The Reverend John P. O’Leary, 95, passed away at Good Samaritan Society – St. Vincent’s in Bismarck on January 31, 2023.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM, Monday, February 6, 2023, at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Bismarck, with the Most Reverend David D. Kagan, Bishop of Bismarck, as celebrant. The priests of the Diocese of Bismarck will concelebrate.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7:00 PM with a rosary and prayer vigil starting at 7:00 PM Sunday, February 5, at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. Visitation will continue one hour prior to Mass on Monday. Burial will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bismarck.
Father O’Leary was born on January 5, 1928, in Minot, ND, to John and Myrtle (Schofield) O’Leary. He was raised in Minot where he attended St. Leo’s School. He graduated high school from Mt. Carmel High School in Los Angeles and attended Los Angeles College for two years. He received his seminary education at St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, MN and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bismarck by Bishop Lambert Hoch, Bishop of Bismarck, on June 7, 1954, at the Church of St. Mary, Richardton.
Father O’Leary’s first assignment in the Diocese of Bismarck was Assistant at the Church of St. Mary, New England. For the next five years he served as Pastor of the Churches of Sts. Peter & Paul, Amidon, and Our Lady of Lourdes, Gaylord. In August, 1962 he became Pastor of the Churches of St. Ann, Berthold, and St. Vincent de Paul, Des Lacs. He was a teacher at Bishop Ryan School for some time. From 1970-1979 he served as Assistant at the Church of St. Patrick, Dickinson. His next assignment was Assistant at the Church of St. Joseph, Dickinson, until 1988. During his time in Dickinson, he served as Chaplain at Trinity High School. He served as Parochial Vicar at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Burlington, until it closed July 1, 1994. In 1991 he became Parochial Vicar at the Churches of St. Mary, Foxholm, St. Ann, Berthold, and St. Vincent de Paul, Des Lacs, and served there until 1994. Father O’Leary’s next assignment was Parochial Administrator of the Church of St. Martin, Center, for one year. He was then assigned as Parochial Vicar of the Catholic Indian Mission. These parishes included St. Peter, Fort Yates, St. Elizabeth, Cannon Ball; St. James, Porcupine; St. Philomena, Selfridge; and Sacred Heart, Solen, where he served until July, 1996. Father O’Leary’s last assignment was Pastor of the Church of St. Anthony, New Town, until July 1, 1998, when he retired. He resided at the Emmaus Place for several years before moving to St. Vincent’s. In his retirement, Fr. O’Leary continued to substitute in parishes throughout the diocese and he also provided Sunday Mass at the Church of St. Vincent, Crown Butte from 1999 – 2007.
Father O’Leary is survived by numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents.