ANAPOLIS, Brazil — Ignatius McGeady, OFM, 84, died Sept. 7, following some time of illness, having suffered a heart attack and then contracting pneumonia. A missionary alumnus of Holy Name Province, he was a professed friar for 58 years and a priest for 52.
A wake service was held in the afternoon of Sept. 7, and a Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Sept. 8 at the Convento St. Francisco in Anapolis. Interment followed at the friars’ plot of Regina Minorium Seminary in Anapolis.
Ignatius was born in River Edge, N.J., on Sept. 29, 1925, to Roy and Anne McGeady. He was baptized Donald on Oct. 25 at St. Joseph’s Church in Oradell, N.J. He attended Roosevelt grammar school in River Edge and Holy Trinity High School in Hackensack, N.J., graduating in 1943.
He studied in the priesthood preparatory program at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., for two years, then, after a two-year break, resumed his studies at New York University, receiving in 1950 a bachelor of arts in physics.
Donald entered the Order of Friars Minor in Holy Name Province on Aug. 11, 1951, at St. Bonaventure Church, Paterson, N.J., receiving the name Ignatius. He professed simple vows there Aug. 13, 1952, before Celsus Wheeler, OFM. He studied philosophy at St. Stephen’s Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and St. Francis College in Rye Beach, N.H.
On Aug. 16, 1955, he professed solemn vows at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., before Donald Hoag, OFM. He completed his theological studies at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., and Holy Name College in Washington, D.C. Ignatius was ordained a priest on April 25, 1958, by Archbishop Amleto Cicognani, apostolic delegate to the United States, at Franciscan Monastery Church, Mt. St. Sepulchre, in Washington.
Following his ordination, Ignatius served a year as associate at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. He then volunteered for the Province’s mission in Goias, Brazil, where he spent the remaining half-century of his life, with the exception of one year (from 1984 to 1985) at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.
Ignatius served as a missionary in various locations and capacities in Brazil. His service began in 1960 with two years at Goiandira and then for a year teaching at the Colegio Sn. Francisco in Anapolis. He then moved to the parish of Santana in that city for several years.
He was pastor of Porangatú from 1966 to 1974, and then moved on to Pires do Rio before being named as master of clerics at the college in Petropolis, a role he held until 1978. He ministered at the parish in Goiânia for two years before moving to Cristalandia for two. He then began serving as vice-master of novices at Catalão, when he was diagnosed, in 1984, with a brain tumor.
Returning to the United States, his life was saved, but even after a number of reconstructive surgeries, Ignatius’ motor abilities were somewhat limited. Still, after a period of recuperation at St. Francis Friary in New York, he was able to return to his life’s work in Brazil in 1985.
Since then, Ignatius served at the Convento Sn. Francisco and Regina Minorum Seminary in Anapolis, Goias. When the Province’s mission in Brazil became independent in 1989, Ignatius became a founding member of the Province of the Holy Name in Goiás.
Ignatius is survived by his brothers, Robert McGeady of Somerset, N.J., and Dr. Stephen McGeady of Cherry Hill, N.J., and twin sister, Dorothy Molt.
Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Dorothy Molt, 9076 Bay Pointe Circle, West Palm Beach FL 33411.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Franciscan Missionary Union, 135 West 31st Street, New York NY 10001-3403.