A Few Accolades


Until April 15, 1998  there lived among us a quiet, modest man, whose life was filled with roses. On that day, Sir Thomas Benedict Cropo, KCSG, was laid to rest in the arms of God. "The Archdiocese of Winnipeg mourns the loss of a beloved son," said the announcement by Archbishop Wall.

For Thomas Cropo, a rose symbolized love and affection, virtues by which he ordered his life and work. When he built his funeral chapel on Main Street in Winnipeg in 1957 he mounted a large rose on the front wall. Throughout his life, he gave generously to the Church and to the less fortunate. He never charged for the burial of children, priests, or nuns. Most of his generosity might never have been known, however, were it not for the multitudes that attended his funeral at Holy Ghost Church. Fittingly, his casket was covered with 600 red roses, which were distributed by his family to all those present at the cemetery.

"The only trouble with roses," he said to a friend the day before his death, "is that they die too fast."

True. But rest in peace, Tommy Cropo. You, too, were loved and you will be remembered, as long as there are roses.

Thomas Cropo was born 72 years ago of a poor immigrant family from Poland. In 1995 Pope John Paul II appointed him Commander in the Knighthood of St. Gregory the Great.

2003 Cantate Award Citation (Posthumous)

The Sisters of St. Benedict have established the Cantate Award to recognize a person in the Winnipeg Community whose life and work contributes goodness and grace to the life of its citizens.

The Sisters of St. Benedict are pleased to present the third Cantate Award, posthumously, to Sir Thomas Cropo, a caring individual whose compassion for others in need was only equalled by his generosity in spirit.

Known  affectionately by his friends as "Tommy", Thomas Cropo was born and raised in Winnipeg. His relationship with the Sisters of St. Benedict began with his baptism and education at Holy Ghost Church and School.

Through the hard work and dedication of Sir Thomas and his family, Cropo Funeral Chapel became and remains Manitoba's largest independently owned funeral home. Throughout his career, Tom always took the time to assist families, as well as religious and parish communities in whatever way he could during their time of need.

Because of the success of the Cropo Funeral Chapel, his generosity and support to the many religious and charitable organizations of Winnipeg, Tom  was recognized by Pope John Paul II in 1995 when he was named to the Knighthood of St. Gregory the Great with the rank and title of Commander.

For over four decades, Cropo Funeral Chapel has provided complete funeral services for nuns and priests at no cost. The generous support of this dear and trusted friend, whose legacy of community service continues today through the Sir Thomas Cropo Foundation, helped the Sisters of St. Benedict in our renovation of the Health Centre, the Retreat & Conference Centre and the Monastery Chapel.

With love and gratitude, we honor Sir Thomas Cropo with this, the third Cantate Award, in recognition of his exemplary life of Christian Service.