Our Parish History
The site of St Catherine’s was historically situated in the parish of Cadder, which can trace its history back to Roman times. Evidence suggests that part of the Antonine Wall traveresed through part of Cadder and it is widely believed that the Romans introduced Christian faith to the area.
The parish was part of the diocese, from 1492 the Archdiocese, of Glasgow. The Bishop’s Land was called Badermonoc / Baldermonoch (later Barmulloch), and reputedly also known as Monks Town. The great-grandson of St Margaret (of Scotland), King Malcolm IV, made a grant of the lands of “Conclud, Cader and Badermonoc” to the Bishopric of Glasgow. This was confirmed by his successor, William the Lion, who also promoted the Lion Rampant as the Royal Standard.
Place names within the district still tell the story of its past. Wallacewell Road within the Cadder parish boundaries, at Robroyston, pays tribute to Sir William Wallace who was arrested in the area in 1305. Other local names which still linger, though sometimes changed, are Bishop’s Bridge, Bishop’s Moss and Bishop’s Loch. Throughout the centuries there were close links with Provanmill. Before the foundation of St Catherine’s Parish, Catholics living in the area, attended St Philomena’s Church in Provanmill.
Today, St Catherine’s church stands on Lamont Road, which is named after Lamont of Ardlamont (in Argyll) and Robroyston. During the eighteenth century the lands of Robroyston, by marriage to Katherine Landess, came into the possession of the Lamont family. Archibald Lamont of Robroyston is mentioned in the New Statistical Account of 1845 as one of the four principal proprietors in the parish of Cadder. The lands of Robroyston were later purchased by the Corporation of Glasgow which, in 1950, sold the land for the building of St Catherine’s to the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
In the years following the First World War, to alleviate overcrowding issues in inner city communities, a drive to build large quantities of modern and affordable family homes was underway. In the 1920s and 1930s, Glasgow Corporation built housing schemes in the lands of Balornock, expanding in later years to incorporate the surrounding area of Barmulloch.
In 1952, the Archdiocese of Glasgow instructed Edinburgh based Architects Reginald Fairlie & Partners to prepare plans for a new church on the land purchased from Glasgow Corporation in 1950. The practice architects were prolific designers of churches, particularly in Glasgow. Alexander Ritchie Conlon, a partner in the practice, was commissioned to prepare plans, design, and ultimately oversee the construction of the church between 1952 and 1953.
Another landmark in our long parish history of faith, took place with the blessing and laying of the foundation stone on 24th June in 1952. The church was officially opened on 6th September by Archbishop Donald Campbell.
The altar furniture in the church is constructed from Carrara marble originally used for the altar made for the Papal visit of Benedict XVI to Bellahouston Park in 2010. An estimated 100,000 people attended Mass on the 16th of September for this historic event.
Designed by Glasgow artist Niamh Quail and Vatican approved, the Papal altar, lectern and presidential chair were made by stonemason Neil Reid in his workshop Reid Carrara Ltd in Glasgow. The design is Celtic, incorporating a cross and inside each of the four arms are three interwoven leaves representing the Holy Trinity.
Priests who have served in St Catherine’s
Rev William Lowery, 1950-1954
Rev Gerard Hart, 1954-1972
Rev Daniel Toy, 1972-1981
Rev Bernard V Devine, 1981-1987
Rev John McLaren, 1987-1988
Rev John J N Burns, 1989-1995
Rev Aidan Martin, 1995-2007
Rev Angus MacDonald, 2007-2012
Rev David Brown, 2012-2013
Rev Anthony Gallagher, 2013-present
Assistants & Retired Priests
Rev Denis Bradley
Rev Joseph Nee
Rev Peter Lennon
Rev Francis H Gilfedder
Rev John Gilmartin
Rev Patrick G Currie
Rev Anthony Gallagher
Rev John N Woods
Rev Paul Budis
Rev William Clarke
Rev Alexander Johnston
Rev Daniel McMahon
Rev George McGarrigle
Rev Thomas Cunningham