The Reverend Monsignor Lawrence T. Speice, age 75, died Sunday, January 16th at his residence in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania.
Born in Erie, PA on June 3, 1935, he was a son of the late Harold Francis Speice and Marie Engist Speice. Monsignor Speice attended Saint Ann School and graduated from Cathedral Prepatory School in 1953. From 1953-1955, he pursued seminary studies at Saint Mark’s Seminary and Gannon College, Erie. In 1955, he continued his seminary studies at Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and later a Bachelor of Sacred Theology.
He was ordained priest on May 11, 1961 at Saint Peter Cathedral in Erie by Most Reverend Edward Peter McManaman. His home parish was Saint Ann, Erie. His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, named him a Prelate of Honor in 1996.
Following ordination to the priesthood, Monsignor Speice was appointed in 1961 as Associate Editor of the Lake Shore Visitor with residence at Saint Andrew Rectory. On August 27, 1963, he was appointed to Gannon College where he remained until 1982. While at Gannon, he held the following positions – Instructor, Assistant Director of Admissions, Dean of Students, Assistant Registrar and Vice President for External Affairs. Presently he was a member of the Board of Trustees at Gannon University. He also served as weekend assistant at the parishes of Our Lady, Queen of the Americas, Conneaut Lake, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Erie, and Saint Hippolyte, Frenchtown. From October of 1982 through June of 1991, he served as the diocesan Vicar for Vocations. Additional responsibilities were given to him in August of 1985 when he was appointed Rector of Saint Mark Seminary in Erie. Other appointments included Chaplain of the Serra Club of Erie (1995-2000) and the community at Gannondale. In March of 2000, he was appointed pastor of Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Cambridge Springs where he remained until his retirement in October, 2010. While serving in Cambridge Springs he was a member of the Cambridge Springs Ministerium.
Monsignor Speice had a special love and care for Camp Notre Dame in Fairview. Besides his fine priestly example to the young, he served from 1961until the present as the Chaplain and as a member of the Board of Directors. He was elected to the Office of Dean of Meadville Deanery in May of 2002 and served until June of 2005.
Besides his parents, Monsignor Speice was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Lois. He is survived by his brothers – Paul Speice and James Speice and his wife, Mary Lou all of Erie. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great great nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at the Van Matre Family Funeral Home, 335 Venango Avenue, Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania on Friday, January 21st from 2:00 to 5:00 and 7:00 to 9:00. Prayer vigil services will be held there Friday at 4:30. Visitation will continue at Saint Anthony of Padua Church on Saturday morning, beginning at 9:00. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at Trinity Cemetery in Erie. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Anthony of Padua Church, 165 Beach Avenue, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403 or to Camp Notre Dame, 400 Eaton Road, Fairview, PA 16415.