It is with regret that we inform you of the death on the 3rd of April, 2020 at Southport Hospital, Merseyside, United Kingdom at the age of 80 of
Father Owen Grant
Mill Hill Missionary
May he rest in peace
Fr. Owen Grant was born on the 11th of November, 1939 in the town of Northallerton near Middlesbrough in the North-East of England. His father was also called Owen, and his mother, Mary. Owen had only one sibling, a sister, Mary. Throughout life, Owen referred to his sister as “Our Mary”, and enjoyed a close affinity with her while working at home and abroad.
After completing his Primary Education, Owen felt called to follow a vocation as a foreign missionary priest with the Mill Hill Missionaries. This led him to complete his secondary education at St. Peter’s College, Freshfield, Merseyside, then later at Burn Hall, Durham. Still convinced of his missionary vocation, Owen proceeded to study Philosophy in the Missiehuis in Roosendaal, Holland from 1959 to 1961, then for his Theology studies at St. Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, London from 1961 to 1965.
Owen took the Perpetual Oath in the Society on the 1st of May, 1964 in the chapel of St. Joseph’s College, Mill Hill. He then had a period of further studies in Dublin, Ireland, before being ordained a priest by Cardinal Heenan at Westminster Cathedral on the 9th of July, 1966.
In 1968 Owen’s dream of being a foreign missionary was fully realised when he was appointed to work in the Diocese of Miri in Malaysia. There, he settled into parish ministry, immersing himself in the local cultures and languages in loving service of the local church and peoples. Victim of the limited work-visa policy of those days, in 1977 Owen was appointed to work in the Archdiocese of Kisumu, Kenya. By 1979 Owen found himself back “Home” in the UK doing “Organising” work for the APF. Owen was delighted in 1984 to receive a re-appointment to Kisumu, Kenya where he stayed until his “Home Leave” in 1995, during which time he followed the personal renewal course offered at St. Anselm’s Institute in Margate, Kent. In 1996 Owen returned to his beloved Kenya, this time to work in the Diocese of Ngong. Early in 2005, Owen was withdrawn from East Africa and appointed to “Organising” work afresh in the UK. This he did until the beginning of 2013, when he retired to Herbert House, Freshfield, Liverpool, returning to where his vocation-journey began all those many years before. Wherever he served, Owen brought a typical North-Eastern humour with him. He had a wonderful gift for learning foreign languages and a most special affinity with ordinary people, latterly helping to minister to the faithful of local parishes in Liverpool Archdiocese.
In latter months and years, Owen’s health suffered many challenges, which he bore in a dignified and typical way. Recently, his under-lying health issues made him vulnerable to the effects of the Covid-19 virus. He succumbed to the virus around 8.30.pm. at Southport Hospital, Merseyside, UK on Friday the 3rd of April. May he rest in the arms of St. Joseph, our Patron and model missionary.