The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Rev Fr James Leavy RIP

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fr James Leavy. Fr Jim died during the early hours of Sunday morning, 28 April 2024. May his dear soul rest in peace in the embrace of the Lord and Saviour he served so faithfully throughout his life.

Please pray for the repose of Fr Jim’s soul and remember his family and his many friends in your prayers at this time.

Details of the arrangements for the funeral will be available in due course.

Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Fr Jim Leavy RIP

James Leavy was born in Ireland, at Lanesborough in County Longford, on 3 March 1946. He studied for the priesthood at St Kieran’s College in Kilkenny, where he was ordained on 6 June 1970. He then joined the Diocese of Leeds and was appointed to St Patrick’s, Leeds as Assistant Priest. In 1974 he moved to St Paul’s, Alwoodley and three years later he was appointed to St Joseph’s, Bradford. In 1983 he moved to St Mary’s, Batley.

Fr Jim’s first appointment as Parish Priest came in 1986, at the Holy Rosary in Chapeltown, Leeds. He remained there for the next nine years, until July 1995 when he began a period of sabbatical leave. The following year he was appointed as Parish Priest of the Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike. In 2002, after a period of ill-health, he moved to St Wilfrid’s, Ripon as Assistant to the late Fr Donal O’Leary. He resumed parochial responsibility in 2004 when he became the Parish Priest of St Aelred’s in Harrogate.

Fr Jim retired from St Aelred’s in 2018, but continued to reside in Harrogate until 2020 when he moved to Mount St Joseph’s Home in Headingley, to be cared for by the Little Sisters of the Poor. Throughout his time in Harrogate he was a devoted Chaplain to Harrogate District Hospital and became a well-known and much-loved figure in the town. He also became a staunch supporter of Harrogate Town AFC, attending most of the team’s home games. But his great sporting passion was for golf, and on taking up residence at Mount St Joseph’s he persuaded the groundsman to create a nine-hole putting green so that he could still keep his hand in.

Fr Leavy had suffered poor health in recent years and was one of the many residents who were affected by the enforced closure of Mount St Joseph’s, owing to the presence of RAAC concrete in the building. As a result he returned to Harrogate, where he retained many long-standing friends, and it was here that he died on Sunday 28 April, aged seventy-eight.

May he rest in peace.