Remembering Father Laurier Harvey, SJ

IN MEMORIAM AND IN TRIBUTE: Father Laurier Crosbie Harvey, SJ

Father Laurier Crosbie Harvey, S.J. died peacefully on January 13, 2016 at Ajax-Pickering Hospital. He was in his 91st year of a very full life having been a Jesuit for two thirds of it (60 years).

Grand nephew of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, Father Laurier Crosbie Harvey made a profound impact on the people of many lands to whom he provided service in the name of Lord Jesus Christ.

Born in Montreal, after eight years of studies at Loyola High School and College, he entered at the age of 30 the Society of Jesus in Guelph, Ontario in 1955. He pronounced first vows on February 2, 1957 after studying for two years at the Jesuit Seminary in Toronto followed by a year at Mount St. Michael’s in Spokane, WA. In 1959, he was granted permission to join the Jesuit mission in Darjeeling, India.

After theology studies at St. Mary’s College in Kurseong, he was ordained at Gayaganga on March 24, 1963. His Tertianship year of Jesuit spirituality followed at Hazaribagh. During his time in India from 1959 until 1982, he served in Darjeeling, Calcutta, Bhimbar, Matigara, and Gayaganga, mainly pastoral ministry and teaching.

On his return to Canada, still desiring to engage in missionary work Father Harvey journeyed to Nepal where he served at St. Xavier’s School in Kathmandu from 1983 to 1989. He also founded Suryodaya English School, often referred to as SEMS, a Missionary school in Jhapa, Nepal known for high educational standards and superior extra-curriculars. A boarding school, the locals would come to call him ‘Father Boarding’.

Following another return to Canada, he was assigned in 1991 to take up the position of chaplain to the Missionaries of Charity in Tomsk, Siberia. This was an arduous posting to say the least, but Father Harvey reveled in the challenges it offered.

The House of Peace orphanage cared for children suffering from HIV-AIDS. Mother Teresa’s Sisters had set up a similar centre in the capital city of Yerevan, Armenia, and were seeking a chaplain, so he moved there in 1998 and served until ill health forced him to return to Canada to the Jesuit infirmary in late 2015. He made several visits to Pickering during his overseas postings, principally for medical reasons. Once he had recuperated he was always eager to get back to his mission.

He was known as an indomitable spirit with a strong physical constitution, and grew to relish the many challenges he faced. He was disappointed to leave work with the Missionaries of Charity and only returned finally just prior to embarking on last his journey: to heaven. A few days before his death, he joined the René Goupil Infirmary community for the weekly Saturday rosary in the chapel.

He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, and by this magazine, for he was surely a Global Calcuttan, the value of whose work was of inestimable quanta.

A wake is scheduled at St. Ignatius Chapel, Manresa Retreat House, 2320 Liverpool Road, Pickering, ON on Monday, January 18, 2016 from 7-9PM (with prayers at 8PM).

Celebration of the funeral liturgy will be held on Tuesday, January 20 at 10:30AM in the St. Ignatius Chapel, Manresa Retreat House, followed by a reception. Burial will take place that same day at 2:30PM in the Jesuit Cemetery, Guelph, Ontario.

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