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Canon Kearney

Thomas Kearney was born at Glasha, Ballymacarbery, Co. Waterford, Ireland on 25th March 1874. One of four brothers who all became priests, he studied at Mount Melleray, Co, Waterford and St. Peter's Bearsden before being ordained at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow by Archbishop Maguire on 24th June 1903. Initially, he served as a curate in St. Bride's, Cambuslang for 17 years before going to Blackwood as Parish Priest. In Blackwood he would often hear the Angelus Bell ringing and wondered where it was! After a short spell in Paisley, he came to Wishaw and soon found out that the bell he had wondered about was that in St. Ignatius.

Unfortunately, the Canon's stay in Wishaw co-incided with a great period of industrial depression, a second World War and the resultant post war controls and restrictions. He was to preserve what had been handed down and to clear all the debts. In fact, he managed St. Ignatius so well that a portion of it was cut off in 1957 to form the new Parish of St. Thomas.

Made a Canon of the chapter of Glasgow Archdiocese before 1948, he was a Canon of the new Chapter of the Diocese of Motherwell. A man of simple tastes who followed only one road - the path of duty, he celebrated his Golden Jubilee in 1953 and oversaw the Centenary celebrations of the founding of the Wishaw Mission. When praised or congratulated, he always said: "Any little success I have had is due to my hard working curates. He died quietly in St. Ignatius Presbytery on the 15th November 1966, a much loved and much missed pastor.

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