An influential leader in the Canadian ecumenical movement, Somerville was the first woman and the first Roman Catholic general secretary of The Canadian Council of Churches.
Know as an attentive listener, she was also beloved for her elegant way with words, her personal journalistic storytelling, and her genuine passion for justice.
As noted by the governor general when she became a member of the Order of Canada for her many accomplishments and contributions to Canadian civic life: “For decades, Janet Somerville has been an advocate for interfaith understanding, human rights and peace. Whether as a journalist, activist or teacher, she has provided a consistent example of faith in action.”
Somerville was the first producer of CBC radio's “Ideas” and associate editor of the independent faith and justice-oriented newspaper Catholic New Times.
A visitation will be held 21 April from 5-8 pm at Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home & Chapel in Toronto. A funeral mass will occur 22 April from 3-3:45 pm at Our lady of Lourdes in Toronto.