BY Ian Dunn | March 4 2011 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-BISHOP-LOGAN-AND-CLERGY-O

Bishop Logan: 30 years of service

— Cardinal Keith O’Brien leads the tributes to the Bishop of Dunkeld at anniversary Mass in Dundee

Bishop Vincent Logan celebrated the 30th anniversary of his Episcopal installation as bishop at a packed St Andrew’s Cathedral in Dundee on Tuesday evening.

Before and during the Holy Mass to mark the occasion the Catholic community, including priests and people from every parish in Dunkeld Diocese, paid tribute to the bishop who is set to retire this year after tendering his resignation on grounds of ill health last December.

Bishop’s gratitude

To mark his 30-year anniversary Bishop Logan was presented with a cheque by Margaret Caswell, a parishioner of Our Lady of Victory (St Mary’s), Forebank, Dundee.

Thanking the priests and people he said simply ‘I have loved being your bishop,’ a remark that was met with a spontaneous, and heartfelt, sustained round of applause.

He added:  “I have been privileged to love and serve the priests and people of Dunkeld, and even more privileged to be loved and served by them in return.

“Thank you all so much, not just for tonight, but for 30 wonderful years.”

Bishop Logan told the SCO he very much appreciated the ‘kindness and support that has been shown’ to him both from his own diocese and the wider Church in Scotland. The bishop also said he gave thanks to God that he had been ordained a priest.

“From an early age, I simply didn’t want to be anything else and if I had the chance, I would do it all again tomorrow,” he said. “I have had a wonderful life as a priest.”

One of the main highlights of his time as a bishop was the visit of Pope John Paul II, which he described as a ‘marvellous occasion that will live with me forever’ and he spoke of his deep sorrow that a broken arm had prevented him from playing a more active role in Pope Benedict XVI’s visit last year.

Looking to the future, the bishop said he planned to remain in Dundee after he retired, as he wouldn’t want to ‘live anywhere else.’

He also warned that the biggest challenge facing his successor would be the shortage of priests.

“Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are not nearly as numerous as they were and that is a matter of great concern and sadness to me,” he said. “Through the Commission Priests for Scotland we are working hard to promote priesthood as a life well worth living and my hope and my prayer is that more men will respond to God’s call to priesthood.”

And the one piece of advice he would give his successor?

“Love your priests and your people and listen to them,” he said. “As bishop you are nothing without them.”

Cardinal’s message

Bishop Logan paid special tribute to Cardinal Keith O’Brien saying he was ‘delighted’ his old friend had been able to attend the anniversary Mass as they had known each other for more than 50 years.

The cardinal returned the compliment telling the congregation that he and Bishop Logan had recently marked the golden jubilee of their friendship.

“Bishop Vincent began seminary in 1958, some 53 years ago, while I began in that same seminary in 1959, some 52 years ago,” he said. “I am sure you find it hard to imagine just what each of us were like when we were teenagers.

“I well remember our late evenings before night prayer, down by the riverside. And in particular, I remember one particular spring when a number of ewes had died and Vincent and I were drafted in to mother the baby lambs!”

The cardinal also said he had fond memories of the times the two of them had worked together as young priests in St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese, particularly when he was a curate in Bishop Logan’s hometown of Bathgate.

The cardinal described Bishop Logan’s 30 years in charge of Dunkeld Diocese as an ‘amazing record.’

“I know that his apostolate is not concluding but taking on perhaps something of a more relaxed nature now in the years which lie ahead,” he said. “God bless and reward you, Vincent, for those 30 years as a bishop; God bless and reward you for those 17 years as a priest in our archdiocese; and may God also reward you in a special way for the priestly years of friendship which we have enjoyed and which you have enjoyed with so many others over the years.”

Tribute

During the Mass Mgr Ken McCaffrey, the vicar general of Dunkeld Diocese, also paid tribute to his long-serving bishop.

“You have carried on, throughout your years as priest and bishop, the work of Christ, the eternal pastor,” Mgr McCaffrey said. “It is the splendid task of being faithful to the teaching of the apostles and of building up the Church as the Body of Christ. It means being a witness to the light.”

He added that Bishop Logan had been Dunkeld’s ‘Good Shepherd’ and ‘we thank you for that love. May God bless you always.’

Other tributes to Bishop Logan came from beyond his diocese.

Paul Chitnis, chief executive of the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, said the bishop had been one of the Church’s most tireless servants.

“Bishop Logan has been a tireless and visionary servant of the Catholic Church in Scotland for three decades. He has an incredible ability to organise big events, for example, the Church’s celebration at the turn of the new Millennium,” he said. “On a personal level, I have always valued Bishop Vincent’s constant encouragement, unerring kindness and gentle wisdom.  He will be much missed and I wish him good health and much happiness in the future.”

Ronnie Convery, a spokesman for the Glasgow Archdiocese, also shared fond personal memories of Bishop Logan.

“I first got to know Bishop Logan in the preparatory years leading up to the Great Jubilee celebrations,” he said. “He chaired the preparatory committee and was a fantastic motivator, organiser and manager of people.

“Over the years I have come to admire his very real pastoral qualities, his interest in people, his care when times are tough and his amazing commitment to his ‘ain folk’ in the Diocese of Dunkeld. I sense that he is very much considered a spiritual father to the whole Tayside and Perthshire area and although he will be greatly missed as Bishop of Dunkeld, I am sure his energy and pastoral care will continue to make themselves felt in new areas.”

—     ian@sconews.co.uk

Pic: Paul McSherry

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