It is with sadness that the Diocese of Leeds announces the death of Canon Vincent O’Hara who died unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening, Thursday 4th March, at the age of eighty-eight.
Please pray for the repose of Canon Vincent’s soul and remember his family and his friends in your prayers at this time.
“Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.”
Details of the funeral arrangements:
The Funeral Mass for Canon Vincent, celebrated by Bishop Marcus, will take place at 12.45pm on Thursday March 18th at St Urban’s Church, Headingley, Leeds, and will be followed by his burial at Nab Wood Cemetery,Shipley.
The Funeral Mass will be live streamed and can be accessed through the following link:
Very Rev Canon Vincent O’Hara RIP
Vincent O’Hara was born in Ireland on 28 July 1932. He studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin and was ordained there, for the Diocese of Leeds, on 22 June 1958.
In September 1958 Bishop Dwyer appointed Fr Vincent as Assistant Priest at St Catherine’s parish in Sheffield (then part of the Leeds diocese). In 1963 he moved to the parish of English Martyrs, Wakefield. In 1968 Fr Vincent volunteered to serve on the Leeds mission in Peru, first established by Bishop Dwyer in 1961. There he assisted the Columban Fathers in their ministry to the people of the shanty towns of the Peruvian capital, Lima. A history of the Leeds mission in Peru records that Fr Vincent was renowned for “his bright red hair flying in the breeze, a charming smile on his face, driving round in an old open-topped ex-army Land Rover”. When he left Peru in 1973, and in recognition of his work to promote the social wellbeing of the local population, he was awarded the Freedom of the municipality where he had served. On his return to Leeds, he became a stalwart supporter of the Diocesan Peru Mission Fund.
Returning to the Diocese, Fr Vincent was appointed as Parish Priest of the Blessed Sacrament, Athersley (another parish which is now part of the Diocese of Hallam). In 1976 he moved back to West Yorkshire as parish Priest of St Paulinus, Dewsbury. Five years later he was appointed to the parish of St Francis, Bradford and in 1993 he moved to SS Peter and Paul at Yeadon. His last parochial appointment came in 2006 when he transferred to Our Lady Immaculate at Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale. In the same year he was appointed a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter by Bishop Roche.
Canon O’Hara retired in 2012 and went to live at Mount St Joseph’s Home at Headingley, in Leeds. Following the news of Canon Vincent’s death, Bishop Marcus expressed his gratitude to the Little Sisters of the Poor who had ensured that he received the care he needed in his retirement and especially as his health deteriorated over the last year.
To those who knew him, Canon O’Hara was a sociable man, for ever interested in the day-to-day life of the diocese, and the “latest news”. He was fond of the “All Day Breakfast”, especially after a morning supplying at the Cathedral, hearing Confessions and celebrating the mid-day Mass. He had a life-long interest in cars, fast ones in particular – and was still driving well into old age.
The people of his former parishes, across the Diocese of Leeds, will remember him with a affection and with gratitude for more than sixty years of devoted priestly service.
May He Rest in Peace