St Joseph’s parish community is delighted to welcome you to our website. We hope you capture from the information on these pages something of the faith and sense of family within this parish which has served Kilmarnock and the wider area for over 170 years.
Whether visiting for the first time or returning after a period of time away, you are welcome, and the parish priest, Fr Stephen McGrattan, will be pleased to speak to you (contact details below and on the Contact tab).
The regular programme of Masses and prayer brings us together around the Risen Jesus who gives his life for us; the activities of the parish flow from our prayer and seek to share His joy and hope with others. May God bless you.
In 1834, there were 140 Catholic families in Kilmarnock. A church was founded in 1844 and dedicated in 1847. The history of the resurgence of the Catholic faith in Kilmarnock is part of a broader tale of migration and aspiration amongst a hard-pressed people. Catholicism had not disappeared from Scotland entirely after the Reformation for significant pockets managed to cling to life in the north-east of the country, as well as in the Western Isles. The story in the Lowlands, however, was very different with the ‘old’ faith all but eradicated. From the final years of the 18th century onwards, and with a particular rapidity at the time of the Potato Famine in the 1840s, Catholicism saw its number of adherents expand at a spectacular rate as thousands of Irish refugees sought new opportunities for work and sustenance.