New General Secretary for Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
The Bishops of Scotland have appointed Fr Gerard Maguiness to be the new General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference, writes the Catholic Parliamentary Office.
Fr Maguiness is currently Parish Priest of St Ignatius’ Wishaw, in the Diocese of Motherwell. He succeeds Fr Jim Grant who was appointed in 2018.
Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said: “I am delighted to welcome Fr Gerard to his new post and together with all the members of the conference, look forward to working with him in future. I extend our warmest thanks to Fr. Jim Grant for his service and to Bishop Toal for his willingness to support the conference and its work by lending one of his priests as General Secretary.”
Reacting to his appointment, Fr Maguiness said: “I look forward to serving the Catholic Church in Scotland as General Secretary to the Bishops. I am grateful to Mgr Michael Conway and my parishioners from St Ignatius of Loyola Parish, Wishaw, for their support and prayers for this new challenge.”
Bishop Joe Toal, Bishop of Motherwell said: “I am grateful to Fr Grant for the time and dedication he gave to the role of General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. I have asked him to take up the post of Parish Priest of St Francis Xavier’s, Carfin, following the illness of Fr Francis McGachey, who stood down as Parish Priest of St Francis’ Xavier’s last year.”
Bishop Toal added: “I am pleased that the Diocese of Motherwell can continue to contribute generously to the National Church by allowing Fr Gerard Maguiness to serve as General Secretary. I am sure he will bring his many talents to that role and I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide him as he accepts this new challenge.”
Seminarians to appear in BBC documentary
Seminarians from the Archdiocese are expected to hit our screens early next year in a new documentary.
Production company Solas filmed students at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome (main picture) late last year after being commissioned by the BBC. The finishing touches are now being put on to the programme, which will show what life is like for those studying for the priesthood.
The Rector of the college, Father Dan Fitzpatrick (front, fourth from left) reported to the Bishop's Conference of Scotland last week on a larger than usual intake of students in the past year.
There are currently 21 seminarians studying at the college. Fr Dan commended the “atmosphere of dedication and study” within the college. In anticipation of the UK’s departure from the EU all the students have been registered as residents in Italy to protect their rights to remain post-Brexit.
Before being accepted to train for the priesthood, many men attend the Roal Scots College in Salamanca, as part of a six-month formation course.
Rector, Fr Tom Kilbride (front, fourth from right) reported that ten students attended the propaedeutic course in 2019. Of this number, eight entered major seminary, afterwards. The college expects around eight students to begin the course in January 2020. The college also continues to liaise with authorities in Spain regarding residency requirements post-Brexit.
The Bishops’ Conference held its November meeting at the Schoenstatt retreat centre, near Milton of Campsie, last week, with all eight of Scotland’s bishops attending. The meeting was chaired by Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Conference. A round-up of the meeting can be found here.
If you think you may be called to the priesthood, have a chat with our vocations director Fr Andrew Garden on 0131 663 4286, firstname.lastname@example.org. To discuss vocations to a religious order contact Sister Mirjam Hugens on 0131 623 8902, email@example.com