Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fr. Kenneth Jaggs, SSC - May he rest in peace

I spoke this evening at the Corpus Christi Service about a good and holy priest friend who was buried yesterday in Windsor. Here is an article on him in the Windsor Star




Star staff
The Windsor Star
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Rev. Ken Jaggs died Saturday.
Rev. Ken Jaggs, a well-known Anglican priest in Windsor and founding director of the Teen Health Centre, died Saturday night after a long battle with leukemia.
He was 79.
"He'll leave a hole in a lot of people's hearts," Canon John McIllmurray said Sunday.
McIllmurray, a retired Anglican priest in Windsor, knew Jaggs for 23 years. He said Jaggs was an inspiration, a good man and a faithful believer.
"He had such an effective outreach with people, particularly people who were lost and lonely," McIllmurray said. "And he was faithful to the end."
Jaggs, who continued to lead masses at St. George's Anglican Church in Walkerville despite his progressing illness, told his parishioners that his days were numbered at an emotional Christmas Eve mass last December.
Jaggs was diagnosed in 2000 with a bone marrow disorder, which progressed into acute leukemia in recent years. Doctors had told him he was too old to receive a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
Jaggs recently celebrated his 50th year in the priesthood and had been a pastor at St. George's for 20 years.
Vicki Mikhail, a dietitian with the Teen Health Centre, said centre staff had their chance to say goodbye to Jaggs when he stopped by the clinic about two months ago.
"He came specifically to say goodbye," she said Monday.
Although it was an emotional visit, "he had us in tears, laughing," she said. "He had such a good sense of humour ... and a great way of telling stories. He was always so energetic."
Mikhail said she was very saddened by the news of Jaggs' death. She said people in the community can "learn a lot" from Jaggs' life and the way he gave back to the community.
In the 1960s, Jaggs was dispatched into the community to work with troubled young people and to help them turn their lives around. The Teen Health Centre, as it's known today, was established in 1985. Jaggs was also involved with numerous other community organizations, dealing with cancer, autism and other disorders.
Josh Canty, owner of the Border City Boxing Club and a St. George's parishioner, said of Jaggs: "He was a good man and he was always there for us and supported us in every way that he could."
Canty said Jaggs was the chaplain to the boxing club and attended most of the events the club held.
"Father Jaggs did a lot for the community at large and he will be missed by so many people," Canty said.
Jaggs is survived by his wife, Leda and three children Leda (Sasha), Andrew and Elizabeth. In 1989, Jaggs' son David was killed by a drunk driver on a California highway.
Visitation is continuing today at St. George's Anglican Church from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m.
The funeral will be held at the church at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
McIllmurray expects the funeral to be very large. He said the church will be bursting at the seams with mourners. He said Jaggs was a humble man who probably didn't have any idea of the impact he had on people's lives in the area.
- With files from Marty Gervais

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