Fr. Greg MacLeod

Born: Sun., Nov. 24, 1935
Died: Wed., May 3, 2017


2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Thu., May 11, 2017
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Thu., May 11, 2017
Location: Membertou Trade and Convention Center

Funeral Liturgy

2:00 PM Sun., May 14, 2017
Location: Canada Games Complex

Memorial Service

11:00 AM Mon., May 15, 2017
Location: Holy Family Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Fr. Gregory Jerome MacLeod
Sydney/Sydney Mines

    We regret to announce the passing of Father Gregory Jerome MacLeod, 81, on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017, in Sydney, NS. Born in Sydney Mines on November 24, 1935, he was the son of the late John T. and Rose (Turner) MacLeod.
   He received his early education from the able hands of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Sydney Mines.
   He was ordained to the priesthood on May 27th, 1961. He served in several parishes for a year, firstly with Father Michael Gillis in Stellarton, from whom he first learned the social teachings of the church as being put in practice at the parish level.
   He was appointed to teach at Xavier Junior College. From there he went to the University of Louvain in Belgium where he obtained a doctorate in Philosophy, continuing with post-doctoral studies at Oxford University in England.
   When he returned to teach at Xavier College in 1969, he quickly became involved in the economic problems of the area. He was the founder of New Dawn Enterprises in Sydney, New Deal Development in Sydney Mines, BCA with its various subsidiaries, and the Tompkins Institute.
   These institutions gave birth to a number of projects and companies too numerous to mention. From the time of his surgery for cancer to the time of his death three months later, he continued completing projects and initiated several new ones.
   He was intimately involved in the struggle to grow Xavier Junior College into the University College of Cape Breton, as well as the struggle to maintain the Coast Guard College in Cape Breton.
   His work spilled into other countries, most notably in the Yucatan region of Mexico, where a number of community projects credit him as their visionary founder.
   He was an avid promoter of Cape Breton music and culture, and the jovial host of his house ceilidhs, where hundreds of musicians joyfully played over a period of some 40 years. He was a friend of both Mi’kmaq and Acadian Cultures and played a major hand in the development of Mi’kmaq studies at the University College of Cape Breton.
   Father Greg was an internationally respected writer on the topic of community development. His works were translated into Spanish, Japanese and Korean. On the occasion of the launching of one of his books in South Korea, he was made an honourary citizen. He was the recipient of the Order of Canada, as well as of honourary degrees from Dalhousie University, The Atlantic School of Theology and Saint Francis Xavier University
   He is survived by sister Bev (Mitchelitis) (John Dan), Sydney Mines, brother Jack (Anita), Ingonish, and several nieces and nephews.
   Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers Melvin, Michael, Bob, Jim, Bill, and a sister Theresa.
   Visitation will be held at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on Thursday, May 11, 2017, from 2-4 p.m. & 7-9 p.m. The funeral liturgy will be held at Cape Breton University Canada Games Complex, on Sunday, May 14, at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow.

Memorial mass with commendation will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church in Sydney Mines on Monday, May 15 at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow in the parish hall. The remains will be received at 10 am in the church if you would like to pay your respects before mass.
   In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton.
   The family would like to thank all friends, medical persons and lay persons who provided care and compassion which brought Father Greg peace and comfort during his illness. Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of J. M. Jobes Funeral Home, 635 Main St., Sydney Mines. Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to his family at

A retired professor at CBU and dear friend of Father Greg’s, Dr. Harvey Johnston, has summed up the world view underpinning Greg’s approach in a yet to be published book as follows:

1 At times, our actions can leave the world in a better state than we found it.
2 When it is within our capacity to act in these ways, we have a responsibility to do so. This is a moral imperative.
3 The greater one’s capacity to bring about such positive change, the greater one’s responsibility to act.

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Joan Fraser-C.N.D. Associate, Truro,N.S.
   Posted Sat May 06, 2017
Bev., and family...So sorry to hear of your brother's death..He gave so very much to so many..He was a wonderful example of what "Walk the Walk", really means..Thoughts and prayers are with you, especially at this time..Joan Fraser, C.N.D. Associate, Truro.

Patricia (MacEachern) Estabrooks
   Posted Sat May 06, 2017
Thayne and Family:
Father Greg was an amazing person and had a remarkable life.
So very sorry for your loss.

Rev. Canon Rod & Wendy Gillis
   Posted Sun May 07, 2017
Greg had a great impact on the community; but he also had a great impact on the lives of so many individuals. I first met Greg as a student in his philosophy class at Xavier College in 1972. He helped me identify my vocation, became a mentor and a friend, and was always willing to share advice about community issues.

I had a chance to visit with Greg at his home December past while down for my mother's funeral. He treated us to some Cape Breton Scotch and conversation about current issues. I'm so pleased we had that opportunity. Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg's family, friends and colleagues at this time.

--(Rev. Canon) Rod and Wendy Gillis, Halifax NS.

Inazio Irizar - Mondragon Cooperative Corporation - Europe
   Posted Sun May 07, 2017
My most sincere condolences to Greg's family and friends in these difficult times for his loss.

I have shared his endearing friendship for about fifteen years, sometimes in Mondragon and sometimes in Sydney. Once in Korea. And I consider myself very honored by it.

We jointly wrote the book "32 business keys of Mondragon", and also co-directed an excellent doctoral thesis about social economy.

He has been always a dear friend for our family, my wife Pili and our daughter Leire and son Jon. And he knew well that I considered him my personal and professional mentor.

Good person, good Christian, and excellent professional.

Just in May 2016 I went to visit him a weekend in his vacations in Cullera, and I brought him good ham, cheese and wine, which we share in talking about cooperatives and local community development. Always in positive tone and a good mood.

Thanks Greg, for all your lessons. We will never forget you. Rest in peace. Agur!

Prof. Inazio Irizar
Mondragon Cooperative Corporation - Europe

Troy Paul
   Posted Mon May 08, 2017
My thoughts and prayers to the entire family. May perpetual light shine on him, all the faithfully departed through Jesus Christ our Lord! Greg was always a great help to me when I first started at CBU, the establishment of the Mikmaq Student association. He was always a great mentor and leader, will be greatly missed!

Alastair and Susan MacLeod
   Posted Mon May 08, 2017
Fr. Greg devoted his life to serve, mainly the people of Cape Breton. His contributions will be greatly missed. Our sincere sympathy to Jack, Anita, and all members of Fr. Greg's family.
Alastair and Susan MacLeod

David Walsh
   Posted Wed May 10, 2017
I will greatly miss Greg – for his Cape Breton wit, his innovative mind, and for the way his faith informed his work. Greg generously shared with individuals in Toronto his expertise and experience over many years. I learned about Mondragon and BCA Holdings as well as other innovative models that Greg has written about. These models were an inspiration 30 years ago for the founders of the Big Carrot as a worker co-op that now has annual sales of over $30 million and for Carrot Common as an enterprise that has supported over 200 community based enterprises through its non-profit foundation, Carrot Cache. I look forward to the publication of Greg’s new book.

David Walsh
President - Carrot Common Corp.

Tom Roach
   Posted Mon May 15, 2017
Father Greg was a wonderful priest. We’ll miss him.

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