Archbishop's homily - ordination of Fr Josh Moir

Here is the Homily of Archbishop Leo Cushley from the Priestly Ordination of Fr Josh Moir at Our Lady & St Andrew’s, Galashiels, 28 June.


My dear friends, a very warm welcome to our Archdiocese and to Galashiels, as we gather for the Ordination to the priesthood of your relative and friend, Josh.

For the second year in a row, I am very pleased to be able to celebrate a priestly ordination here, in Our Lady & St Andrew’s.  And I am again in debt to Fr Andrew Kingham, and to all in the parish who have prepared both the sacred and the social parts of our celebration this evening.

We also gather again around the Feast of the great Apostles of the Roman Church, Saints Peter and Paul.  In their different ways, Peter and Paul helped to found a church in Rome that held on through extremely difficult times with exemplary faith and courage.  And we here look with pride to what they achieved, because we too are sons and daughters of the Church of Rome.

Those first Roman Christians buried their dead in the now famous catacombs, and they occasionally had to hide there from the authorities when the state became intolerant of Christianity, and it became dangerous simply to hold the tenets of our faith.

To this day, the catacombs show us traces of the faith and love of our ancient brothers and sisters, in monuments, inscriptions and even frescoes that have survived.  And, among the images that have come down to us from those dark times is one of the Good Shepherd, seen as a beardless Roman youth, carrying a lamb on his shoulders.

For us, as a version of the Good Shepherd, it’s a little unusual, but it’s a beautiful, serene, confidence-inspiring image.

It’s also interesting to compare it, created by persecuted Christians, with the Psalm that inspires it.  In Psalm 22/23, we see, “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want… The Lord gives me repose; he leads me to green pastures, at restful waters, he gives me repose…[and] even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”.

These were surely words that those Christians clung to for dear life, as they were being tried and executed for simply believing what you and I believe quietly these days.

The Psalm concludes, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell forever and ever”. This Psalm, remembered in such a context, and the peaceful image of the Good Shepherd with the lamb safely over his shoulders, stands in such contrast to what was happening to them, that we are struck by their confidence in God’s mercy in the teeth of the world’s intolerance, aggression and cruelty.

Now, this image of the Good Shepherd, young, humble, brave, constant, is one that we continue look to, as another generation aspires to the priesthood.  Our seminarians are, for the most part, younger men, taken from among their kin and their peers, and set aside for sacred duties.

Our sacred ministers aren’t sacred in themselves; but they must wish, and strive, to be worthy of what they approach, and what will be their daily bread for the rest of their lives.  And we, in our turn, must support them and encourage them to be faithful to the things of God.

We are all of us able to love and respect what is sacred.  And I believe that what the young people today wish from the Church and from our example is a renewed and profound sense of the sacred. They live in the world; they are familiar with its glamour; and yet they are also drawn to what is holy.

They cannot escape living in this messy, complicated reality, but they are drawn to God’s presence; and so the solution is to propose a life that is close to people, while stepping aside from the world from time to time, to go to our private room, to be still before the Lord, to love being in His presence, and, from a store of faith and experience, draw others from the world and towards Christ.

This is something all Christians should do, but our sacred ministers do it with a consecration that sets them apart for it, not for their own sake, but on behalf of us all.

Priests are therefore set aside to intercede for us before God, especially in the Eucharist, by means of their configuration to Christ on the Cross, the great mediator between God and humanity, our High Priest, our Good Shepherd.

Josh, we hope and pray that you too will learn to imitate the Good Shepherd as you mature in the priesthood.  Be a good and simple pastor of souls, close to your people, willing to go the extra mile, gently bringing them back, and kindly looking out for them, in season and out of season.

You will be set apart from now on, but in a way that also means being approachable, open, and charitable.

Learn to be good with the Lord’s goodness, and patient with His patience.  Ask for the Lord’s grace, for yourself and for others.  And let Lord’s grace working in you be met by your own willingness, to strive always to be worthy of what is being entrusted to you today.

Be a good shepherd to all after the Lord’s own heart.  And may the Lord’s goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life.   Amen.

Caritas, Justice & Peace: A Synodal Way Forward

Register for this event here.

Do you see Caritas, Justice & Peace as integral to your Catholic faith?

We want you to help shape the future work of the Caritas, Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh. 

Our aim is to re-imagine how we promote our work, doing so in the light of the ongoing Synod, where Communion, Participation and Mission are key elements.

There will be brief presentations from our four working groups which currently focus on:

At this event we will be joined by others involved in this part of the Church’s mission and will hear from our friends in groups such as Justice and Peace Scotland, Pax Christi Scotland, and the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

The final session of the afternoon will focus on the future: how does our work go forward in the Archdiocese? By doing so we we can listen and collaborate to help those in need in our Archdiocese and further afield.

We look forward to welcoming you!

Register for this FREE event on our Eventbrite page here. Please bring a packed lunch (tea/coffee and biscuits will be served). Organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Caritas, Justice & Peace. 

WATCH: Churches working together in West Lothian

Fr Jeremy Bath and Rev Hanneke Janse van Vuren discuss relations between their churches in West Lothian.

Fr Jeremy is a Catholic Priest at Ss John Cantius & Nicholas in Broxburn (linked with St Philomena in Winchburgh). Rev Hanneke is a Church of Scotland Minister at Strathbock Parish Church in Uphall.

Fr Jeremy is Vicar Episcopal for the Archdiocesan Commission for Ecumenism and Interfaith Dialogue. Meet the commission members here. Above footage: Tern TV.

EVENT: Join us for a Family Afternoon on 25 June

Families are invited to join us at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh for a special event focusing on The Eucharist: Source of Family Love.

The day takes place on Saturday 25 June, 2-5pm and you can register on our Eventbrite page here (free event).

The day includes:

  • Separate sessions for adults and children.
  • Family prayer time in St Margaret's Chapel onsite.
  • Games/workshops led by the Servidora Sisters from Fife.

The garden of the Gillis Centre, at 100 Strathearn Road, is large and perfect for children to play in, so we hope the sun will shine!

Families with children of all ages are welcome to attend and there is free parking onsite. This event coincides with the 10th World Meeting of Families taking place in Rome.

Family Afternoon, Saturday 25 June, 2-5pm, Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh. Details and registration at Event organised by the Marriage & Families Commission.

Paul and Peter become Acolytes!

Congratulations to Paul Henderson and Peter Shankland who were instituted as Acolytes at the Beda College in Rome on Wednesday.

In this ministry they can assist the deacon and priest at the altar during Mass.

Both seminarians are parishioners from St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue studying for the priesthood.

Feel you may be called to the priesthood? Chat with our Vocations Director Fr Andrew Garden on 0131 663 4286 or at If you are interested in the Relgious Life (male or female) contact Sr Mirjam Hugens FSO on 0131 623 8902 or at 

GALLERY: 'Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit'

Archbishop Cushley has been visiting parishes all over the Archdiocese to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation.

In the Sacrament "the Christian’s relationship with God is made stronger. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are strengthened: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. In this way the Christian is equipped to become a better witness to Christ in the world".

"A bishop is the usual celebrant of the Sacrament of Confirmation. During the celebration he extends his hands over those to be confirmed and calls upon God to “send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide.”

"Then each person to be confirmed is anointed with chrism on the forehead as the bishop says: 'Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.' (More here).

WATCH: Our first talk on the Acts of the Apostles

Here is the first talk in a series of four on the Acts of the Apostles with Sr Anna Marie McGuan RSM. Watch below or on our YouTube channel. Catch the next talk live at 1:30pm on Monday 9 May.


Join us on our YouTube channel next Monday 9 May at 1:30pm as we continue the series (30 min talk).

Making Disciples Seminar

Learn how God is at work in your life and the lives of others as part of your vocation as a disciple of Christ. Register here.

This FREE three- day seminar will focus on recognizing and reverencing the spiritual journeys of individuals, and how each of us can be an instrument in God’s hand as we walk as His disciples.

The event will be based on Sherry Weddell’s book Forming Intentional Disciples.

This event is open clergy and laity, especially those with leadership roles in the parish. Join us and invite potential and existing parish leaders to register too.

The seminar will show you:

• How discipleship makes catechesis a life-changing experience.

• How to introduce non-believers and the lukewarm to Jesus and the Church.

• Ways to share your own personal witness in gentle, intriguing, and non-threatening ways.

• How to integrate these evangelizing skills and concepts into the full spectrum of parish life and ministry.

It takes place at St Kentigern's Church, Parkgrove, Barnton, Edinburgh, EH4 7QR on:

  • Friday 25 Feb: 7pm-9 pm.
  • Saturday 26 Feb: 9am-5pm
  • Sunday 27 Feb: 11am-4pm

Register now for this FREE three-day workshop. For queries, please contact

Bishop Bill Nolan appointed Archbishop of Glasgow

Pope Francis has named Bishop Bill Nolan as the new Archbishop of Glasgow and 41st successor of St Mungo.

The new Archbishop will succeed Archbishop Philip Tartaglia who died in January 2021.

Bishop Nolan, who is currently the Bishop of Galloway, said: "I feel overwhelmed by the trust Pope Francis is putting in me by appointing me as Archbishop of Glasgow.

"It will be wrench for me to leave Galloway Diocese where for seven years I have experienced the kindness and friendship of so many people, particularly the clergy. God truly blessed me by sending me to Galloway and I hope that my successor there will be similarly blessed."


He added: "As I overcome my initial shock at being appointed Archbishop, my thoughts now turn to the challenges that lies ahead. I look forward to working with everyone in the Archdiocese - laity and clergy - to carry out the mission that we share of proclaiming God’s good news and of bringing the joy of the gospel into the lives of the people of today.”

Archbishop Nolan, 68, has served as Bishop of Galloway Diocese from 2014. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Motherwell in 1977, served as vice-rector of the Scots College in Rome, 1983-1990, and was Vicar General of Motherwell Diocese, 2014-2015.

Bishop Nolan added: “I am well aware of my own inadequacies and of the difficulties the Church faces today. Thank God therefore that we can sure of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

As I leave the Diocese of Galloway behind, from now on I belong to Glasgow. And I assure the people of Glasgow of my commitment and dedication to them.

"Please remember me in your prayers."


Mgr Hugh Bradley, who has been Administrator of the Archdiocese of Glasgow since the death of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, said: “I am delighted with the appointment of Bishop Nolan; I offer him a warm welcome to the Archdiocese of Glasgow and a promise of prayers on behalf of all the clergy, religious and laity.  May our good God bless him with health and strength to lead us in faith.”

Fr. William McFadden, Vicar General of the diocese of Galloway said:  “As Bishop of Galloway, Bishop Nolan presented a pastoral vision with a genuinely collaborative approach.

"He led with humility and determination, inspired by the initiatives of Pope Francis, and focussing on the needs of the Church for the 21st century. This appointment will allow him to serve both the people of Glasgow and the wider Church with the same abilities with which he served us in Galloway for seven valuable years.

"We will miss him, but appreciate greatly the contribution which he made, and the legacy which he leaves.”

Archbishop Cushley said: ““I’m delighted that my brother bishop, Bill Nolan, has accepted the Holy Father’s nomination as Archbishop of Glasgow. He has proven to be a dedicated leader and pastor of souls in the Diocese of Galloway.

"I have already offered him my warm congratulations and would ask everyone to remember him in their prayers. Glasgow has gained a worthy successor of the much-missed Archbishop Philip Tartaglia.”

The Archbishop elect will take possession of the Archdiocese on Saturday 26 February.


Two FREE events to help you grow in holiness

On this Feast Day of the Conversion of St Paul (Tuesday 25 January) we're pleased to announce two FREE events we're hosting to help with your continual conversion towards holiness.

Called & Gifted Workshop

Update: this event is now SOLD OUT

When: Saturday 19 February
Where: Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Register: (Free event)

God is calling you to a unique purpose in life, a work of love that only you can do.

We will help you identify your charisms (spiritual gifts) and begin to discern God’s call through the Called and Gifted Workshop. You have received gifts in Baptism and Confirmation through which God intends His love to reach others. This event is jointly hosted by the Catechetics Commission of the Archdiocese and the Catherine of Siena Institute, Colorado. Come and discover these charisms in you!

You will learn:

• The five steps of discerning the charisms that God has given you how they can change your life.
• how discerning your charisms can change the world and help spread the Gospel
• how discerning and using our charisms together can help transform and renew our parishes.

The workshop will also look at the fascinating ancient teachings of the Church on how the charisms of the Holy Spirit work in your life and in the life of your parish community. We will also delve into the signs and characteristics of 24 of the most common charisms of the Holy Spirit.

Making Disciples Seminar

When: Friday 25 - Sunday 27 February
Where: St Kentigern's, Parkgrove Avenue, Edinburgh
Register: (free event)

This three-day seminar will focus on recognizing and reverencing the spiritual journeys of individuals, and how each of us can be an instrument in God’s hand as we walk as His disciples. It will be based on Sherry Weddell’s book Forming Intentional Disciples.

This event is open clergy and laity, especially those with leadership roles in the parish. Join us and invite potential and existing parish leaders to register too.

The seminar will show you:

• How discipleship makes catechesis a life-changing experience.
• How to introduce non-believers and the lukewarm to Jesus and the Church.
• How to integrate these evangelizing skills and concepts into the full spectrum of parish life and ministry.

For queries about both events, please contact