History of St Joseph’s SMA Parish, Wilton

The Parish includes Lower Bishopscourt, Donscourt, Cardinal Court, Wilton Court & Manor, Clashduv & Riverview Estate, Sandymount, Southbury Road, Summerstown, Green Park, Wilton Lawn & Villas, part of Glasheen Road, Wilton Park Villas, part of Bishopstown Road.

St. Joseph’s Church, Wilton was built in 1897. It was attached to the adjacent St Joseph’s College which for many years was a house of formation for students of the Society of African Missions (SMA) preparing for priesthood in Africa. It is now a retirement house for missionaries as well as a house of mission animation.

Celebrating 25 years as parish :            1982 – 2007

The Parish was formally erected in 1982 by the Bishop of Cork & Ross, Rt Rev Michael Murphy. On 1 December 2007 the Parish celebrated its Silver Jubilee. The occasion was marked by a special Thanksgiving Mass at which the then Bishop of Cork & Ross, Rt Rev John Buckley, was the principal concelebrant and was joined by a number of SMA and diocesan priests. Among them was the Provincial Superior of SMA, Fr Fachtna O’Driscoll, the Vicar General of the diocese, Canon Kevin O’Callaghan and the Dean of Cork, Canon Denis O’Connor.

The Parish Priest of Wilton, Fr Cormac Breathnach SMA welcomed the large attendance and preached the homily in which he outlined the history of the parish and the SMA presence. Brother Jim Redmond SMA was at the organ and singing was led by the Church choir. The Mass was followed by a refreshments and a social gathering in the Community Hall.

Four Parish Priests have served the parish:

  • Fr James O’Kane SMA : 1982-1992
  • Fr Maurice Kelleher SMA : 1992-1998
  • Fr John O’Brien SMA : 1998-2004
  • Fr Cormac Breathnach SMA : 2004 to date.