Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I wish to make known some clergy moves and appointments in the Diocese.
With regard to St Bernadette’s Parish in Motherwell, Fr Ugo, the Spiritan Provincial, has informed me that Fr Moses has been appointed as Parish Priest in their London Parish and will be replaced at St Bernadette’s by Fr James Flynn. Fr Flynn is from Carfin and has ministered in the Spiritan Province in Angola for many years. Latterly he has been in Portugal and now he is coming home to Scotland, so we extend a warm welcome to him. He will assist Fr Ricklan in both the Parish and as Chaplain at Wishaw University Hospital. Fr Ricklan will again be Lead Chaplain at the Hospital, and I thank him for taking on this responsibility again.
Also with regard to the Spiritans, Fr Bonaventure, the Bursar at the Carfin Community, will become Chaplain at St Aidan’s High School, Wishaw. I announced previously that another priest would take on this post, but there has been a change of plan and Fr Bonaventure will become St Aidan’s Chaplain.
Fr Rafal Sobieszuk, Administrator of St Bride’s, East Kilbride, is to take a short sabbatical, and Fr Francis McGachey, at present Administrator of St Patrick’s, Strathaven, will become Parish Priest of St Bride’s. I thank Fr Rafal for his ministry in St Bride’s through a challenging period, and in particular also for his recent work in organising the Appeal for Ukranian Refugees. Fr McGachey feels ready again to take on a busier parish, and I thank him for his priestly ministry in Strathaven as he prepares to move to St Bride’s.
When Fr McGachey leaves St Patrick’s I have asked Fr Emmanuel Ikpa to care for the Parish after he has completed the September supplies he is committed to. Fr Emmanuel was to stay until November, but due to the dangerous security situation in Northern Nigeria he is going to seek an extension to his visa. He recently returned home for a short visit and was much alarmed by the kidnapping and murder of priests and other Church workers in his home area and subsequently asked me if he could stay here longer. I am happy to agree to this as he has enjoyed his time supplying in a number of the parishes and has been much appreciated.
These appointments will become effective from the beginning of September 2022.
I thank the priests who are moving or taking on added responsibilities, and trust they will be well supported in their new parishes and chaplaincies.
With my prayers and best wishes.
Yours in Christ,
+ Joseph Toal