BY Ryan McDougall | January 17 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


New general secretary for bishops in Motherwell Diocese reshuffle

The bishops’ Conference of Scotland has announced they are appointing a new general secretary next month and that the current priest in the role will return to being a parish priest.

Fr James Grant will leave the post on the weekend of the February 8/9 to become parish priest of St Francis Xavier’s Church, Carfin.

Fr Gerard Maguiness, parish priest of St Ignatius of Loyola’s Church, Wishaw, will take up Fr Grant’s position and will live at the Bishops’ Conference offices at St Serf’s church, Airdrie.

Commenting on the change, Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen, president of the Bishops’ Conference, said: “I am delighted to welcome Fr Gerard to his new post and together with all the members of the conference, look forward to working with him in future.

“I extend our warmest thanks to Fr Jim Grant for his service and to Bishop Joseph Toal [of Motherwell] for his willingness to support the conference and its work by lending one of his priests as general secretary.”



On taking up the announcement, Fr Maguiness said: “I look forward to serving the Catholic Church in Scotland as general secretary to the bishops.

“I am grateful to Mgr Michael Conway and my parishioners from St Ignatius of Loyola Parish, Wishaw, for their support and prayers for this new challenge.”

Bishop Toal gave a vote of thanks to Fr Grant for his time as the bishops’ general secretary.

He said: “I am grateful to Fr Grant for the time and dedication he gave to the role of general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

“I have asked him to take up the post of parish priest for St Francis Xavier’s, Carfin, following the illness of Fr Francis McGachey, who stood down as parish priest of St Francis Xavier’s last year.”



The bishop added: “I am pleased that the Diocese of Motherwell can continue to contribute generously to the national Church by allowing Fr Gerard Maguiness to serve as general secretary.

I am sure he will bring his many talents to that role and I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide him as he accepts this new challenge.”

The announcement comes as part of a wider series of clergy changes set to take place within Motherwell Diocese.

Fr Stephen Rooney, parish priest of Our Lady of Fatima’s parish, Larkhall and Blackwood, will move to St Ignatius’ parish, Wishaw, on the weekend of February 15/16.


New venture

Fr Sean Wylie, assistant priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, East Kilbride, will become parish priest of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Larkhall and Blackwood, on the same weekend.

On moving from an assistant to a parish priest, Fr Wylie wrote on Twitter: “After two and a half years of a wonderful curacy in Our Lady of Lourdes, the bishop has appointed me as parish priest to Our Lady of Fatima Parish, consisting of St Mary’s, Larkhall and our Lady and St John’s, Blackwood, from February 15. Please say a wee prayer for me.”

The changes within the diocese are taking place as Fr McGachey fell ill last year.

A spokesperson for Motherwell Diocese said: “We pray for Fr Francis’ full recovery and thank him for his much-appreciated ministry in the parish and caring for [Carfin] grotto.

“Bishop Toal wishes to thank the priests who have agreed to move and for their ministry in their positions. We ask God’s blessing for them as they prepare to move.”

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