for the intentions I now have in mind, viz: - for my own soul, for my former wife, brothers, sisters, all my ancestors, for my various Confessors, all of whom but one are now dead; in a word, for all the departed, especially for those I am bound to pray for."

Captain John was buried in the old French Cemetery at Scotchfort, in a family plot, where stands a monument erected by some of his descendants many years after his death. He had a brother in the Priesthood, Reverend Augustine MacDonald, who had spent upwards of thirty years on the Missions in Scotland, and who finding the infirmities of old age growing fast upon him, decided to come to Prince Edward Island to spend the remainder of his days. He lived about five years at Tracadie, making his home with his brother Captain John, whom he predeceased by about three years. At his death his remains were laid to rest beside those of his cousin, Father James in the French cemetery at Scotchfort.


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