Gillissie: Father Michael Gillissie

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Michael Gillissie

Michael Thomas Gillissie

Mike Gillissie


Father Michael Gillissie

Father Mike Gillissie

Late vocation.  Former teacher.   02 May 1987, at age 45, was 0rdained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Ottawa .

Allegations of sexual abuse by Geoffrey Ryan dating to 1991


June 2017:  “The Archdiocese has no comment.”

08 February 2017:   Geoffrey Ryan Statutory Declaration


11 July 1987Archbishops appoint new priests

26 October 1985Archbishop announces appointments


Unless otherwise indicated, the following information is drawn from those copies of the Canadian Catholic Church Directory (CCCD) which I have on hand, the obituary (obit) and information attained personally by other means  (P)

21 March 2017:  Died.  Excerpt from obituary:

  • August 23, 1941 – March 21, 2017
    Fr. Michael left us peacefully after a long and courageous battle with emphysema. Fr. Michael was the priest at Parish of St. Philip Church – part of the Archdiocese of Ottawa – until his retirement in 2001…….A celebration of Fr. Michael in the rite of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, March 27, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Philip Church in Richmond, ON with reception to follow in the Rev. Michael Gillissie Parish Hall.

September 2016:  Parish hall at St. St. Philip Roman Catholic Church In Richmond renamed after Father Michael Gillissie (Parish hall named Father Michael Gillissie Parish Hall)

2016:  Address 516 – 30 Jack Crescent, Arnprior, Ontario  (Island View Suites) (CCCD)

March 2015:  Geoff interviewed by Ottawa Police (P)

2015:  Concelebrated Mass at St. Martin de Porres ( Be League, March 2015 )

2013?:  Plans to rename St. Philip Roman Catholic Church parish Hall in honor of Father Michael Gillissie in 2019 (St Philip Parish Anniversary Committee plans to rename hall)

2012:  Jubilarian  (Excerpt from Catholic Ottawa . Spring Summer 2012)

Ottawa native Fr. Michael Gillissie was born on August 23, 1941.  He studied at the Universttry of Ottawa (BA) and at St. Paul’s Univestirty (ThB).  He received teaching diplomas from the governments of Quebec and Ontario, a BEd in  Pedagogy from Laval University, and a certificate  in Moral and Religious Education from McGill University.  He also holds a coaching certificate in Canadian Amateur Football and a Canadian ski test international certificate – Level 1.  He was ordained a priest on May 2, 1987 at Notre Dame Cathedral by Archbishop Plourde.  He exercised parish ministry in several churches.  He served as religious instructor of the Commission scolaire regionale de l’Outaouais for 17 years.  He was also president of the English Catholic Teachers Association for two years.

Prior to ordination taught at D’Arcy McGee in Gatineau, Quebec

September 2012:  Congratulations from Quebec Association of Retired Teachers on 25 years ordination ( Two pages excerpted from Q.A.R.T.September 2012)

October 2004:  Father Gillissie phoned Geoff in Waterloo, repeating as he frequently done when Geoff was a child that Geoff ‘was his favourite’ and was ‘special.’   During the call Gillissie repeatedly asked Geoff if he, Geoff, was homosexual.  Geoff ended the call.

1996-2001:  Pastor, St. Philip Roman Catholic Church, Richmond

2016 — Parish hall at St. Philip’s Catholic Church named Rev. Michael Gillissie Parish Hall, in honour of Rev. Michael Gillissie, who was parish priest from 1992 to 2001 and whose leadership was instrumental in the building of the parish hall.

“History of Richmond at a glance”)

2001:  retired (obit)

1994, 1993:  127 Burke St., Richmond, ON PO Box 50, Richmond  = St. Philip Roman Catholic Church, Richmond  (and ????? Mission at St. Clare’s Roman Catholic???)  (CCCD)

1992, 1991:  Address 3891 Richmond Rd., Nepean, Ontario K1H 5C1   = St Martin de Porres Church  (Pastor, Msgr. Colin Campbell – )  (CCCD)

–  July 1991:   Rev. Michael Gillissie appointed diocesan spiritual director of the Catholic Women’s League (Scroll down to 29 June 1991 Ottawa Citizen article)

1989:  According to CWL newsletter, Father Gillissie was the St. Martin de Porris Parish Council’s first spiritual adviser from 1989  ( Be League, March 2015 )

July 1987:  appointed as Assistant at St. George’s Roman Catholic Church, Ottawa  (Archbishops appoint new priests)

Geoff’s family frequently had Father Donegan to the house for supper.  When Mike Gillisse arrived for his diaconate year, he was included in the invites. (P)

 02 May 1987:  ORDAINED  at Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa (He was 45, turning 46 when he was ordained)

October 1985:  Pastor year at St. George’s Roman Catholic Church (Father Gerald Donegan  as Pastor)  ( Archbishop announces appointments)

Geoff was an altar server at St. George’s Roman Catholic Church when Gillissie arrived for his diaconate year.  Both during his diaconate year and after ordination Gillissie used to take Geoff to play tennis in the tennis court on the church property.  (p)

Dates unknown:

President English Catholic Teachers Association for two years (Catholic Ottawa )

Prior to ordination taught at D’Arcy McGee in Gatineau, Quebec (Catholic Ottawa )

Canadian ski test international certificate Level 1 (Catholic Ottawa )

Coaching certificate in Canadian Amateur Football (Catholic Ottawa )

Certificate  in Moral and Religious Ed , McGill University (Catholic Ottawa )

B.Ed Pedagogy Laval, Quebec (Catholic Ottawa )

ThB Saint Paul’s U Ottawa (Catholic Ottawa )

BA Ottawa University (Catholic Ottawa )

–   attended St. Patrick’s College in Ottawa

–   Native son of St. George’s Parish in Ottawa, Ontario (as is Kingston’s Archbishop Brendan O’Brien)  Father Gillissie Native son of St Georges Parish)

Msgr. Gerald Donegan was the pastor having the longest association with St. George’s. He had been an assistant to Msgr. Bambrick from 1950 to 1961 and served as pastor from 1985 to 1995. During the earlier period, he forged a strong association with the youth of the parish. He was also the spiritual director of the Catholic Women’s League – a position he retained almost 25 years.

One of his first initiatives as pastor was the construction of a link between the church and rectory. A long time chaplain of the Ottawa police, Msgr. Donegan undertook the police prayer campaign where individual parishioners were matched with a police officer. He also instituted an annual Lenten project in aid of Mother Theresa’s worldwide charities. Over the years, this activity raised thousands of dollars. He retired as pastor in 1995. Msgr Donegan’s first assistant was Fr. Michael Gillissie, a native son of the parish who was ordained in 1987.

 23 August 1941:  DOB (obit)


Rev. Robert Poole appointed St. Philip’s pastor

Ottawa Community News

Thu., Jun 21, 2012

Rev. Robert Poole has been appointed pastor of St. Philip Parish in Richmond and St. Clare Mission at Dwyer Hill.

The appointment becomes effective as of Aug. 1, 2012. Rev. Poole has been looking after both St. Philip’s and St. Clare’s since the departure of former pastor Rev. Giles Joly several months ago.

In addition, Deacon Louis Seward, who has been serving at St. Philip’s and St. Clare’s, has been re-assigned to both churches, one of the various appointments which Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast announced recently pertaining to pastoral appointments which become effective on Aug. 1, 2012.

Two former pastors of St. Philip’s and St. Clare’s are both marking their 25th anniversary year as a priest.

Rev. Michael Gillissie, who was ordained a priest on May 2, 1987 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa, has been a parish priest at several churches in the Archdiocese including St. Philip and St. Clare.

Rev. Gillissie has served as diocesan spiritual director to the Catholic Women’s League, taught high school, coached football and served as religious instructor for the commission scolaire regionale de l’Outaouais for 17 years.

Rev. William Penney, who was born in Newfoundland, was ordained a priest on Aug. 3, 1987 at St-Aloysius Church in Gatineau by Most Rev. Brendan O’Brien, then Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa.

Over the years he has served as an administrator, assistant pastor and pastor at various parishes in the Archdiocese including St. Michael Parish in Corkery.

He was the founding pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Barrhaven.

Rev. Penney currently serves as chaplain at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital and as the Roman Catholic Chaplain to the Ottawa Police Service.


Personal sacrifices for Lent

The Ottawa Citizen

25 February 1998

Carly Grant, 23

Youth Minister, Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church in Kanata

“I’m giving up complaining and McDonald’s. My understand of Lent is that we give up indulgences, and I definitely eat a lot of McDonald’s.

“In the past, I’ve given up TV and junk food for all of Lent and tried to cut down afterward. Lent is also about doing things. I’m going to focus more on prayer, on taking more time every day to pray, and making a set time to pray. I think that will last.”

Rev. David Blakely

Pastor at Bethel Pentecostal Church in Ottawa

“We don’t officially promote it but people have private observances.

“Lent is a personal practice of sharpening your awareness of the Easter season. Some years I give something up, some years I don’t. I don’t make a big deal of it.

“Sometimes my own family is not aware that I’m doing it.

“If you go to its purpose, it’s something you can do all year ’round. The timing of it is not important, it’s the emphasis.

“Fasting or giving up an activity is a break in routine that causes you to know that you’re missing something.

“It is only profitable if it has a purpose. You give up other activities to have time to pray and think. It is a spiritual exercise to sharpen your spiritual awareness.

“Tradition is a very strong force and can lose meaning when we end up doing something and we’re not sure why.”

Rev. Michael Gillissie

Pastor, St. Philips Roman Catholic Church in Richmond

“We do something different every year.

“This year, we are asking parishioners to save up their pennies to send to the pro-life charity Pennies for Life. We also have a sackcloth over the main crucifix. We will take it off on Easter Vigil and put on white linen as an indication of the resurrection of the cross.

“I am personally giving up two big things but I don’t want to talk about it because Jesus said that if you tell everyone, then you are already getting credit on earth.

“When we were kids, it was about not eating candy all week. But today it’s about doing more. I’ve been suggesting to the children at the school next door to get involved and visit people at the retirement lodge, or do something extra for their grandparents.”

Father Joe Muldoon

St. John the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Nepean

“Our parish is having a hunger supper serving soup and a roll on Thursday and we will collect donations for Share Lent, a Canadian Catholic organization for development and peace. We expect to have 50 to 100 people at our parish hall. We also distribute sack cloth.

“Lent is a time of renewal. We are asking people to grow in patience with their family members and to grow in support of their fellow parishioners.

“I am asking people to give up or curtail certain activities such as watching television, eating their favourite foods or drinking coffee.

“Wednesday is a day of universal prayer and fasting.

“I fast and reduce the time I spend watching television. But I think the focus can also be on doing things, like visiting a parishioner who is sick or reading the scriptures.

“Somebody suggested I join TOPS, Taking Off Pounds Sensibly.”

Heather Reid

Consultant on Religious Education and member of Liturgical Life Committee for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa

“I usually try to do two things: I usually try to add more prayer. I make sure that I pray for the people who ask me to pray for them, not just say that I will. I try to add 10 minutes more of prayer a day in Lent.

“I haven’t decided what to give up. In past couple of years, I’ve given up alcohol. I never watch TV or go to movies anyway.

“If I thought about giving up sweets, but that would make me lose weight and I want to do that anyway, so that would be more selfish than giving to other people.

“I will try very hard to donate money at this time, particularly to Third World countries.”

Rev. Bruce Crockett

Christ Church Anglican in Bells Corners

“I usually give up things for Lent. I take the money equivalent and give it away. I usually give up sweets and alcohol.”

Bill Prentice

Director of programming at the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa

“I’ll be doing some study. I’ve got a couple of books that I’m going to be reading during Lent that will help me both in my work and in self-understanding. One is about evolving Christian tradition and the other one is about the traditional administration of spiritual direction.”

Rev. Rick Marples

St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Kanata

“I gave up ice cream every year for years and years.

“I usually take stuff on. I consciously take more prayer time on. More reading and reflection time.”

Dean Peter Coffin

Dean of the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa

“I’ve never been particularly good at [fasting] mainly because I don’t eat very much anyway. I skip meals. I wouldn’t know what the difference was.

“My main Lent discipline will be about being a little more disciplined about my prayer life.”


Catholic archbishop names layman executive secretary

Ottawa Citizen

29 June 1991

Ottawa Archbishop Marcel Gervais has hired a layman to take over as his executive secretary. Guy Levac will be the first layman to hold the post.

Msgr. Gilles Lavergne, who is retiring as the archbishop’s secretary, says there are a few reasons for the appointment of a layman.

”It reflects the reality of the Church: a collaboration of priests and laity. A layperson has been called to serve in this high-profile position. His closeness with the archbishop will bring across the image of the Church as the people of God, Catholic priests and laypeople,” Lavergne said.

”A second reason is because of the shortage of priests in the Ottawa diocese. This means priests are called to pastoral work, normally in the parish setup.”

Lavergne will become pastor of St. Thomas d’Aquin, the French-language parish. Lavergne will continue to assist the archbishop at the diocesan centre.

Oblate priest Jean-Guy LeMarier will work on the synodal process that Gervais announced in the spring.

Gervais also announced other clergy appointments. Some are effective in July, some in August and the rest in September.

Appointments taking effect July 3 are: Rev. Bosco Wong, pastor of the Assumption of the B.V.M., Vanier; Rev. Peter Cody, chaplaincy; Rev. Joseph DeLaney, assistant pastor at Divine Infant, Orleans; Rev. Basil Smith, assistant pastor at St. Patrick’s, Ottawa; Rev. Daniel Dubroy, assistant pastor at St. John the Apostle, Nepean; Rev. Michael Gillissie, diocesan spiritual director of the Catholic Women’s League.

Appointments effective Aug. 1: Rev. James Whalen, pastor of Our Lady of the Visitation, Gloucester, St. John, Osgoode and St. Bridget, Manotick; Rev. Rick Jaworski, associate pastor of Our Lady of the Visitation, Gloucester, St. John, Osgoode and St. Bridget, Manotick; Rev. Francis McEvoy, pastor of St. Margaret Mary, Ottawa; Rev. Gerry McCormick, pastor of St. Elizabeth, Ottawa; Rev. Jean-Guy LeMarier, O.M.I., diocesan centre for the synodal process, the diocesan commission of theology and research for the archbishop.

Appointments effective Sept. 3: Rev. Michael Schneid, administrator at Holy Rosary, Ottawa; Rev. John Vandenakker, pursuing post-graduate studies of theology in Rome; Guy Levac, executive secretary of the archbishop and director for social communications.


St. George’s Church, Ottawa (Wikipedia)

Msgr. Gerald Donegan – Curate (1950-61) and Pastor (1985-95) [emphasis added]

Msgr. Gerald Donegan was ordained a priest in 1950 and served as a curate at St. George’s until 1961. During this period, he forged a strong association with the youth of the parish. He was also the spiritual director of the Catholic Women’s League. In 1961, he was appointed pastor of Saint Elizabeth’s in Cantley. When he returned to the parish as pastor, many parishioners had fond memories of his time at St. George’s, almost 25 years earlier. Such was his popularity that his appointment also resulted in a surge of attendance from parishioners of other churches.

One of his first initiatives as pastor was the construction of a link between the church and rectory. A longtime chaplain of the Ottawa police, Msgr. Donegan undertook the police prayer campaign where individual parishioners were matched with a police officer. He also instituted an annual Lenten project in aid of Mother Theresa’s worldwide charities. This activity raised over 113 thousand dollars by 1993. As pastor, Msgr. Donegan resumed his position as director of the CWL, which he held previously from 1950 to 1961. During his time as pastor, a number of highly successful dances raised money for organizations such as the Heart Institute and the Ottawa Police. Father Michael Gillissie, a vocation from the parish, was ordained in 1987 and became an assistant to Msgr. Donegan.

In 2000, Msgr. Gerald Donegan returned to the parish for the 50th anniversary of his ordination. Msgr. Donegan died in 2007. He laid in state at St. Patrick’s Basilica downtown, his original home parish. His funeral mass was also held there. He is interred in a family plot at Notre Dame Cemetery with his parents Ann and Benedict Donegan.


Archbishop announces appointments

Ottawa Citizen

26 October 1985

Most Rev. J.A. Plourde, archbishop of Ottawa, has announced the following appointments, effective Dec. 1.

Msgr. Gerald Donegan, PH, pastor of St. George’s parish, Ottawa, succeeds Msgr. John A. Macdonald, PH, who this year celebrated his 50th anniversary of ordination and has decided to leave the parish ministry;

Rev. Robert Latour, pastor of the Parish of Our Lady of Fatima, Ottawa;

Rev. Kenneth Keeler, pastor of St. John the Apostle Parish, Nepean;

Rev. Peter Sanders, SCJ, administrator of Holy Rosary Parish;

Rev. John Wronski, SDS, administrator of Holy Family Christian Community, known as Hunt Club Community, Ottawa

Rev. Joseph Vayalil, assistant pastor of St. John the Apostle Parish, Nepean;

Rev. Robert Jenkins, assistant pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Ottawa;

Michael Gillissie, in pastor year at St. George’s Parish, Ottawa.






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