Catholic Church Kilsyth

Mass to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of St Patrick's Kilsyth.

All photographs are reproduced here by kind permission of
Bob Dougal Photography

The photographs of Mass in St Patrick's Kilsyth
on Tuesday the 17th March 2015.

Contact Bob Dougal for all your contemporary photography needs on and 01236 825410



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An Apostolic Blessing from The Holy Father has been recieved to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Parish and the 50th Anniversary of the current church building. It is now on display in the mortuary Chapel together with another older Apostolic Blessing for the Parish from Saint John Paul II.

The icon of St Patrick (above left) was donated by St Maurice's High School Head Teacher Mrs Patricia Alexander. It was designed and manufactured by the S3 Art Class 2013/14 of Art Principal Mr Robert Donnelly.

Left and Right Rt. Rev. Monsignor Patrick J. Burke VG presents medals to some of the pupils involved after he blessed the icon in a short service which took place immediately before the 150th Anniversary Mass on St Patrick's Day 2015.




The entrance hymn, 'When Christ Our Lord to Andrew Cried' reflecting the patron saint of our Archdiocese.

The congregation.

The entrance procession as the priests enter the sanctuary.

Right Rev. Monsignor Patrick J. Burke VG relects upon the history of Christian worship in Kilsyth since at least the year 1217 before reflecting upon the beauty of the passages regarding 'Miracle of the Nets and the Fishes' from Luke's Gospel.

The offertory procession

Right Rev. Monsignor Patrick J. Burke VG incencesses the altar prior to the concelebration

The concelabration
The concelabration
From right to left Fr Daniel Doherty current Parish Priest, Right Rev. Monsignor Gerry Canon Hand former Parish priest, the principal concelebrant was Right Rev. Monsignor Patrick J. Burke VG, Fr James Tracey former Parish Priest and Fr Sullivan Parish Priest of neighbouring parish of Holy Cross Croy

The concelabration

The consecration.

The recessional procession to the hymn
'Hail Glorious St Patrick...'.

Mrs Anne Russell representing St Patrick's cuts the Anniversary cake with Right Rt. Rev. Monsignor Patrick J. Burke VG who was our guest of honnor.

The Anniversary cake was shared our amongst the parishioners the following Sunday at teas after Mass. The cake, which was delicious, was make by Rennie's Bakery, Main Street Kilsyth.

The queue to get a piece of cake is already forming!

Fr James Tracey our former Parish Priest, recieves a bookstand on behalf of his home Parish of St Machan's Lennoxtown. Presented by Mrs Catherine McGrath.

Mrs Isabel Conroy make the presentation of a book stand to a member of the congragation of St Lukes Banknock.

Mrs Isabel Conroy make the presentation of a book stand to a member of the congragation of St John of the Cross Twechar

Fr Sullivan of Holy Cross Parish in Croy recieves a book stand from Mrs Anne Russell.

Fr Sullivan seems pleased with his gift - Croy having a particularly close association with Kilsyth as many families in both towns have a shared heritage between both Parishes of Holy Cross and St Patrick's.

Fr Daniel Doherty recieves a book stand from
Mrs Catherine McGrath

Mr Kris Thomas acting Head Teacher of St patrick's recieves a copy of the book stand from Mr George Dailly and flanked by Mr Pat Docherty.
Pat Docherty makes the presentation to St Maurices High School.
Mrs Alice Conway recieved a Crytsal Bowl from Depute Provast Jean Jones to convey the congratulation to St Patrick's of North Lanarkshire Council. Mr Gery Daily looks on as MC of the presentation.
The Irish Dancing provided by the ladies of the Davie Smith School of Irish Dancing provided a magnificent display of their talents.
As soon as the Irish Dancers came on stage there was a crowd of new wannabe recruits keeping a close eye on the dancing!
After the display of Irish dancing the ladies take a well deserved applause.

The Columban Singers in fine voice give entertainment during the reception at St Patrick's School after Mass.

One of 6 replica book stands of an antique book stand which was used for over 100 years in both the new and old St Patrick's Church Kilsyth, made as gifts by Mr Tom Wiseman of St Maurice's Technical Department and gifted to St Machan's Lennoxtown as our Mother Church, Holy Cross Parish Croy, St Lukes Banknock and St John of the Cross Twechar as daughter parishes of St Patrick’s Kilsyth and St Patrick’s Primary and St Maurice’s High as local Catholic schools.

A copy of the invitation sent to our guests. Sadly Archbishop Cushley didn't make it that day, the reception was eventually moved to the school hall to accomodate the numbers and we changed the email address of the Parish before the 17th of March - but apart from that we got the rest of the details correct!

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The Parish of St Patrick's had chosen the feast of their patron saint, 17th March 2015 to mark the 150th Anniversary of the re founding of a Catholic parish in Kilsyth after the protestant reformation of 1565. The parish had been a mission station of St Machan's Lennoxtown for 20 years previously, but on the 5th January 1865, Fr John Galvin was sent to Kilsyth by Bishop James Gillis to re-found a Catholic parish here.

Unfortunately our current prelate, Archbishop Leo Cushley was unable to attend this celebration as planned as he had been called to Rome to attend the Holy Father, so the Vicar general of the Archdiocese, Monsignor Patrick Burke became the principle concelebrant of the Mass.

Before Mass began a magnificent Icon of St Patrick which had been gifted to the Parish by Head Teacher of St Maurice’s High, Mrs Patricia Alexander to mark the occasion of the 150th anniversary, was blessed by Monsignor Burke in the presence of the students responsible for making the icon. Some of the students and their principal of Art, Mr Bobby Donnelly who had been the primary influence behind the project, recieved specially commissioned commemorative gold medals in a presentation case to acknowledge the grateful thanks of the parish.

There were 17 priests in total from across the Archdioceses of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The current parish priest Fr Daniel P Doherty was joined by former Parish Priests Fr James G Tracey and Monsignor Gerard R.Canon Hand and a number of former assistant priests who had previously served in Kilsyth. Notably Fr Andrew Garden who left Kilsyth only last September 2014 for Falkirk read from Luke’s Gospel and Fr Scott Deeley who is now Chancellor of the Archdiocese was able to assist with distribution of Holy Communion.

In his sermon Monsignor Burke recounted that there is historical evidence that there was a pre reformation Catholic Church in Kilsyth as early as the year 1217 and probably for some years before this. Kilsyth has therefor had a permanent place of Christian Worship for almost 800 years! He went on to discuss the beauty of the passage from Luke’s Gospel (Luke 10:1-2 & 17-20) when Peter recognises Jesus as ‘Lord’ for the first time after the miracle of the nets and fishes. Before the miracle Peter recognises Jesus as ‘Rabbi’ – Master and after the miracle he recognises Jesus as ‘Kyrie’ – Lord.

The service was attended by many guests from the other Christian denominations of Kilsyth, civic life was represented by Councillors and local officials from a variety of organisations and invited guests from across all walks of life in Kilsyth who had a connection with St Patrick’s or the community of Kilsyth. All of the guests were presented with a souvenir book and a medal to mark the occasion.

There were three choirs in attendance and the Parish Choir, which was augmented by Columban Singers and the school choir of St Patrick’s School. The school choir consisting of children of various age groups beautifully sung Panis Angelicus as the reflection hymn after communion. This was followed by the Columban Singers who sung Shubert's version of Ave Maria.

Among the guests were Dani and Ruth Metzstien the widow and daughter of the late Isi Metzstien who was the principal designer of St Patrick’s Church which as a grade-A listed building and is now recognised as part of Scotland’s architectural heritage having been designed by the Gillespie Kidd and Coia partnership. They also designed many other local buildings in the district including Our Lady’s High School, The Sacred Heart RC Church in Kildrum and Cumbernauld College.

Another guest was the great nephew of St Patrick’s longest service Parish Priest Monsignor Patrick Macnanara who served in St Patrick’s from 1903 – 1938. Paraic Macnamara and his wife Mary flew in from Limerick on St Patrick’s Day leaving home at 7am, hired a car and drove to Kilsyth for the Service. They then attended the reception at St Patrick’s school before spending the night in Kilsyth and returning to Ireland the following day - a heroic effort. Fittingly the chalice used for the 150th anniversary Mass in St Patrick’s was the chalice which was gifted to the people of St Patrick’s by the Macnamara family when Monsignor Patrick Macnamara died in 1938.

After Mass a reception was hosted in St Patrick’s School by Mr Kris Thomas, the acting head teacher, where the excellent catering was provided by Mr Alec Graham.

Deputy Provost Jean Jones presented a Crystal dish to St Patrick’s with congratulations from all at North Lanarkshire Council with best wishes for the 150th Anniversary.

Mr Gerry Daily lead the formal part of the evening in the school when the Parish of St Machan’s in Lennoxtown was gifted with a replica of an antique book stand which was used for over 100 years in the old St Patrick’s Church. Several replica book stands had been made for the occasion as gifts by Mr Tom Wiseman from the Technical Department at St Maurices High School. St Machan’s Lennoxtown had been the Mother Church of St Patrick’s Kilsyth in 1865 and had serviced the Catholics of Kilsyth for 20 years before a post-reformation Catholic church was re-established in Kilsyth.

Other copies of the books stands were gifted to Holy Cross Parish Croy, St Lukes Banknock and St John of the Cross Twechar as daughter parishes of St Patrick’s Kilsyth and St Patrick’s Primary and St Maurice’s High as the local Catholic schools.

The Davie Smith School of Irish Dancing provided a magnificent display of Irish dancing and the Columban Singers were in fine voice and provided the entertainment for the evening.

Later in the week the St Roch’s Ceilidh Band hosted a magnificent Irish Ceilidh Dance in the parish hall to round of a week of rejoicing and celebration.

A souvenir book has been produced to mark the occasion of the 150th Anniversary recounting much of the Catholic history of the area and is available from Cants in Kilsyth Main Street or from St Patrick’s Church.

Order of Service for the 150th Anniversary Mass
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Coverage in the Local Press

Republished by kind permission of the Cumbernauld News and Kilsyth Chronicle

Click on any picture to see a larger image

Republished by kind permission of the Cumbernauld News and Kilsyth Chronicle

Click on any picture to see a larger image

Before Mass the following address was given by John Trower.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen – I’d just like to say a few words of welcome before Mass begins this evening.

It was just over 150 years ago on the 5th January 1865 that Fr John Galvin came to Kilsyth for the first time to establish the Parish of St Patrick’s Kilsyth.

It was exactly 50 years ago tonight that this magnificent building designed by Isi Metzstien and Andy MacMillan was declared open by his Eminence Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray on the 17th March 1965.

…and so it is that we gather here tonight in both remembrance and thanks – for those who have gone before us and for all those who have made this Parish possible over the years.

Unfortunately His Grace the Archbishop cannot be with us this evening – he has been asked to attend The Holy Father at the Vatican in Rome and had to fly out yesterday.

So Instead, on behalf of the Parish I would like to formally welcome Monsignor Patrick Burke – who is the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh - he will be our principal concelebrant tonight and I’d also like to welcome the many priests from The Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh and also The Archdiocese of Glasgow who will help us to celebrate this occasion.

I would also like to welcome all of our invited guests this evening - most especially the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who had a convent in this parish for 35 of the past 50 years. <applause from the congregation>

It is also so nice this evening to see our local Catholic Schools St Patrick’s and St Maurice’s, both staff and pupils represented here this evening. St Patrick’s School Choir are going to sing for us this evening and I had the privilege of hearing them practice for this evening at Mass in the school this morning – you will not be disappointed by these talented youngsters.

A very warm welcome also to the Reverend Ministers and Church representatives of the other Christian denominations in Kilsyth – it is lovely to have you with us here this evening. <applause from the congregation>

Also to our elected representatives and civic dignitaries, to the members of the Metzstien and MacMillan families and to the many other friends of this Parish from across the United Kingdom and Ireland too numerous to mention who have travelled - in some cases very long distances - to be here with us this evening.

Welcome to you all!

In terms of administration you may already be aware that after Mass today the reception will now take place in the larger venue of St Patrick’s School Hall. Directions to the school, which is less than a mile away, are on the sheets of paper which have been placed in the seats reserved for our visitors this evening and will also be available at the back of the church after Mass.

To our guests - please come and join us in the school hall after this service! There is a small gift for each of guests waiting for you at the school.

Everyone here tonight is welcome to come to the school after Mass to enjoy some entertainment, some catering and some good company.

Finally for those of you who are not Catholic or for those of you who are unable to receive Holy Communion, there will be the opportunity to receive a blessing during Mass at communion time. We would encourage you regardless of your faith background to come forward for a blessing.

If you feel you would like to receive a blessing please come forward with the rest of the congregation during communion and place your arm across to your shoulder - like this – to indicate to the priest that you would like to receive a blessing rather than Holy Communion.

Thank You!

An Address by Mr Gerry Daily in the School Hall After Mass

Cutting of the cake
I would like to ask Monsignor Burke to come forward to cut the cake and I would like to ask Fr Doherty Fr Tracey and Fr Hand - our former Parish Priests to gather round while he does so.

Presentation from Provost
I’d now like to ask Depute Provost Mrs Jean Jones to come forward to say a few words on behalf of North Lanarkshire Council and I would like to ask Mrs Alice Conway to come forward and receive a gift from Jean on behalf of the whole Parish of St Patrick’s.

Presentation to Mother Parish and Daughter Parishes and our Schools

St Patrick’s Kilsyth came into existence in 1865 but the Catholics of Kilsyth have been here for nearly 200 hundred years. In the time before our Parish was founded St Machan’s in Lennoxtown ministered to the needs of the Catholics of this town for over a twenty year period. In recognition of this I would like to ask Fr James Tracey to come forward to receive a gift of replica of an antique book stand which has been used in the sacristy of St Patrick’s throughout this past 150 years to present to our mother parish of Campsie. This replica has been made for us by Mr Tom Wiseman of St Maurice’s High School.

Once St Patrick’s was founded as a parish in 1865 it formed the centre of a large geographic area where there were no other Catholic Churches. The priests of Kilsyth had to minister originally to the people of Cumbernauld, Croy, Twechar, Banknock and Kirkintilloch. Gradually over time the Parishes of Holy Cross in Croy, St John of the Cross, Twechar and St Luke’s, Banknock were founded in their own right. These are our daughter Parishes and I would like to ask Fr Sharkey, Fr Hendrie and Fr Sullivan to receive gifts also of a replica bookstand. The bookstands will be presented by Anne Russell, Elaine McCrossan and Isabelle Conroy.

Catholic schools have always been at the centre of our Parish. Indeed St Patrick’s school – once a private ‘Parish School’ prior to the 1918 Education Act was founded even before the Parish was founded making this school – St Patrick’s School older than the Parish itself! We are fortunate in both the academic quality of these schools of which we are rightly proud and the Parish are pleased to have the continual support of the staff of both St Maurices High and St Patrick’s Primary. I would therefor like to ask Mrs Patricia Alexander the Head Teacher of St Maurice’s and Mr Kris Thomas the Head Teacher of St Patrick’s to come forward to receive replica book stands from Mr Pat Docherty and Mr George Dailly.

Concluding Remarks!

On behalf of the Parish I’d like to say a few words of thanks.

Thanks to Mr Kris Thomas and the pupils and staff of St Patrick’s for hosting us lovely new school building and for their wonderful singing in the church.
To Mr Alex Graham and his staff for the magnificent catering here this evening.
To North Lanarkshire Council and particularly Depute Provost Jones for their lovely gift.
To the staff and pupils of St Maurice’s for the gift of the beautiful icon of St Patrick now in pride of place in the church and for the books stands which were used in the presentation tonight. Special thanks to Mrs Patricia Alexander Head Teacher, Mr Bobby Donnelly and to Mr Tom Wiseman for their hard work.
To Mrs Maureen Shevlin and our Irish Dancers from the Davie Smith School of Irish Dancing.
To the Columban Singers and their accompanist Mrs Margaret Waddel.
And to all our guests who have travelled to be here with us tonight – most especially Monsignor Burke, Our Former Parish Priests and Assistant Priests, Our visiting Priests, The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Our elected officials and civic dignitaries and all our invited guests who have travelled from far and near to be with us this evening.
Finally to thank all those who helped in any way to make both the Mass in the Church and the celebration this evening such a wonderful success.

God BlessYou!