Fr. Patrick Geary (1929-2015) faithfully served fellow winter visitors

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Fr. Patrick Geary, who passed away May 23, spent several winters since his retirement serving at Holy Cross Parish in Mesa. (Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa)
Fr. Patrick Geary, who passed away May 23, spent several winters since his retirement serving at Holy Cross Parish in Mesa. (Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa)

Fr. Patrick Geary, a priest from the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, who in later years supported a Mesa parish’s ballooning winter population, died May 23. He had just turned 86.

Fr. Geary was born May 6, 1929 in Iowa, one of six children, and was ordained to the priesthood Feb. 4, 1956. His priestly life took him to several parishes as parochial vicar, faculty at three schools, young adult outreach and pastor at four parishes until his retirement in 1999.

Fr. Geary spent roughly seven winters at Holy Cross Parish in Mesa supporting the seven weekend Masses and filling other roles as needed. He was among many priests Fr. Dennis Riccitelli recruited from Iowa to support the seasonal influx of Catholics in the area.

Fr. Richard Felt, retired pastor of Holy Cross, said the parish doubled in size each winter. Some of seasonal parishioners were also Iowa natives and knew the winter priests from Iowa. Fr. Geary offered Masses at Holy Cross, made hospital visits and led some staff days of prayer. In his spare time, he enjoyed swimming and long daily walks.

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Fr. Patrick Geary

Born: May 6, 1929
Ordained: Feb. 4, 1956 for the Archdiocese of Dubuqe, Iowa
Retired: 1999
Died: May 23, 2015
Memorials: Unbound

[/quote_box_left]On his funeral planning sheet, Fr. Geary wrote, “I thank my God and my Church for allowing me to be a priest and for the gracious patience showered upon me as I stumbled in ministry. If I have assisted anyone in their knowledge and love God, I look forward to sharing that knowledge and love with them forever.”

Memorials may be given to Unbound, an international nonprofit that challenges poverty in new and innovative ways.

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