Spiritan News

Passing of Fr. John Geary, CSSp.

Toronto, CA
January 8, 2015
Father John D. Geary, CSSp 1931 – 2014 of the Spiritan Province of TransCanada died peacefully on the morning of December 31, 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Father John was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Mary. He is survived by brother, Dermot (Irene) of Ireland, sisters Margaret Grant (Ireland) and Mary Ditchburn (England) and his cousin Valerie Antoniades of Toronto as well as numerous other cousins, nieces and nephews.

Father John was born November 21, 1931 in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. He made his first profession as a Spiritan on September 8, 1950 and was ordained to the priesthood on July 11, 1960. During his 54 years as a priest, John made an incredible contribution to Catholic education in the city of Toronto. First assigned to Canada in 1961, Father John taught at Neil McNeil High School where he became principal in 1968. In 1977 Father John became the founding principal of Francis Libermann High School, named in honor of one of the founders of the Spiritans. In 1984 and until his retirement in 1989, Father John was Superintendent of Education for the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

From the time of his retirement, Father John began many years of service to the Spiritan community, first in 1990 as the House Superior of the Spiritan Generalate in Rome and then from 1993 until 1999 Father John served as the Provincial Superior of the TransCanada Spiritans. From 1999 until 2007 Father John studied in France and the USA culminating in a Doctorate of English Literature from the University of Toronto.

Following a short time as Superior of Laval House, Father John became an English lecturer at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh until 2009 when Father John retired in Toronto to serve the community as archivist and historian.

Father John was known for his strong interest in and commitment to Catholic education as well as to the refugee issue in Canada. John had a great fondness for books and was known for his great rhetoric and writing abilities. He will be missed by his Spiritan confreres, family and friends.