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Throughout his life, Father Vin had a great love for Lourdes

Father Vin McShane, first parish priest of St John Vianney, Liverpool and a dedicated member of the Archdiocesan Lourdes Association died on Tuesday 4 April, aged 60 and in the 36th year of his priesthood. 

Vincent James McShane, one of eight children of Vincent Henry and Mary Teresa McShane (née O’Brien), was born in Liverpool on 7 January 1963. The family lived firstly at Blenheim Street and then at Mile End, Scotland Road. Vincent attended St Anthony’s Infant and Junior Schools. In 1974, he entered the junior seminary at St Michael’s College, Underley Hall in Kirby Lonsdale. This was at a time of considerable upheaval when the reorganisation of seminary provision in the Northern Province was taking place. He thus transferred to the junior seminary at St Joseph’s College, Upholland, in 1975, where he remained until he had completed the sixth form. He entered the senior seminary at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw, Durham in 1981 and there completed his studies for the priesthood.


During his seminary formation, he had various pastoral placements, including Durham and Frankland prisons, and the parish of St Joseph, Ryhope, in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. Within the archdiocese he had placements at St Patrick’s, Wigan, and then at St Luke’s, Whiston. He was ordained priest by Archbishop Derek Worlock on 26 July 1987 at St Anthony’s Church, Scotland Road, Liverpool. 

Following ordination, he had two appointments as a curate: St Joseph’s, Penketh in 1987 and St Aidan’s, Huyton from April 1991. In January 1993, he became priest-in-charge at St Aidan’s before moving to his first appointment as parish priest at St Joseph’s, Kirkby in April 1996. After seven years, he was appointed parish priest of Holy Family, Halewood, and priest-in-charge of St Gregory, Netherley. Soon afterwards, the deanery was amalgamated with the neighbouring deanery. 

The archdiocese had begun the ‘Leaving Safe Harbours’ project. The parish of St Gregory became part of the Childwall Valley parish. Father Vin, as well as remaining the parish priest of Holy Family, was asked to take on the additional responsibility of being priest-in-charge of the parishes of St Andrew the Apostle, Hunts Cross, and St Mark’s, Halewood. These three parishes were eventually amalgamated into the new parish of St John Vianney in January 2006, with Father Vin as the first parish priest. Father Vin’s final appointment was as parish priest at Holy Rosary, Old Roan, in September 2016.


It was during this period that he began to experience significantly diminished mobility as a result of an amputation in 2003 and the effects of acute kidney injury – a result of treatment for osteomyelitis. He retired from active parish ministry in October 2018, but continued to minister as a priest, supplying in various parishes as needed. 

Throughout his life, Father Vin had a great love for Lourdes. His first visit, as a brancardier, was in 1977. He made a pilgrimage every year after with the Archdiocesan Lourdes Association in roles as a member of the hospitality, as a chaplain to the assisted pilgrims, as a trustee and as a member of the executive committee. He also led various parish groups during those years. He always encouraged the people he met to try and make a pilgrimage to Lourdes. In later years he travelled as an assisted pilgrim himself, accompanied by his friend, Ian. 

His body was received into St Mark’s Church, Halewood, on Monday 17 April when a Vigil Mass was celebrated. His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Tuesday 18 April at Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, Croxteth, followed 


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Obituary of Rev Vincent McShane

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