REST IN PEACE: Archbishop Leo Cushley has paid tribute to Monsignor Michael Regan, the former Administrator of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, who died yesterday aged 59-years-old. He had been ill for some time.
“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,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley, 28 August.
“All those around about him – family, friends and staff -- were struck by the devoted way he would compose himself to receive the Sacrament of the Sick and Holy Communion.”
Monsignor Michael Regan grew up in London and came to Scotland to study at the University of Stirling where he graduated in 1977 with a Batchelor of Arts degree followed by an M.Litt in Modern French Literature. It was also there he discerned a calling to the priesthood.
He attended seminary at St Andrew’s College at Drygrange in the Scottish Borders before being ordained for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh on 23 April 1982. During his 33 years of active ministry he served in Livingston, Dunfermline, Cowie and numerous parishes in Edinburgh including, until this year, seven years as Administrator of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral.
“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,” said the Archbishop.
“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 today will be regretting and mourning his passing.”
Academic studies were also an important part of Monsignor Regan’s life. Between 1985 and 1988 he attended the University of Paris and the Institut Catholique in the same city where he gained a Masters in Theology. He then joined the seminary staff at Scotus College in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, in 1993 spending eight years teaching there.
“I actually first got to know Monsignor Regan through our common interest in liturgy,” Archbishop Cushley recalled.
“We trained at about the same time in liturgy and from the first time I can remember meeting him, we always had wonderful, friendly discussions on the subject”.
The two men also worked together in the preparations for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Scotland in 2010 when Monsignor Regan helped co-ordinate events in Edinburgh.
“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,” said the Archbishop who, as a Vatican diplomat, was part of the Papal entourage.
“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.”
They then combined efforts again when Archbishop Cushley was appointed to the See of St Andrews & Edinburgh in 2013.
“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.”
The Very Reverend Monsignor Michael Brian Regan 1955-2015. Parishes served;
St Andrew’s, Livingston, 1982-82
St Margaret’s, Dunfermline, 1982-85
St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh, 1988-91
Sacred Heart, Cowie, 1991-93
Scotus College, Bearsden, 1993-2001
St Andrew’s, Edinburgh, 2001-08
St John the Baptist, Edinburgh, 2001-08
Our Lady, Mother of the Church/St Joseph’s, Currie/Balerno, 2004-08
St Kentigern’s, Edinburgh, 2006-08
St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh, 2008-15
[From Diocesan Facebook Page]