We announce the sad news of the death of Fr Séamus Malachy McGeoghan.
Fr Séamus was born on 31st March 1945. He died peacefully this morning, 10th February, at St Vincent’s Nursing Home, Eastcote where he had been living in retirement.
Condolences are extended to Fr Séamus's family, friends and colleagues, to the residents and staff at St Vincent’s, and to his former parishioners in parishes where he served as a priest of the Diocese of Westminster since his ordination in Hanwell on 5th October 1969.
The Funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday 8th March at 12noon at the Church of Our Lady and St Joseph, 52 Uxbridge Road, Hanwell W7 3SU. Fr Séamus’ mortal remains will be received at the church just before the Mass begins.
We pray for the repose of Fr Séamus's soul:
Almighty and eternal God,
hear our prayers for your son Fr Séamus
whom you have called from this world to yourself.
Grant him light, happiness and peace.
Let him pass in safety through the gates of death, and live for ever with all your saints in the light you promised to Abraham and to all his descendants in faith.
Guard him from all harm
and on that great day of resurrection and reward raise him up with all your saints.
Pardon his sins and give him eternal life in your kingdom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Séamus McGeoghan was born seven weeks early on 31st March 1945, to Alice and Joseph, in his grandmother’s house in Omagh, Co Tyrone. He was the eldest of eleven siblings. The McGeoghan family moved to Hanwell in west London in 1949. The young Séamus attended the parish primary school from the age of five, and at eleven years of age he went to Gunnersbury Grammar School for boys, from 1956 to 1963. He was good in the classroom, less so on the sports field.
He felt the call to priesthood from an early age and he told his parents about his sense of vocation. He was persuaded by his father to work as a trainee accountant and this he did for a year, working with a firm in Acton. In 1964 he went to study for the priesthood at Allen Hall, St Edmund’s College, Ware in Hertfordshire, having passed eight O Levels and three A Levels. He excelled at studies and earned the nickname ‘Doctor’.
After two years Séamus continued his formation for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome. Although he arrived in the world early, seminary records show that he was not an early riser in the morning! This characteristic endured over the years, annoying to some and endearing to others.
Séamus was ordained to the priesthood at the Church of Our Lady and St Joseph, Hanwell on 5th October 1969 by Cardinal John Heenan, Archbishop of Westminster. How could he have known then that his classmate from the English College, ordained later in the same year, would be presiding and preaching at his Funeral Mass – Cardinal Vincent Nichols? Fr Séamus’ first Mass was in the same church the following day, and later in the month was the celebration of the first of many family weddings.
Fr Séamus’ first appointment was to Our Lady of the Rosary, Marylebone where he served as Assistant Priest from 1970 to 1974. He was then appointed to St Joseph’s, Wembley where he remained until 1980. He served as Parish Priest at St Mary Magdalene, Willesden Green from 1980 to 1984. He then went to St Paul’s, Wood Green and remained there for seven years.
He had a short placement at Carpenders Park in 1991 before being appointed to Northwood for a few months. He then went to Hackney, briefly, before being appointed Parish Priest at East Acton where he served from 1992 to 2000. His final appointment was to St Thomas of Canterbury and the English Martyrs, Royston where he served as Parish Priest from 2000 for sixteen years until his retirement.
Fr Séamus was always committed to education, seeing it as the route to opportunity and choices. He wanted to share with others what he had received – knowledge and skills from a good education – and he did so generously. As a seminarian he helped others who were struggling with studies. On visits to Cambridge, further up the A10, he introduced friends from Allen Hall to bookshops and favourite restaurants. He also benefited from the love that was received and given in a large and close family. He was a loving priest who shared his faith, knowledge and experience freely.
Fr Séamus retired from full-time ministry in 2016. As his health declined his need for care increased. At St Vincent’s Nursing Home in Eastcote he was well cared for, and comfortable. He formed deep friendships among staff and residents and he welcomed many former parishioners who visited him.
Since March 2020 the visits were restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic. A few months earlier, in October 2019, Fr Séamus celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood, and did so in the company of family and friends. Ten years before that he celebrated the fortieth anniversary of ordination in Royston. Those who were there recall a large but gentle man preaching with conviction, powerfully.
Many friends remember Fr Séamus’ small red Robin Reliant three-wheel car and exhilarating journeys on fast roads. He enjoyed travelling to Ireland to see family and friends, including former parishioners who had returned to live there. Intelligent, cheerful and self-deprecating, he enjoyed company and he was good company. He was accepting of people with their strengths and weaknesses.
He was an avid reader and collector of books on a wide range of subjects. He excelled at billiards and snooker, unrestricted by his portly frame. He mastered IT and technology. From an early age he supported Queens Park Rangers and went to see them play in White City. For all his intelligence he loved to watch the soaps on television, Corrie and Eastenders in particular.
Even though he had health issues for many years did not succumb to self-pity but remained cheerful and positive, helped by his innate sense of humour and joie de vivre. He appreciated the kindness of others, and he was unfailingly kind himself, and humble.
Fr Séamus died peacefully at the age of 76 at St Vincent’s Care Home in Eastcote on 10 February 2022.
May this gentle and kind priest rest in peace and rise in glory.