Bishop Leo McCartie, Emeritus Bishop of Northampton died on the evening of Thursday 23rd April in St Joseph’s Home in Birmingham, aged 94.

Last July Bishop Leo celebrated 70 years of priesthood with Mass attended by the then current Bishop of Northampton, Bishop Peter Doyle (now Emeritus) and Archbishop Kevin McDonald who replaced Bishop Leo in Northampton. Bishop Leo was born in Hartlepool on the 5th September 1925 and having been a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, Fr Leo was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham in 1977 then 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. He is remembered as a pastoral man of God who relentlessly shared the Gospel through word and action.

Bishop Leo, was laid to rest on Tuesday 12th May at Billing Cemetery in Northampton. Before the burial he was remembered at a funeral Mass in Northampton celebrated by the current Bishop of Northampton, Bishop David Oakley. The Order of Service can be downloaded here

Bishop David was joined by his predecessor, Emeritus Bishop Peter Doyle and two executors of Bishop Leo’s estate, Monsignor Sean Healy from the Diocese of Northampton and Canon Tom Farrell, from the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

During the service, Bishop David from a letter addressed to him from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State at the Vatican expressing the sadness of Pope Francis on hearing the news,

“His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of Bishop Emeritus Patrick Leo McCartie, and he sends heartfelt condolences to you and to the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese. With gratitude to Almighty God for Bishop McCartie’s long and faithful priestly and episcopal ministry in the Archdiocese of Birmingham and the Diocese of Northampton, His Holiness joins you in commending his soul to the loving mercy of Christ the Good Shepherd. To his family and to all those who mourn his passing in the sure hope of the Resurrection, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and peace in the Risen Lord.”

Bishop David described Bishop Leo as “a kind and gentle man, a priest with a deeply pastoral heart”. He went to say,

“Bishop Leo was fully rooted in charity and a generous openness to those who were broken by life’s circumstances”.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.