Roman Catholic Diocese of Motherwell

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Diocese of Motherwell
Dioecesis Matrisfontis
Motherwell Diocesan Coat of Arms.gif
Diocese of Motherwell Coat of Arms
Country Scotland
Territory Most of the council areas of North and South Lanarkshire and part of Glasgow.
Ecclesiastical province Ecclesiastical Province of Glasgow
Metropolitan Glasgow
Area 1,178 km2 (455 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
164,586 (23.4%)
Parishes 75
Churches 74
Schools 12 High Schools
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Latin Rite
Established 25 May 1947
Cathedral Cathedral Church of Our Lady of Good Aid, Motherwell
Secular priests 113, including retired priests and those working with the Diocese.
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Joseph Toal
Metropolitan Archbishop Philip Tartaglia
Vicar General Father William Nolan
Emeritus Bishops Joseph Devine

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Motherwell (Latin: Dioecesis Matrisfontis) is an ecclesiastical diocese of the Catholic Church in Scotland.[1]

The diocese, which was erected on 25 May 1947 from the Archdiocese of Glasgow, as of 2013, is without a bishop (sede vacante).[1] On Tuesday 29 April 2014 - the Feast of St Catherine of Siena - Pope Francis appointed the Rt Rev Joseph Toal as fifth Bishop of Motherwell.

In 2004, the Catholic population, proportionately the largest in Scotland and second largest in Great Britain, was 165,100 from a total population of 633,000 (26.1%). In 2012 the diocese was served by 65 parish priests, 7 assistant priests and 13 deacons in across its 74 parishes. There are currently 35 retired priests from the diocese and 4 who reside in parishes in the diocese. The area of the diocese is 1,178 square kilometres (455 sq mi).[1]

Past and present ordinaries[edit]

Main article: Bishop of Motherwell

The following is a list of the Bishops of Motherwell:[1]

Diocesan Clergy[edit]

There are currently 75 parishes and 74 churches in the Diocese which are served by 72 priests and 13 deacons.

Father Krysztof Garwolinski, administrator of St Patrick's, Wishaw is chaplain to the Polish community. Father Joseph Vembadamthara is chaplain to the Syro Malabar Community and is an assistant priest at St Cuthbert's, Hamilton.

In 2011 many priests retired, meaning big changes in the diocese. The most notable retirement was of Canon Noel Provost Carey who had served as parish priest of the cathedral for 30 years and as provost of the diocese for many of them, with Canon Thomas Millar (made Canon in December 2011) taking over charge of the cathedral in June 2011. Father Francis McGachey replaced Fr Millar as parish priest of St Francis Carfin and Carfin Grotto.
Other retirements included: Canon William O'Sullivan (St Barbara's Muirhead), Fr Brian Logue (St Kevin's Bargeddie), Fr Leo Muldoon (St Peter's Hamilton), Fr James O'Hara (St Mark's Rutherglen), Canon Timothy Brosnan (St Gerard's Bellshill), Canon Andrew Reen (Sacred Heart, Bellshill) and Canon Michael Ryan (St Bride's East Kilbride).

Canon Niall Hayes (St John Bosco's New Stevenston), Mgr Michael Conway (St Ignatius' Wishaw), Father John Farrell (St Patrick's Strathaven), Father Damian Murphy (St Paul's Hamilton) Canon John Healy (St Serf's Airdrie), Canon Michael Walsh (St Aloysius' Chapelhall) and Father Vivian Hayes (St Francis of Assisi Baillieston) all retired in 2012. Canon Henry Allison was also due to retire as parish priest of St Anthony's Rutherglen but died on 3 January.

Canon Humphrey O'Mahony (Corpus Christi Calderbank & Sacred Heart Salsburgh) retired in October 2013.

There were two ordinations to the priesthood in the Diocese in 2011, the first ordinations in the diocese since 2005. Father Michael Kane was ordained in St John's Uddingston and Father Liam O'Connor in St Barbara's Muirhead. There were also two men ordained to the Permanent Deaconate in 2011. Mr John McGarry who was ordained in St Bride's East Kilbride and now serves there and Mr Mario Vannini who was ordained in Our Lady and Saint Anne's Hamilton and now serves in both St Ninian's and St Cuthbert's Hamilton. Mr Richard Haggarty was ordained for the diocese in early 2012 and serves in St John the Baptist Uddingston. In September 2012 another two men were ordained deacons, both Mr Henry McKenna at St Patrick's Shotts and Mr William McMillan in St Benedict's Easterhouse who will serve St Columbkille's Rutherglen.

Fr Brian Lamb is the Vocations Director (Priests) & Fr James Grant is Vocations Director (Deacons).

On Wednesday 24 July 2013, Mgr Leo Cushley, a priest of the diocese of Motherwell was appointed the Archbishop of St Andrew's & Edinburgh. Mgr Cushley was ordained in 1985 by Bishop Devine in St John the Baptist Church, Uddingston before serving in the Cathedral, St Serf's, Airdrie & St Aidan's, Wishaw. Since 1992 he has been a diplomat for the Vatican and held the post as head of the English-language section of the Vatican's Secretariat of State.

Parishes and deaneries[edit]

The 75 Parishes in the Diocese are spilt in 9 deaneries.

  1. Airdrie Deanery - :Dean Rev T Trench
  2. Central Deanery - :Dean Rev J Morris
  3. Coatbridge Deanery - :Dean Very Rev W Canon Dunnachie
  4. East Kilbride Deanery - :Dean Rev W Nolan (Interim)
  5. Hamilton Deanery - :Dean Rev H O'Brien (Interim)
  6. Motherwell Deanery - :Dean Rt Rev Mgr T Canon Millar
  7. Northern Deanery - :Dean Rt Rev Mgr J Canon McIntyre
  8. Rutherglen Deanery - :Dean Rev P Hennessy
  9. Wishaw Deanery - :Dean Rev H Kelly

Due to a shortage in priests, a number of parishes have begun to share parish priests including, Larkhall (St Mary's), Blackwood (St John's), Hamilton (St Ninian's, St Cuthbert's, St Mary's and St Paul's), Motherwell (Cathedral & St Luke's), Coatbridge (St Stephen's and St Bernard's), Holytown (Christ the King), New Stevenston (St John Bosco's), Airdrie (St Margaret's and St Serf's), Baillieston (St Bridget's and St Francis of Assisi'), Bellshill (Sacred Heart & St Gerard's), Cambuslang (St Bride's & St Cadoc's Halfway).

There are 11 priests and 1 deacon who serve as school chaplains to the high schools in the diocese.
There is also a chaplain to the main hospitals in the diocese, Monklands(Fr Colin Hughes), Wishaw(Fr Michael Brown) and Hairmyres(Fr Liam O'Connor).


Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral was first built in 1900 and became the cathedral of the new diocese of Motherwell in 1948. The current Cathedral Administrator is Mgr Thomas Canon Millar. The parish of the cathedral was linked with the parish of St Luke's Motherwell in 2011.

Cathedral Chapter[edit]


Monsignor Thomas Canon O'Hare
Monsignor Thomas Canon Millar
Very Rev. James Foley
Very Rev. Edward Glackin
Very Rev. Joseph Clements
Very Rev. Cornelius O'Leary
Monsignor John Canon McIntyre
Very Rev. William Dunnachie

Canons Emeritus

Very Rev. Denis Keane
Very Rev. Patrick McGovern
Very Rev. Herbert Flack
Very Rev. Patrick O'Hare
Very Rev. Patrick O'Sullivan
Very Rev. Thomas Gibbons
Very Rev. Timothy Brosnan
Very Rev. Michael Ryan
Very Rev. Noel Carey
Very Rev. Andrew Reen
Very Rev. William O'Sullivan
Very Rev. Niall Hayes
Very Rev. John B Healy
Very Rev. Michael Walsh
Very Rev. Humphrey O'Mahony


  1. ^ a b c d "Diocese of Motherwell". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 5 October 2010. 


Western Catholic Calendar

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°47′29″N 3°59′13″W / 55.79128°N 3.98704°W / 55.79128; -3.98704