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

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

Rev Francis McGrath RIP

We are sad to announce the death on Friday 19 July 2019 of Fr Francis McGrath.

The arrangements for Fr Frank’s funeral are:

Monday 22nd July 8pm
Reception of Fr McGrath’s body into St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina, Co Mayo


Tuesday 23rd July 12.30pm
Requiem Mass, St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina, Co Mayo

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

Fr McGrath was born on 20 May 1940 and hailed from the West of Ireland, like so many folk who have made their home in the Diocese of Leeds down the years. He studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin and was ordained there on 20 June 1965. Shortly afterwards he arrived in the Diocese and was appointed as Assistant Priest at St Peter’s, Bradford where he remained until 1971 when he moved to St Joseph’s parish in Pudsey.

In 1980 Fr McGrath became a Parish Priest for the first time when Bishop Wheeler appointed him to the Sacred Heart in Leeds. In 1987 he moved to St Anthony’s, Clayton on the outskirts of Bradford and ten years later Bishop Konstant asked him to become Parish Priest of Holy Family, Leeds. He was to remain there for the next eighteen years until his retirement in 2015. In 2014 the Holy Family parish merged with its neighbour, St Wilfrid’s and Fr McGrath became the first Parish Priest of the new parish of St Gianna Beretta Molla.

In 2015 Fr McGrath bade farewell to Yorkshire after fifty years’ service to the Bishops and people of the Diocese of Leeds. As a person and as a pastor he was much missed by his former parishioners in West Leeds who all had great affection for him, as did the staff and pupils of the parish primary school. He returned to Ireland and spent his retirement years with his family and friends in his native County Mayo.