Vatican appoints new Rector of Scots College 

The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Clergy has appointed Fr Mark Cassidy as the next Rector of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome.

He is a priest of Dunkeld Diocese and was Spiritual Director of the college from 2011 to 2018.

He said: "I am aware of the trust that the bishops have expressed in nominating me as the next Rector of the College in Rome.

"I am aware of the vital importance of the seminary in the life of the Scottish Church and look forward to being involved once more in the formation of a new generation of priests for service in Scotland.

"Fr Dan and his predecessor Mgr John Hughes brought their own gifts and talents to the role of Rector, and I intend to do all I can to build on the good work that they did.”

Fr Dan was first appointed as vice-rector of the college in 2012 before being made rector in 2015. He is set to return to a parish in the Diocese of Paisley.

The new appointment was made following the recommendation of the Bishops Conference of Scotland (BCOS).

Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of BCOS, said: "I wish Fr Mark every blessing in his new role, while extending our gratitude to the Diocese of Dunkeld for allowing him to serve the church nationally in such a crucial position. I wish him every success in his new and important responsibilities."

Fr Cassidy will take up his new post on 1 August 2022.  

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 Religious Life (male or female) contact Sr Mirjam Hugens FSO on 0131 623 8902 or at 

Seminarians instituted as Acolytes in Rome

Six Scottish seminarians were instituted as Acolytes by Bishop Paul Tighe at the Scots College in Rome on Sunday.

They include Alessio Marchetti (above, second left), a seminarian of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, who is a fourth year student at the college. He is pictured with Fr Nick Welsh (left, vice rector of the Scots College and a priest of our Archdiocese) and Deacon Josh Moir (right, who is being ordained to the priesthood for our Archdiocese this summer).

Bishop Tighe, also pictured, is Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

The new acolytes are pictured above (front row from left): Ciaran Rooney (Glasgow Archdiocese), Aidan Matheson (Aberdeen Diocese), Alessio Marchetti (St Andrews & Edinburgh Archdiocese), Michael Kearns (Glasgow Archdiocese), Christopher Furmage (Motherwell Diocese) and Paul Laverty (Paisley Diocese).

May God bless them on their journey to the Priesthood.

An acolyte is a milestone on the journey to priesthood, usually conferred in the fourth year of study at seminary. The next stage is diaconate, followed by ordination to the priesthood.

If you are based in the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh and want to find out more about the priesthood, contact Fr Andrew Garden on 0131 663 4286 for a chat or email him at, For the religious life, contact Sr Mirjam on 0131 623 8902,

WATCH: Four seminarians become Lectors!

Four seminarians at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome were instituted to the ministry of Lector by Cardinal George Pell on Sunday.

They included Alessio Marchetti, a seminarian of our Archdiocese, along with Aidan Matheson (Aberdeen), Paul Laverty (Paisley) and Chris Furmage (Motherwell). Please keep them all in your prayers.

The Mass was streamed on YouTube and can be watched here.

Seminarians star in new BBC documentary

The life of a Scottish seminarian in Rome is revealed in a new three-part series on BBC Alba.

Priest School follows Ronald Campbell from Benbecula, who is in his final year studying for the priesthood at the Beda College in Rome.

It also features seminarians from the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh as they study, pray and share life together in the Eternal City.

The highlight of the first episode is students and staff meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican. He tells them: "Don't forget to pray for me".

The next epsiodes are on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th December at 8:30pm. The first episode is available now on BBC iPlayer.

If you feel God might be calling you to the priesthood, have a chat with our Vocations Director Father Andrew Garden on 0131 663 4286 or For the religious life, contact Sister Mirjam Hugens on 0131 623 8902 or