Bishop John Keenan

The Right Reverend John Keenan is the bishop of the Diocese of Paisley in Scotland. His appointment by Pope Francis was announced on 8th February 2014. He is the fifth Bishop of Paisley.

Early Life

John Keenan, one of the five children of Joseph and Philomena Keenan, was born in Glasgow on 19th December 1964. He was baptised at St Joseph’s Church, Cowcaddens. He was educated at St Gregory’s Primary School in the Wyndford area of the city before going on to the Salesian Missionary College, Shrigley Hall near Macclesfield, Cheshire, England where he received his secondary education. In 1984, he matriculated at the University of Glasgow where he read law, graduating with First Class Honours, as Bachelor of Laws in 1988. From 1988 until 1995 he received his priestly formation at the Pontifical Scots College and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, graduating as Bachelor of Theology with licentiate in philosophy.


John Keenan was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Thomas Winning on 9th July 1995. Thereafter, he was appointed to the parish of Christ the King in King’s Park, Glasgow where he served until 2000. From 1997 until 2000 he was also chaplain to Holyrood Secondary School in Glasgow. Between 1995 and 2005, he lectured in philosophy at Scotus College, Bearsden. In 2000, he was appointed chaplain to the Catholic students and staff of the University of Glasgow, a post he held until his episcopal ordination.

A few months prior to his episcopal ordination, he was appointed by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia to be parish priest of St Patrick’s Church in the Anderston district of Glasgow and Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Glasgow.


Fr John Keenan was consecrated bishop in St Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley on 19th March 2014, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow. The principal co-consecrating bishops were Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh and Bishop John Mone, emeritus Bishop of Paisley.

Bishop Keenan has taken as his episcopal motto the words Suscepit servum recordatus misericordiae (He protects his servant remembering his mercy) inspired by the Magnificat. He is presently vice-president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and the episcopal president of the Conference’s Priests for Scotland commission.

Pastoral Letters