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
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones