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Father Bernard Eager, officiating at a wedding at St Catherine's Church, Lowton, in July 2004

Tributes paid to ‘devoted’ parish priest

Father Bernard Eager, who will be well known by many Catholics in Lowton and Golborne, has died aged 85 years.

He had recently been in the care of the De La Salle Brothers at St John’s House in St Helens. He served as the parish priest for St Catherine’s, Lowton, from 1985 until his retirement in 2009.

At the time of his death on Monday 29 June, Father Eager had been a priest for 61 years.

About Father Bernard Eager

Bernard Joseph Eager was born on 14 October, 1934 in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, the son of Roland and Ellen Eager. He received his early education at St Michael’s, Dun Laoghaire, and St Bede’s, Widnes, before entering the seminary at St Joseph’s, Upholland. He was ordained to the priesthood in the college chapel by Archbishop John Carmel Heenan on 11 June, 1960.

Following ordination he was appointed as assistant to Fr Winder at St Alphonsus, Liverpool. He served here until the early part of 1965, when he was forced through ill-health to relinquish his parish duties. In November of that year he returned to parish ministry as assistant to Canon Robert Meagher, and subsequently Canon Francis Ripley, at St Oswald’s, Ashton-in-Makerfield. His fairly lengthy curacy at Ashton was brought to an abrupt end by another bout of ill health in the early part of 1978. Following his recovery he became chaplain to the Sisters of Notre Dame at Lancaster House, Parbold, in June 1978 and served the community faithfully until March 1985.

He was then asked to succeed Fr John Connolly as parish priest of St Catherine’s, Lowton. This was to be his one-and-only appointment as parish priest. His long tenure in the parish was marked by his devotion to his parishioners. He took on the additional responsibility of St Lewis’s, Croft, in January 2006. He retired from active ministry to Rainford in September 2009, but continued to celebrate Mass for the sisters at Parbold on many occasions.

Funeral arrangements for Father Bernard Eager

Father Eager’s funeral rites will be celebrated on Wednesday 8 July at 1.30pm at Corpus Christi, Rainford. Archbishop Malcolm will preside at the funeral. The committal will follow at Widnes Cemetery at 3pm.

Due to the continued Covid-19 restrictions only a limited number of people can be present in the church.

May the Lord welcome his good and faithful servant home.

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