Bishop Emeritus Pearse Lacey passed away on April 2, 2014 at the age of 97. Register file photo.

Retired Bishop Pearse Lacey dead at 97

  • April 3, 2014

Toronto - About one year after celebrating the 70th anniversary of his ordination, Bishop Emeritus Pearse Lacey has died. the Toronto native passed away on April 2. He was in his 98th year.

Born Nov. 26, 1916, Bishop Lacey was ordained to the priesthood in 1943 by Archbishop James C. McGuigan.

Bishop Lacey was well known in his city, in part for the numerous posts he held throughout the urban landscape. He served as chaplain of St. Michael's Hospital beginning in 1957. From 1959 to 1966 he was appointed first pastor of Transfiguration of Our Lord parish in Etobicoke, decades before the west end borough was amalgamated into the city. Following Transfiguration, he was the rector at St. Michael's Cathedral, where he was ordained, in the heart of Toronto, until 1979.

Over the years, Bishop Lacey has also served at St. Cecilia's parish, St. Monica's parish and St. Pius X parish — all in Toronto — as well as assisting at St. Patrick's parish in Port Colborne.

He was also chaplain and director of the Christian Family Movement, vice-president of the National Federation of the Senate of Priests and an organizer of St. Stephen's Downtown Chapel.

Bishop Lacey was elevated to auxiliary bishop to Archbishop Gerald Emmett Carter in 1979 and was consecrated that same year. He went to live just west of the city at St. Patrick's in Mississauga when he accepted the role of vicar for the western region of the Archdiocese of Toronto and director of Priest Personnel. He moved back to Toronto, the city he's called home for most of his priestly life, when he retired in 1993.

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