Remembering Fr Michael
Michael Beattie SJ
We are all sharing in our grief for the passing of our beloved Fr Michael, who died peacefully on Saturday 7th January. We ask you all to keep Fr Michael in your prayers and share your memories of him at this sad time.
Robert Michael Beattie was born in Lytham in Lancashire on 31st May 1936, the son of James and Emily Beattie and the brother of Dorothy. He was educated at Mount St Mary’s College in Sheffield. He joined the Jesuit novitiate at the age of 18 and made a year’s juniorate immediately after taking first vows.
Between 1957 and 1960 he studied for a licentiate in philosophy at Heythrop College in Oxfordshire. After a year of special studies in modern languages at Campion Hall in Oxford, he made his regency at Mount St Mary’s teaching French. In 1964 he returned to Heythrop for theology and was ordained in Sheffield in 1967. A fourth year of theology studies was followed by his final year of training, the tertianship, at St Beuno’s in North Wales.
Between 1969 and 1972 he was a member of the parish staff at Sacred Heart Wimbledon, then moved to St George’s Worcester as Superior and parish priest.
In 1975 he became Rector and parish priest at the Sacred Heart in Wimbledon, and next, after a sabbatical in Rome and the United States, moved to the Sacred Heart in Edinburgh as parish priest in 1983.
From 1991 he served as parish priest at Farm Street in London for seven years, becoming Superior of the community in 1993. He was appointed Superior and parish priest at Corpus Christi, Boscombe, in 1998. At this time, he studied for and obtained an MA degree in canon law at Heythrop College, University of London. Throughout these busy years of ministry, he remained close to his family, frequently led pilgrimages to Lourdes and latterly supplied in the summer months in Orange County, California.
He moved to Mount St Mary’s as Director of the Apostleship of Prayer eight years later, living there for many years with Fr Peter Knott. He remained at the Mount as chaplain and spiritual father until his death.
Lord, we entrust Fr Michael to you, welcome him into your presence. You loved him greatly in this life, now give him happiness and peace for ever.