Desmond Carroll: Enthusiasm and Hospitality

The love and respect for the man is so vivid in all the articles I have read. A dear friend of Desmond Carroll graciously lent me her archival material on this most beloved man.

I especially enjoyed reading Northern Reflections, a collection of Carroll’s writings, organized and gathered by his wife, Marion Carroll.

The book, now out of print, contains paintings by Ted Harrison, a long time friend of the Carroll family.

Two specific pieces helped me understand what made the Very Reverend Desmond Frederick Carroll the person his friends and acquaintances loved and respected. His writings show his own personality and beliefs.

I did not know Carroll. But I like his words about enthusiasm and hospitality. Joyful and welcoming would have been the way he lived his life and his time in Yukon.


“A mood of enthusiasm is always a good and healthy sign in any community, for it is born out of promise, vision, and hope. It can be – like many human moods – contagious as it ripples through the members and manifests itself in gestures and lively appearances.”

Carroll lived those words. He embraced his parishioners and the greater Yukon community with love, acceptance and respect.

Carroll was born on September 2, 1938 in Dublin, Ireland. He was ordained in 1969 and retired in 2001 after 32 years of service (in Ireland and Canada).

He and his wife Marion came to Yukon in January 1985 with their four children. He dedicated 17 years of service to the Christ Church Cathedral congregation in Whitehorse.

Before coming to Yukon he worked with youth in Ireland. He also lived and worked in Castlegar, B.C. for six years and in Vancouver for just over two years.

As rector of Christ Church Cathedral and Dean of the Anglican diocese of Yukon, Carroll was not afraid to pitch in and help with church life. He encouraged his parishioners to take an active part in church activities and services.

Carroll was good fun and loved funny jokes. A marvellous sense of humour and his laughter are happy memories for a dear friend, Dorothy. She remembered Epiphany parties and the silliness of games.

Carroll participated in activities at Macaulay Lodge on St. Patrick’s Day. I guess he was not afraid to dress up in appropriate green clothing on this festive occasion.


“Hospitality is an ancient code of relationships that facilitate the gracious meeting of friends but more often of strangers.”

Carroll lived those words also. He loved people. He always listened with genuine interest to all he met and believed that everyone’s story was important. Whether a member of his congregation or not, one was always welcome in his home.

In addition to his church duties, Carroll served as the chaplain for the RCMP (M division). His formal duties at regimental dinners and RCMP functions were just a part of his respect for the RCMP members.

He was always available to speak to any officers who may have needed guidance or just someone to talk to. He was always there for the force.

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