rev. james butler
Father James Butler was announced as the founding Parish Priest of The Sacred Heart in September 1949.
Father Butler served in only three parishes during his ministry: Sacred Heart Bridgeton (1929-1943), Holy Family Mossend (1943-1949) and Sacred Heart Bellshill (1949-1958). Father Butler had served in Bridgeton for fourteen years and when he came to Bellshill he asked that the new parish also be dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and be named 'The Sacred Heart'.
In 1954, Father Butler celebrated his Silver Jubilee and was guest of honour at the Presentation Concert which was held in the Alhambra Cinema, Mossend. This gave the parishioners of Sacred Heart the opportunity to thank him for his priestly leadership and pastoral care and to show their gratitude for the manner in which he wore the mantle of responsibility which rest on his broad shoulders. The Parishioners presented him with a motor car to mark the occassion.
Later in 1957, Father Butler was appointed to the Sixth District Education Sub-Committee in pace of Canon Keatings who had retired. On 3rd October 1958, he was appointed Convener of Sacred Heart Primary School.
Just seven days later however, Father James Butler died suddenly on Friday 10th October 1958 (the day after Pope Pius XII died). He was only 53 years of age and in his 29th year of the Priesthood when he passed away.
After his Requiem Mass on Monday 13th September, the pupils of Sacred Heart formed a guard of honour at the 'Angle' across from the church as the large funeral procession made its way to St Patrick's Cemetery.
The Sacred Heart Church stands today as a visible record of Fr Butler's devotion, determination and courage.