Gerry was born in St. Gabriel de Brandon, east of Montreal, on July 9, 1935, to George and Mary Virginia (née Mackey) Mathieu. At a young age he moved with his family to Montreal’s NDG neighbourhood. He began his schooling in French, but soon switched to English school, eventually attending Loyola High School from 1948 to 1952. At the age of 17, Gerry entered the Jesuit novitiate in Guelph, ON on September 7, 1952, taking his first vows on September 7, 1954. Juniorate followed at Ignatius College, Guelph, for two years, and then Philosophy studies at Mount St. Michael’s, in Spokane, WA, for three years. For Regency, Gerry spent two years teaching at Regiopolis School in Kingston, ON, before moving to Theology studies at Regis College (1961 – 1965), Toronto, ON, with Ordination occurring on June 14, 1964. Gerry went to Tertianship immediately after Theology, at the Pomfret Center in New England. His first apostolic assignment brought him to Loyola High School in Montreal where he served for the next 52 years in various capacities as teacher, prefect, and student counsellor. Gerry was called by Fr. General to final solemn profession of 4 vows on March 12, 1981.
Age and health conspired to limit his availability for active ministry in 2018, and Gerry settled into a quiet life of prayer, offering spiritual direction to a few people, while maintaining close contact with family and friends. Finally, burdened with diabetes and related health issues he moved to René Goupil House in Pickering, ON on May 14, 2021. He declined very rapidly, going to the Lord on July 17 at the age of 86, in the 69th year of religious life.
For many of his years at Loyola, Gerry contributed to the faith formation of the students via his lunch-hour meetings of the Way (for the youngest), the Truth (for the middle group), and the Life (for the oldest). He was also the driving force behind the Christmas basket campaign that annually collected and distributed huge amounts of food to needy families, enlisting the support of parents and teachers to accompany the students on their deliveries.
Besides his obvious love for God and his great dedication to the formation of youth, Gerry was passionate about Bridge, often playing 7 nights a week, with a great range of friends, as well as within the Jesuit community. He also loved to sing, with a lilting Irish tenor voice, accompanying himself on the guitar. Many will remember the musical version of the famous poem-prayer “Footsteps”, that he composed and performed on many occasions.