DIOCESE OF MOTHERWELL
Diocese of Motherwell
Tel: 01698 269114
Bishop of Motherwell
Right Rev. Joseph A. Toal
Rev. Gerard Chromy
Rev. Father James A. Grant
Rev. Deacon James Aitken
Contact the Diocese of Motherwell
All correspondence should be addressed to the Chancellor
About the Diocese of Motherwell
St Gerard's is one of seventy five Parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Motherwell under the leadership of Right Reverend Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell.
The Diocese of Motherwell was erected as a Suffragan See of the Archdiocese of Glasgow by the Apostolic Constitution Maxime interest of the 25th May 1947.
The Diocese of Motherwell comprises in the city of Glasgow, the parishes of Easterhouse; Baillieston and Craigend & Garthamlock; North Lanarkshire (except the parishes of Kilsyth, Condorrat, Croy and Cumbernauld and the area of Auchinloch), and South Lanarkshire
There are a total of 75 parishes divided up in to 9 Deaneries ministering to an estimated Catholic Population of 165,100 (taken from the Western Calendar 2006).
Since its foundation our diocese has both grown and decreased in size. However in recent years there have been a large number of new housing developments, and thus the arrival of many young families who have taken up residency in the diocese, giving us new hope of life in the future.
Diocese of Motherwell Mission Statement
Working together for Christ
"The Diocese of Motherwell seeks,
by the power of prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
to be Christ's Church ,
living and caring for one another and
spreading the good news of the Lord's healing and redeeming power."
Click on the images above to expand and find an explanation of the Diocese of Motherwell's Coat of Arms.
Bishop Joseph Toal is the fifth Bishop of Motherwell. He was installed as Bishop on the 23rd of June 2014, in Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral, Motherwell.
He previously served as Bishop of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles from 2008 until 2014 and was Apostolic Administator of the Diocese of Motherwell from 2013 until 2014.
Since his installation, he has taken up residence in our Church Presbytery.
Find our more about our Bishop here.
Previous Bishops' of Motherwell
Rt. Rev. Bishop Emeritus Joseph Devine
Rev. Joseph Devine became Bishop of Motherwell on the 13th May 1983 having already been ordained an Auxilliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
He was born in Glasgow on the 7th August 1937 and attended St Ninian's Primary School Kirkintilloch, St Mary's College and St Peter's College, Cardross. He studied for the Priesthood at the Scots College Rome and received his Ph.D. in 1964 from the Gregorian University, Rome.
He was ordained a Priest for the Archdiocese of Glasgow on the 29th June 1960, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
He was ordained Auxuilliary Bishop of Glasgow on the 31st May 1977 in St Francis' Church, Glasgow, by Archbishop Thomas Winning. He was later translated to the Diocese of Motherwell on the 13th May 1983.
Having turned the age of 75 in August 2012, Pope Francis accepted Bishop Devine's resignation on 30th May 2013.
Rt. Rev. Bishop Francis Thomson
Very Rev. Francis Thompson, rector since 1960 of St. Mary’s College Blairs, was consecrated Bishop of Motherwell, by James Donald Scanlan, Archbishop of Glasgow, at Motherwell, 24th February 1965.
He was born in Edinburgh, 15th May 1917, posthumously, his father having died two months earlier; his mother’s family were natives of Elgin where they had been received into the church.
A graduate of both Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities, he was ordained priest for the archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, 15th June 1946, and subsequently continued his studies in Rome.
During his episcopate twelve new parishes were established, twenty-five churches built, of which seven were in existing parishes, and three Mass centres opened. One of the new Parishes founded during his time was our own Parish of St Gerard's. Eight religious orders were introduced to the diocese. Diocesan structures were strengthened through the formation of a Pastoral Commission, Lay Council, Marriage Advisory Council, and Common Good Fund. Bishop Thompson took part in the last session of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. represented the Hierarchy at the first Synod of Bishops in Rome in 1967, and was first chairman of the Catholic Press Office in 1968.
He visited foreign missions in West Africa and South America in 1972. He was appointed by the Hierarchy in 1980 to plan the papal visit to Scotland in June 1982. On the grounds that at the age of 64 he did not have the “same energy, initiative, and capacity for active leadership as in earlier years” Bishop Thompson offered his resignation in September 1981 but this was not accepted until 14th December 1982 when he was appointed apostolic administrator of the diocese. On the translation of Bishop Devine, 13th May 1983, Bishop Thompson moved to Biggar as a parish priest. He died in Glasgow, 6th December 1987, and is buried in the precincts of his Cathedral.
Rt. Rev. Bishop James Scanlan
Bishop James Donald Scanlan, Bishop of Dunkeld since 1949, was translated to Motherwell, 23rd May 1955. Born in Glasgow 24th January 1899 ordained for Westminster archdiocese 29th June 1929, he was consecrated titular Bishop of Cyme and coadjuctor of Dunked, by William Godfrey, titular archbishop of Cius and apostolic delegate to Great Britain, 20th June 1946, and succeeded to the diocese in 1949.
During his episcopate in Motherwell, thirteen new parishes were established and five new churches built in existing parishes. Bishop Scanlan was translated to Glasgow, 29th January 1964. He died on 25th March 1976, aged 77.
Rt. Rev. Bishop Edward Douglas
Rev. Edward Wilson Douglas, parish priest of St. Anthony’s, Govan, Glasgow, was consecrated first Bishop of Motherwell, by Donald Campbell, Archbishop of Glasgow, at Motherwell, 21st April 1948. Born at Glasgow 26th August 1901, ordained 1st May 1924, he spent fifteen years on the staff of St. Mary’s College, Blairs, before returning to parish work in Glasgow, first at Glenboig and afterwards at Govan.
The establishment of a new diocese and the creation of the institutions through which it functions are demanding tasks. In an episcopate which was to last only six years, Bishop Douglas supervised this reorganisation of Catholic life in Lanarkshire on the new diocesan basis.
Fourteen new parishes were established and two new churches built in older parishes, six new religious orders were introduced, the Cathedral Chapter erected, and deaneries regrouped. Because of continuing ill-health, Bishop Douglas resigned on 9th February 1954 when he was translated to the titular bishopric of Botrys.
He died on 12th June 1967 and was buried in St. Patrick’s cemetery, New Stevenson, Lanarkshire.
Our Lady of Good Aid
The Church of Our Lady of Good Aid, Motherwell, was opened on Monday 9 December 1900.
In 1948, the church was elevated to the status of Cathedral after the new Motherwell Diocese was erected as a suffragan see by the apostolic constitution Maxime interest.
The Scottish Catholic Directory of 1901 includes in the list of events for the year 1899-1900 the "Opening of the Church of Our Lady of Good Aid, Motherwell" on Monday 9 December 1900, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception transferred from the Sunday.
The Present Administrator of Motherwell Cathedral is Rev Gerard Chromy