On Saturday 22nd November, it was announced in Rome that Pope Francis had appointed Fr. William Nolan, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride and Vicar General of Motherwell Diocese, as the new Bishop of Galloway.
Bishop Toal with the clergy and people of the Diocese of Motherwell rejoice at the news of this new appointment, even if our rejoicing is tinged with sadness that our diocese is to lose a very talented and hard working priest. The Diocese of Motherwell’s loss is certainly the Diocese of Galloway’s gain.
Reacting to the announcement, Bishop-Elect Nolan said;
"I am overawed to be appointed by Pope Francis as Bishop of Galloway. I already know some of the clergy and I look forward to working with them and with the people of the Diocese to help the faith flourish in the land where Ninian planted the seeds of faith so long ago. I wish to serve the Diocese as best I can, but knowing I am hindered by my failings and weaknesses, I ask everyone to pray for me."
The last 20 years of my life have been spent in Our Lady of Lourdes parish East Kilbride. I wish to pay tribute to the people of the parish for their kindness and support to me over the years. My move to Galloway is tinged with sadness at leaving Our Lady of Lourdes behind."
Bishop-Elect William Nolan: was born on 26th January 1954 the 4th of 11 children born to William and Catherine Nolan (both deceased) He was baptised in St Patrick’s Craigneuk, Wishaw. He attended Cathedral Primary, Motherwell and St Patrick’s Primary, Craigneuk before entering the Junior seminary, first of all St Vincent’s College, Langbank, 1965 – 1967 then St Mary’s College, Blairs, 1967 – 1971. His priestly formation continued at the Pontifical Scots College, Rome, 1971 – 1978 when he graduated with a Licence in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome in June 1978. He was ordained Priest for Diocese of Motherwell, 30th June 1977 in St Bernadette’s Motherwell.
Bishop elect Nolan’s Priestly Ministry:
- Assistant Priest, Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride, 1978 – 1980
- Assistant Priest, St. David’s, Plains, 1980 – 1983
- Vice-Rector, Scots College, Rome, 1983 – 1990
- Assistant Priest, St Bridget’s, Baillieston, 1990 - 1994
- Parish Priest, Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride, 1994 to present
- Chairman Council of Priests, 1992 - 1998
- Chairman Committee for Ongoing Formation of Priests, 1993-2004
- Administrator, St John Ogilvie, Blantyre, November 2013 to present
- Vicar General, Motherwell Diocese, June 2014 to present.
Fr Nolan is now the second Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes to become Bishop of Galloway. Mgr Maurice Taylor, Emeritus Bishop of Galloway was also Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes East Kilbride when he was appointed Bishop of Galloway in 1981. When first ordained Fr Nolan was sent as a curate to Our Lady of Lourdes and served under Mgr Taylor.
Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Toal congratulated Bishop-elect Nolan on behalf of the diocese:
“On behalf of you all I offer Fr Bill our congratulation on his appointment as Bishop and the strong support of our prayers. It is an honour for the Diocese that another of our priests has been chosen to serve the Church in Scotland as Bishop and all our good wishes go with him as he prepares for ordination and his future ministry.
We thank Fr Bill for his priestly ministry in Motherwell in the various parishes he has served and in the extra duties he has willingly undertaken in recent times. We will miss his presence among us but trust that his wide pastoral experience as Parish Priest will serve him well as Bishop. We pray for his new Diocese as they prepare to welcome him as their shepherd – in that regard I ask you to pray for Fr Bill and the Dioceses of Galloway and Motherwell as we celebrate the Feast of Christ Our King and Shepherd this weekend.”
The date of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Nolan is Saturday the 14th February 2015 at 11.00am in the Grand Hall, London Road, Kilmarnock KA3 7AA.