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Obituary | Fr. Brian Garry, SJ

Fr. Garry
The funeral Mass for Jesuit Father Brian Garry was celebrated May 22 at St. Charles College Chapel in Grand Coteau, La.

Father Garry, 73, died May 16 in Grand Coteau, La. Remembered for his apostolic concern for people on the margins, he was a Jesuit for 44 years and a priest for 36 years.

Born in Jersey City, N.J., he joined the U.S. Navy and served for five years in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. He then went to work for the Penn Central Railroad, first as a machine operator, then as a railroad policeman. After six years with Penn Central, he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1974 at St. Charles College. He pronounced first vows in 1976.

Father Garry was assigned to Loyola University to study philosophy and finish his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He then studied theology from 1979-83 at the Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago, earning a master of divinity degree. He was ordained in 1982, in Ormond Beach, Fla., and pronounced final vows in 2014 in the chapel at Jesuit Hall in St. Louis.

He served as chaplain or counselor for Vietnam veterans at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, La. (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette); for men incarcerated in the Louisiana State Prison in Angola, including those on death row; for students at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., an historically black university; for juveniles in the Florida detention system; and for patients receiving substance abuse or mental health services at the Agency for Community Treatment in Tampa, Fla.

Father Garry spent four years in pastoral ministry at Jesuit Hall in St. Louis. He also served as assistant pastor at parishes in Florida and Louisiana.

Father Garry’s connection with people in pain sprang from his experience with persistent back pain after a motorcycle accident in the early 1980s.

Survivors include his brother, Marc Garry of Port Orange, Fla. Burial was in the Jesuit Cemetery at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau.

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