On Dec. 8 Fr. Thomas Mohan lost his battle with leukaemia. Photo courtesy of St. Michael's College School.

St. Michael's mourns loss of Fr. Thomas Mohan

By 
  • December 10, 2013

TORONTO - Basilian Father Thomas Mohan, who is credited with bringing stability to St. Michael's College School during the 1990s, died Dec. 8 after a month's-long battle with leukemia. He was 84.

Toronto's Catholic education community, and the Basilian-run St. Michael's in particular, suffered a significant loss with the passing of Fr. Mohan.

“We extend our sympathies to Fr. Mohan's family and to the Basilian Fathers who have contributed so much to the growth and development of publicly funded Catholic education in Ontario,” said Jo-Ann Davis, chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. “It is through the leadership and examples of individuals like Fr. Mohan that we can inspire our students to transform the world through witness, faith, innovation and action.” 

As the former president and principal of St. Michael's, Fr. Mohan was instrumental in securing the continued existence of the school he himself graduated from in 1948.

“It is always a sad day when we lose one of our own because he was an alumnus of St. Mike's, but even on top of that a Basilian Father as well,” said Terry Sheridan, president and principal of St. Michael's College School. “(He) really deserves a lot of credit for helping St. Mike's find financial stability in the late ’90s and in renewing our facilities.”

Sheridan, who was hired as a teacher by Fr. Mohan in 1997, will always remember the Basilian's “passion and the importance of his capital campaign that really helped rebuild the school in 1998.” He continued by saying that Fr. Mohan will always be viewed as a mentor and role model for the entire school community.

“We all see the Basilian Fathers as mentors here at St. Mike's and he was certainly one of them,” he said. “Our school motto of teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge is something I think he tried to live each and every day. That impacted on the school and he was a role model for all of us.”

It isn't just one Toronto Catholic school saddened by the news of Fr. Mohan's death. Ordained in 1956, Mohan's first education appointment in 1961 was to serve as the chaplain for Michael Power High School. In addition to his priestly duties, Fr. Mohan served in a teaching and administrative capacity for 12 years before being asked to assist in founding Fr. Henry Carr High School in 1973 and Don Bosco Secondary School in late 1977.

From there Fr. Mohan moved westward to serve as associate superintendent of the Calgary Separate School Board in 1981 where he remained until returning to St. Mike's in 1993. He retired from his post in 2000.

Born on Aug. 4, 1929 to Peter Mohan and Anne Mesbitt, the late priest was the seventh of 10 children. He is survived by three of his siblings along with 39 nieces and nephews.

The funeral service was to be held Dec. 11 at St. Basil's Church.

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