Obituary: Fr Patrick Geary

Patrick Geary, priest, born Ballinacurra Co Cork 1 March 1908, Commissary-General Carmelite Communities of England and Wales 1952-59, died Aylesford Kent 13 August 1992.

PATRICK GEARY was appointed the first provincial superior of the restored Carmelite Province of England and Wales in 1952 when the Roman Catholic religious order initiated plans to establish a branch in Britain separate from its Irish province. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries there had been a number of attempts to refound the order in Britain, one in the reign of James II, but it was not until 1926, when a group of friars came from Ireland and set up a house in Kent, that the order first renewed its presence in Britain.

Geary was born near Kinsale in Co Cork in 1908 and entered the Carmelite novitiate in Dublin in 1923. After ordination in 1931 he was involved in hospital ministry for a while in Dublin before moving to Aberystwyth in 1936. The rest of his religious life and ministry was to be spent in England and Wales. This was the period when friars from Ireland were re-establishing the old English province of the order. Fr Geary and Fr Malachy Lynch built up St Mary's College and the parish at Aberystwyth during the war years, also opening a parish at Lampeter and a school at Llandeilo. After the war Geary was instrumental in turning St Mary's College, Aberystwyth, into a centre for late vocations and St Mary's fulfilled that role for some 30 years.

In 1952, Fr Geary became Commissary-General, a post he held until 1959. In 1969 a separate province of England and Wales was formally established, with the superior styled the Prior Provincial. During that period he helped establish Whitefriars School at Cheltenham and encouraged cloistered nuns of the Ancient Observance to open a convent in Blackburn. The 1960s saw him as parish priest of Llandeilo and prior of Aberystwyth.

In 1972 Geary became sub-prior of Aylesford Priory, near Maidstone, in Kent and became a pivotal figure in the life of this busy pilgrimage centre. He was well known for his availability and kindness as counsellor and confessor to countless clergy and pilgrims. He took pride in ensuring that the gardens should look their best and spent many an hour working patiently at the roses and hedges.

In a time of change in the church and religious life, Patrick Geary was always open to the new but lived with a deep sense of observance and commitment. His gentle but firm presence was a key factor in the formation of many of his confreres and a deep encouragement to the students for the priesthood at St Mary's College, Aberystwyth.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company provides global satellite communi...

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Ashdown Group: HR Executive

£20000 - £23000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen