Bell was born in Edinburgh the 8th January 1927. He was educated
at Holy Cross Academy Edinburgh and Campion House Osterley.
He was ordained in Edinburgh in 1961.
Fr Bell was a member of the Society of Saint Sulpice, a Catholic
Society of Apostolic Life founded in Paris and named after St.
Sulpitius the Pious. Priests become members of the Society of
St. Sulpice only after ordination. Uniquely for a Catholic Order
they retain incardination in their own dioceses even after joining
the society. The purpose of the society is mainly the education
of priests and to some extent parish work. As their main role
is the education of those preparing to become members of the
presbyterate, Sulpicians place great emphasis on the academic
and spiritual formation of their own members, who commit themelves
to undergoing lifelong academic and spiritual development.
After his ordination in 1961 Fr Bell's first parish was St
Patrick's Kilsyth where he served for 11 years from 1961 to
1972 as assistant Priest to Canon
Thomas McGarvie the Parish Priest of St Patrick's at that
In 1972 upon the arrival of Fr
O'Connell and Fr
O'Brien into St Patrick's, Fr Bell moved to become the Parish
Priest of Blanefield where he was to stay until 1985. In 1985
he was to move to what was to become his final Parish in Scotland
that of St Catherine's in Edinburgh where he was to remain until
In 1989 Fr Bell moved to California in the United States where
he ministered for 25 years even after retiring from his many
roles there having been amongst other things, a prison Chaplin.
He paid one final flying visit to St Patrick's Kilsyth unannounced
in 2013 and quietly went to see the church where he had once
been an assistant priest and visit the house where he had lived
for 11 years. He was never to return to Kilsyth. After having
a series of strokes Fr Bell died on 28th February 2015.
Faithful servant of God, may he rest in peace!