Founded by Francis Aloysius O'Leary MBE (1931–2000) a Roman Catholic priest and missionary who founded the St Joseph's Hospice Association, an international network of hospices known as Jospice.
Father O'Leary was born June 18 1931 in Crosby, Liverpool, England, the youngest of three children. At the age of 11, he entered the seminary of Mill Hill Fathers at Freshfield. He later attended seminaries at Burn Hall, County Durham, and St Joseph's College in Roosendaal, Netherlands. Father O'Leary was ordained on 8 July 1956. After earning a post-graduate degree from Glasgow University in 1960, he was posted to Pakistan.
Father O'Leary was assigned as a missionary in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. In 1962, while attending to a sick woman in an empty mud hut, he realized the need for a hospice care facility. In 1964, he opened the first hospice in Rawalpindi. After receiving advice from Mother Teresa, he obtained loans and donations to establish more facilities. Father O'Leary established several hospices in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Guatemala. He also founded three facilities in England.
In 1973, Father O'Leary was the subject of the British television program This Is Your Life.
In 1974 the UK Jospice opened in Thornton, near Crosby.It was Father O'Leary's legacy to provide love and compassionate care to people of any faith and those without faith in the last weeks of their life.
He was awarded the 1974 Daniel Carrion Medal for his medical work in Peru.
In 1996, he was awarded an MBE membership.
Father O'Leary died at age 69 on October 4, 2000.
The leader of England's Roman Catholics, Archbishop Vincent Nichols was a cousin of Father O'Leary, and is current president of the Jospice organisation.