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Our Priests

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Rev.James Milne

1868 - 1881

In 1859 a Catholic mission was set up in Chapelhall, the priest in charge being Father James Milne, from the Enzie, Banffshire; in his care were included the Catholics of the Holytown, Mossend, Bellshill area. Nine years later, in 1868, Father Milne opened a new chapel-school in Mossend, dedicated to the Holy Family. It is from that event that we date the beginnings of Mossend as a parish, though in fact Father Milne continued to be in charge of both Chapelhall and Mossend and indeed resided in Chapelhall for another two years or so after which he took up residence in the new presbytery built at Mossend. Eventually, in 1873, Chapelhall and Mossend became independent missions, Father Milne remaining in charge here until 1881.

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Rev. Dr. Michael Fox

1881 - 1892

The second Priest appointed to Mossend after the transference of Father Milne to Kilbirnie was the Rev. Dr. Michael Fox. In 1884 he built the presnt church, which at the time was one of the finest Churches in the Archdiocese. The Rev. Dr. Michael Fox was born in Killeshill, Co. Tyrone on the 1st August 1837. He had came to Scotland with his parents at four years of age. He was admitted to Blairs college on the 9th December 1853 and in 1856 was sent to the college of Propaganda in Rome. He was ordained a Priest in St. John Lateran’s on the 30th May 1863 by Cardinal Patrizi, returning to Scotland on the 1st July. Fr Michael died on the 2nd May 1906 aged 69, having served as a Priest for 43 years.

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Rev. Michael Hughes

1892 - 1904

Rev, Michael Hughes was born in Glasgow on the 24th May 1858. He entered Blairs college in September 1870 and the Scots college in Rome in July 1874. He was ordained a Priest on the 2nd April 1881 by Cardinal Monaco in the Basilica of St. John Lateran’s in Rome. During his time in Mossend it was Rev. Michael Hughes who planned and built the present Presbytery, he gained an extraordinary degree of popularity amoungst his devoted flock. Fr Hughes died on the 2nd March 1921.

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Rev. John Scannell

1904 - 1907

Rev. John Scannell came to Mossend in 1904. He is described as being clever and brilliant by nature and intensly devoted to the welfare of his flock. He was born at Castlemartyr in Co. Cork on the 9th October 1865. Having received his early education at the National School he entered the Benedictine College at Douai in 1880. Two years later he entered St. Colman’s College, Fermoy. In 1884 he passed to Maynooth for the study of Philosophy and Theology. He was raised to the Priesthood by Archbishop Walsh of Dublin on the 24th June 1890. During his time in Mossend Fr Scannell set about the task of providing a new school for the ever increasing number of pupils. The foundation stone was laid by Archbishop Maguire on the 7th October 1906. The school building remains in use to this day and has a capacity for 266 pupils. Fr Scannell died one year later on the 4th July 1907 at Mossend. In accordance with his wishes his remains were returned to his native Parish in Ireland.

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Rev. Francis Cronin

1907 - 1918

Rev. Francis Cronin came to Mossend in 1907 to take the place of Father Scannell. He was born in Alexandria on the 1st September 1869. He entered Blairs college on the 12th August 1884 and passed to the Royal Scots college, Valladolid, Spain in August 1887. He was raiseed to the Priesthood on the Feast of Corpus Christi on the 24th May 1894 by the Archbishop of Valladolid.

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Rev. John McMenemy

1926- 1936

Father Brown retired at the end of 1925 and after an interval of 6 months, the Rev. John McMenemy was appointed to take charge in Jule 1926. He was born in Glasgow ont he 6th June 1875. After leaving St Mungo’s Academy he went to Blairs College, where he completed his classical course. Next he proceeded to Petit seminaire de Notre Dame des Champs, Paris before passing to the Scots college, Valladolid, for higher studies. Hew was ordained there on the 21st May 1899. Father McMenemy did not come to the parish at a very prosperous time. The miners all over Britain had come out on Strike. It was against the background of these sorry happenings that the Golden Jubilee of our church took place. Father McMenemy died suddenly on the 13th December 1936 being annointed almost at the moment of his passing

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Rev. Duncan Brown

1918 - 1926

Rev. Duncan Brown came to Holy Family after the death of Father Cronin. He was born in Glasgow on the 13th December 1861 and entered Blairs college on the 14th August 1878. He was then sent to the Scots college, Valladolid on the 13th July 1881 and was ordained a Priest six years later. He arrived in Mossend in 1918 where he erected the Sacred heart altar and and renovated the church in 1921.

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Rev. William Flannagan

1937 - 1951

After Father McMenemy’s death, Father William Flanagan came to Mossend to take charge of the parish. He was born in Glasgow in 1878 and entered Blairs college in 1893. Going abroad for his ecclesiastical studies, he spent a year at Notre Dame des Champs in Paris, and then returned to Scotland to complete his course in philosophy and theology at St. Peter’s College, New Kilpatrick. He was raised to the Priesthood in May 1904, by the Most Rev. John A. Maguire, Archbishop of Glasgow. During his time in Mossend, Father Flanagan carried out extensive alterations to the church and parochial halls. He played a big part in the establishment of 2 new parishes of St. John Bosco’s New Stevenston in 1946 and the Sacred Heart Bellshill in 1949. Father Flannagan remained at Mossend untill 1952 when advancing years and infirmity forced his to retire. He died 6 years later in December 1958

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Rev. Peter Murie

1952 - 1953

The next pastor after Father Flanagan retired was Father Peter Murie. He was born in Airdrie in 1893 and was no stranger to the parish for as a young boy he had stayed with an aunt in Mossend and for some time was a pupil at the school. He entered Blairs college in 1907. He was transfered to the College of Propaganda in Rome in 1913 and later in 1915 to St. Peter’s college, New Kilpatrick. He was ordained in St. Andrews Cathedral in 1919. His stay in Mossend was very brief, little more than a year. His health was causing concern and he was transferd to a smaller parish in Carluke in 1953. His solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated on Friday 17th January 1964 at St. Columbkille’s Rutherglen

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Rev. Patrick Kelly

1953 - 1969

Father Patrick Kelly was born at Cambuslang on the 2nd October 1894. He entered Blairs college in August 1909 and was transfered to St. Peter’s College, New Kilpatrick. In the First world War he served with the army from 1917 on the Western Front, where he was so seriously wounded that he had to spend several months in hospital. In 1920 he was sufficiently recovered to resume his studies and was raised to the Priesthood by the Most Rev. Donald MacKintosh in St. Andrew’s Cathedral on the 1st May 1924. During his time in Mossend Father Kelly made many improvements and embellishments that warrented the highest of praise. The exterior of the building was sand-blasted, which considerably brightened its appearence. A new heating system was installed, the seats refurbished, the sanctuary steps lowered, a new lecturn setup and the organ completly overhauled. Canon Kelly guided the parish through its Centenary celebration.

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Rev. Robert Douglas

1969 - 1979

Aftet the retirement of Canon Kelly from parish life in 1969, The Rev. Robert Douglas was appointed at Mossend. During his time, and under the direction of Father Boyle - the last curate to serve the parish - the Mossend Aid for Chile fund was instituted. This raised a sum in excess of £20,000 to help the poorer areas near Santiago. The Money was administered by a Coilombian Father to maintain a home for destitute and orphaned children. Canon Douglas retired from the parish in late 1979.

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Rev. Gerald Maher

1980 - 1995

Following Canon Douglas’ retirement, Father Gerald Maher was apointed Parish Priest at Mossend. Canon Maher was born in Mossend on the 5th February 1921. He attended St. Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeen from 1933 to 1938 when he attended the Scots College Rome for 2 years. He attended St. Peter’s College, Bearsden in 1940 and later returning to St. Mary’s College and St. Peter’s College, Bearsden from 1941 to 1945. He was ordained a Priest on the 29th June 1945 in St. Andrew’s Cathedral Glasgow. During his time in Mossend, he made major refurbishments to the church and the parish halls. The parish centre was refurbished adding toilets and heating. The church roof was completly re-tiled and renovated and a Holy Family Shrine set up near the porch.He retired from Holy Family Mossend in 1995 and died on the 9th November 2009.

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Rev. James A. Grant

1995 - 2019

Fr James Grant was born on the 13th June 1959 in Calderbank House in Baillieston. He attended the Royal Scots College in Valladolid, Spain from 1977 to 1983 being ordained a Priest by Rev Francis Thompson, Bishop of Motherwell on the 4th July 1983 in his home Parish Corpus Christi Calderbank. Father Grant arrived in Mossend in 1995 after the retirement of Canon Maher. During his time in Mossend he has made major improvements to the church and the Parish Centre. New stained glass windows have been installed above the main sanctuary; the Pieta shrine and the baptistery have been relocated towards the centre of the church. New pews have been put in place and the heating system has been upgraded. More recently the church has been fully repainted with the addition of latin text around the side walls of the church and ornately painted roof panels being installed. The halls have all been fully refurbished with the addition of the ‘Canon Kelly Auditorium’ and the full parish centre roof being completely renewed. Father Grant is now the longest serving Parish Priest in the history of Holy Family Mossend, having served as parish priest for 23 years. He took on further roles in the Motherwell Diocese having been appointed chancellor in 2014 and he left the parish in 2019 taking up the position as General Secretary to the Bishops' conference of Scotland. He is now Parish Priest of St Francis Xavier Carfin and Guardian of Carfin Grotto.

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Rev.Michael Brown

2019 - Present

On the 2nd February 2019 Father Michael Brown took charge of Holy Family Mossend as the 14th Parish priest in our 150 years history. Fr. Brown was born in Chryston on 9th January 1964. He attended St Ambrose’s High School, Coatbridge and later studied for the priesthood at Chesters and Scotus Colleges, Bearsden. On the 24th June 1998 he was ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell, in his home Parish of St Barbara’s, Muirhead. Father Brown’s first appointment was as Assistant Priest of St Bride’s, East Kilbride from 1998 to 2002. He then served as an Army Chaplain (reserve) before returning to the Motherwell Diocese in 2005 and taking up an appointment as Assistant Priest of Sacred Heart, Bellshill. At this time Father Brown also served as Chaplain to Cardinal Newman High School. In March 2011 he was then appointed Parish Priest of St Gerard’s Bellshill where he remained for the next 2 and a half years. In September 2013 he was appointed Parish Priest of St Brendan’s, Motherwell, and Chaplain to Wishaw General Hospital. Father Brown returned to the Mossend, Bellshill area in 2019, when he took charge of our own parish of Holy Family Mossend replacing Father James Grant.

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