tHE hISTORY OF oUR lADY AND sT. hELEN'S PARISH

 

The long historical association between the Condorrat area and the spread of Christianity is implicit in two local names; Auchenkilns (in Gaelic, Auchen cille meaning 'the field of the monastic cell') and Chapelton. However ancient these names may be, the need for a church in the area became urgent with the influx of Irish Catholic immigarnts in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The few Condorrat Catholics then belonged to the formative Group of Catholic people centred in Croy whose spiritual needs were served by the Mission at Croy when Holy Cross parish opened there in 1902.   

This arrangement endured until 1955 when the clergy from Croy began celebrating Holy Mass in Condorrat Miners' Welfare hall. At that time weddings and funerals continued to be conducted from Holy Cross church. The parish of Our Lady and St. Helen was founded in 1974 with Fr. Joseph Mulhall being the first Parish Priest. The incorporation of St. Helen in the Parish name reflects the original association with Holy Cross.     

Construction of the church began in 1976 and the first Mass was celebrated on 13 March 1978. A mere 4 years later, the building debt was cleared. The years since have seen some notable events including; parishioner Graeme Paterson receiving his first Holy Communion from Pope John Paul II at Bellahouston Park in 1982; the award of the Bene Merenti Medal to Jimmy Bonner in 1996 and the first ordination of a parishioner, Fr.David Wallace in 1999.     

The current spirtual health of the Parish is perhaps reflected in the large number of groups and organisations which flourish in the Parish. These include the Parish Council; SVDP; Justice & Peace; Perpetual Novena in honour of Our Lady of the Mircaculous Medal; Novena to St. Anthony; Our Lady of Fatima First Saturday of the Month; Our Lady of Peace Medjugorie; Rosary Group; Praye Group, SPRED; Children's Liturgy; Youth Group; Helping Hands; Altar Flowers; Church Cleaning Group; Sunday cafe and the First Friday Coffee Morning.     

The parish has grown significantly in recent years and as well as Condorrat itself now takes in Westfield and Blackwood.

In 2014 the parish celebrated its 40th anniversary and on 24 June 2018 the 40th anniversary of the opening of the church was celebrated at Mass  with Archbishop Tartaglia presiding and concelebrated by the parish priest Fr. Mulholland and all other former parish priests with the exception of Fr. Mulhall who had passed away many years previously.