The Saint Who Wore Funny Hats
They say that you never really know what you have until it is gone. I never really understood this fact until I lost my friend Paul Sanders, exactly five years ago today on February 2nd, 2008. Paul was an incredible man; a man of holiness and charity. He was incredibly quirky, loved to have fun, and did not care what others thought of him. His wardrobe always brought a smile to someone’s face, especially his hats. He loved to wear funny hats. Though just a bit older than I was, we became incredibly good friends in the short time that I knew him.
Paul loved Jesus. This fact is what colored his entire life. He loved our Blessed Lord, he loved the Church, he loved his family, and he loved others. He was extremely passionate for the cause of the unborn, and was an abortion abolitionist before it was the cool thing to say, instead of saying “I’m pro-life”. Paul simply loved to an incredible degree and every single person I know that knew him says the exact same thing.
Paul’s life was cut short five years ago when a group of four students from Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay Ontario decided to cross a frozen lake in a van, in order to go to a thrift store in a town across from them. The ice broke while they drove, and plunged the van into the icy waters. Two of the people, including the driver, survived. Paul and Janine Lieu did not. I wish I knew Janine or her story better so that I could better honor her passing today as well, but sadly there is not much that I can say besides knowing that her family and friends on the West Coast loved her dearly and I know that she is greatly missed.
Paul’s memory lives on. Years after the event occurred, Paul’s memorial Facebook group still has visitors come and pay their respects, but, more often than not, it is to ask for his prayers. The impact of the life of Paul Sanders shows that his love for God truly impacted souls in a great way. His life on earth still bears fruit even in his earthly death.
With all of this in mind, many of us are thinking and praying about reaching out to the Bishop to discuss what it would take to begin the process of looking at Paul’s canonization, now that the needed five years post-death canonical requirement has passed. I ask for your prayers as we prayerfully discern where God is calling us with this.
What do you think about this? Should Team Orthodoxy spearhead working for the cause of Canonization of Paul Sanders? Let us know.