A Roman Catholic priest who played an important role in the treatment of Islanders battling addictions has died.
Rev. Joseph Brady Smith died Sunday at Park West Lodge in Charlottetown at the age of 90.
Smith, who was known by many people simply as ‘Father Brady’ was recognized for his work in the field of addictions in 2010 when he was named to the Order of P.E.I.
In a statement issued at that time officials noted that Smith had worked tirelessly throughout P.E.I. and the rest of the Atlantic Provinces to help individuals and families battling addictions.
Smith was born in Webster’s Corner, the son of the late James E. and Lena (McNally) Smith.
Early in his life he felt the lure of alcohol and, sometime after, the call of the religious life, a combination that, as the years passed, would turn him inside out.
Aided by his faith, Smith became transformed from a sufferer of his own disease, as one person called it, into someone who could assist others in overcoming similar problems.
In the 1950s Smith moved to Ontario and became a Catholic brother.
While studying and playing sports he tried to quit drinking, but this proved difficult. He joined Alcoholic Anonymous and went on to university, where he studied addictions to understand them and their power over people.
When he returned to P.E.I. he worked for the Addiction Foundation.
He would be ordained as a priest sometime later.
Smith went on to open Serenity Place in Charlottetown. Drawing on his own experiences he counseled people with alcohol, gambling and narcotic addictions, as well as their affected families.
In 1999 he received the Premier's Crime Prevention Award.
Smith was the last surviving member of his immediate family.
He was predeceased by brothers Reg, Ivan, Adrian and James, by a sister, Mildred, and by several nieces and nephews.
He is survived by his sister-in-law Millie Smith and by many nieces and nephews.
Remains are resting at the Hennessey Cutcliffe Charlottetown Funeral Home for visiting hours on Wednesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.
The funeral will be held Thursday at St. Dunstan’s Basilica at 10 a.m.