Father Gerard Cleary, 80, died on Monday, March 9, in Gulfport. His funeral and burial were Friday, March 13, at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Biloxi.
Father Cleary was born on July 20, 1934, in Ballygar, County Galway, Ireland. He graduated from St. Patrick College in Carlow and was ordained for the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson on June 10, 1961.
His first assignment was as associate pastor of Bay St. Louis Our Lady of the Gulf. In addition to many assignments in what is now the Diocese of Biloxi, Father Cleary also served as associate pastor of Meridian St. Patrick Parish and Natchez St. Mary Parish.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Father Cleary was named senior priest at Gulfport St. John the Evangelist Parish. He retired from active ministry in 2010. At the time of his death, Father Cleary was living at Dunbar Village in Bay St. Louis.
Father Cleary was preceded in death by his parents, Gerard Michael and Rita McLoughlin Cleary and a sister, Eithne Tully. He is survived by a sister, Maureen, and two brothers, Seamus and Sean, all of Ireland.