He was appointed to Glenavy Parish on 10 July 1907, and transferred to St Malachy's College on 1 September of the same year, where over the next 13 years Fr Mageean taught English Literature and Latin, and served as Dean of Discipline.
In 1919 Fr Mageean was transferred to St. Patrick's College, Maynooth as Junior Dean, rising to be Senior Dean before his episcopal nomination as 28th Bishop of Down and Connor in 1929.
In the 1930s he was a champion of Catholic rights especially after the anti-Catholic riots of 1935. In that year he succeeded in getting the anti-Catholic nature of much of Northern Ireland life raised in the House of Commons at Westminster but his efforts came to naught and he resigned himself to a long period of sterility as prime ecclesiastical leader of demoralised Northern Irish Catholics. In 1939 he coined the much-quoted phrase: A Protestant Parliament for a Protestant People, attributing it to his opponent the prime minister Lord Craigavon, but it was a slight misquotation.
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Down and Connor