BY Peter Diamond | January 11 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Heritage appointee is looking to record stories of parishes’ hidden female heroes

A Catholic heritage project is looking to record the stories of women who are the ‘hidden heroes’ of parishes.

Aberdeen Diocese last week appointed a laywoman to take the reigns of a heritage commission, and she hopes to use the role to recognise memorable women who are no longer with us.

Anne Oliver has been asked to represent the diocese on an important commission which has been dormant for a number of years but has recently been reconvened in a new form.

Ms Oliver, who is a member of the parishes of St Sylvester’s Church, Elgin, Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Dufftown and The Sacred Heart Church, Aberlour, hopes to develop some ideas within parishes across Aberdeen that will help her write a book on women in the diocese, with the blessing of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Commission.

Ms Oliver said: “I have some ideas, some plans which I hope will spike interest within parishes around the diocese.

“As Jane Austen almost said, it is a truth universally acknowledged that women are the backbone of most church communities, they have often been the hidden heroes of many parishes.

“My resolution for 2019 is to salute these women of the past from the diocese of Aberdeen and to tell their stories.

“So far I have a very short list of memorable women who are no longer with us, two Sisters, a parishioner, the mother of priests I know, and there are many more.

“If these stories are not written down they will be lost with the passage of time.

“I am hoping to write a book, with the blessing of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Committee, about women no longer with us from throughout the diocese.

“I am looking for women from all walks of life–Religious, organ players, coffee makers, fundraisers, housekeepers, war heroes and so on.

“For the moment I would like to use one or two women from each parish. I realise that some will be missed but we can think about that later.

“These women will represent all the women of all the parishes past and present who keep our parishes alive.”

If you can help contribute stories of women who are no longer with us and served their parishes, contact Anne Oliver at or by texting 07547123152.

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