Recently retired priest mourned

Fr Ron McGivern
Fr Ron McGivern

A widowed father-of-six who went on to become a Catholic priest has died just months after retiring.

Fr Ron McGivern was 83 when he lost a long battle with motor neurone disease earlier this month.

He had only been ordained a priest in 1999 when aged 65 although he had been a permanent deacon for the Liverpool Catholic Archdiocese for 18 years before that.

Upon being ordained he first served at Holy Trinity and St Francis Garston, Liverpool, then two years later became the priest of Ince St William’s. He later also took responsibility for St Patrick’s Church in Scholes.

Fr Ron’s requiem mass is to take place at St Patrick’s at 11am on Wednesday, his remains having been received into the church at 7.30pm the evening before for a vigil mass.

Wigan’s former Roman Catholic Dean Canon Pat MacNally said: “I worked with him and found him thoughtful, co-operative and helpful in every way. He will be greatly missed.”

Fr McGivern was born in Liverpool and spent more than 40 years in the printing industry.

He married Maureen Doyle in 1956 and together they had six children. In the early 1960s Ron and his family moved to Hindley and he became active in St Benedict’s parish.

His involvement in various parish activities eventually led to him applying to serve as a permanent deacon at St Benedict’s, Ince St William’s and St Mary’s, Wigan.

He retired from printing in 1994, planning to spend more time with Maureen. However she died just weeks later and he had to reassess how he would spend his remaining years. After careful consideration and seeking advice from family and others, he entered the priesthood. He was sent to the Beda College, Rome, for his seminary training and ordained by Archbishop Patrick Kelly at St Mary’s, Wigan, on March 27, 1999.