Tributes paid to Canon Gibbons
Tributes have been paid to former St Columbkille’s parish priest, Canon Tom Gibbons, who was laid to rest on Monday.
Canon Gibbons pass away on Saturday, August 20 at Ayr Hospital after a short illness.
He was a well known figure in Rutherglen and Cambuslang, having served at both St Bride’s and St Columbkille’s.
After being ordained to the priesthood in 1954, Canon Gibbons’ first appointment was at St Bride’s in Cambuslang.
From 1967 to 1982 he was appointed to take charge of the Catholic Child Care Offices and in 1981 he moved to St Monica’s in Coatbridge.
He returned to the local area in 1997 to take over at St Columbkille’s before retiring in 2010 and heading to Girvan.
After moving to the Ayrshire coast, he became a much-loved member of the congregation at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church and celebrated his diamond jubilee there in 2014.
Father Patrick Hennesey, who replaced Canon Gibbons in 2010, described his predecessor as “very popular.”
He added: “He was a great speaker, very articulate and was much loved by his flock.
“He was great to me and made me feel very welcome.
“When he moved down to Girvan he got involved in the life of the parish down there because he was such a people person and people got to know him very quickly.
“He loved to play golf and really enjoyed all sport. He was also a great reader.
“Many great memories have been shared in the parish over the past few days. He was very good at visiting people in hospital and brought great consolation to people who suffered a bereavement.
“He loved weddings and baptising babies as he was very easy with people.” Canon Gibbons was born in Motherwell in 1930. His time at St Columbkille’s saw him oversee a major refurbishment of the church building after fire ripped through the hall in 2004.
In 2001 he led the funeral service of Celtic legend and Lisbon Lion Bobby Murdoch at St Columbkille’s.
Father Kenny Campbell, priest of St Barbara’s in Muirhead, said the homily at Canon Gibbons requiem mass on Monday.
He said: “Canon Gibbons served his parishioners with dedication and care.
“Indeed, long before Pope Francis coined the phrase, he lived ‘with the smell of the sheep’ – he was always close to his people. A popular and much-loved priest of the diocese of Motherwell, he was a true shepherd, always close to God’s heart.”
Canon Gibbons’ mortal remains were received into Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral, Motherwell on Sunday, August 28 before a Requiem mass was held on Monday.
He was laid to rest at St Patrick’s Cemetery in New Stevenson.
Sad loss Canon Thomas Gibbons, who was parish priest at St Columbkille’s in Rutherglen for 13 years, has died