Selected Essays from Sainte-Beuve - Raymond V. MacKenzie

Raymond V. MacKenzie


Raymond V. MacKenzie (1896-1963)

Raymond Vincent MacKenzie was born on 21 September 1896 in Millview, Lot 49, (Vernon River) Prince Edward Island to Elizabeth Currie and John J. MacKenzie. They had 10 children; two daughters, Minnie and Isabella, and eight sons, Charles, Herbert, John, (Rev.) Joseph, Frank, George, (Rev.) Wilbert, and (Rev.) Raymond. Three of those sons became Catholic priests; Raymond was the youngest of the three.

After his education at the Vernon River School and the Queen Square School in Charlottetown, Ray attended Saint Dunstan's University. After graduation, he attended St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto, Ontario. In 1923, he was ordained as a priest at St. Dunstan's Basilica in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

From 1924-25, he completed his Master of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. He also held, at least, three honourary degrees: Literary degree from Laval University in 1944; LLD from the University of New Brunswick in 1950; and another LLD from the St. Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1952.

Shortly after his ordination, Ray became part of the faculty of St. Dunstan's University as a Professor of English. In 1943, he became the Rector of the University and held that post for thirteen years.

Ray was a veteran of WWI and was an Air Force Chaplain, stationed in Charlottetown, during WWII.

After the war, in 1948, Raymond was appointed as Domestic Prelate (now known as Honorary Prelate) by Pope Pius XII. His investment for this honour took place on Sunday, April 4th. It was noted in the 10 April 1948 edition of The Guardian:

On Sunday evening, in the chapel of St. Dunstan's College, the Rector Rt. Rev. Raymond V. MacKenzie Litt. D., DP., was formally invested as a Domestic Prelate by His Excellency Most Rev. James Boyle D.D., Bishop of Charlottetown... The Bishop explained the significance of the prelacy, and paid high tribute to the newly-invested prelate. Msgr. MacKenzie, in a brief reply, expressed his appreciation of the honour confired on him.

Raymond died of heart failure at the Charlottetown hospital on 26 April 1963 and was buried in the Priests' Plot in his native Parish of Vernon River.

UPEI's Provenance Collection has Ray's copy of The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, edited by J. Logie Robertson and published in 1909. The inscription reads:

Ray. V. MacKenzie. 199 Kent St. Ch'town. from W.B. MacKenzie. Xmas.

W.B. MacKenzie would have been Ray's brother, Wilbert Basil MacKenzie, who was also ordained as a priest in St. Dunstan's Basilica. He took up priesthood in the Archdiocese of Vancouver and eventually became a hard-working missionary throughout central British Columbia. In 1941, Wilbert took a trip, from B.C., to Prince Edward Island to visit his family, including his brother Ray.

The Provenance Collection also includes the book Selected Essays from Sainte-Beuve edited by John R. Effinger. The book appears to have been used by both brothers during their first years at St. Dunstan's College. Wilbert attended at the beginning of 1912 and Ray started in 1915. The inscription reads:

W.B. MacKenzie S.D.C. 1912-13.
Below Wilbert's signature, in different script, is:
Ray V. MacKenzie. S.D.C. 1915-

Other Provenance Collection books with R.V. MacKenzie's signature:

Drummond, William Henry, M.D., The Habitant and other French-Canadian Poems. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1898. [Also includes signature of Jos. R. Doyle printed in hand drawn scroll and st. Dunstan's University Library stamp].

Grogan, Ewart S. and Arthur H. Sharp From the Cape to Cairo. The First Traverse of Africa from South to North. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, no date. [Book also includes signature of J.C. MacKenzie, a stamp from Catholic Boy's Library and stamp from St. Dunstan's College Library].

Ratti, Abate Achille (Pope Pius XI) Climbs on Alpine Peaks. London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1923. [Book also has stamp from St. Dunstan's College Library].

Thompson, Francis. Shelley. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910. [Book also includes signature of Joseph C. McKenzie].


1901 Census of Canada. Census Place: Lot (township/canton) 50, Queen's (east/est), Prince Edward Island; Page: 4; Family No: 27

1911 Census of Canada. Census Place: 63 - Charlottetown, Queens, Prince Edward Island; Page: 7; Family No: 53

1921 Census of Canada. Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 105; Census Place: Charlottetown (City), Queens, Prince Edward Island; Page Number: 2

Bolger, Francis W.P., The History of Vernon River Parish, 1877-1977. (Prince Edward Island: St. Joachim's Paris, 1977), 55-56.

Prince Edward Island Baptismal Index. Prince Edward Island, Canada: Public Archives and Records Office.

Soldiers of the First World War (1914-1918). Record Group 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 4930 - 35. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

The Guardain, 10 April 1948, pg. 12. Accessed from Island Newspapers on 3 March 2016.


Photo, with kind permission, from St. Dunstan's Digital Archive. Identifier: sdu:6130 Title: MacKenzie

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