BY Peter Diamond | October 18 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Nigerian order to take reigns at Edinburgh city centre parish

Missionaries from Africa will take over the running of a city centre parish in Scotland’s capital next month, a move the archbishop says will bring ‘zeal and energy.’

Two priests from the Sons of Mary, Mother of Mercy congregation (SMMM) in Nigeria will take the reigns at St Patrick’s Church, Cowgate in Edinburgh.

One priest from the Order who already serves in Scotland this week praised the work of Scottish Catholic missionaries in boosting vocations in Nigeria.

Fr Francis Ututo (above, left), an assistant priest of Sacred Heart Church in Grangemouth, said: “Between the 1960s and 1970s many priests, particularly from this archdiocese, came to Nigeria to sow the seeds of Faith.

“Then after some 20-30 years, that seed has brought about missionaries who are happy to come back and say thank you and minister to the Church here in Scotland. That’s a great privilege for us.”



The SMMM is a Religious Congregation founded in Nigeria in 1970 by the late Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo.

It has established a mission base in Scotland at Sacred Heart Church in Grangemouth, where fellow SMMM priest Emmanuel Ndukwu also resides.

“For us, Jesus gives the mandate: go throughout the whole world, proclaim the Good News,” added Fr Ututo.

“As missionaries we are happy to go to the ends of the earth, which includes here in Scotland! We’re happy to do whatever we can.”


Clergy changes

The clergy changes will see Mgr Philip Kerr move from St Patrick’s to the parish of St Mary Magdalene in Glenrothes, while Mgr Gerard Hand will move from Glenrothes to Holy Cross, Edinburgh.

Archbishop Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh Archdiocese said he believes the appointments will ‘help draw even more people to Christ.’

“Members of this congregation bring their missionary zeal and energy to a city centre which is multi-ethnic and diverse,” Archbishop Leo Cushley said.

“I believe their presence will revitalise and enhance the area to help draw even more people to Christ.”

Fr Gerald Obi and Fr Benedict Umeohanna are expected to arrive shortly at St Patrick’s, with more planned to follow them. This may also include the possibility of Sisters from the order.

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