Jesuit Father Laurier C. Harvey died peacefully on Jan. 13, 2016. He was in his 91st year of life and a Jesuit for 60 years. The son of St. George Harvey and Pauline Laurier, he was born in Montreal. His mother was the niece of Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier. After eight years at Loyola High School and College, at the age of 30, he entered the Society at Guelph in 1955. First vows were pronounced on Feb. 2, 1957, followed by one year of uniorate. Laurier had two years of philosophy, first in Toronto and then in Spokane, Washington. In 1959, he was granted permission to join the Jesuit mission in Darjeeling, India.
After theology studies at St. Mary’s College in Kurseong, he was ordained at Gayaganga on March 24, 1963. Tertianship followed at Hazaribagh. During his time in India from 1959 to 1982, he served in Darjeeling, Calcutta, Bhimbar, Matigara, and Gayaganga, mainly pastoral ministry and teaching. When he returned to Canada, he still desired missionary work, so he journeyed to Nepal where he served at St. Xavier’s School in Kathmandu from 1983 to 1989.
After another return to Canada, he was reassigned in 1991 to take up the position of chaplain to the Missionaries of Charity in Tomsk, Siberia. This was an arduous posting to say the least, but Laurier reveled in the challenges it offered. The House of Peace orphanage was caring for children suffering from HIV-AIDS. That same congregation had set up a similar centre in the capital city of Yerevan, Armenia, and were seeking a chaplain. Laurier moved there in 1998 and served there until ill health forced him to return to Canada to the Jesuit infirmary in late 2015. He made several visits to Pickering during his overseas postings, principally for medical reasons. Once he had recuperated he was always eager to get back to his mission.
An indomitable person with a strong physical constitution, nothing of missionary life ever fazed Fr. Harvey. Many a superior during Fr. Harvey’s Jesuit life learned to tread carefully when discussing his future mission postings. The harder the posting, the happier he was. He was very disappointed to leave the Missionaries of Charity and it became evident upon his most recent return that he was preparing for his journey to the Lord. A few days before his death, he joined the René Goupil community for the weekly Saturday rosary in the chapel. He will be missed by his family and friends.