Michael Quealey was born and educated in Toronto. He received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. in Canadian history in 1968. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1961 as a member of the Basilian Order. Quealey left the priesthood in 1967 but remained in the Church. He went on to teach at York University and became engaged with Therafields, an experiment in communal living. He retired in 2000 and moved with his family to Alliston, Ontario. He died in 2013, in his eightieth year.