Although St. Thomas is viewed by local Catholics as more conservative than the nearby St. Mary Student Parish, Canoy says he's "not into the 'traditionalist' label because of the baggage that can come with that label in some people's minds." Still, he defends the all-male priesthood: "Jesus called himself the bridegroom. If he's the bridegroom, then who's the bride? The bride is the church, made up of all his disciples. The Mass is rich with spousal imagery." And as for married priests, "For the sake of all involved, I don't think it's a good idea. Being a priest is all-consuming. The parish is a full-time family on its own and then some."
Fr. Chas spent the last four years in Ann Arbor. "I love it here," he says. "I think of Ann Arbor as my home." But priests are reassigned regularly, and in July he'll move on to St. Andrew's in Saline. "It's a bittersweet thing for me personally," he admits. "I'll miss celebrating the Eucharist with them [St. Thomas parishioners] on Sunday."
He doesn't expect to totally lose touch with his former congregation. "Ann Arbor will remain close to my heart," he says, "and I won't be too far away!"
[Originally published in May, 2009.]