Jeremiah Bric was born in April 1834 in Ballymacelligott
(In Irish: Baile Mhic Eilegóid) which is a parish in
the north of County Kerry in Ireland. He was Educated at St
Mary’s Seminary Youghal and All Hallows College Dublin
before being ordained on the 8th January 1860 by Bishop Whelan
of Bombay specifically for the Eastern District of Scotland
as the Diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh was then known.
His first appointment was as assistant Priest at St Mary’s
Cathedral in Edinburgh in 1860 for a few months before being
moved to The Immaculate Conception in Bathgate where he stayed
from 1860 to 1861 again as an assistant Priest. In 1861 he was
then moved to St Andrew’s Cathedral Nethergate in Dundee
where he was assistant Priest for 6 years from 1861 to 1867.
In 1867 he was appointed as a Parish Priest and sent to Jedburgh
to the church of The Immaculate Conception where he was to serve
Fr Bric was then appointed to St Patrick’s Kilsyth where
he is recorded as the shortest serving Parish Priest being here
in Kilsyth for barely a few months. Fr Bric leaves Kilsyth almost
immediately and there are no further records of him serving
in Scotland again.
Fr Bric then appears on the records of the church in Canada
as an assistant Priest in Irishtown Ontario where he is stationed
from 1873 to 1875.
He next appears on the records of the church in the USA in Cincinatti
Ohio serving as a priest at the Church of the Attonement from
1875 to 1878 and further in Irontown Ohio from 1878 to 1886.
He is recorded in Canning’s record of Irish Priests as
having died in Ireland but no dates are listed.
There is no further information on Fr Bric in Scotland except
for one intriguing letter in the archive of the University of
Notre Dame, Indiana USA where a ‘candid’ letter
of introduction dated 23rd August 1874 is archived from Archbishop
John Strain of Edinburgh to Archbishop John Purcell of Cincinnati
Ohio. Archbishop Strain says concerning Fr Bric of whom he felt
compelled to ‘dispense of his services’
because ‘his fall was so known as to destroy the utility
of his services no matter how repentant he may be.’
Archbishop Strain clearly thinks that Fr Bric is truly repentant
and that he is an otherwise good priest. The same letter also
refers to the testimony of another ‘excellent young
priest’ who turns out to be Fr Turner who Archbishop
Strain says lived for a short while in the same house as Fr
Bric and was therefor ‘able to judge his character’
– however that ‘his eulogistic testimony should
not be disregarded but taken cum grano salis’ thus
warning the archbishop in Cincinatti to make his own mind up
despite Fr Turner apparently standing behind his colleague.
Whatever fall from grace overtook the mission of Fr Bric in
Kilsyth is not recorded but Fr Bric persisted with his vocation
and served the people and parishes of Scotland, Canada and the
United States for a total of 26 years.