Father Dave Creamer died peacefully on 17 April at La Storta House, Pickering. He was in his 74th year of life and was a Jesuit for 52 years. Dave was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, the son of David Creamer and Ruth Keir. It was at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1968, that he first met the Jesuits.
Dave entered the Society at Guelph on 30 August, 1969 and following first vows in 1971, he went directly to Regency at Gonzaga High School, St. John’s for three years, teaching a variety of subjects. In 1974 he began theology at Regis College, Willowdale, and was ordained on 28 May 1977 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. For the next three years he was in special studies in education, principally at the University of Toronto and OISE. He acquainted himself with the thought of Bernard Lonergan and other philosophers, mainly John Macmurray and James Fowler. His successful doctoral thesis was entitled “Moral Education: A Critical Evaluation of a Jesuit High School Values Program”.
In 1982 Dave began a thirty-three-year residence in Winnipeg. He was appointed Director of Apostolate at St. Paul’s High School. In 1988 he moved to St. Paul’s College as Director of the Jesuit Centre for Faith Development and Values and was Professor of Education and Religious Studies at the University of Manitoba. For many years he was a member of the Jesuit Centre for Catholic Studies and Adjunct Professor in the Arthur Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice. He regularly took groups of his students to Darjeeling, India. Dave greatly appreciated the Jesuits there and urged them to send some Jesuits to Canada for studies in Winnipeg and theology in Toronto. He travelled to different areas of India and Nepal to get a sense of the situation there, in order to help his students understand multiple aspects of social justice.
Blessed with much energy and vision, David in the early 1990s served in the chaplaincy of Stony Mountain Penitentiary. This involvement led to the founding of Quixote House for newly released prisoners, to guide them in adapting to a new life. During this time, he continued to direct persons writing their thesis, and wrote articles for a variety of journals. Highly intelligent, his generous personality was down to earth, reflecting his Maritime family ideals; he was open to new trends in education and theology. Dave proved to be a considerate Superior of the Winnipeg Jesuits and also served as a Province Consultor. Due to his vast experience, he was appointed to several boards of Jesuit works in Canada.
His western life ended in 2014 with a sabbatical move to Toronto. For the next five years he helped as consultant on planning at the Provincial Office, served as superior at Dale Avenue, and did pastoral ministry. He had robust health, but after the removal of a lung and kidney, his health had begun to deteriorate by this time. A move in late 2019 brought him to Rene Goupil House in Pickering, and during the pandemic in 2020 he moved into La Storta House. By that time his life was sedate, and he spent most of his time in his room reading and doing complicated jigsaw puzzles. At community gatherings he shared stories of his life in New Brunswick and Newfoundland. The lockdowns imposed by the government ended regular visits by his many siblings and friends. To compensate he regularly had long chats with the staff and residents of the infirmary. It was a great shock when David died so suddenly at La Storta House. A truly peaceful apostolic priest and community member, he was granted a peaceful death.