Most Rev. Louis O'Leary

O'Leary, Louis James, Catholic priest, administrator, and auxiliary bishop of Chatham; b. Richibucto, NB, 17 August 1877, s/o Henry O'Leary and Mary O'Leary; ordained 1900; d. Cincinnati, Ohio, 8 July 1930.

Louis J. O'Leary was one of two sons of a Richibucto businessman who had remarkable scholastic records, followed by equally outstanding careers in the Catholic priesthood. He received his higher education at St. Joseph's College in Memramcook, where he took a BA at age seventeen. He then enrolled in the Grand Seminary in Montreal, where his academic performance was such that Laval University granted him a DD degree. Being too young for ordination, he continued his studies in Rome and earned a doctorate in canon law.

O'Leary was ordained in Rome in 1900 and came back to Canada in 1902. For the next twelve years, he served as secretary to Bishop Thomas F. Barry and as chancellor of the Chatham diocese. For several years, he also carried pastoral responsibility for the Loggieville mission. In 1914 he was installed as auxiliary bishop. When Bishop Barry died in January 1920, he became the interim administrator. Soon afterwards, he himself was appointed bishop of Charlottetown as successor to his brother, Bishop Henry Joseph O'Leary, who then became bishop of Edmonton.

O'Leary was prominent in the educational work of the Chatham diocese and was a frequent guest in the classrooms of St. Michael's Academy. He played the largest part in the founding of St. Joseph's Preparatory School, which opened in 1913 in the former Hotel Dieu Hospital building. This was a residential school for boys in grades one through four, which were conducted in parallel with St. Michael's Academy, and was also administered and taught by the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph.

O'Leary remained bishop of Charlottetown until his death in a Cincinnati hospital in 1930, at age fifty-two, while he was visiting the home of his brother William O'Leary in Dayton, Ohio.

From the Dictionary of Miramichi Biography by W.D. Hamilton (1997)