Dennis J. Geaney, O.S.A.

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1914 – 1992 (November 23)

Dennis Joseph Geaney was born August 2, 1914 in Boston, Massachusetts to Michael D. and Julia K. Geaney, and was baptized August 16, 1914 at Ss. Peter and Paul Church, South Boston. In 1931 he earned a diploma from the High School of Commerce, Boston, and was received into the novitiate on September 9, 1935. He professed simple vows on September 10, 1936 and solemn vows September 10, 1939. Following first profession of vows, he undertook collegiate studies at Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, earning a B. A. in 1939. He pursued theological studies from 1939 to 1943 at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., and at the same time, did graduate studies at the Catholic University of America, earning an M. A. in accounting in 1943. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 1942.

Upon completion of studies in 1943, Father Geaney became a member of the Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel. He was first assigned to teach at St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois and, in 1947 was transferred to St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois. From 1959 to 1965, Father Geaney was assigned to the Augustinian Mission Band apostolate based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was assigned to St. Rita Parish, Chicago, as associate pastor in 1965, and was transferred to Augustinian Academy, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1968.

In 1969 he returned to Chicago, as a member of St. Rita Monastery and professor at Catholic Theological Union. When St. John Stone Friary was founded as the Province’s center for its theology students, Father Geaney was named its first prior. Faced with increasing health problems, Father Geaney was assigned in 1979 to St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Chicago. During this time he ministered at St. Victor Catholic Parish, Calumet City, Illinois. Father Geaney died November 23, 1992 from a disease of the circulatory system at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke Medical Center, Chicago. He was 78.

Father Geaney was vitally interested in the lay movement in the Catholic Church. His work with the laity, particularly in Chicago, will be long remembered. He untiringly promoted Christian social justice as found in the Gospel and the teachings of the Church. He published ten books and approximately 200 articles. His nationally syndicated columns appeared in many Catholic newspapers. He was a popular speaker, consultant and expert on American parochial life. He was a member of the Association of Chicago Priests from its inception. He was editor of Upturn, the Association’s publication, until his death.

He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.