Bishop Leo McCartie RIP

Please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Bishop Leo McCartie, who has died at the age of 94.

Patrick Leo McCartie, titular bishop of Elmhama and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, then tenth bishop of Northampton, died in St Joseph’s Home, Harborne, Birmingham, on St George’s Day, Thursday 23 April.

Bishop Leo was ordained bishop on 20 May 1977 and was a priest for over 70 years. A former Administrator of St Chad’s Cathedral, he lived most of his priestly life in the Archdiocese of Birmingham and retired first to Aston Hall in Staffordshire and then to Birmingham itself.

Bishop Leo was born in Hartlepool on 5 September 1925.

Following his Ordination to the Priesthood at St Teresa’s Church in Trent Vale, he was appointed curate at St Elizabeth’s, Coventry.

He then served on the staff of Cotton College, Staffordshire from 1950-55.

In 1955, he was appointed to St Chad’s Cathedral, then received appointments to Ss Peter & Paul, Wolverhampton (1956-58) and Our Lady’s, Wednesbury (1958-63).

From 1963-68 he was Diocesan Inspector of Schools and Chaplain to Northfield Convent until his appointment as Administrator and Parish Priest of St Chad’s Cathedral in 1968, a role he fulfilled until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham in May 1977.

During his years in Birmingham, Bishop Leo served as Chair of the Diocesan Schools Commission and of the Diocesan Boundary Commission as well as Provost of the Cathedral Chapter of Canons.

At national level he was involved for many years in the important work of the Church’s influence in Race Relations.

In February 1990 he was appointed the tenth Bishop of Northampton.

He retired in 2001 having reached the retirement age of 75 after 43 years as an active Bishop. He was the oldest living Bishop in England and Wales.

We give thanks for his life, his ministry and his pastoral leadership. He was a good and faithful Bishop and Priest who preached the Gospel with enthusiasm and zeal.

Archbishop Bernard Longley, said: “I know that everybody in the Archdiocese of Birmingham will join me in giving thanks for Bishop Leo’s long life and fruitful ministry and praying for him now.

“So many people will remember him as a joyful and warm person. He celebrated the liturgy in a way that demonstrated his role as a Shepherd and he was always inclusive of everybody present.

“The priests and people of Birmingham were pleased but sorry to lose him when he was appointed Bishop of Northampton.

“We have been blessed greatly by his presence among us in his retirement years. May he rest in peace.”

We pray for Bishop Leo’s family and friends and for all who mourn him.

Funeral rites in compliance with the present guidelines are still to be arranged. 
Bishop Patrick Leo McCartie – biography
Bishop Leo – 70 years of priesthood

Photo (below): 1987 Ad Limina visit of the Bishops of England and Wales to Rome.Right to left:
Bishop Crispian Hollis, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham (now Emeritus Bishop of Portsmouth); Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville; Pope John Paul II; Bishop Joseph Cleary, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham; Bishop Leo McCartie (later Bishop of Northampton).

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