The last letter Ferdinand Roque wrote to his children, dated 26 January, 1907.
Ferdinand Roque was the forefather of all the Roque families of Killarney. He was born in Boucherville, Quebec, in 1827, married Marguerite Recollet in Wikwemikong, ON on 29 January 1849, and died on 26 January 1907.
KILLARNEY, ONT., January 26, 1907
MY DEAR CHILDREN,
In my last days, I have longed very much to see you in order to bid you a last farewell and to make my last recommendation. I wish to recall to your minds in a few words, before departing this world, all the good advice I have given ever since God has confided you all to our care.
For many years I have been praying for two things, more especially:
1st -- To be able to pay all my debts before dying.
2nd -- To receive the last sacraments.
God mercifully granted me both these requests. As to the first I hope I cause no grief to anybody. I have settled this affair as best I could. Now I can depart in peace. The house will be owned by Joseph, who has finished paying all our debts. Your mother will stay in the house as long as she pleases.
As to the second request, namely that of receiving the last sacrament, it is evident that it was by a special providence of God that I did not die before the priest had arrived. The smile of satisfaction with which I received the priest, and the prayers which will fervently pour forth up to my last breath, are unquestionable signs of my gratitude to God for this supreme favor.
I wish also to tell you be temperate. Beware of liquor as one of your most dangerous enemies, and never, never even think of making a living in the liquor business.
Be always faithful to your religious principles. A dying man sees many things in a truer light than one in good health. At the dreadful hour of death when we are about to render a strict account of all our doings to our Maker, we understand all is vanity except loving and serving Him well.
Be therefore men of prayer.
Go often to Confession and to Holy Communion.
Raise your children in the fear and love of God.
Be good and true to your wives and husbands.
Be always united in the bonds of fraternal love.
Send your children to school. Give them the best education you can.
Now that your mother will be left alone, I hope you will not grieve her. Follow my examples which were good, and if ever you have grieved me try and make up in future by your fervent prayers for my soul.