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  • May the road rise to meet Fr. Creedon

    We lost a good friend and beloved priest this week with the death of Fr. Gerry Creedon, pastor of Holy Family Church in Dale City. He died Nov. 16 from complications following heart surgery. He was 73.

    Originally from County Cork, Ireland, the fourth of 14 children, he was ordained a priest for the Richmond Diocese in 1968. He served in parishes in Alexandria, McLean and Arlington before being assigned to start the diocesan mission in Bánica, Dominican Republic, in 1991.

    Living among the Dominicans on the remote frontier on the Haitian border, the dynamic priest re-established a relationship between the church and the community. His impact on the small Caribbean nation will likely never be fully realized. As much as the Dominicans loved their Irish priest, he found a home and sustenance there bringing the sacraments to the people in rugged far-off corners, and working to mobilize the community for much-needed advancements.

    Years ago, Catholic Herald Editor Mike Flach and I visited Father Gerry in the mission. We saw firsthand the great work he was doing and realized why he wanted to be among the people there. I recall one memorable ride with Father behind the wheel of the parish truck on a narrow dusty road. A car coming toward us was drifting into our lane when Father Gerry exclaimed, in a perfect Spanish accent, “Aye Señor!” Then in a flawless Irish brogue, “Stay on your side of the bloody road.”

    Back in the states in 2005, he resumed his multi-faceted work for social justice, fighting for the marginalized in the Arlington Diocese through Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, the Campaign for Human Development, Catholics for Housing and Gabriel Homes. On board after board, he worked to find common ground on causes he held dear, including interfaith issues and championing the under-served.

    Everywhere he served, he left a group of fans, but more importantly a group of Catholics who found reinforcement in their faith because of him.

    I can now picture Father Gerry, armed with his mandolin, with longtime St. Charles School Principal, Benedictine Sister Benedict Kesock, at a polka party in heaven encouraging others to join them on the dance floor for a quick turn.

    Rest in Peace Father Gerry, and may the road rise to meet you.

    See our coverage of his funeral Mass here.

    © Arlington Catholic Herald 2017

    @Ann M. Augherton