The death of our beloved brother, uncle and friend Father Peter Alexander (Sandy) MacNeil occurred on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at MacGillivray Guest Home in Sydney.
Father Sandy was born on July 13, 1938 and grew up in a close and loving family in Bras d’or. He was predeceased by his parents, James and Catherine (Mamie MacDonald); his brother, Vincent; sister-in-law, Colleen; and his brother-in-law, Denis Sutton. He is survived by his sisters, Catherine Sutton and Sister Mildred MacNeil CND; nephews, James (Bernadette) MacNeil, Peter (Lucy) Sutton, Paul (Elizabeth) Sutton, Patrick Sutton; along with nieces, Mary Beth (Kevin) Walker and Mary (Michael) Desormeau. Uncle Sandy was the proud and loving grand uncle of several grand-nieces and nephews.
Father Sandy was warm, welcoming, non-judgmental, and kind. He gave fully of his time and quietly helped anyone in need. He was a special friend not only to his family but to many. He made friends in all of the parishes and communities he served and was loved by all who knew him. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, liked to entertain and was an incredible cook. Father Sandy was a man of great faith and fellowship who loved deeply. He was always available for family and community gatherings and participated in, encouraged and supported others in their endeavors. He enjoyed the simple things in life and taught us all good life lessons. His cottage in Ottawa Brook and his friends there brought him great joy. He was an outdoor enthusiast who loved to fish, hunt, boat, ski and play many sports. He excelled as an athlete in his youth particularly at tennis and hockey and he continued to be active throughout his later years. He rigorously followed professional sports on television. In his retirement, he continued to serve and visited the sick in the hospitals and in their homes.
He was ordained to the priesthood in St. Theresa Church in Sydney on June 13, 1965 by the Most Reverend William E. Power, Bishop of Antigonish. He served in many parishes including, Our Lady of Lourdes in Stellarton, St. Mary’s Basilica in Halifax, St. Theresa’s in Sydney, Team Ministry in Glace Bay, St. Ninian’s Cathedral in Antigonish, Star of the Sea in Canso, St. Agnes in Little Dover, St. John’s in Glace Bay, St. John the Baptist in New Glasgow, St. Joseph’s in Sydney, St. John the Baptist in River Bourgeois, Holy Rosary in Westmount and he was instrumental in the construction of Marguerite Bourgeois Church in Sydney. He served in many other diocesan ministries including; Council of Priests, Business and Finance Committee, Personnel Committee Chairman, Administrator of Nazareth House, Board of Governors at St. FX and UCCB, Diocesan Boundaries Committee Chairperson, Director of Ministry to Priests Program, Professional Standards Committee, Chairperson of St. Joseph Society as well as serving as Vicar General from 2002 until 2010.
Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church in Little Bras d’or on Monday, September 25.
In lieu of flowers please be kind, help those in need and spend time with the lonely. Donations can be made in Father Sandy’s memory to St. Joseph’s Parish Cemetery Fund in Little Bras d’or or the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation. We would like to thank the staff of CND Healthcare Centre for providing extra special care, kindness, compassion and friendship to Sandy during his final years. You are greatly appreciated. To share memories and condolences please visit: www.twcurry.com