Parish Story

Parish Story

The story of the Parish of Blessed John Duns Scotus stretches back as long as the re-establishment of the Catholic Church in Glasgow post Reformation.

It is a long and rich history which over time we shall accumulate here as a repository of what information we have currently and may discover in the future.

The Parish itself was established by the merging of the older parishes which served the people of the Gorbals for over a century. The parishes of St Francis, St John's,  St Luke's, St Bonaventures and more recently Our Lady & St Margarets in Tradeston. Each of these parishes have their own contributions to the combined history of the area they have served.

Whilst we have an archive of materials we are always interested to hear of any stories or information which will help bring to life these stories of the lives of the people that lived within the various parishes.

A bit about Blessed John Duns Scotus

The Parish bares the name of Blessed John Duns Scotus and many people may be interested to know a bit more regards who he was.

A brief introduction is that he was referred to as the 'Subtle Doctor', born 1266, a Scot from Duns on the Scottish Borders, he died in Cologne on November 8th 1308.

  • A very influential Franciscan philosopher and theologian.
  • He defended the doctrine that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was concieved without original sin (the Immaculate Conception).
  • He also argued that Jesus would have come even if man had not sinned.
  • He maintained that will is superior to intellect and love superior to knowledge.
  • He also said that the essence of Heaven consists in beatific love rather than the vision of God.

He joined the Franciscans in England (ordained Priest in Northampton) and studied both there and in France. He taught in Paris and in Cologne in Germany and it was in the latter that he died. His body at present lies in the nave of the Franciscan church near the Cologne cathedral.

Franciscan Friars who have served in Glasgow since 1966 

Thanks to Deacon Michael O'Donnell for compiling this list of friars who spent time in the Gorbals Friary since 1966. This is taken from the lists in Catholic Directories of Scotland. How many do you recall?

Each one has a rich story to be told not only of their own lives but of the good works they performed within the parish they were based. We are grateful to them all for their dedication and the goodness to the people of the Gorbals.

Franciscan Friars who have served in Glasgow since 1966

(In alphabetical order)

Ninian Arbuckle

Antoine Baya

Martin Brooks

Everard Cairns

Edmund Campion

Martin Cawley

Reginald Clancy

Anthony Collins

Kieran Connolly

Donald Cook

Ronald Doherty 


John Dougherty

Isidore Faloona

William Farrias

Luke Faupel

Damian Glenning

Peter Hall

Germaine Heron 

Edmund Highton

Walter Hobson

John Forrest Holden

John Hooper

Raymond Hynes

Aidan Jackson

Quinten Jackson

Anthony Jukes

Eugene Kelly

Philip Keyes

Austin Kinsella

Patrick Lonsdale 

Brian Lowden

Joseph Magee

Cormac McAteer

Campion McCool

Austin Linus McCormack

Gratian McEnvoy

Bernadine McGahan

Sylvester McGoldrick

Brian McGrath

Hugh McKay

Malcolm Monaghan

Con O’Connell

Noel O' Dwyer

Roderick O’Hagan

Michael O’Kane

Fergus O’Malley

Phelan O’Reilly

Joe O’Toole

Paul Roberts

Simon Simmonds

George Smulski

Frances Xavier Stewart

Ted Thornton

Bartholomew Timoney

Godfrey Tortolono

John Torsney

Donal Walsh

Patrick Ward

Mark Wilson