Parish History

A History of Holy Family



Up until 1946, Port Glasgow only had one Roman Catholic Parish, that of St. John the Baptist in Shore Street. This was quite a distance from the new housing schemes up the hill and was finding it difficult to cater for the growing number of Catholics in the town. So, Holy Family was founded under the newly appointed Parish Priest, Father Joseph Sweeney and assistant father Patrick Rice.

The parish began it’s live in the H.M.S. Monck, (left) this was a naval base at Carnegie. This was while building work got under way at Parkhill Avenue. Father Sweeney and his assistants spent thirteen difficult years in the naval base but during this time the parish began to grow. By 1950, there were five Sunday Masses to accommodate the growing population.


The new church of the Holy Family opened on Sunday 20th December 1959 by bishop Black, Bishop of Paisley with a blessing from Pope John XXIII. At that time there were 5 Priests appointed to serve in Holy Family.

In the decades that followed its founding, Holy Family grew and matured. The parish has seen many changes and developments, saw many Priests come and go but continues to serve the parishioners in the way it was intended.






Joseph Sweeney 1946-1966


Patrick Rice 1966-1971


Ed Gerard Costello 1971-1977


Joseph Quinn 1977-1995


Gerard J Gallagher 1995-2007


Douglas MacMillan 2007-2009


Brian McGee 2009-2016


David Cotter 2016-present






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