BY Martin Dunlop | October 29 2010 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Oban cathedral restoration gears up for Mary MacKillop thanksgiving Mass

THE parish community of St Columba’s Cathedral, Oban, is looking forward to celebrating a Thanksgiving Mass for Mother Mary MacKillop, St Mary of the Cross, next month as cathedral restoration work continues to gather apace.

Cathedral administrator Canon Donald MacKay commended the tireless efforts of parishioners who have been fundraising throughout the year to ensure that internal restoration work—including the re-wiring and re-lighting of the church as well as the installation of a new heating system—could take place at the cathedral of Argyll and the Isles Diocese.

“We have had various events since the beginning of the year including a gala concert in Oban’s Corran Halls last month which raised £3700,” Canon MacKay said.

Other fundraising schemes organised by parishioners have included a local recipe book, which raised more than £1000, and many sponsored cycles and runs. “Our annual August bazaar was very successful this year and brought in over £6000,” Canon MacKay added before noting that many more donations have been made to the cathedral independently.

Canon MacKay also praised the contractors who have been working on the cathedral’s restoration.

The cathedral has been closed during the week for restoration work but weekend Masses have continued to be celebrated at St Columba’s, which is now preparing for next month’s Thanksgiving Mass.

Mary MacKillop’s parents moved to Australia from Roy Bridge and a large Scottish contingent, particularly from Argyll and the Isles Diocese, was amongst the gathered pilgrims at St Peter’s, Rome for her Canonisation Mass last Sunday.

“We’re in the process of preparing for the Mass, which will be the first major event at the refurbished cathedral,” Canon MacKay said.

The cathedral administrator will be joined by Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Joseph Toal of Argyll and the Isles Diocese, members of the hierarchy and priests from throughout the country for the Thanksgiving Mass on November 17. It is hoped restoration work on the cathedral’s exterior will begin next year and fundraising is ongoing.

To contribute to the cathedral restoration fund, contact Canon MacKay at St Columba’s Cathedral House, Corran Esplanade, Oban, PA34 5AB or by telephone on 01631 562 123

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