Rev. Angus MacDonald
Reverend Angus MacDonald (1831-1889)
Angus MacDonald was born in 1831, within St. Columba Parish in East Point, Prince Edward Island.
Angus was initially home-schooled before attending the Central Academy in Charlottetown. He was an excellent student, attaining high honours in Mathematics, the Classics, and English as well as many other subjects. He tried to pursue his theological studies at the Seminary of Quebec, but was forced to return home due to poor health. Fortunately, Angus was able to board with the Bishop of Rustico, who continued to teach him theology.
In 1855, at the age of 24, Angus was made rector of the brand new St. Dunstan’s College, a training centre for future priests in Charlottetown. Although certain people saw him as being “weak of constitution, unwise in the wisdom of the world, and inexperienced in the art of management” (The Guardian), Bishop Bernard MacDonald believed he would be able to handle the challenge. Together with Father James Phalen, Angus was able to welcome the first 18 students to St. Dunstan’s College.
Unfortunately, Angus’s health had completely broken down after the first winter at the College. After spending the summer recovering in Rustico, he returned to Charlottetown and was ordained as a priest in November 1856, earning the title Father Angus MacDonald.
Angus continued to teach at St. Dunstan’s where he was a very well-liked educator. An article from The Guardian, claimed Angus was “a man of indomitable energy, great executive ability, and unswerving devotion to duty”, and under his supervision the college grew from 18 students to 59.
In 1869, Angus left his teaching position and travelled to the Vatican Council in Rome with Bishop MacIntyre. Upon his return to P.E.I., he became the first resident pastor at Fort Augustus, where he stayed until 1877.
Sadly Angus’s health never improved, and he passed away from stomach cancer on April 29, 1889, at the age of 58. Former students and colleagues remembered Angus as being an “impressive figure” with a “grand character”.
“St. Dunstan's--One Hundred Years." The Guardian [Charlottetown] 23 Jan. 1954: 3. Island Newspapers. Web.
“St. Dunstan's--One Hundred Years." The Guardian [Charlottetown] 20 Feb. 1954: 3. Island Newspapers. Web.