Meet Our Clergy Team
Also Resident: Fr. Peter Norris (Retired)
Fr Liam Gallagher - Parish Priest
As one who was born and raised in the Medway towns I am delighted to be here at Maidstone, much closer to home. I am the youngest of eight children and educated at St. John Fisher Catholic School, Chatham. Ordained to the priesthood in 1999 and have served at Tunbridge Wells, Paddock Wood and Streatham before coming to St Francis here at Maidstone 2017.
When I get time to myself I very much enjoy watching films of all eras – but my local cinema will get a regular visit from me. If not watching movies then I am usually listening to music, especially of my name’s sake and Oasis. Coming from the Medway I would often go and cheer on Gillingham football club ( which I know may not go down well here in Maidstone) although I have always been a strong supporter of West Ham United.
Fr Damian Esene
Born into the family of Mr and Mrs Joseph Esene of Efandion Uromi, in Edo State of Nigeria.
Studied at Seminary of All Saints Uhiele Ekpoma in Edo state of Nigeria and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Uromi on the 10th August 2013.
Worked as assistant priest from 2013 to 2016 at Stella Maris Catholic Church in Iruekpen, Nigeria and as assistant priest from 2017 at Sacred Heart Church Camberwell, London.
Presently assisting at St Francis Parish since 9th September 2019.
Fr Simon Peter Lubuulwa
He is the second child in a family of four.
In 2001 he was admitted to Uganda Martyrs National Major Seminary Alokolum Ggulu for the Bachelors of Arts degree in Social and Philosophical studies affiliated to Makerere University, from 2001-2003. In 2005 he joined St.Mary’s National Major Seminary, Ggaba where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and a Master of Arts degree in Theology and Pastoral Studies Makerere University.
On the 9th August 2008 he was ordained a deacon of the Roman Catholic Church by his Grace Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese. On the 8th August 2009 he was ordained a priest by his Grace Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.
He was appointed to serve at Our Lady Help of Christians Kkonge Parish as assistant parish priest.
2010 he was appointed as Head teacher of St. Joseph’s senior secondary school Kkonge Mpigi.
2020 he travelled to the UK for pastoral ministry where he took up his position here at St Francis in September 2020.
Rev Ian Black – Parish Deacon
I was born in 1964, growing up in and around Thornton Heath, South London. In 1987 I moved to Maidstone, and Angela and I were married in St Francis later that year. We have lived in the parish since then. We have 4 children, who all went to St Simon Stock Catholic School, Tom – a doctor in Scotland, Peter – a medical engineer in Hampshire, Joe who works in one of our local primary schools and Vicky who is at Oxford Brooke’s University studying nursing.
Professionally from 1985 to 2015 I worked for the London Fire Brigade, as a firefighter and operational Senior Officer, and having moved up through the ranks I served in a variety of roles and at various stations. Before retirement after 30+ years service, I was the Borough Commander for Lambeth, and then headed up a specialist team at Brigade Headquarters. One claim to fame is that I was the Incident Commander at the Vauxhall Helicopter crash in 2013.
After years of helping with various activities within the parish, including running the Confirmation programme, I was accepted for formation to become a Permanent Deacon. On July 19th 2014, I was ordained here at St Francis’ and now have a number of duties as a deacon. In addition to the parish, I am a Clergy Chaplain at St Simon Stock Catholic School, on the Chaplaincy team at Maidstone Hospital and an Assistant Chaplain for the London Fire Brigade. Additionally in 2018 I was appointed as the Assistant Director for Diaconal Formation, responsible for the Kent pastoral area in Southwark diocese.