BY Peter Diamond | July 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Catholic Gaelic society hold inaugural Mass

A Catholic Gaelic society has been created in Scotland for the first time in order to promote the usage of the language in the Church.

The inaugural meeting took place last Saturday July 13 at St John the Baptist’s Church in Uddingston where like minded and ‘curious’ individuals and lay Catholics celebrated Mass before establishing the society.

Headed by Andreas Wolff, a BBC Alba journalist and columnist for the SCO, the society is named in Gaelic as Comann Gaidhlig Caitligeach.

Mr Wolff said Fr Jarek Kwiecien, a Polish priest on supply, celebrated the Mass.



“It was great to have a Gaelic speaker celebrate Mass for us and there were about 15 people there. Half were Gaelic speakers and the rest were parishioners or people who were curious to find out more about what a Gaelic Mass involved,” he said.

“Unfortunately we were unable to say the readings in Gaelic as currently it is only the Sunday ones which are approved, not the midweek ones, which is perhaps something we can help change in the future.”

Six board members of the new society attended the meeting after the Mass, with a seventh not present.


Promoting Gaelic

“Our main aim is to further the use of Gaelic language in the Church and hopefully provide ways of enhancing use of Gaelic in churches, to increase the language skills and provide online resources for Catholics and perhaps training courses for priests,” Mr Wolff said.

“Our mid term aim is to have a language plan in place that would allow us to apply to Bord na Gaelic, the national body for Gaelic language, to receive funding from them to fund a national officer.”

“I think there is still a lot of work to do and we are at the very start of the project but the signs are good, we have begun our journey.”


Diocesan support

According to Mr Wolff, Argyll and the Isles Diocese is broadly supportive. “Bishop Brian [McGee] has thanked us for putting this forward and beyond that it will perhaps depend on whether the clergy are interested,” he said.

“If the congregations are interested and supportive then hopefully the priests will be too.”



Fr Jarek Kwiecien, who currently teaches at a Polish seminary, celebrated the Catholic Gaelic Society’s inaugural Mass and this week told the SCO of his love for Scotland.

“I got in touch with Andreas by coincidence as I’m a regular visitor to Scotland and he informed me

about the creation of the Catholic Gaelic Society so I was more than happy to celebrate Mass for them,” Fr Jarek said.

“I am based in a seminary in a diocese of North Poland and when the students are off I’m off, so I come here on supply. 13 years ago I was in Rome studying a doctorate degree and ended up being in the Scots College and I have been doing supply work in Scotland ever since.

“I guess I came across the Gaelic language since I started visiting here and I just thought I wanted to get stuck in and learn it. It really is a beautiful language.”

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