History of St Cuthbert’s

(Text from St. Cuthbert’s Centenary Mass Booklet)

The Catholic authorities of the Archdiocese of Glasgow formally opened the new chapel-school in High Blantyre Road on 1 October 1893.

A Solemn Missa Cantata was intoned by Father Taylor of Motherwell and the responses were given by the male voices in the choir.  The music selected for the occasion was Lambellot’s Mass and was sung by the combined choirs of St. Bride’s, Cambuslang and Holy Cross, Glasgow.  The conductor was Mr. P. Clark of the Holy Cross Choir.

The sermon was preached by the Very Re. Canon McGuire, Provost of the Cathedral Chapter.  The canon began by congratulating the congregation on the foundation of the parish,  He congratulated them, not on his own behalf, but, had been charged by the archbishop of the diocese, who was unable to be present, to offer his congratulations, to express his heartfelt good wishes on the building of the chapel-school, and his hope that it might be a true blessing to every man and woman attending it.  The people, he said, were fortunate to begin their work with a handsome and, as far as the building was concerned, a most efficient chapel-school.

They had also provided a residence for the priest to live amongst them and they knew well enough how important that was.  He spoke of the significance of the building as an educational establishment and alluded to the fact that the chapel-school had been built due to the kindness of a benefactor.

The Canon also referred to the progress the Church was making in the district and expressed a hope that before long they would be able to build a church.  To achieve this energy on the part of the people, and cordial sympathy on the part of priest were needed.  He was certain they had both the one and the other there.

In the evening the rosary was recited, followed by a sermon preached by the Rev. George Ritchie, Shieldmuir, and concluded by solemn benediction.

The chapel-school supplied a need both spiritually and educationally for the Catholic people in the district.  The school, already in operation, had a roll of 250 pupils and Miss Gallacher was appointed as headteacher.

Father Muller, a curate in St. Patrick’s, Shotts, was appointed first parish priest of the newly formed mission.  A gold chalice, gifted to Father Muller by a brother and sister of the parish, is still in use today.

Father Muller worked diligently in St. Cuthbert’s until 1900 when he was appointed to St. Augustine’s, Langloan.

A native of Glasgow, Rev. Fr. Duncan Brown, who was parish priest in Neilston, succeeded Fr. Muller at St. Cuthbert’s, Burnbank.  From the very beginning of his ministry in the parish he showed great concern for the spiritual and social welfare of his parishioners.  Almost immediately he was appointed a member of the Hamilton Parish School Board and later was elected to the Amalgamated School Board in succession to Dean McAvoy, Hamilton.  He always considered the education of the children, irrespective of nationality, a high priority and particular attention was paid to the weaker members of the community.

The congregation had increased considerably since the opening of the chapel-school.  There were now 2,500 parishioners and the school roll had grown to 600.  The community was now considered to be an important one in the Archdiocese of Glasgow.  Fr. Brown realised the need for a church in its own right and so, largely due to his popularity, and devoted labours, a new phase took place in the history of St. Cuthbert’s parish when, in 1908, the new church in Glenlee Street was opened.  Within a period of twenty years, the people of the parish had built and opened a chapel-school, presbytery, and now a church. Fr. Brown was not only popular and greatly respected by his own parishioners, but also by other congregations and members of the wider community, who were represented at the opening of the new church.

In the forenoon, on the 18th October 1908, Fr. Brown was the celebrant of a Solemn High Mass for the official opening of the church.  He was assisted by the Rev. Dean McAvoy, Hamilton as deacon and Fr. McConnachie, Cadzow, sub-deacon, Professor Claeys, Bearsden was master of ceremonies.

Archbishop Maguire preached to a crowded congregation.  In his sermon he first of all rejoiced with them at the opening of their new church.  He recalled that, almost fifteen years earlier he had the privilege of opening their chapel-school.  Since then the community had grown from a small county district to a thriving commercial centre.  He urged the people to make the occasion the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, just as it was a new chapter in their congregational history.  At the end of his sermon, His Grace imparted the Papal Blessing to the congregation.

An excellent rendering of Runcke’s Mass was given by the choir led by Mr. Charles Kelly, with Miss Finman as accompanist.

The church was again crowded in the evening for rosary and solemn benedicition.  A special sermon was preached by the Very Re. Fr. Conway O.P from Leicester.

St. Cuthbert’s Clergy Past and Present

Parish Priests

1893-1900        Peter Muller

1900-18            Duncan Brown

1918-26            Peter O’Connor

1926-32            Daniel O’Sullivan

1932-33            Patrick J. Loy

1933-44            James Montgomery

1944-46            Peter Morrison

1946-65            James F. Walsh

1965-82            Bernard Keenan

1982-97            Denis Keane

1997-2010        John Taylor

2010-11            John Irons

2011-16            Gerard Bogan

2016-Present  Charles Dornan

Assistant Priests

1904-08            Thomas Gourlay

1908-15            Daniel Colvin

1915-18            Dominick Casey

1918-19            Patrick J O’Sullivan

1919-20            Peter J MacFarlane

1920-21            Michael Quinlan

1921-22            Alphonsus Mullen

1922-24            Michael O’Brien

1924-27            Archibald Watt

1927-32            John B. McDermott

1927-36            John McKenna

1931-32            Patrick S. Brennan

1936-50            Daniel B. White

1938-41            Francis Misset

1940-48           Anthony McGurk

1948-54            Angus McKellaig

1950-53            Thomas Hickey

1952-54            Timothy O’Sullivan

1953-54              James Rodgers

1954-55              Patrick Hoey

1954-57              David Cullen

1955-59              Hugh Beattie

1957-61              John Gallacher

1959-60              John Delaney

1960-67              William O’Sullivan

1961-65              Denis Power

1964-68              Neal Carlin

1967-69              Robert Milligan

1968-70              William Sproule

1969-71              John Buckley SPS

1971-76              Cornelius O’Leary

1976-77              Michael Cunnane

1977-78              Anthony Coyle

1978-83              Dominic Towey

1983-91              Damian Murphy

1997-98              Stephen Miller

1998-2002          James O’Kane

2011-11              Sebastian Kallath, VC

2011-2021     Joseph Vembadamthara, VC

2021-              Johny Vettickal Abraham

Permanent Deacons

2011-17              Mario Vannini