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Sadness and happy memories as Augustinians leave after 25 years

St Andrews & Edinburgh Archdiocese has paid tribute to the legacy of the Augustinians, who are set to leave the area after 25 years — by Matt Meade

The religious order announced earlier this year it would leave St Joseph’s Church, Sighthill, following two and a half decades of faithful service to the people.

Pauline Davies, chair of St Joseph’s Pastoral Council, said: “The impact they have had on our community has been phenomenal. It’s been a privilege, so we’re very sad to see them going.

“Fr Ian Wilson and Fr Sean Quinlan, the two remaining friars, have been wonderful.”

Parishioner Ewan Walker added: “The Augustinians have undoubtedly changed this parish and the community of Broomhouse for the better.

Helping the parish

“When they first arrived the parish was in decline, the church and parish house becoming a regular target for vandalism.

“Within a year, the Augustinians succeeded in opening up St Joseph’s to the community, simply by making community the central focus.”

“We’re all gutted to see the Augustinians leave, but our mission now is to look forward to the future in hope as we continue their work,” Archbishop Leo Cushley said the news of their departure was a ‘shock’ to the parish and that people are ‘sad’ to see them leave.

New chapter

He added: “The anniversary celebrations will be tinged with sadness.

However, we thank the Augustinians for their 25 years of service in Broomhouse, and we look forward in hope to a new chapter in the history of St Joseph’s.”

Fr Ian Wilson, one of the two remaining friars, has been appointed to Clare Priory in England as parish priest, while Fr Sean Quinlan has been appointed to St Mary’s Harborne, Birmingham.

The two will officially take up their new roles after Easter. Fr Paul Graham, who has already left St Joseph’s, has begun a new ministry as an Assistant General in Rome.

Happy memories

Fr Wilson said: “We will leave with happy memories. It’s a good wee parish and the diocese has always been opening and welcoming of us so we go with happy memories and consoled that the parish is not closing and continues into a new era.”

Fr Quinlan said: “It’s not so much the place that I loved, it’s the people that I loved—they are fantastic and have changed my life. I believe the parish has a wonderful future.”

Archbishop Cushley has announced Fr Emmanuel Chorbe will take up the temporary role as administrator of St Joseph’s. He is currently assistant priest of St Mary’s Church, Bathgate.

A Mass of Thanksgiving which was set for Thursday March 19 at St Joseph’s has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

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