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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.