BY Gerard Gough | February 20 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Following in St Ninian’s footsteps

Bishop William Nolan of Galloway aims to bring the Good News to the diocese

NEWLY elevated Bishop William Nolan of Galloway has vowed to follow in the footsteps of St Ninian and bring the Good News to the people of the diocese.

At his installation Mass at the Grand Hall in Kilmarnock last Saturday, the new bishop spoke of having a purpose, rather than a definite plan for the diocese, and that purpose was to share the Good News with everyone in the same way as his fourth century predecessor had done.

“I am very conscious that I follow in the footsteps of St Ninian, who came to Galloway in 397AD,” Bishop Nolan said. “He came with something to give to the people—he came with Good News. That Good News is something I hope to bring to the diocese and it is something that we as priests, people and bishops should all try to bring to other people, to give them that gift. If we don’t bring them the gift of the Good News there’s no purpose.

“Just last year Pope Francis published a document called The Joy of the Gospel—Evangelii Gaudium. It challenged all of us to embrace the joy of that Good News and to spread it and share it with others. It’s not a plan, it is a purpose. That is what I hope to do in my role as your bishop.”

The Mass was principally consecrated by Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh. He was joined by the Apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini and Bishop Emeritus Maurice Taylor of Galloway—who himself had followed the same path from Our Lady of Lourdes parish in East Kilbride to become Bishop of Galloway. Members of the Scottish hierarchy, along with bishops from Ireland, England and Wales joined the packed congregation in celebrating Bishop Nolan’s ordination to the Episcopate.

Archbishop Cushley—a former student of Bishop Nolan’s during his time as vice rector of the Scots College in Rome—spoke during his homily of how the founder of Galloway Diocese, St Ninian, ‘puts us and our Church in touch with the rest of Europe, with the Scots finding themselves influenced by Christianity through the example set by the saint and those who followed him.’ Conscious of that historical leadership, the archbishop spoke of the leadership qualities that Bishop Nolan will look to take on in his new role.

“We all pray earnestly that Bishop Nolan will be a humble leader, a servant leader after the heart of Christ, wise and obedient, and we pray that God will look with loving compassion upon him,” Archbishop Cushely said.

During his speech to the congregation, Bishop Nolan, stressed the importance of the role his family had played in his spiritual development and paid tribute to the loving example they had shown him.

“I would like to pay tribute to and thank my family, my parents and all my family,” the bishop said. “I was very fortunate to have parents, cousins, godparents, aunts and uncles all who took the Faith very seriously and all who considered the Church an active part of their lives.”

Bishop Nolan explained that the bishop’s ring he now wears also had a special familial link.

“My father had a gold wedding ring,” he said. “It was a ring that he never wore because as a mechanic it wasn’t really suitable to wear jewellery. I’ve had that ring reformed into a bishop’s ring.”

Prior to the Mass, Bishop Emeritus John Cunningham he assured the new bishop of his ‘prayerful support for his ministry,’ while also asking for ‘God’s abundant blessing on him.’

—Read the full version of this story in the February 20 edition of the SCO in parishes from Friday.





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