Father James McSharry
Thursday
13
January

Visitation

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, January 13, 2022
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
554 15th St E
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
(519) 376-0778
Thursday
13
January

Vigil Prayers

7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Thursday, January 13, 2022
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
554 15th St E
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
(519) 376-0778
Friday
14
January

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am
Friday, January 14, 2022
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
554 15th St E
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
(519) 376-0778

Interment

St. Mary's Cemetery
455 2nd Avenue South East
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
Interment at a later date in the spring.

Obituary of Father James McSharry

Father James passed peacefully after a brief illness at the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital in St. Catharines on Saturday, January 8th, 2022. James McSharry was born on June 25th, 1952 in Birmingham, England to the late John and Eileen McSharry (nee McCoy). He was the loving brother of Gerrard McSharry and Ann O’Callaghan, both of England.  Predeceased by his older sister, Mary Kathleen Mullins. It is with deep sadness that the family announces his passing. It was truly with God’s blessing that Father Wojciech Kuzma was at his bedside prior to his passing.

Father James lived a life of commitment to God and the Church, his abiding passion, we his family being proud to honour and support him in this selfless pursuit of his vocation.

From early childhood, performing his duties as an alter boy, he was never to be found far from the church. It was in fact when returning from serving Mass one Saturday morning that he encountered the first major challenge in his life, he was struck by a car as he crossed the road, causing him very serious injury. James sustained a severely broken arm, leaving him with a lifelong disability of the limb, and a major head trauma which left him literally at death’s door for several weeks. Only our mother’s constant prayer, care and devotion nursed him back to health, with all of the ongoing implications that such an accident can produce. By the grace of God he recovered, finished his secondary education and joined the workforce in Birmingham in the late 1960’s.

Indeed he cut quite a dash in his elegant tailored suit as he learned the retail clothing trade working with one of Birmingham’s leading menswear clothiers. And yet he, and we, knew it wasn’t really for him, even though his professional ability was unquestioned, with many of his customers returning again and again to be guaranteed his advice with their suits, his heart it seemed, was never fully committed to his job. His calling was to the priesthood, and it would not be satisfied until he enrolled to fulfil his vocation. This proved difficult, as his accident seemed determined to continue to haunt him.

His application to St. Mary’s College, Oscott, Sutton Coldfield, the Roman Catholic seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, was declined, with his incomplete third level education, and indeed his injuries being cited for the refusal. One might think that this would deter an applicant, sending them off to pursue a different path in life, but nothing could have been further from the truth. James through his still close association with the Church met and befriended Father Robert Lee, who could clearly see the vocation that James nurtured, and he subsequently introduced him to Father Mike Downey, then a Vocations Director for the Diocese of Hamilton in Ontario.

James went on to complete studies in; The University of Western Ontario, University of McMaster, Hamilton, Ontario and Washington Theological Forum. He graduated B.A. Sociology and Master of Divinity, Theology/Theological Studies.

James was ordained, Father James McSharry in his home parish of St. Edwards, Selly Park, Birmingham, England in 1992. The irony being that the Archbishop who ordained Father James, asked our mother whether he would consider coming back to the Birmingham Diocese, as his study results were consistently high, but his loyalty to the Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario was established by then, and he returned to Canada shortly thereafter.

A modest man, Father James was devoted also to his family, spending most of his holidays and breaks on the west coast of Ireland for many years. He officiated at numerous family weddings and baptisms in both Ireland and England, and was co-celebrant at the funeral Masses of our beloved mother and sister in 2015.

It is with the greatest regret that neither I, nor my sister Ann can be with you today as you lay our dear brother James to rest. The abominable conditions that the world finds itself in due to Covid 19, the severe travel restrictions, and not to mention our own brush with the very threatening virus, make it impossible and unsafe to be with you in Owen Sound today. We are so grateful to Father Kuzma for his inestimable help through these difficult days, and to the parish for all the very great support given to Father James during these years of his life. We shall be watching the live feed of his Mass with our combined families and joining you all on Friday, January 14th, 2022 as he makes this final journey to the arms of our dear Lord Jesus and his Blessed Mother.

We thank God eternally for sparing James in his childhood ordeal, and we give thanks for the fulfilling life he went on to enjoy in his beloved second home, Canada.

Friends are invited to attend the visitation at St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church, 554 15th Street East, Owen Sound on Thursday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Vigil prayers will be recited at 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial for Father James McSharry will be held on Friday, January 14th, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. with Father Wojciech Kuzma officiating. With COVID 19 restrictions guests must wear a mask, follow social distancing protocols and schedule a time by calling the funeral home or RSVP through the website.  Spring interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Owen Sound. Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Father James’s online memorial at www.woodfuneralhome.ca.

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