Our brother, Rory O’Leary, OFM, died suddenly on Sunday 14 October in Waterford friary.
Michael was born in Dublin and worked in the housing department of Dublin Corporation before he joined the friars in Killarney in 1960 and received the name Rory. He went on to do his B.A. in Philosophy in U.C.G. before going to the Antonianum in Rome for theology.
He was ordained in 1968 and began his pastoral ministry for a year in Clonmel friary before moving to Dublin to take part in the religious instruction in vocational schools. He was appointed guardian of Merchants Quay in 1972 and became parish priest of the new parish there when this was erected in 1974. He remained in the community when his time as guardian and parish priest ended in 1978, having been elected a provincial definitor at that chapter until 1981. He moved to St Anthony’s College, Galway, as vicar and director of formation in 1981 while also acting as provincial bursar. He moved to Ennis as guardian in 1987 and then to Rossnowlagh as vicar in 1993. He returned to Dublin in 1996 and resumed his ministry as parish priest. He was appointed guardian of Cork from 2002 to 2008 and again elected a definitor in 2005 to 2008. Rory was officially moved to Killiney as vicar in 2008 but by now had developed health problems. As a result he went to Gormanston for the good of his health and remained there gradually recovering until 2010. He moved to Waterford and resumed pastoral duties.
Rory was a friar committed to his Franciscan vocation and fraternity; he was popular with those he met in his pastoral work. He radiated a positive view of life and was a compassionate person. While his spirituality was based around the Mass and Divine Office, he was very faithful to daily extended silent prayer before the Blessed Sacramentr.
He collapsed and died in the sacristy after saying the morning Mass in Waterford friary church on Sunday 14 October.
May the Lord have mercy on his gentle soul and bring his faithful minister to share in eternal joy.
Funeral arrangements to be announced later.