BY Ryan McDougall | July 12 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Fr Campbell is ordained for Argyll and the Isles Diocese

The first man from the Isles to be ordained for Argyll and the Isles in 20 years has said he is hoping to help re-ignite the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Fr Ronald Campbell was ordained in his home parish of St Mary’s, Benbecula on July 10. The last man from the Isles ordained to the diocese was Fr John Paul McKinnon in 1999.

Ahead of his ordination, Fr Campbell said he was excited to begin his ministry as assistant priest of St Margaret’s Church in Lochgilphead.

 

Accompanying the community

“It’s an area I don’t know too well, and I think it will be nice to go somewhere new, see what issues people have and try to walk with them and accompany them,” Fr Campbell said.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about Faith, being able to visit the sick, distribute the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is very important.

“The Pope, bishops and priests have all spoken about how we really have to reignite that Sacrament. I think it’ll be a real privilege to administer it to the people.”

 

Longing for more

Before he felt the calling to the priesthood, Fr Campbell was a primary school teacher in Dundee, but said he always had a longing for something else.

“I didn’t feel like I was completely satisfied,” Fr Campbell admitted, but said his former career helped him grow in his knowledge of the Church.

“I learned so much about people, about the Church, and the Faith through teaching. I worked closely with the Church and the children going through the Sacraments such as their First Communions,” he added.

Fr Campbell reflected on his time in seminary at the Beda College, Rome, stating it was a ‘great four years,’ mainly due to the many friends he made. Some even made the journey to Benbecula to witness their friend become a priest.

 

God’s calling

Fr Campbell said when he first felt the call to be a priest, he thought, ‘this is not me, this can’t be what God has planned for me!’

“But that was washed away,” he said. “You see the goodness of others and are inspired by priests, Religious and really faithful Catholics in the Church, doing what they do for the Lord.

“That really inspired me. I grew up with fantastic priests who were with me from day one and my mum and dad were really supportive and told me to take my time to think about it. Whatever happened, they would be happy.”

 

Encouragement

Offering advice to men considering the priesthood, he added: “If there’s a priest you know or someone you can trust in the parish, speak to them about it.

“One of the first people I spoke to was a faithful Catholic teacher—she really helped me out and gave me advice, she was fantastic.

“I think speaking to others about it is important because we can question it in our heads and end up going around in circles, but talking makes it a bit more clear and so does prayer.”

 

Credit

Crediting all those who have stood by him on his journey, Fr Campbell added: “I’d like to say thanks to all those priests and parishioners throughout Scotland for helping me as well as my family for being a constant source of encouragement.

“It’s been a real joy to be able to meet lots of amazing people and I hope I can give something back to them.”

 

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