TRIBUTES have been paid to a prominent Catholic clergyman who died on Thursday at the age of 59.
Monsignor Michael Brian Regan, who had been ill for some time, was the former administrator of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral. He attended seminary at St Andrew’s College at Drygrange in the Scottish Borders before being ordained for the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 1982.
During his 33 years of active ministry, he served in Livingston, Dunfermline, Cowie and parishes in Edinburgh including, until this year, seven years at St Mary’s.
Archbishop Leo Cushley said: “Monsignor Regan was a man of great prayer who had a great devotion to the sacraments, something I was privileged to witness at his hospital bedside in recent days and weeks while administering those very sacraments to him.”
Monsignor Regan grew up in London and came to Scotland to study at the University of Stirling, where he graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree followed by an M Litt in modern French literature. It was also there he discerned a calling to the priesthood.
Archbishop Cushley added: “Monsignor Regan was someone who had a great sense of duty and who, when asked to do something, would always do it to the best of his ability, cheerfully and willingly.
“Indeed, he was one of those people who had never learned to say ‘no’ and so gave all his energy to the service of the many parishes he worked in, especially within the city of Edinburgh. That’s why there will be many people in this city, not just Catholics, who will be regretting and mourning his passing.”
Between 1985 and 1988 Monsignor Regan attended the University of Paris and the Institut Catholique, where he gained a Masters in theology. He joined the seminary staff at Scotus College in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, in 1993, spending eight years teaching there. He also worked on the preparations for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Scotland in 2010.
Archbishop Cushley added: “Monsignor Regan was a larger than life character and could be great fun, as I found out on that day of the Papal visit to Edinburgh.
“The Holy Father had just made his way through crowds of over 125,000 in Edinburgh and we paused for lunch at the Archbishop’s residence, where I spent a very enjoyable, very happy few hours in the company of Monsignor Regan who was in a celebratory mood following the success of that first morning of the Papal visit to Scotland.
“Monsignor Regan was both administrator of St Mary’s Cathedral and Archdiocesan Master of Ceremonies, posts where he did excellent work for many years and continued to do so in spite of the gathering clouds of his last illness. May he rest in peace.”