Francis Dominic Nealy, O.P.

Francis Dominic Nealy, O.P.


Birth: November 16, 1911

Profession: August 16, 1933

Ordination: May 17, 1939

Died: November 12, 1999

William Francis Nealy was born in Chatham, New Brunswick, Canada, to Harry John and Mary of Loretto (MacLean) Nealy. He attended St. Joseph Grammar School in that city (1916-20) and later at College Street School in Halifax, Nova Scotia (1920-24). He received his high school education at St. Mary’s Collegiate in Halifax (1924-28). He attended St. Mary’s University (1928-32) in Halifax, graduating with a B.A. degree.

He entered the novitiate at St. Rose Priory, Springfield, KY August 15, 1932, receiving the religious name Dominic. A year later he made his simple profession. From 1933-36 he studied philosophy at the Dominican House of Studies in River Forest, IL and from 1936-39 theology at St. Joseph Priory in Somerset, OH (1936-39) where he was ordained by the Most Rev. James A. Hartley, Bishop of Columbus, OH. After ordination (1939-40) he was assigned to the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC for further theological studies, receiving the S.T.Lr. degree.

Fr. Nealy’s first assignment was at Aquinas College High School (1940-42).

In 1943 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In that year he entered the U.S. Army Reserve as Chaplain serving in Europe. After the War he continued to serve his country as a reservist until his retirement in 1971 with the rank of Colonel.

Returning to the United States, Fr. Dominic was assigned to Providence College (1946-47) as Rector of Aquinas Residence Hall.

From 1947-65 he taught at Notre Dame University in Indiana. While teaching there he completed an M.A. in Education, and a Ph.D. in Education from Aquinas Institute, Chicago.

In 1965 he became Director of the Newman Center at the University of Miami.

In 1966 he returned to Providence College and taught in the Education Department until 1998. He was Chaplain of the Providence Fire Department (1972-84).

In 1998, for health reasons, he was assigned to the Province’s Center for Assisted Living at St. Dominic in Washington, DC.

The Mass of Christian Burial for “Hoot”, as he was affectionately called, was celebrated at St. Thomas Aquinas Priory, Providence College. He was laid to rest in the Friars’ Cemetery on campus.

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