Great Pastor – Reverend Canon Leteux

December 1931

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 18 December 1931

Great Pastor.

On Monday evening the St. Alban’s’ Club, Denaby Main, was filled with a representative gathering, assembled to present to the Reverend Canon Leteux gifts in recognition of his eleven years’ pastorate at Denaby Main.

Father Holohan, his successor, presided, and was supported by Father Hunt (Denabby), Father Donkers (Wath), father Bentley (Doncaster), Father O’Shaughnessy (Cudworth), and others.

Wonderful Record.

Father Holohan raid they were met to honour Canon Leteux. He had no doubt there were many in that room who could speak with greater knowledge of Canon and his work in South Yorkshire than he could. Canon Leteux would ever be remembered as a great parish priest. For eleven years he ruled over this parish, and ruled in the spirit of a father. He was sometimes stern, but he also had gentleness and mercy.

He was a great church and school builder. He had created a complete transformation in Denaby and Mexborough. When Canon Leteux came to Denaby he found a nice church and a good presbytery. He soon began to make the church more beautiful, and today it was one of the most beautiful in the diocese. Still he was not satisfied. He built and established the club in which they were, that the Catholics of Denaby Main might have a meeting place for their families, and as a means of raising money. He also founded the Catholic Young Men’s Society. He catered for their material as well as their spiritual welfare.

Later came the schools, and they all knew what a long and arduous fight he had, but to-day they possessed one of the finest schools in the country. They had 490 children from Denaby and Mexborough on the rolls. After Canon Leteux had achieved this ambition he did not rest. A convent was required to house the Sisters who were to teach in the schools, so be had one built. He was still not satisfied; he saw Mexborough without a church. To-day they had a beautiful little church in Mexborough, also a club. All this work had been accomplished by the energetic initiative of one man in the short period of eleven years.

He had caused them to raise money, and he had paid as he went along, year by year, a portion off the capital debt. The spiritual aide of his work was marked by increased attendance at the services. He was ever active and alert and constant in his visitations. When he had done all he could here, he sighed a deep sigh of content, and the Bishop overheard —(laughter) —and immediately found him work elsewhere.

In Denaby Main he had left an imperishable memory. They would ever hold in grateful memory the work he did. He stood out in the diocese as one who help other parishes as well as his own. (Applause.)

Grateful Parishioners.

Mr. T. Teary, a member of the congregation, further eulogised the work of Canon Leteux and gave come interesting details of work accomplished during Canon Leteux’s pastorate in Denaby. He. Expressed the admiration of Denaby and Mexboro’ Catholics, and in their name asked Canon Leteux to accept a cheque as a token of their appreciation of the tremendous work he had done. Mrs. Setters, one of the women workers, then presented to Canon Leteux a Westminster chiming clock, suitably inscribed, from his many friends and admirers, and in their name wished him many years of health and strength to carry out the great task that lay ahead of him in his new parish in Wakefield

Mr. Corcoran. of Mexboro” spoke on behalf of the Mexborough church, and Coun. E. Collins spoke not only for the Catholics but for those with whom Canon Leteux had been associated in the public life of the district.

Non-Catholics’ Help.

Canon LeteUx received a great ovation when he rose to speak. He said there was little left for him to say, but he would first say “Thank you” to the artists who had entertained them so well. He thanked them for their splendid gifts, which must have meant great sacrifice to them in the present circumstances. He thought he would perhaps take a little holiday with the money. The reason they had done so much was because they worked together. He had always had great help from non-Catholics. too, and he wished publicly to express his thanks and appreciation to them. He thanked his old parishioners for their splendid work and the support they had given him. He thought he had left a very fine “baby”—the school—which was making good progress. He wished them a happy future, and said he hoped sometimes to come and see them. The assembly rose and sang “For he’s a jolly good fellow,” and gave three hearty cheers.

During the evening a musical programme contributed by Mrs. Haixlley (soprano), Miss E. Woodward (soprano), Mr. James (baritone). Mr. F. Prendergast (baritone), Mr. J. Foster (violin), and Mr. W. H. Johnson (accompanist).