Roman Catholic Diocese of Motherwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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 Fr Gerard Chromy
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, along with the Diocese of Paisley which was erected on the same day, it remains one of two suffragan sees, under the Archdiocese.[1] On Tuesday 29 April 2014 - the Feast of St Catherine of Siena - Pope Francis appointed 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]

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

  • Edward Douglas (appointed 7 February 1948 – resigned 9 February 1954)
  • James Scanlan (appointed 23 May 1955 – translated to the Archdiocese of Glasgow 29 January 1964)
  • Francis Thomson (appointed 8 December 1964 – resigned 14 December 1982)
  • Joseph Devine (appointed 13 May 1983 - resigned Thursday 30 May 2013)
  • Joseph Toal (appointed 29 April 2014 – present; previously Bishop of Argyll & the Isles Diocese from October 2008 - April 2014 and Apostolic Administrator of Motherwell from 30 May 2013 - 29 April 2014)

Diocesan Clergy[edit]

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

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

On Wednesday 24 July 2013, Leo Cushley, a priest of the diocese of Motherwell was appointed the Archbishop of St Andrew's & Edinburgh. Cushley was ordained in 1985 by 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.

Maurice Taylor, a priest of the Diocese is the Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Galloway and served as Scotland's representative on the Board of International Commission on English in the Liturgy and was its Chairman from 1997 until 2002.

Another priest of the Diocese, William Nolan, is the current Bishop of the Diocese of Galloway. Both Bishop Nolan and Bishop Taylor are former parish priests of Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride who later became Bishop of Galloway.

Cardinal Thomas Winning, a priest of the Diocese born in Wishaw was Archbishop of Glasgow from 1974 until his death in 2001.

Parishes and deaneries[edit]

The 75 Parishes in the Diocese are divided into nine deaneries.

  1. Airdrie Deanery - :dean, Rev. R. Breslin
  2. Central Deanery - :dean, Rev. J. Grant
  3. Coatbridge Deanery - :dean, Rev. V. Lockhart
  4. East Kilbride Deanery - :dean, Rev. I. Boyle
  5. Hamilton Deanery - :dean, Rev. B. Lamb
  6. Motherwell Deanery - :dean, Rev. R. Kane
  7. Northern Deanery - :dean, Rev. K. O'Brien
  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), Wishaw (St Thomas' & St Patrick's), Wishaw (St Aidan's), Cleland (St Mary's), Stepps (St Joseph's), Craigend (St Dominic's).

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 (Rev James Travers), Wishaw (Rev Michael Brown) and Hairmyres (Rev Stuart Parkes).


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 Fr Gerard Chromy. The parish of the cathedral was linked with the parish of St Luke's Motherwell in 2011.

Cathedral Chapter[edit]


Rt Rev Mgr Thomas Millar
Very Rev William Dunnachie

Canons Emeritus

Very Rev Denis Keane
Very Rev Patrick McGovern
Very Rev Herbert Flack
Very Rev Patrick O'Sullivan
Very Rev Thomas Gibbons
Very Rev Timothy Brosnan
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
Rt Rev Thomas O'Hare
Rt Rev John McIntyre
Very Rev Joseph Clements
Very Rev Cornelius O'Leary


  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