Parish priest of St Columba’s, Huyton for over 25 years, Father Michael Lee died on Tuesday 5 May. He was 87 and had served as a priest in the Archdiocese for 45 years.
Michael James Lee was born in Birkdale on 23 June 1927, the son of John and Mary Lee. He attended St Teresa’s School, Birkdale and St Mary’s College, Crosby. He then read law at Liverpool University where he was a prominent member of the Catholic Society, though his studies were interrupted by national service. After graduation he worked for Royal Insurance, advising many priests during this period over insurance matters.
Having cared for both his parents until their death, he then felt able to offer himself as a candidate for the priesthood and was sent by Archbishop George Andrew Beck to the Beda College in Rome to undertake his seminary formation. He was ordained priest in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool on 30 March 1970.
His first appointment was to St John’s, Kirkdale in September 1970. In December 1971 he was named director of the Pastoral Institute. After relinquishing this position he had three further postings as assistant priest, first at St Francis of Assisi, Garston in January 1975, before moving to St Clare’s, Liverpool in August 1975 and to the Skelmersdale Team Ministry in May 1982.
In September 1985 he succeeded Father Thomas Frayne as parish priest of St Columba’s, Huyton. This was to be his only appointment as parish priest and he worked tirelessly in Huyton until his retirement in September 2011. In retirement he lived in Southport, until increasing frailty forced him to move to Ince Blundell
His body will be received into St Columba’s, Huyton on Wednesday 13 May at 7pm and his funeral mass will be celebrated there by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon on Thursday 14 May at 11am prior to burial at Sacred Heart, Ainsdale.