Basilian was national educational leader

Fr. Thomas Mohan

Fr. Thomas Mohan

December 23, 2013
EVAN BOUDREAU
THE CATHOLIC REGISTER

Basilian Father Thomas Mohan, who is credited with bringing stability to St. Michael's College School during the 1990s, died Dec. 8 after a month-long battle with leukemia. He was 84.

Mohan also served as associate superintendent of the Calgary Catholic School District from 1981 to 1993.

Toronto's Catholic education community, and the Basilian-run St. Michael's in particular, suffered a significant loss with the passing of Mohan.

"We extend our sympathies to Father Mohan's family and to the Basilian Fathers who have contributed so much to the growth and development of publicly funded Catholic education in Ontario," said Jo-Ann Davis, chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

"It is through the leadership and examples of individuals like Father Mohan that we can inspire our students to transform the world through witness, faith, innovation and action."

As the former president and principal of St. Michael's, Mohan was instrumental in securing the continued existence of the school he himself graduated from in 1948.

"It is always a sad day when we lose one of our own because he was an alumnus of St. Mike's, but even on top of that a Basilian Father as well," said Terry Sheridan, president and principal of St. Michael's College School.

"(He) really deserves a lot of credit for helping St. Mike's find financial stability in the late '90s and in renewing our facilities."

PASSIONATE PRIEST

Sheridan, who was hired as a teacher by Mohan in 1997, will always remember the Basilian's "passion and the importance of his capital campaign that really helped rebuild the school in 1998."

He said Mohan will always be viewed as a mentor and role model for the entire school community.

"We all see the Basilian Fathers as mentors here at St. Mike's and he was certainly one of them," he said.

"Our school motto of teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge is something I think he tried to live each and every day. That impacted on the school and he was a role model for all of us."

Ordained in 1956, Mohan's first education appointment in 1961 was as the chaplain for Michael Power High School.

FOUNDED SCHOOLS

In addition to his priestly duties, Mohan served in a teaching and administrative capacity for 12 years before being asked to assist in founding Father Henry Carr High School in 1973 and Don Bosco Secondary School in late 1977.

From there Mohan moved west to serve as associate superintendent of the Calgary Separate School Board in 1981, where he remained until returning to St. Mike's in 1993.

He retired in 2000.

LARGE FAMILY

Born Aug. 4, 1929 to Peter Mohan and Anne Mesbitt, the late priest was the seventh of 10 children. He is survived by three of his siblings along with 39 nieces and nephews.

Mohan's funeral service was held Dec. 11 at St. Basil's Church in Toronto.