As Parish Priest, Fr John continued to foster the spirit of community, attempting to involve as many people as possible in the life of the Parish. In Advent 1995, a penitential service took place and the church was packed, with much healing and growth. The first mass for the sick and housebound took place in March 1996, another great milestone of healing in the parish.
The work of those early Augustinian communities has brought about so much change, but this was only possible with the co-operation of the parishioners, who were open to change.
The Parish celebrated it's Golden Jubilee in 2000, and to celebrate the milestone, a stained glass window was installed at the side of the church. A new hall was constructed in 2008, as compensation for some of the church land being used as a new housing development. This resulted in a complete renovation of the outside of the church and a new entrance door and porch constructed, with the hall becoming an extension of the church building.
Further celebration took place in the Parish when in 2001, for the first time in many years, and only the second time in the Parish's history, an ordination to the priesthood took place in the church. Br Stefan Park had been part of the Augustinian Community for a couple of years, completing his studies under the mentorship of Fr John. The welcome was such that when it came to deciding on a location for his ordination, Stefan chose St Joseph's. The occasion was marked with a great parish social event.
We thought Fr John's tenure at St Joseph's was endless, but when the shakeup of the community was announced in 2009, there was great anticipation over the new era beginning at St Joseph's. Fr John left St Joseph's after 14 years at the helm, along with Fr Laurence and Fr Stefan in September 2009. Fr John's 14 year tenure marks him as the longest serving Augustinian Parish Priest in Broomhouse, and his influence continues to be seen and felt in the Parish. It was John who hand-made the display cabinets and cupboards for the church repository, the kneelers on the altar and who upholstered the kneelers in the pews. Behind the scenes, most of the woodworking in the parish was John's handiwork.
Fr Gianni Notarianni OSA was appointed seventh Parish Priest in September 2009. Fr Gianni had also spent time in Broomhouse as a student, so was familiar with the area and the parishioners. The two other new members of the community were Fr Sean Quinlan OSA, arriving from Southport, and Fr George Stibbles OSA, arriving from London.
Fr Sean's initial stay in Broomhouse was short lived, however, as a shortage of friars resulted in him being recalled to serve in Soutport in September 2011. He was replaced in October 2011 by Fr George Donaghy, one of the newest members to be professed as a member of the Augustinians in England and Scotland.
When a new Augustinian mission centre was established in London in 2012, Fr Gianni was appointed as director, and Fr Kevin Lowry, who had been the original Augustinian Parish Priest in Broomhouse, returned to become the eighth parish Priest in February 2012. This appointment was also to be short-lived, as Fr Kevin decided to return to the Diocese of Lancaster in 2013, to enable him to be closer to his parents, who kept ill-health.
As such, from February 2013, Fr George Donaghy was appointed as ninth Parish Priest. Fr George became well known in the primary school, as well as for his energetic and honest sermons. By 2014, Fr George the younger had begun caring for Fr George Stibbles, whose health had declined. That being said, Fr Stibbles was never one to succumb to ill health, and was still active in the Parish, with his passionate sermons becoming legendary within the Parish. It was said that Fr George was the gentlest man you could meet, until he got onto the pulpit and a fire erupted within him.
Fr George Stibbles passed away in November 2014, leaving the parish community in shock, and resulting in very muted Christmas celebrations.
(l-r) Fr Sean Quinlan, Fr George Donaghy, Fr Stefan Park
Fr Ian Wilson OSA joined the community in February 2014, but this appointment too was to prove to be a short term placement. as by October 2014, he had been appointed to the Diocese of Dunkeld and asked to assist in three parishes in Dundee.
Fr Sean Quinlan rejoined the community in February 2015, along with Fr Stefan Park. While the Parish has gone through a few changes, Fr Sean has remained a mainstay of the community. In September 2015, Fr Piotr Lamprecht OSA joined the Parish, on loan from the Polish Province. He remained with us until May 2016, when he returned to minister in the English Speaking Parish of Warsaw.
In May 2016, Fr George Donaghy was appointed hospital chaplain at St Monica's, Hoxton, and so moved to London.
Fr Stefan Park was appointed temporary Parish Priest from May 2016 until September 2017. He was then appointed Prior of the Community at Clare Priory, departing in September 2017 to be replaced with Fr Ian Wilson OSA who returned to Broomhouse. In October 2017, Fr Paul Graham, former Provinical of the Augustinians in England and Scotland was appointed Parish Priest, once again restoring the Augustinian Community in Broomhouse to full quota, and reinstating stability, after a tumultuous few years.
The Parish continues to thrive. One thing is evident, the arrivial of the Augustinians in Broomhouse not only signalled changed in St Joseph's, but it heralded the dawn of a future. The Augustinians brought with them an ethos of community, friendship and family, all of which are evident to all who are part of the Parish. These key tenets of Augustinian Spirituality have become synonymous with our humble wee Parish in the middle of Broomhouse. Who knows what would have happened had the Augustinians not taken over? Had it remained under the care of the Diocese, would we still have a full church every week? Would we have parishioners travelling from outwith the Parish boundary, specifically to attend St Joseph's? Would we even have been under threat of closure due to the lack of Diocesan Priests?
Whatever the answers to these questions, we thank God for the Augustinian presence in Broomhouse, because the Friars have had a deep impact on the Parish.
Unfortunately, in January 2020, the Augustinians announced their intention to withdraw from Broomhouse, and indeed from Scotland, due to lack of vocations. This came as a blow to the parish. The Augustinians departed St Joseph's in March 2020, shortly before the Coronavirus epidemic. We were blessed with the arrival of two new priests from Nigeria, Fr Emmanuel Chorbe Francis, who was our temporary Parish Priest, and Fr Isaac Oshomah, who was our Assistant Priest. However, their stay in Broomhouse was short lived as they were transferred to different parishes in September 2020.
In September 2020, care of the parish was handed to the Society of St Paul, a religious congregation which was founded in 1914 at Alba, in Italy, by Blessed James Alberione. Our new Parish Priest is Fr Baji Joseph Puthiyaparambil SSP, asssisted by Fr Shinto Joseph, both from India. Fr Shinto arrived in September 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Fr Baji's arrival from India has been delayed due to travel restrictions between India and the UK.
Whilst we are sad to see the Augustinians leave, we thank God for all the Friars who have served here over the years and look forward to a new chapter in the life of the parish, maintaining that Augustinian ethos whilst building on the talents of our new Indian priests. The Society of St Paul has a focus on spreading the Good News through the means of modern technology, which can only mean exciting future developments for our community in Broomhouse.