Honoring Our Basilian Fathers at St. Mary's College

The purpose of this webpage is to recognize and honor the Basilian Fathers who played a significant role in shaping St. Mary's College and its traditions

MULCAHY, Matthew Thomas BIO
Information from the DICTIONARY OF BASILIAN BIOGRAPHY Lives of Members of the Congregation of Priests of Saint Basil from Its Origins in 1822 to 2002 SECOND EDITION Revised and augmented by P. Wallace Plattf

MULCAHY, Matthew Thomas, priest, grandnephew of Father Michael Joseph *Mulcahy and of Father John Read *Teefy, was born on 7 January 1911 in Orillia, Ontario (archdiocese of Toronto), the son of Matthew Teefy Mulcahy and Gertrude Rolland. He died in Toronto on 18 February 2000 and is buried in the Basilian plot of Holy Cross Cemetery, Thornhill, Ontario. 

After graduation from Orillia Collegiate Institute in 1929 ‘Matt’ Mulcahy attended St Michael’s College, Toronto (B.A., University of Toronto, 1932), enrolled in the Ontario College of Education, and began teaching high school in Ontario, first at Penetanguishene (three years) and then at South Porcupine (four years). He obtained a specialist’s certification in physical education in 1937 and an Ontario High School principal’s certification in 1942. By special permission, he delayed his entrance to St Basil’s Novitiate, Toronto, until 29 December 1941 (the usual date was 5 August) in order first to earn enough money to pay his income tax. Professed on 8 January 1943, he spent the next six months teaching at St Michael’s College School. 

He studied theology at St Basil’s Seminary, Toronto, 1943–7, and was ordained to the priesthood on 15 August 1946 in St Basil’s Church by Cardinal James Charles McGuigan. In 1947 Father Mulcahy was appointed once again to St Michael’s College School, where he taught and was Basilian second councilor. In 1951 he was sent to Sudbury, Ontario, to found St Charles College, where he served as principal and religious superior. 

During his last year there, 1955–6, he supervised the founding and building of St Mary’s
College in Sault Ste Marie. As its first principal and superior, he set out to win for St Mary’s a reputation for academic excellence and school spirit. 

In 1961 he returned to St Charles to teach, but in 1962 was appointed to St Paul’s High School, Saskatoon, where he taught for one year while living at St Thomas More College. After spending the years 1963–6 as an exchange professor at St Lawrence College, Quebec City, he returned to St Michael’s College School, where he remained actively involved for the next thirty-three years. With all his gifts for administration and human relations, Matt Mulcahy was essentially a teacher, whether of English literature or mathematics, archery or skiing. His greatest joy was to see his students surpass him and achieve excellence. He loved the out-of-doors and participative sports of all kinds. He supervised Strawberry Island several summers, making it more attractive as a gathering place for all Dictionary of Basilian Biography 463 Basilians. 

His sisters in Orillia helped acquire property on the mainland canal, subsequently named ‘Mulcahy Landing,’ from where the Basilian boats serviced the Island. ‘Matt’ was ready to learn from others, and office, prestige, or compliments were matters of indifference to him. 

During the early years of St Mary’s College, as he was scrubbing floors, a visitor approached and asked to see the principal. ‘I’m the principal,’ he said. ‘Oh,’ said the visitor, ‘I thought you were the janitor.’ ‘That, too,’ said Matt. Such was this priest, teacher, and admirable human being who enriched Basilian education for half a century. 

He was deeply touched by the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred on him by the University of St Michael’s College in 1994. He understood and accepted the honour as a recognition not only of his service but also of the Basilian contribution to Catholic secondary education. 

In 1999, at the age of eighty-eight, Father Mulcahy fell with a collapsing scaffold while putting up a net in the school gymnasium. Treatment for a broken hip at a Toronto hospital and a period of recuperation at his sisters’ home at Orilla, Ontario, allowed him to return to St Michael’s before the end of the year. Increasing frailty, however, required his moving to Anglin House, the Basilian infirmary, early in 2000. His good spirits never failed, nor did his interest in
the community and sense of humor. He died suddenly one morning after returning to his room from breakfast.

sources: GABF; Annals 1 (1946) 121, 8 (1994) 23–6, 8 (1997) 5–6, 9 (2001) 87–9; Newsletter (20 March 2000); Michael
Higgins, ‘Lives Lived,’ Globe and Mail (5 September 2000); E.J. Lajeunesse, Strawberry Island in Lake Simcoe (Toronto,
1962, 1974, 1983, 1984) 76–7.

 

Father Pat Lalonde Biography LALONDE, Patrick Alfred, priest, brother of Father Gerald Lalonde CSB, was born on 15 November 1927 at Capreol, Ontario (diocese of Sault Ste Marie), the son of Alfred Lalonde and Mary Agnes Helferty. He died in Toronto on 9 October 1987 and is buried in the Basilian plot of Holy Cross Cemetery, Thornhill, Ontario.

 

After primary school and two years of secondary school at Capreol, ‘Pat’ enrolled in 1944 at Assumption College School, Windsor, and the following year transferred to St Michael’s College, Toronto, where he completed high school. In 1946 he entered St Basil’s Novitiate, Toronto, making first profession on 15 August 1947. He was appointed to Assumption College, Windsor, for undergraduate studies in science (B.A., University of Western Ontario, 1950). He taught science and health for one year at Aquinas Institute, Rochester. 

 

In 1951 he began theological studies at St Basil’s Seminary, Toronto, moving to St Michael’s College one year later, and attending the Ontario College of Education, where he earned Type B teaching certification and Type A certification in physical education, 1953. He returned to St Basil’s Seminary in 1953 and was ordained to the priesthood on 29 June 1955 in St Basil’s Church, Toronto, by Bishop Francis Allen. 

 

Father Lalonde was appointed to join Father Matthew *Mulcahy at St Mary’s College, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, forming the pioneer Basilian staff at that school. He brought to St Mary’s not only extraordinary gifts as teacher and coach but also a youthful enthusiasm and love of the community. He remained at the school for fifteen years, serving as local councilor for the Basilian community, 1960–6, and as superior, 1966–71. In 1971 he was appointed to St Charles College, Sudbury, Ontario, where he remained for one year. 

 

In 1972 he was named principal Dictionary of Basilian Biography 339 pal of Assumption College School, a position he held until 1978, serving as local councilor for the Basilian community the whole time. 

 

In 1978 Father Lalonde returned to St Mary’s in the Sault as principal for two years and was then appointed to Michael Power High School, Etobicoke, Ontario, as teacher and chaplain. In 1985 he was named superior of the local community there. At this time it was discovered that he suffered from leukemia. Although he had periods of remission, it weakened him to the point that he requested to be relieved of the office of superior. He was appointed to St Basil’s College in 1986, where he assisted in the formation of young Basilians while remaining on the guidance and chaplaincy staff of Michael Power. Sickness could not suppress his pleasant character or his universal kindness. In co-operation with Mrs Rose Marie McIsaac and others, Pat Lalonde fostered the lay associate movement in the Basilian community. His life was marked by a spirit of adventure. He often organized Father Pat Lalonde Biography outings and trips among the confreres, one of which was intended for Egan Lake on the weekend which followed his death. At St Basil’s College he was an example of courage and patience. In a homily there he said, ‘We can expect that the Lord will ask us for difficult things in our lives and we don’t like hard things; but ... it is simply a demonstration of his confidence in us.’ In an address to a Cursillo group he once said: ‘Devoted parents, good friends: good books, great music, beautiful scenery, indeed anything at all may be used by God to lead us toward life. Even sickness, failure, pain, sorrow may be graces by which God directs those whom he loves towards eternal happiness.’

 

 sources: GABF; Annals 2 (1955) 199, 6 (1988) 706–8; Newsletter (26 October 1987); Gerald Lalonde CSB.

MEGAN, James ARNOLD Biography Information from the DICTIONARY OF BASILIAN BIOGRAPHY Lives of Members of the Congregation of Priests of Saint Basil from Its Origins in 1822 to 2002 MEGAN, 

James ARNOLD, priest, MEGAN, James ARNOLD was born on 27 August 1915 in Montreal, one of three children of Francis Megan and Regina Quinn. He died in Toronto on 13 September 1990 and is buried in the Basilian plot of Holy Cross Cemetery, Thornhill, Ontario. ‘Arnie,’ or ‘Meeg,’ attended St Dominic’s parochial school and D’Arcy McGee High School, Montreal, and then took a two-year course in analytical and quantitative chemistry at Sir George Williams College, Montreal. 

He developed an early interest in farming, since his parents were raised on farms and he spent summers on the farm of an uncle. In 1937 he went to the Marylake Farm School, operated by St Michael’s College, Toronto, under the direction of Father Michael *Oliver, where he remained for one year. In 1938 he entered St Basil’s Novitiate, Toronto, and was professed on 15 August 1939. He was then appointed to Assumption College, Windsor, where he completed his university studies, majoring in mathematics and science (B.A., University of Western Ontario, 1943). 

He taught for one year at Aquinas Institute, 432 Dictionary of Basilian Biography Rochester, and for one year at St Michael’s College School, Toronto. In the summers he attended the Ontario College of Education, earning a permanent Type B teaching certification, 1945. He studied theology at St Basil’s Seminary, Toronto, 1945–9, and was ordained to the priesthood on 29 June 1948 in St Basil’s Church, Toronto, by Cardinal James Charles McGuigan. 

In 1949 Father Megan began four decades of teaching in Basilian high schools: St Michael’s College School, 1949–54 and 1955–71, Aquinas Institute, Rochester, 1954–5, and St Joseph’s High School, Ottawa, as both teacher and community treasurer, 1971–3. 

In 1973 he was transferred to St Mary’s College, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, where he remained until failing health obliged his move in 1990 to the Basilian Fathers Residence (Infirmary) in Toronto. Meeg was a man of inexhaustible energy and thoroughness. He instilled inquisitiveness in his students, for he himself was unceasingly questioning, seeking, experimenting, and venturing. He claimed to have worked out the formula for better colour photography before Kodak came to the same conclusion, though this would be hard to substantiate. He paddled a canoe from Lake Superior to Strawberry Island in Lake Simcoe, though he did not know how to swim. He explored woods and rivers, abandoned mine shafts, animal physiology, human conception rhythms, and map-drawing for scientific experiments as they related to biology. On retirement in 1986 he was presented with a computer, and in short order was writing programs and teaching others. 

At the request of the general council he made a valuable study of Basilian superannuation and pensions in Ontario, and helped draw up a detailed and just account of Basilian ownership and services for the sale of St Mary’s College. 

When diagnosed with cancer in 1987, he continued to inquire and explore in the measure his failing health permitted; but in 1990 he ‘surrendered’ to the cancer and retired to Toronto, where he told his confreres that, intrigued to know what was on the other side, he was ready to die. On his seventy-fifth birthday, just seventeen days before his death, he wrapped his computer in a large bow and presented it to the confreres at the residence. 

sources: GABF; Annals 1 (1948) 219, 7 (1991) 144–6; Newsletter (2 October 1990)

DICTIONARY OF BASILIAN BIOGRAPHY
Lives of Members of the Congregation of Priests of Saint Basil from Its Origins in 1822 to 2002

KILLAIRE, Frederick Joseph, priest, was born on 16 May 1944 in Windsor, the son of Theodore Joseph Killaire and Shirley May Ryckman. He died in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, on 21 June 1976, and is buried in the Basilian plot of Heavenly Rest Cemetery, Windsor. 

‘Rick’ Killaire attended De La Salle elementary school and Assumption College School, Windsor, graduating in 1962. In August of that year he entered St Basil’s Novitiate, Pontiac, Michigan, and was first professed on 15 August 1963. As an undergraduate he lived for two years at Assumption University and two years at the Basilian House of Studies, Windsor (B.A., University of Windsor, 1967). 

He taught at Michael Power High School, Etobicoke, Ontario, 1967–8, and at Assumption College School, 1968–70. His theological studies were taken at St Basil’s College, Toronto (M.Div., University of St Michael’s College, 1973). He served as a deacon at St Basil’s Parish, Toronto, 1973–4, and was ordained to the priesthood in Ste Anne’s Church, Detroit, on 11 May 1974 by Bishop Walter Schoenherr. 

330 Dictionary of Basilian Biography Father Killaire’s first and only appointment was to St Mary’s College, Sault Ste Marie. The life of teaching to which he had looked forward was cut short by his death two years later from a weak and enlarged heart. Rick Killaire loved literature, music, and art.

His gift for conversation was enriched by extensive reading. An enthusiastic teacher, he was particularly well informed in the history of the Church. He shone in small groups, and is remembered for his joviality and good humour, which was sometimes attenuated by uneasiness about being overweight. Only in the last days of his life did he seem to find peace from an angst which he had suffered for years. 

sources: GABF; Annals 5 (1975) 68, 5 (1977) 252–3; Newsletter (25 June 1976).