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Cardinal Felix to be buried in Dominica after St Lucia funeral

Cardinal Kelvin Felix, Archbishop Emeritus of Castries, and the first cardinal to be named from the Antilles Episcopal Conference, died peacefully at the Abbey of Our Lady of the Assumption, St Lucia, Thursday, May 30, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. He was 91 years old.

His Funeral Mass will take place at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Castries on Wednesday, June 12, at 10 a.m. His funeral will be preceded by a Vigil Service at the Cathedral on June 11 at 5.30 p.m. According to his wishes, the body of Cardinal Felix will be buried at the Cathedral Grounds in his homeland, Dominica.

Born in Roseau, Dominica February 15, 1933, Cardinal Felix studied for the priesthood at the Regional Seminary of St John Vianney and Uganda Martyrs at Mt St Benedict and was ordained a priest on April 8, 1956, in his homeland. There he served for six years before pursuing further studies at St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia (diploma in Adult Education), University of Notre Dame, Indiana (MA in Sociology and Anthropology), and University of Bradford, England (Sociology).

Upon completion of his studies, he served as a lecturer at the Regional Seminary; Principal of St Mary’s Academy, Dominica; and Associate General Secretary of the Caribbean Conference of Churches (1975–1981).

On October 5, 1981, he was consecrated Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province of Castries. As Archbishop, he served as President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (1991–1997), President of the Caribbean Conference of Churches (1981–1986), and on a number of Committees in the Vatican.

According to a Catholic Standard report, upon approaching retirement age, Archbishop Felix requested of the Vatican the appointment of a Coadjutor Archbishop with rights of succession, for the smooth management of the archdiocese.

On July 19, 2007, Bishop Robert Rivas OP of the Diocese of Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Castries. In 2008, Archbishop Felix retired to Dominica where he continued to minister as a simple pastor.

But on January 12, 2014, “the region received the jubilant news that on February 22, 2014, Archbishop Kevin Felix would be made a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Francis, the first cleric from the Antilles to be bestowed that honour,” the report said.

As Cardinal, His Eminence continued to represent the region at various international, regional, and local functions until failing health caused him to withdraw from public engagements.

About a year ago, he was taken from Dominica to St Lucia for medical care. Based at the Benedictine Abbey, he became well enough to appear occasionally at a few public functions.

However, frail from age and medical complications he eventually succumbed after days of constant prayer for the Church and for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.