Four-fold celebration at Holy Rosary, Aintree

Holy Rosary's 60th anniversary

There were four major reasons to celebrate at Holy Rosary, Aintree on Friday 7 October, the 60th anniversary of the celebration of the first Mass in the church.

Following a school Mass held in the morning, Archbishop Malcolm joined parishioners in the evening for Mass on the Feast of the Holy Rosary and the anniversary of the church. It was also an opportunity for the parish to formally mark the retirement of Monsignor John Butchard as parish priest and to formally welcome Father Vin McShane as his successor. The rite of induction of a parish priest was led by Archbishop Malcolm and afterwards the celebrations continued in the parish centre.

In September 1947, Archbishop Downey had appointed Father John Gillan as priest-in-charge in Aintree Village. Fr John took up lodgings in 34 Radley Drive and in October 1947 the parish was placed under the patronage of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Building on the church began on 25 March 1955 and Archbishop Godfrey blessed the foundation stone the following October.

There was also a celebration for Father Vin in his former parish of Saint John Vianney, where he had worked to help three parish communities become one. The Halewood parish's new priest, Father Matthew Nunes, welcomed his predecessor, and Fr Vin thanked parishioners for their support, saying, "I am very grateful to Fr Matthew and parishioners for the welcome received. Since the announcement of my new appointment in May, I have received many kind words and memories from so many people."