Fr Donal O’Leary was a priest of the Leeds Diocese, who had a huge influence on many teachers and headteachers in the Hallam Diocese. He was a priest at St Marie’s, Sheffield before the Diocese of Hallam was established.
He later joined the academic staff of St Mary’s, Strawberry Hill, where he was Chair of the Religious Studies Department. He was renowned as a retreat giver to clergy, parishes and educationalists, both in this country and abroad. His theology, spirituality and authenticity were an inspiration to countless people who encountered him in person or through his writings.
The main aim of his message was to teach “the sacramental imagination”; the vision of God’s Incarnate presence everywhere, which transforms our lives.
He will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.