BY Ryan McDougall | June 7 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Pilgrims celebrate Mass in Gaelic at the Vatican

Parishioners of St Peter’s in Daliburgh, South Uist, have just returned from a pilgrimage to Rome as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations.

The group returned two weeks ago, after visiting Rome’s four major basilicas and attending a papal audience, at which Pope Francis would have glimpsed the South Uist flag they brought to the Vatican.

Fr Ross Crichton, parish priest of St Peter’s, said the pilgrimage was to follow in the footsteps of their patron saint and that he celebrated Gaelic Mass in St Peter’s basilica.


A first for many

Fr Crichton said: “For many of the pilgrims, this was a first trip to Rome, so following in the footsteps of St Peter it was natural that one of the highlights should be an audience with the successor of St Peter.

Most of the pilgrims had seen Pope Benedict XVI when he came to Scotland and some had been at Bellahouston for Pope John Paul II’s visit, but it was special to attend an audience in St Peter’s Square.”

He added it was a ‘privilege’ to celebrate Mass at the heart of the Church in Gaelic, and to have contributed to cultural diversity in Rome.


Future pilgrimages

Fr Crichton has celebrated Gaelic Mass twice in Rome, a rare event, and said a Gaelic pilgrimage may be organised again in future.

St Peter’s Church has undergone renovations as part of the 150th celebrations. It has been re-roofed, has had new lighting installed and has been redecorated.

It reopens on June 23 for First Communions and a Corpus Christi procession, as well as a celebration of their patron saint’s feast the following week.

The parish is also excited to welcome a new diocesan priest who will be ordained this summer.

Fr Crichton said: “We met with our diocesan seminarians in Rome and when Rev Ronald Campbell is ordained to the priesthood on July 9, we hope the bishop will celebrate Holy Mass in our newly renovated church and bring our celebrations to a close.”

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