The Canon (or Father as he preferred), was the oldest serving priest in the Galloway diocese, having retired in 2006. He had always said he wanted to 'die in harness', but that was not to be. He freely admitted he required a new pair of legs!
He was brought up in Dumfries and educated at St Joseph's College, Dumfries, Blair's College, Aberdeen and The Scots College in Rome. After his ordination in 1946 he was sent back to Rome to study Canon Law.
On his return to Scotland he served as curate in St Mary's Saltcoats, and Parish Priest in Kirkconnel, Maybole, Kilbirnie, Kilmarnock and since 1982, Girvan.
In 1989 and 1990 his autobiography, in two volumes was published. These speak clearly of what happiness, joy and fulfilment he enjoyed in following his vocation. Though difficult to obtain now they are worth looking out for in libraries and second hand bookshops!
His holidays were spent visiting family members and friends in Ireland and America and each Monday he would take his day off to visit friends and relatives in the West of Scotland.
Father Mathews lived by the maxim, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (AMDG) - All for the greater glory of God. He is sorely missed.