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Teacher, spiritual director to many


Br Desmond Anthony O’Grady cfc - Born: September 27 1934 | Died: April 15 2022

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Brother Des O’Grady passed away peacefully at Fullarton Southern Cross Care residential care home in Fullarton, Adelaide on April 15.

Des was born in Prospect, Adelaide on September 27 1934, son of Francis and Dorothy (Walsh). Des’ brother, Bernard OP, Bishop Emeritus of Solomon Islands and another brother, Peter, survive him. His parents and sisters, Maureen RSM and Helen, and brother Tom predeceased him. Des is fondly remembered within his extended family of many cousins, nephews and nieces and many friends.

After attending his local Catholic parish school, Holy Rosary in Prospect, Des moved to Christian Brothers College, Wakefield Street, before travelling to the Juniorate in Sydney in 1947. Des completed his novitiate at Minto NSW in 1952 and professed his Perpetual Vows as a Christian Brother in December 1959.

Des taught primary and secondary classes in Victoria and Western Australia and, after study in the 1960s at Jesus Magister, a special program for Brothers at the Lateran University in Rome, provided leadership in formation and in the field of catechetics in Australia. He moved into adult education in Adelaide and was director of the Archdiocesan Theology Institute.

In the early 1980s Des studied in pastoral ministry, specialising in spiritual direction at Loyola University in Chicago and then for many years worked as a highly respected spiritual director and presenter of retreats, especially in Adelaide and Perth.

Des was elected to the Christian Brothers Holy Spirit Provincial Council for two terms and after that supported a new foundation in Huntfield Heights in South Australia.

He retired to Southern Cross Care at Fullarton and contributed to the life and the spiritual needs of fellow residents through his preparations for their weekly Mass, as residents’ representative and was known for remembering each resident’s birthday. He also maintained contact with Pace et Bene Peace and Justice activities.

He was an avid reader in retirement, being a regular borrower from the Catholic Resource Centre for current theological publications and reading his weekly subscriptions to The Saturday Paper and The Quadrant.

Des’s life was celebrated on Friday April 22 in Holy Rosary Church, Prospect, with his requiem Mass celebrated by his brother Bishop Bernard O’Grady OP.

May Des now rest in peace with his God whom he loved and served so faithfully and to whom he introduced so many.


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