Obituary: Father John McQuade SJ, 93

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Tributes have been paid to Father John McQuade SJ, a priest who oversaw parishes in Lauriston Street and Wester Hailes, after he passed away at the age of 93.

Father McQuade was born in the rural village of Caldercruix in North Lanarkshire on March 3, 1919, the son of John and Kathleen McQuade.

He was educated at Our Lady’s High School in Motherwell before moving to Oxford, where he studied philosophy and theology at Heythrop College.

He was there from 1940 to 1952, taking a five-year gap at one point to teach at Mount St Mary’s College near Chesterfield.

By then, in 1936, he had joined the Jesuits and was ordained in 1950.

After graduating, Father McQuade moved into teaching full time at St John’s Preparatory School in Hertfordshire, where he remained between 1953 and 1958.

It was following that spell that he came north to Edinburgh after being appointed as parish priest at the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart in Lauriston Street.

He spent 20 years there and was fondly remembered by his congregation.

One colleague recalled: “Father John was a very engaging person with a great sense of humour.

“He was very compassionate which made him an excellent priest. He was much loved by his congregation wherever he served.”

Towards the end of his time at the Sacred Heart, Father John was instrumental in laying the foundations for the new St John Ogilvie’s Church in the parish of Wester Hailes, which was established in 1970.

Friends said they had great admiration for Father John, and appreciated the great job he did for the church.

Away from the church, he had a great fondness for books, his favourite subject being Scottish literature, while he was also keen on history, particularly of the Catholic Church.

He often enjoyed time in the Highlands, where he eventually moved to spend the final years of his career, retiring in 1998 after serving as parish priest at St Aiden’s Church in Aviemore, Inverness-shire, where the congregation thought very highly of him.

Before that, however, he headed for Aberdeen after leaving Wester Hailes, taking over the Sacred Heart Church in the Torry area of Aberdeen between 1981 and 1986.

After Father John’s retirement he moved back to Edinburgh to live at St Joseph’s House care home in Gilmore Place, where he died on Sunday, May 27.

He was a beloved brother of Sarah and Mary and a much-loved uncle.

His funeral will take place tomorrow at the Sacred Heart Church in Lauriston Street at 12.30pm.