Though now a parish of some 1400 catholic homes St Cadoc's, only became a parish in its own right in 1966. Before that it was part of St Joseph's, Clarkston.
At the Reformation the Mearns clung on to its strong catholic tradition for some time. . . until the Covenanters finally had their way. The Faith began to recover when various small clothing workplaces were set up in the nineteenth century. These relied on water power and were built along the various small rivers and streams in the area. The first major one was in Eaglesham where the first parish in the area (St Bridget's) was established in 1856. In 1880 the Eaglesham mill was burned down and a new one started in Busby. Consequently the parish was then centred at St Joseph's Clarkston.
In Newton Mearns there was a hostel for the women who worked in the various local clothing mills and workshops. Many of these were catholics from Ireland and the Highlands and some married local lads and this gave rise to a small, but strong catholic community in Newton Mearns.
At the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Newton Mearns was only one part of St Josph's parish which took in a wide area including Clarkston, Busby, Eaglesham, East Kilbride, Giffnock and Newton Mearns. At that time the people in outlying parts got mass only once a month and the parish priest was anxious to have a proper chapel in both East Kilbride and New1on Mearns. With the cooperation of the parishioners two small chapels were built. The one in East Kilbride had obviously to be dedicated to St Bridget (Kilbride = Chapel of Bride or Bridget) and Eaglesham was already dedicated to St Bridget, so he cast around for another saint with a local association. To his delight he discovered that St Cadoc had once had a cell or chapel in the Cathkin Braes (then part of his parish) and the Kirk in Cambuslang (and later a catholic church at Halfway, Cambuslang) was dedicated to him. So it was decided that the little chapel (still standing in Barrhead Road, Newton Mearns) should be dedicated to St Cadoc.
In 1966 Newton Mearns became a parish in its own right. Fr Eugene Divney was the first parish priest and Fr Thomas J. Cunningham was the first assistant .... an assistant was considered necessary because of the demands of Mearnskirk Hospital which was then a general hospital with 720 beds. A site was sought for a proper parish church, but there was little cooperation from either the various developers or the local authorities until 1978 when the present site in Fruin Avenue became available from Lawrence & Co. and in October 1981 the present church was opened. At that time there was some discussion about the possibility of renaming the parish, but in the end it was decided to keep to St Cadoc. In 1993 the hall was added in such a way that it could be used as an extension to the church.
Some people believe that there were two St Cadoc's .... a Scottish one and a Welsh one, but it is more likely that there was just the Welsh one and that he travelled to Scotland and spent some seven years here near Cambuslang while he (and his companions) evangelised East Renfrewshire and parts of lanarkshire.
This St Cadoc was born the son of a Welsh King, St Gundleus and St Gwladys at the very end of the fifth century. He was educated by the Irish Saint, Tatheus and the story is that when he went to St Tatheus, the good man turned him away sadly saying that because of a bad summer there was no food. Cadoc hung about swithering what to do when he noticed a mouse emerging from a hole and later disappearing into another only to re-appear with what appeared to be a grain of wheat in its mouth. Cadoc caught the mouse and tying a piece of thread to it, was able to find out that the mouse was going in to a hoard of wheat left in the cellar of a great house that had been burned down. So food was found for the whole village and Cadoc got his education.
Cadoc went on to study in Ireland for three years before returning with some companions. With them he went on to found several churches and monasteries. The greatest being that of Llancarfan near Cardiff. In his travels he is said to have visited Brittany and sailed up to Scotland where he worked his way up the Clyde and White Cart to the Cathkin Braes where he spent some seven years.
In Scotland he was known as "Docus the Wise" and was probably referred to as Madoc (My Friend, Doc) as in the church of Kilmaddock near Doune.
There is a tradition that Scottish surnames like Doak, Doig, Doakie can be traced back to St Cadoc. His feast in Scotland is on 24th January and in Wales the 25th September. His life was not written till some six hundred years after his death and there is inevitably uncertainty about many details.
Fr Eoin Patten (March 2019-September 2020)
Monsignor Thomas Provost Monaghan (2007-2019)
Canon Thomas Cunningham (1990-2007)
Canon James Jackson (1973-1990)
Canon James Murphy (1969-1973)
Fr Eugene Divney (1966-1969)