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160 years of combined service for Aberdeen bishop, priests and deacon

Two priests, a deacon and a bishop celebrated a combined 160 years of service in Aberdeen’s St Mary’s Cathedral on March 11.

Bishop Emeritus Peter Moran (60 years), Canon Peter Barry (50 years), Fr Derick McCulloch (25 years) and Deacon John Woodside (25 years) were honoured at the Jubilarian Mass celebrated by vicar general Fr Domenico Zanre.

Fr Zanre said the Mass was a ‘marvellous occasion’ for the diocese.

“Between them, these men have served the Church for 160 years, and we are rightly proud!” he said.

“This wonderful achievement is a real testimony to their own Faith and devotion, and it offers us an example of what true Christian discipleship means.

“In an age when the values of steadfast commitment and humble, loving service are often praised but seldom practised, our Jubilarians stand out as shining beacons of joy and hope for us all.

“We wish them many more happy years—ad multos annos!”

Bishop Moran said: “On this 60th anniversary I thank God for all the people I will mention. First of all Joe and Gertie my parents for their love and their splendid example.

“Then my brother and my three sisters, and clergy colleagues deacons, priests and of course bishops.

“In a special way I thank parishioners in Blairs, Inverurie and Fortrose for support, appreciation and also for criticism, hard to take at the time, but valuable.

“Finally I thank God that so many years have been spent in the beautiful landscape of the Diocese of Aberdeen.”


An ongoing pilgrimage

Fr McCulloch was ordained into the Ministry of the Anglican church in 1974, before converting to the Catholic Church 30 years ago.

“After seminary training I returned to work in the diocese as a deacon 26 years ago. It was all part of a pilgrimage that is not yet ended,” he said.

Canon Peter said: “As I reflect on this Mass, I dream of a church in the spirit of Saint Francis: warm, welcoming, meeting joyfully in prayer.

“A church which lives by the Word of God, with an inspiring liturgy, relevant Homily, reaching out to those who have no resources of their own, except the love we offer.”


Quarter-century of service

Deacon Woodside said the celebration was a ‘special opportunity to personally thank God for His many graces and blessings’ throughout his 25 years of diaconal ministry in ‘the Diocese of Aberdeen, the wider Church throughout Scotland, and among the people of Aberdeenshire.’

“I have learned and loved much, and to those who have accompanied me on this joyful Pilgrimage of Service, especially my wife and family, friends and colleagues, I am eternally grateful for your unconditional love and support,” he said.

“To the co-Jubilarians, I add my congratulations on your anniversaries of Ordination, and join many others in offering best wishes and prayers for the years ahead.”

Pictured above are the Jubilarians with clergy including Bishop Toal of Motherwell, right of centre.

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