For many years, from the Restoration of the Scottish Catholic Hierarchy in March 1878, the spiritual needs of Catholics, living in the Hillfoots Area, were met by priests from St Mungo's Parish, Alloa.
On Sunday, 13 October, 1913, Fr John O'Neill of St.Mungo's Parish made history when he celebrated Mass in a small, wooden hut in Alva - the first Mass in Alva since the Reformation. The hut held about 70 people. The needs of the Alva community continued to be met by priests from Alloa until June 1914.
Father Alphonsus Roche was appointed the first resident Parish Priest of St John Vianney's, Alva in June 1914 and lived in a rented house there where Mass was said during the week but continued on Sundays in the wooden hut. In 1920 a house was bought in East Stirling Street and a laundry and pantry to the rear of the building were refurbished into a single room chapel. It could accommodate about 50 people.The altar was constructed from the remains of the demolished box mangle. However, there was sufficient ground attached to the main house to allow for the construction of a small Church and work began following an announcement by Bishop Toner in his annual report of the Poor Mission Fund:
"We were able to contribute substantially to the cost of the new church, so much needed in Alva and it may be of further interest to mention that this church is to be dedicated in honour of one of the recently canonised saints of this year of Jubilee, St John Vianney, the World renowned Cure of Ars."
On Tuesday, 8th September 1925, Bishop Toner, Bishop of Dunkeld, blessed the Cross which surmounts the apex of the facade. On Sunday, 18 April, he solemnly blessed and officially opened the new Church of St John Vianney.
Since the foundation of the Parish in 1914 the following priests have served in the Parish of St John Vianney:
- Fr Alphonsus Roche, 1914 - 1929
- Fr John McMahon, 1929 - 1933
- Fr Owen Lynch, 1933 - 1940
- Fr James Nally, 1940 - 1943
- Fr Edward Dempsey, 1943 -1948
- Fr Peter Cullerton, 1948 - 1955
- Fr Hamish Stuart, 1955 - 1957
- Fr John Ross, 1957 - 1963
- Fr. Thomas J. Dillon, 1963 - 1970
- Fr Basil O' Sullivan, 1970 - 1974
- Canon Peter Kaye, 1974 -1982
- Fr Martin Drysdale, 1982 - 1986
- Fr Kenneth McCaffrey, 1986 - 2005
- Fr. Michael Milton (From St Mungo's), 2005 - 2009
At the beginning of 2009, Bishop Vincent Logan decided that St Bernadette's and St. John Vianney's should be administered jointly as a single parish and he appointed Fr Mike Freyne, MHM, to be Parish Priest.
Fr. Mike Freyne, 2009 - 2015
Father Brian McLean became parish priest in the summer of 2015. Fr. Brian prior to this was Parish Priest at St. Fergus, Forfar & St. Anthony’s Kirriemuir and works on the Marriage Tribunal in Glasgow.