MATTHEW Dwyer, who served the Roman Catholic Church as a priest in the Leeds Diocese for more than 50 years, has died aged 86.
He was a man of firm faith who dedicated himself to the welfare of his parishioners, and was much respected in all the parishes where he served.
Father Dwyer was born in Ireland in the village of Caherconlish, in County Limerick and after leaving school worked for several years for the national airline, Aer Lingus. But in his mid-twenties he offered himself for the priesthood and entered All Hallows seminary in Dublin where he was ordained in 1957.
From there he moved to the Diocese of Leeds and spent the next 14 years most of his ministry in the city, firstly in the parish of Christ the King, in Bramley, until 1961 when he moved to Holy Family, Wortley.
Four years later he went as curate at St Joseph’s, Keighley returning to Leeds in 1968 to St Augustine’s, Harehills where he stayed, until in 1971 Fr Dwyer was appointed parish priest at the Sacred Heart, Thornton, where remained for 10 years.
His last parish was St Joseph’s, Brighouse where he stayed for 14 years until he retired in the summer of 1995 and went to live at the former retirement home for diocesan clergy, St Gabriel’s in Horsforth.
He was fondly remembered in all his parishes, but especially in Brighouse from where people went to visit and care for him in his later years. He later moved to Headingley, Leeds, and eventually lived at Mount St Joseph’s Home where he was cared for by the Little Sisters of the Poor as his health declined.
Fr Dwyer is survived by his brother James.
There will be a Requiem Mass at St Joseph’s Church, Brighouse on Friday, December 30, at 11am, followed by interment at Brighouse Cemetery.