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UPEI mourns the passing of honorary degree recipient Father Brady Smith

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The University of Prince Edward Island extends its condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Reverend Brady Smith who passed away on March 6, 2016 at the age of 90. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University in 2001.

“Father Brady made an outstanding contribution to his community as a pastor, counselor, lobbyist, and advocate, all for the betterment of others,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “Our province has lost a great man who overcame great odds to help people with addictions.”

Born in rural Prince Edward Island, Father Brady Smith left school after grade six to earn a living. He fell prey himself to alcoholism that later he would help others overcome. After coming close to dying as a result of his addiction, Father Brady studied social work at Centennial College, worked on skid row in Toronto, and returned to PEI as a counselor. At the age of 56, he entered Holy Apostles Seminary and was ordained in Charlottetown in 1984.

Over his lifetime, Smith worked with more than 5,000 Islanders, helping individuals and families cope with alcohol addiction, drug and gambling addiction, marital problems, spiritual issues, grief and depression. In 1990, he established Serenity House, a refuge for people coping with addictions and other problems and tirelessly visited hospitals, halfway houses, prisons, high schools, 12-step meetings and homes. He also garnered tremendous public support on issues such as eliminating video gambling in corner stores, establishing halfway houses for inmates released from prison, and creating the addictions treatment centre in Mount Herbert.

John DeGrace, UPEI’s registrar at the time Smith received his honorary degree, read the citation and said, “Father Brady Smith is a man who has indeed walked through the valley of the shadow of death and who has emerged to walk in the clear light of the love of God…Father Brady is known to the people of Prince Edward Island as a respected priest, a man of compassion, and a beacon of hope.”

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Hennessey Cutcliffe Charlottetown Funeral Home.


Nicole Phillips
Associate Director
Marketing and Communications
(902) 566-0947
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