A man who loved to throw the cat among the pigeons

Good afternoon!  I’m Bob Fleming, Catharine McKenty’s first cousin.

The best thing that ever happened to the Fleming family took place 40 years ago when Neil married Catharine.

Neil, a man who loved to throw the cat among the pigeons, conquered the hearts of a very Protestant Fleming family from Toronto.

“Keep the family together” had been the final words of our Aunt Evelyn.

For the past 20 years Neil became that keeper.

Neil, a dedicated golfer, instituted the Fleming Classic Gold Golf week-end each  Fall bringing together a group of cousins who have known each other “since we were 9 or 10.”

Apart from golf and good food, Neil prodded us to debate great issues.

On one occasion a rather heated discussion focused on the life of Jesus. Our host and chef, later confessed that he lad listened in from the kitchen. Fascinated, he went off and bought the book Neil had been reviewing.

Blown by the winds of change, Neil and Catharine together became a transforming  force wherever they went.

Neil was a joy.

1 Comment »

  1. 1
    Jim Says:

    Hi Bob – Thanks for the memories. One of the books that played a major part in Neil’s life was “The Spirituality of Imperfection” (Modern Wisdom from Classic Stories) by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham. As a matter of fact Neil lectured on the contents of the book to adult students at McGill University. I quote one passage:-
    ‘One of the disconcerting – and delightful – teachings of the Master was: “God is closer to sinners than to saints.”‘
    ‘This how he explained it: “God iin Heaven holds each person by a string. When you sin, you cut the string. Then God ties it up again, making a knot – and thereby bringing you a little closer to Him. Again and again your sins cut the string – and with each further knot God keeps drawing you closer and closer”‘.
    (Retold by Anthony de Mello, “One Minute Wisdom” (New York Doubleday-Image, 1988)
    p.116


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