ST. MARTIN DE PORRES PROVINCE
LIVES OF THE BRETHREN 1997-1999
THE LIVES OF THE BRETHREN
Appendix IX contains brief biographies of all the friars of the Province who have died since the Fourth Provincial Chapter.
Geary, Mark Paul September 7, 1997 Pavón, José Leonardo Vázquez October 14, 1997 O'Connor, Matthias Patrick January 7, 1998 Murphy, Richard Thomas Aquinas December 31, 1998 Brady, William Dominic Aug. 15, 1999
Mark Paul Geary
1923 - 1997
Mark Paul Geary, O.P., chaplain at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN for over four years, died from the effects of cancer on Sunday, September 7, 1997, in that same hospital where he had ministered as a priest to countless sick and dying people.
Mark was born on April 7, 1923, in Waterbury, CT, son of Matthew Geary and Lora Gilmartin Geary. He was survived by his brother, John Geary of Guilford, CT, and three sisters, Ellen and Dominica Geary of Waterbury and Dolores Geary Shea of Trumbull, CT.
He served during World War 11 as a corporal in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1953 to 1946. Then he attended Providence College, Providence, RI, graduating in 1950. Shortly after that he entered the Dominican novitiate at Dover, MA, made his profession of vows on August 11, 1951, and was ordained as a priest for St. Joseph Province on June 11, 1957.
Following ordination he was associate pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, New York City, for nine years, then became pastor at St. Peter's Church, Memphis, TN, in 1967. In 1974 he was appointed first pastor of Holy Cross Church in Atlanta, GA. He remained there as pastor for six years and during that time he joined the newly formed Southern Dominican Province at its inception in 1979. For one year he was campus minister at Emory University in Atlanta and then, in 1984, was appointed pastor of St. Dominic's Parish in New Orleans, LA, where he served for six years. In 1990 he was assigned as chaplain to the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Nashville, TN, and remained there two years. In January, 1993, he came to St. Thomas Hospital, Nashville, as chaplain and in February he was diagnosed as having terminal cancer. During the following four years he was faithful to his duties as hospital chaplain while struggling with cancer and its accompanying effects of bodily pain and weakness. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy were measures which slowed the devastating effects of throat and neck cancer, enabling him to continue his pastoral ministry to others who were ill, but in the last few months of his life weakness forced him to give up ministry and prepare for that death which is both an ending and a beginning.
Mark had a keen administrative mind coupled with a pastoral heart for the needs of the people he served. He was a trusted pastor and he was very active in ecumenical efforts, being the founder of the Downtown Churches Association as well as one of the founders of the Metropolitan Inter-faith Association, both of which were in Memphis. As a Dominican, five times he was sent as a delegate to provincial chapters in the Provinces of St. Joseph and St. Martin de Porres. Truly, words are inadequate to give fitting tribute to this man of faith, of courage and of apostolic zeal.
A wake service was held on Tuesday, September 9, at St. Dominic's Church, New Orleans, with the Mass of Christian Burial there on the following day. After the Mass, Mark's body was buried at the Dominican Friars' cemetery in Rosaryville, LA. May he rest in peace.
José Leonardo Vázquez Pavón
1927 - 1997
Leonardo Vázquez was born on April 16, 1927 at the Central Francisco sugar mill, Santa Cruz del Sur, Camagüey, Cuba, the son of José Maria Vázquez and Genoveva Pavón. His parents, after having been immigrants in Cuba for many years, took him as a child to Spain.
At the end of the Spanish Civil War (1939), he became a postulant with the Dominican Province of Bética (Andalucia) at Convento San Jacinto in Seville, Spain. Besides becoming an outstanding student in philosophy and theology, he showed an intense interest in music, painting, writing, composition and the classical languages of Latin, Greek and Hebrew. His dream was to become a teacher.
During his novitiate year, he demonstrated a love for liturgy, music and art. On Sept. 16, 1943, he made profession as a Dominican friar. He did further studies in scripture and theology at the Theological Faculty of San Estéban in Salamanca, where he received the degrees of lector and licentiate.
He was ordained a priest at Ciudad Real, New Castile, on March 25, 1950 and was then assigned as an instructor at the apostolic school in Almagro, La Mancha. Later he was appointed professor of theology at the diocesan seminary of El Buen Pastor in Havana, Cuba, his country of birth. Soon thereafter, he was also asked to teach social studies and holy scripture.
He was chosen for numerous positions in his Bética Province, including being elected prior of Convento San Juan de Letrán in Havana, Cuba, prior of San Pablo in Puebla, Mexico, vicar provincial of the Puebla Vicariate, vicar provincial of the Venezuelan Vicariate, plus serving as master of Dominican students in Granada and Seville in Spain.
As a serious student of such Dominican masters as Congar, Chenu, and Schillebeeckx, he was quite sensitive to the theological and liturgical changes of the Second Vatican Council. He joyfully promoted the role of the laity in the liturgy among his many students. He also published two books, Guia del Animador de la Misa Comunitaria and La Misa Comunitaria.
Under the guidance of Pie Régamey, O.P. and José Luis Aguilar, O.P., he promoted the artistic group, "Resurgens," for young architects who would interpret the revised liturgy in the designing of new churches. One of the architects who worked with Leonardo was Sony Mendoza, who designed our Dominican St. Dominic church in Miami.
Like the other Cubans who were forced to leave their much loved island of Cuba, he experienced numerous hardships from being exiled. He was saddened by lack of opportunities for his intense apostolate in the various countries of his ministry, primarily Mexico, Venezuela and the United States. On March 3, 1993, he was assigned to St. Martin de Porres Province and then to St. Dominic Priory in Miami and did pastoral ministry there until his death.
While living at St. Dominic Priory, he began to suffer from serious illness. On a visit to his family at Orense in Galicia, Spain, he died on October 14, 1997 at age 70. Leonardo was buried at his family's mausoleum at Villa Rubin near Orense.
Matthias Patrick O'Connor
Patrick Thomas O'Connor was born on July 24, 1940 in Mount Vernon, NY. He was the only child of Margaret Redmond and Patrick T. O'Connor. He attended Providence College in Rhode Island from 1958-1960 and then made his novitiate with the Eastern Province at St. Joseph Priory, Somerset, OH, 1960-1961 (with profession on Aug. 16,1961, taking the religious name of Matthias).
He studied philosophy at the Dominican House of Studies, Dover, MA (1961-1963) and then theology in Washington, DC (1963-1969). He was ordained a priest at St. Catherine of Siena Church in New York on Sept. 12, 1970.
Matt was a friar of many dimensions. During his last years, he served as chaplain for sisters-most recently at the Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Santa Fe, NM (1996-1998). From 1994-1996 he was chaplain at the Dominican Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin, TX and from 1989-1992 at St. Dominic's Villa in Houston, TX.
Besides three ministry positions, he also served as spiritual director for many individuals and especially for seminarians at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Santa Fe, NM.
Matt perhaps is most known as an artist. For many years he developed his own style of statuary and painting. His room and his studio were always overflowing with numerous works of art, especially of St. Martin and other Dominican saints.
In his earlier days, he preached retreats out of St. Stephen Priory in Dover and then was a campus minister at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (1975-1980). After joining the Province of St. Martin de Porres, he was pastor at St. Thomas More Parish at Tulane University from 1980-1986. For short periods he was also at St.
Ambrose Parish in Los Angeles, 1987-1989, and at St. John's Indian Mission at Laveen, AZ, 1992-1994.
After years of physical illness, Matt died on Jan. 7, 1998 in Santa Fe from multi system organ failure after surgery for an esophageal stricture. A wake was held at the Discalced Carmelite Chapel in Santa Fe, his Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Dominic Villa in Houston and he was buried beside other Dominican friars in Earthman Resthaven Cemetery in Houston.
Richard Thomas Aquinas Murphy
1908 - 1998
Richard Thomas Aquinas Murphy was born on November 23, 1908 in Minneapolis, MN, the son of William B. Murphy, M.D., and Amelia C. Heiker. Richard was baptized at Holy Rosary Church in Minneapolis on December 13, 1908. Richard also had a Dominican brother, William Bonaventure Murphy, who died on May 2, 1982.
He attended Holy Rosary School, St. Thomas Military High School and De La Salle High School in Minneapolis. After studies at Providence College (1924-26), he entered St. Joseph Province in August 1928 at St. Rose Priory, Springfield, KY and received the religious name of Thomas Aquinas. He made his first profession as a friar on August 16, 1929 and was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1935 at St. Dominic Church, Washington, DC.
He then began extensive graduate studies receiving a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Angelicum in Rome (1937) and a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Commission after studies at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem in 1950. He was a member of the Catholic Biblical Association and the Society for Old Testament Study.
Upon completing doctoral studies, Fr. Murphy was assigned to teach scripture at the Dominican Houses of Studies in Washington, DC (1939-43), and in St. Albert's Province at River Forest, IL (1943-48) and Dubuque, IA (1951-1966). Then he began a new ministry as chaplain at King's College in London, Ontario and became the first pastor for Holy Spirit University Parish at Western Ontario University in 1967. In 1974 he was assigned to St. Dominic Parish in New Orleans, LA where he served as associate pastor and part-time chaplain for the Mt. Carmel motherhouse. In 1979, he retired from parish ministry but continued to serve as chaplain for the Mt. Carmel
sisters for a number of years. In 1979 he also joined the new Southern Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres.
Fr. Murphy was the author of more than ten books on scripture, including Pére Lagrange and the Scriptures, The Sunday Gospels, The Sunday Epistles, Background to the Bible, An Introduction to the Prophets of Israel, and numerous scholarly article and translations. In 1960, in recognition of his achievements as a teacher and scholar, the Dominican Order honored him with its highest degree, that of Master of Sacred Theology. On June 13, 1985, he celebrated his golden jubilee of priestly ministry.
He died on December 31, 1998 at St. Dominic Priory in New Orleans. His Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on January 4, 1999 at St. Dominic Church, followed by burial in the Dominican friars' cemetery at Rosaryville, LA.
William Dominic Brady
William Joseph Brady was born in Madison, WI on July 23, 1912 to William M. Brady and Gertrude May McCutchin. He was baptized at St. Patrick Church in Madison on Aug. 4, 1912. He was educated at St. Patrick Grade School and Edgewood High School (Madison), Columbia College (Dubuque) and received his B.A. at the University of Wisconsin.
He made his novitiate, with the religious name of Dominic, for St. Joseph Province at St. Rose Priory in Kentucky and was professed there on Aug. 16, 1936. After joining St. Albert the Great Province, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Bernard J. Sheil at St. Thomas Aquinas Priory, River Forest, IL on June 11, 1942. He received his Lectorate in Theology (with his dissertation on "The Mystery of Faith") from the Studium Generale, River Forest in 1943 and a Ph.D. (dissertation: "An Analytical Study of Counseling") at the Catholic University of America in May of 1952.
After serving on the faculty of Fenwick High School in Oak Park, IL (1948-1955), his principal ministry was teaching theology, philosophy and education (1948-1980) in colleges and universities, such as Aquinas Institute and Rosary College (River Forest), St. Catherine College (St. Paul, MN), Loretto Heights College (Denver, CO), St. Teresa College (Winona, MN) and St. Edward's University (Austin, TX) where he became a full professor in 1975. At various terms between 1951 and 1968, he also was a visiting professor at a number of institutions, e.g., Loras College and Clarke College (Dubuque, IA), University of Notre Dame, St. Xavier College (Chicago, IL), St. Mary's College (Leavenworth, KS), and Catholic University of America.
In 1979, while at St. Edward's University, Dominic joined the new St. Martin de Porres Province. While on various faculties, he also often served as chaplain for religious sisters. In 1980 he became chaplain for the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary at Rosaryville, LA. The following year he became chaplain for the St. Mary's Dominican Sisters at their College in New Orleans with residence at St. Dominic Priory.
In 1992, Dominic went on limited service at St. Dominic's. On Aug. 15, 1999 he died of cardiac arrest at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans. His Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Aug. 19 at St. Dominic Church and he was buried at our Rosaryville Cemetery near the graves of the 50 other friars who preceded him.