Bishop Leo McCartie’s 70th Anniversary of Priesthood - A reason to celebrate!

St Joseph’s Home in Harborne, Birmingham, was a place of joyful celebration on Wednesday 17th July 2019, 70 years to the day from the Ordination to the Priesthood of Bishop Leo McCartie.

Bishop Leo welcomed a small gathering to the celebration which was hosted by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

He thanked those present who represented many aspects of the 70 years including his years as a teacher at Cotton College in Staffordshire, as Administrator of St Chad’s Cathedral, as Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, as Bishop of Northampton and for many years of retirement.

The Anniversary Mass was attended by 10 bishops, a number of whom are retired like Bishop Leo, but enjoyed the opportunity to gather in thanksgiving.

Among the concelebrants were Archbishop Bernard Longley and the Auxiliary Bishops of Birmingham, together with two successive Bishops of Northampton, Archbishop Kevin McDonald and Bishop Peter Doyle, together with the Vicar General, Mgr Sean Healy.

The homily was given by Bishop Terence Brain, who has Birmingham connections with Bishop Leo and whose parents were former residents of St Joseph’s Home.

Bishop Leo wanted everybody to know two important facts, on this auspicious day:

That he is the oldest living Bishop in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Moreover, he is the oldest living Bishop in those territories since the Restoration of the Hierarchy following the Reformation in England.

Both of these facts prompted applause.

The Little Sisters of the Poor and their dedicated staff provided a meal for all of the guests, and Bishop Leo enjoyed the day and all of its significance.

Speaking after the celebration, Bishop Peter Doyle said: "Bishop Leo’s 70th Anniversary celebration marks an exceptional anniversary of a man committed to God in his priestly and episcopal service.

"It reflects well his shepherding of the Diocese of Northampton from 1990 to 2001 and a well-known phrase of his that ‘God enfolds us in his love’.”

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Bishop Leo - 70th anniversary