Montreal, Canada: Fr Claude Paradis a Canadian priest spent the past December on the streets to take care of the poor and impoverished. The Catholic Church has come across many priests and saints who had set aside their life for the poor and the needy. But how does this act of charity differ from others? Fr Claude himself describes his life as a journey from street to Church and from Church back to priest.
Claude spent his Childhood in Gaspé region and worked as a nurse in Cowansville. 25 years ago, he came to Montreal in search of a job which he was unable to find. Gradually despair and isolation took hold of him. Ultimately out of depression and frustration he became a drug addict. He considered his life so bleak that he was on the verge of ending his life. However he did not commit suicide. It was near a old church at the back street of Montreal where he heard the gods call to become the man of the church. Fighting all his addictions Claude finally received Priesthood. Today he is a priest who dedicates his time for serving the physical and spiritual need of the those entangled in poverty, prison and prostitution.
Fr Claude Paradis founded an institution Notre-Dame-de-la-rue(our Lady of the street).He provides food and shelter to those on the street and even administers sacraments and celebrates holy Eucharist. He is always accompanied by his co worker Kevin Cardin who also was a drug addict now leading a family life. The 57 year old enjoys special support from Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal who describes this initiative as an encouraging act.Fr Claude Paradis is yet another standing example of the special place enjoyed by Repenting Sinners in God’s heart who has already pledged the rest of his life for the poor and the impoverished.