J. Peter Carey
Fr. J. Peter Carey, SJ
Peter was widely known as a wise and very honest man. Jesuits and laity alike came to appreciate his frank but lovable way of expressing himself.
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J. Peter Carey

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. J. Peter Carey, SJ, who died on June 29, 2015, at West Park Nursing Home in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was 84 years old. May he rest in peace.

Peter was born on July 18, 1930 in Chicago. After graduating from Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wis. in 1948, he went on to Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he earned a B.A. in English. He entered the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus on August 8, 1953 at Milford, Ohio and followed the normal progression of formation. He studied philosophy at West Baden College in Indiana, did his regency at the University of Detroit High School, and returned to West Baden, where he was ordained to the priesthood on June 14, 1964. Peter professed final vows on January 6, 1987 at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. 


Following ordination in 1969, he went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he earned a Ph.D. Peter had a deep commitment to education; his first major assignment in 1969 was as assistant dean of students and assistant professor of education at Xavier University. From 1971 to 1979 he worked as director of campus ministry at the University of Albuquerque, while also serving as an education professor and academic dean. He later moved to Chicago to be the vice president and dean of faculty at St. Xavier College.


After tertianship in 1985, Peter was appointed president of Walsh Jesuit High School, where he served until 1992. He then served as director of the Jesuit Development Office in Cincinnati and pastoral coordinator at Milford Spiritual Center, where he worked for five years. From 1997 to 2004, he was assistant to the president at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, where he also served as the rector of the Indianapolis Jesuits.


From 2004 until his death he had the opportunity to engage even more fully in a ministry he loved and performed for many years: accompanying men and women dealing with addictions to alcohol and drugs. Peter was widely known as a wise and very honest man. Jesuits and laity alike came to appreciate his frank but lovable way of expressing himself. One knew his mind in both private and public forums. He loved peace and detested war and violence.  

Peter has left his body to science.

In Memoriam
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July 02, 201512:12 AM
Fr. Pete and I were very close friends going all the way back to my freshman year at XU in 1969. Over the years Pete was the one man and priest I always sought out to hear my confession and talk about life in general. He baptized our daughters Meghan and Molly and only last summer drove to Columbus to give the reception blessing at Meghan's wedding 33 years later. We all remember Pete's annual Christmas letter. As CONSERVATIVES, my wife Cindy and I especially enjoyed his soft spoken messages about the Bushes and big business in general!!! Of course, I had a job and senior position with a large New York based company. Oh, the discussions he and I had over the years. I called Fr Pete just last week to talk to him as he was (I thought) recovering at Westpark. We had a really good time reminiscing about our early years at Xavier and traveling to Cape Cod for two weeks during the summer of 1970. To all of Pete's family, please know all the O'Connells send our sincere condolences. I loved Pete and will miss him greatly. Fr Pete was a major positive influence in my life. Knowing Pete found true peace in his life, and knowing his relationship with God was so strong, I know he is in a very good place. I know he is up there looking out for us all. Lord knows at least I need all the help Pete can give me! My very best to all, Terry Ps, please let me know via email all the details of his memorial. Thank you! – Terry O'Connell

July 02, 20151:13 PM
I am so saddened to hear of Father Peter's passing. My husband and I were planning to visit him soon. He was such a great guide, companion, and friend to our son Carl who struggled with drug addiction. We lost our son last December to an overdose and asked Father Peter to be a co-celebrant at his Mass. What a wonderful man! Rest in peace and I am sure Carl welcomed you with open arms. – Anonymous

July 03, 20159:05 AM
I worked with Fr. Peter at Brebeuf Jesuit and was always inspired by his love of justice and willingness to speak his mind without fear. He was a great man whose life made a huge difference in this world. May he rest in peace. – Peggy Crawford

July 03, 20156:02 PM
Thank you Peter for your wise counsel, great friendship and spiritual guidance. You are missed. I always liked you better than Frank. – Gregory Gaynor

July 27, 20157:25 PM
I worked with Fr. Carey while he was at the University of Albuquerque. Admired by faculty members, staff and students alike, he was a much-needed leader at a time the institution searched for its place within the New Mexico education environment. So many students completed their degrees thanks to his strong desire to help people succeed, his empathy, thoughtfulness and guidance. He was a mentor to me and a dear friend to our entire family. I’m so grateful I got to know him. Pete, you will be missed! – Rick Legoza

August 20, 20158:32 AM
Pete helped set an ethical framework that generated a comfortable environment for people to grow professionally and achieve important outcomes. His insights and clarity of thought helped us all focus on what's important...not only what gets done...but good processes to follow on how things get done well. I will always cherish his wisdom and guidance. And always be greatful for his friendship. Here was a very special person. om the assumption there just may be an after-life, I raise my glass. " Until we meet again". Jim Coleman – Jim Coleman

November 19, 201811:32 AM
Pete popped in a 'lucid dream' I had last night! It was wonderfully strange...We were in my office in Husman Hall, XU having a beer - He was giving me the +'s/-'s for staying in Cincinnati and teaching...It may have been a recent conversation I had with a friend whose son, former student who is being ordained as Jesuit. I enjoyed the dream 'conversation' and wanted to tell J.Peter how positive his influence on my life has been... – Bill McDermott

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