Home Parish Priest & Pastors Our Church


Rev. James Dunphy 1830-1832

Rev. Denis Geary      1831-1845

Rev. James Kennedy 1845-1847

Rev. William MacLeod  1846-1848

Rev. Patrick Phelan   1847-1851

Rev. James Dunphy   1851-1857

Rev. Denis Geary  1857-1862

Rev. Alexander MacIsaac 1862-1864

Rev. John Woods        1863-1885

Rev. Charles Underwood 1885-1923

Rev. George Courtney 1923-1939

Rev. John Burns          1939-1945

Rev. William Smith   1946-1954

Rev. Gerald Murphy      1954-1972

Rev. John R. Campbell 1972-1982

Rev. Louis Cassie        1982-1987

Rev. Thomas White 1987-1999

Rev. John L. Hayes    1999-2003

Rev. Owen Connolly     2004-2007

Rev. Jim Richards       2007-

Pastors' Photos
These photos were scanned and retouched from a set of framed photos hanging in the Parish Office. Any Pastor with a photo and or commentary is highlighted in blue in the list above. A Pastor's name in black indicates we have not yet found a photo. Early viewers of this material are invited to examine these photos and recommend where we might find missing photos. If there is no original photograph, a painting or sketch or a nespapaper screen will do. Perhaps over time older parishioners will recall photos in their family collections.

[NO PHOTO] Rev. Denis Geary

Served Saint Peter's from 1831-1845 and 1857-1862

Fr. Geary erected a Church Hall in 1841 at 40 Ochterloney Street. The hall was used as a regular school on weekdays and as a Sunday School. This was the first Catholic parish school in Nova Scotia, and the beginning of Saint Peter's Parish's long association with parochial education.

Fr. Geary Photo??

This photo from the Parish Office.

Rev John Woods (standing) and Rev Alexander McIssac (seated).

Below are small enlargements of each.

Fr.McIssac photo  
Rev. Alexander McIssac

Served Saint Peter's from 1862-1864

Fr. Woods photo  
Rev John Woods

Served Saint Peter's from 1863-1885

Msgr. Underwood Photo  
Rev. Charles Underwood

Served Saint Peter's from 1885-1923

The most important accomplishment of the Monsignor's long career was to bring back the Sisters of Charity to teach in Saint Peter's Parish school. The Sisters had been removed from Saint Peter's and sent to a mission in Dutch Village by Archbishop Connolly in 1861.

In 1916 the Monsignor acquired the Dunston property for $7,300 and turned it into a Convent-School that opened on November 2, 1920.

Following is courteous of Douglas Carmichael who is the great-grandson of Richard Underwood, brother of Monsignor Underwood.

DOB: 12 Dec 1848 in Halifax.
Parents: Charles & Elizabeth Underwood
Ordained at Sacred Heart Convent in Halifax by Archbishop Connolly in 1872.
1872-73 Curate at Saint Mary's Cathedral.
1873-85 Parish Priest at Sheet Harbour.
1885-1923 Pastor at Saint Peter's.
Deceased/buried at Saint Peter's 9 July 1927.

From at least 1881 his mother lived with him in the rectories until she died 11 March 1897. His sister Emma was from at least 1881 his housekeeper; she died in 1946 and Halifax Municipality has a record of an unnamed person (1849 -1946 age 97 yrs) buried in the same plot as Msgr U (I suspect it is her!). His mother is buried in Holy Cross.

Fr. Courtney Photo  
Rev. George Courtney

Served Saint Peter's from 1923-1939

Born March 29, 1883
Ordained June 29, 1909
Died February 21, 1939

Fr Courtney began the campaign to build a modern elementary school for the parish. The school was built, and remains the Saint Peter's Junior High School building. It is currently used as the Parish Center.

Fr. Burns Photo  
Rev. John Burns

Served Saint Peter's from 1939-1945

Fr. Burns was the founder of the high school. He purchased the Scarfe Estate in June of 1945 for approximately $13,500 and turned it into a convent. The old convent on the site of the present day high school building became Saint Peter's first high school.

Fr. Smith Photo  
Rev. William Smith

Served Saint Peter's from 1946-1954

Msgr Smith was responsible for the development of the new high school idea. He began the first campaign to raise funds to build the new school.

Msgr Murphy photo  
Rev. Gerald Murphy

Served Saint Peter's from 1954-1972

Monsignor Gerald B. Murphy, a Halifax native, was educated locally and graduated from Saint Mary's College and Holy Heart Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 26, 1935. He had two brothers who were also priests of the Archdiocese (Rev. Gregory Murphy, died September 5, 1948, and Monsignor Richard Murphy died December 2, 1997). After leaving this Parish he transfered to Saint Peter's Parish, Ketch Harbour, where he died on January 19, 1982.

Msgr. Murphy built the new high school. When in 1965 it became clear that for a number of reasons the Church was no longer able to carry on Catholic education the way it is desired, he was the chief negotiator for the Episcopal Corporation. Through his efforts and efforts of others, the parochial schools were sold to the city.

Msgr. Murphy also was responsible for building the new church, opened in 1969.

Fr. Campbell photo

Rev. John R. Campbell

Served Saint Peter's from 1972-1982

Born in Eagle Grove, Iowa, Msgr. Campbell came to Nova Scotia as an infant. He graduated with a BA from Saint Mary's College in Halifax, and was ordained a priest on May 19, 1946 after completing studies at Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax.

After leaving Saint Peter's Msgr. Campbell was Parish Priest at Saint Agnes in Halifax. He served as Diocesan Administrator from Jan 1990 to Sept 1991, on the retirement of Archbishop James. M. Hayes. Following two years at Saint Bridget's in Shubenacadie (where he built the new church), he retired and is now resident at Saint Peter's in Dartmouth. Msgr. Campbell remains active in the Pastoral Ministry.

Fr. Caissie photo

Rev. Louis P. Caissie

Served Saint Peter's from 1982-1987

Rev. Louis Philippe Caissie was born in Grande Degree NB and came to Halifax as a teenager where he attended Saint Patricks High School, Saint Mary's University and Holy Heart Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 1962. As well as serving as Parish Priest here at Saint Peter's, Fr. Caisse also served as Curato from 1962-1966. Fr. Caissie is now co-ordinator of Pastoral Care at the Q.E. II Health Sciences Centre, in Halifax, and Chaplain to the Commenaute Francophone d'Halifax.

Fr. White photo

Rev. Thomas White

Served Saint Peter's from 1987-1999

Born in 1946 in Bedford, Nova Scotia, Father White received his early education in Saint Ignatius school at the Hands of the Sisters of Charity. He attended High School in the United States before returning to complete Grade 11 at Saint Peter's Regional High School in Dartmouth.

He received his BA from Saint Mary's University in Halifax before entering Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax, where he completed his B.Th. After receiving a Master's in Theology from Saint Paul's University in Ottawa he was ordained to the priesthood on June 6th, 1970 by Archbishop James M Hayes.

He served as curate at Saint Mary's Basilica and as Chancellor of the Archdiocese before becoming parish priest at Saint Anselm's in West Chezzetcook. Following that assignment he was the founding pastor of Saint Vincent's Parish in Forest Hills before coming to Saint Peter's where he served as parish priest. During these years he worked extensively with the diocesan refugee resettlement program.

Father White has been parish priest at Saint Theresa's Parish in Halifax since the summer of 2002. Father White is also an adoptive parent who enjoys time with his children and grandchildren.

Fr. Hayes photo

Rev. John L. Hayes

Served Saint Peter's from 1999-2003

Rev. John Leonard Hayes, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He received his early education at Saint Thomas Aquinas School and Saint Mary's University High School in Halifax. He completed undergraduate at Saint Mary's University and Theology at Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax and did postgraduate work at Marquette University, Wisconsin and in Berkley, California. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1959 by Most Reverend J. Gerald Berry. Until 1970, he served as assistant at a number of Halifax City parishes and in 1965 was Chaplain at the Halifax Infirmary. From 1970 he served as pastor at a number of parishes in the Archdiocese. In August 1999 he came to Saint Peter's Parish as Pastor and Administrator of Immaculate Conception, Dartmouth. In 2001 he accepted a concurrent appointment as canonical pastor of Saint Peter's in Sheet Harbour, Saint Michael's in Quoddy and Saint Martin's in Tangier.

Father Hayes served the Archdiocese on numerous Committees. From July 2002 until August 31, 2003 he had been Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Halifax. In addition, he was Vice-Chancellor of Saint Mary's University.

He died at age 68 on September 23, 2003.


Rev. Owen Connolly

Served Saint Peter's from 2004-2007

Rev. Owen Connolly



  Rev. Jim Richards

 Served Saint Peter's from 2007 - to Present






Page Last Updated: 10/12/2012 16:16 by R.J. Vermeulen