Bishop's end of year Ad Clerum

30th December 2011.

 Ad Clerum 10/2011.

 Dear Colleagues and Friends,

 I hope this finds you well and enjoying the blessings of the Christmas Season. I have a few pieces of information to pass on.

 John Bell R.I.P.

Having asked your prayers for John last week I am very sorry to say that John passed away on Tuesday evening – may he rest in peace. John will be fondly remembered and greatly missed in his own parish in Skye, and in the Diocese also, remembering in particular his special contribution as organist in Portree and at Diocesan Masses in the Cathedral. We extend our sympathy and prayers to his wife, Judith, and to all his friends. His funeral will take place in Our Lady’s, Portree, on Thursday, January 5th.

Cridhe gu Cridhe – CD of Spiritual Songs from the Southern Isles.

The Diocese has supported the production of a high quality recording of traditional and modern Gaelic hymns – mostly from the Southern Isles. The CDs are now ready and it is hoped to distribute and sell them through our parishes. Archie MacLullich, who has been instrumental in gathering the musicians and producing the CD, will be in touch with you soon, inviting you to take some for sale in your parish. The retail price is £12 and the money should be sent to the Diocesan Office for the Gaelic Liturgy Group. It is hoped that the monies raised  will help finance further CDs of Gaelic hymns for Children and of Gaelic Christmas Carols. I ask your cooperation in making the CDs available through the parishes.

Annual Financial Returns

I thank all the parish priests for efforts made in completing the financial returns for the end of the year, and for the work of Parish Priests and their Financial Committees in managing and overseeing the parish finances throughout the year,

Special Collection on The Feast of the Epiphany, Sunday 8th January (Day of Prayer for Justice and Peace).

I instruct that the following information be given either by word or in your newsletters about this collection:

“The special collection on The Feast of the Epiphany, Sunday 8th January, the Church’s Day of Prayer for Justice and Peace, supports the Diocese’s contribution to various Commissions of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, in particular the Commission for Justice and Peace, and also the Commission for Pastoral and Social Care, which includes the National Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, as well as the Scottish Catholic Inter-Diocesan Tribunal. All of these make a vital contribution to the Church’s mission in Scotland in the areas of Justice and Peace and your generous support will be most welcome.”

 I want every parish to give this information about the collection and to encourage a generous response, so helping the Diocese meet its contributions to the various aspects of the work of the Bishops’ Conference.

Please note also that the Tribunal is now to be known as “The Scottish Catholic Inter-Diocesan Tribunal”, which is a more accurate title as to its nature, reflecting the fact that any Diocese could run its own tribunal if it wished and had sufficient resources to do so.

Concerts for Charity in our Churches.

I have had a request in recent days about the possibility of having a charitable concert in the Cathedral and other churches in the Dioceses. I have also received a complaint about such events taking place in churches. I think this matter should, therefore, be discussed at the Council of Priests, and also the wider matter of how much demand for charitable events and collections for charities we can cope with in the parishes. This is a serious and important matter and it is time to give it some attention.

Pope Benedict’s Christmas Address to the Roman Curia.

I found Pope Benedict’s Christmas Address to the Roman Curia interesting, and I commend it to you, for its insightful comment on Europe’s (and the Church’s) present difficulties, and also his evaluation and commendation of the spirituality for young people arising from World Youth Days. What our own Diocesan youth-worker is trying to offer is very close to what Pope Benedict sees and commends, so I want to encourage Denise in what she is doing and ask you to give her your support in the coming year, and for us all to take a renewed interest in the ministry to our young people.


Best wishes for 2012.

I wish everyone a Very Happy New Year, and ask the Lord’s blessing upon us all.

With my prayers and good wishes,

Yours in the Lord,

Rt Rev Joseph Toal

Bishop of Argyll and the Isles.


P.S. (3rd January 2012)

Please remember Fr Calum MacLellan, who took ill just before New Year, while in Glasgow, and is in the Southern General Hospital. Hopefully Calum will get out soon, having made a good recovery.

Fr Francis Ferriggi’s uncle, Saviour Ferriggi, died recently – may he rest in peace. We offer our sympathy to Fr Francis and his family in Malta.


Bishop’s Diary:

January 15th and 22nd : Weekend Masses in St. Kieran’s, Campbeltown

January 24th – February 2nd: Bishops’ In-Service Week in Salamanca

February 11th – 20th: ICEL Meeting in New Jersey, U.S.A.

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