Basil H. Nichols, a married priest , and CORPUS member, died of prostate cancer on October 6, 2000. Basil was ordained in 1962 for the Burlington Vermont Diocese from St.Paul's Seminary in Ottawa, Canada. He left the active priesthood and married Janice in 1993.
The Mass of The Resurrection was celebrated by Father John Walsh at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Orlando, Florida, where Basil and Jan actively participated. Reverend Fred Morris, a Methodist minister, Director of Florida Council of Churches where Basil worked, participated in the liturgy and delivered the eulogy as Basil had requested. CORPUS was represented by three married priests and their wives: John and Marie Caulfield, Mike and Irene Gallagher, and Jim and Maureen Peterman.
Mike Gallagher, led a prayer and Scripture Service at the wake the night before where Basil was laid out wearing the alb and stole he used for weddings and gatherings of CORPUS. Father Reid Mayo, a close priest friend of Basil, still actively involved as the pastor of Christ the King in Vermont, participated in the wake and Mass of the Resurrection. He also conducted the burial service at the Osceola Memorial Gardens cemetery in Kissimmee. (Incidentally, after Basil's efforts to obtain some kind of pension from the diocese failed, Father Mayo approached the Bishop Ken Angel, to help Basil financially. Thanks be to God, the bishop responded favorably so that during the last three months of his life he had some recognition for all his faithful years of service.)
Jan requested that married priests be involved in Basil's last Eucharistic celebration at his parish church. The pastor said he would like to honor her request, but knew this would only get him in "hot water" with the bishop. But Jan urged Jim Peterman and Mike Gallagher to approach the priest and ask to serve as Eucharistic ministers. They did. When Jan received the cup, she smiled as she grasped the hand of a married priest. Christ's presence during the mass could be felt by all.