Jeffrey J. Bond, 69, of Wayne, a former Catholic priest and teacher who after leaving the clergy became a social service administrator and family man, died Thursday, Oct. 24, of heart disease at home.
Born in Chestnut Hill, he graduated from Bishop McDevitt High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.
Starting in 1972, he studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood. He was ordained a priest in May 1977 and through 1991 was a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
He was assistant pastor at St. Anne’s parish in Kensington and then at St. Francis de Sales in West Philadelphia. He believed in ministering to parishioners in person.
“At St. Anne’s, he would get on his bike and go from one house to the next,” said his sister, Jeanne Bond Craft. “He was a priest for the people. He got into their lives, and they loved him.”
During the late 1980s, Mr. Bond taught, was an administrator, and coached basketball at St. John Neumann High School. He also taught religion and provided college counseling at Cardinal O’Hara High School.
“He was definitely a great influence on my life, and his impact has carried on to this day,” Al Lipscomb, a student in Neumann’s Class of 1988, posted in an online condolences book.
In 1992, Mr. Bond left the priesthood because he was uncomfortable with the politics of the church. He felt he could be more effective helping others outside the clergy. Most of all, he longed for a family. “He wanted to have a wife and children,” his sister said.
In 1994, he met and married Mary Ann Finley. Soon after their wedding, the couple traveled to the former Soviet Union to adopt a son, Roman.
They were aided by a nonprofit, Help Us Adopt. As a way of giving back, he and his wife dedicated free time and resources to help other prospective adoptive parents working through the agency. “We were co-chairs of a fundraising dinner the night before he passed away,” said his wife. “He was glad to be giving back.”
Mr. Bond was director of the Salvation Army’s Eliza Shirley House in Philadelphia from 1992 to 1996. He ran a 160-bed shelter for homeless families.
From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Bond was director of recreational activities and director of the summer camp at Valley Forge Military Academy and College. The camp grew from a small program to a thriving enterprise, his family said.
From 2008 to 2012, he ran an after-school program operated by Project HOME in Philadelphia. Its aim was to keep underserved youth in school so they could someday attend college. He helped 100 students prepare for college.
In 2012, Mr. Bond founded Caring Hearts Home Care Assistance LLC, a Wayne nonprofit. The firm provides physical, social, and emotional care for the elderly. He had gotten the idea for the nonprofit after caring for his own father.
The Rev. J. Thomas Heron, pastor at St. Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church in Conshohocken and a longtime friend, said Mr. Bond heeded the Gospel’s direction to help those in need.
“His charity and generosity abounded, and he gave people the benefit of the doubt,” Heron said. “He had a compassionate heart.” The pastor said that if children needed clothing or families had no furniture, Mr. Bond would quietly provide.
“He believed that with dignity and independence, they would get back on their feet,” Heron said.
Besides his wife and son, Mr. Bond is survived by two sisters, five brothers, and 14 nieces and nephews.
Services were Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Donations may be made to the Jeffrey J. Bond Scholarship Fund, La Salle College High School, 8605 W. Cheltenham Ave., Wyndmoor, Pa. 19038. The fund is in honor of his parents, who supported the school.