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Pope Francis appoints Motherwell Priest as next Bishop of Galloway

At 12 noon today (22 December 2023) in Rome (11am GMT) it was announced, that Pope Francis had nominated Fr. Frank Dougan as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Galloway. He will succeed Archbishop William Nolan who was Bishop of Galloway from 2014 to 2022 when he became Archbishop of Glasgow, since when it has been administered by Fr. William McFadden.

Reacting to his appointment, Fr. Frank said;

“I am humbled and more than a little bit nervous that Pope Francis has asked me to take on this office. I feel confident however that I will not be alone in spreading the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I will be joining with every single person in Galloway Diocese all of whom have a role to play, my role being just one of them.”


“With God’s grace and the deep faith of the Church in Galloway we can continue to build on the solid foundations left by those who have come before us, stretching back to St. Ninian who first planted the seeds of the Christian faith in Scotland here in Galloway.”


Fr. Frank added;

“My mother was from Ayr, and I spent many childhood summers here, so you could say there is a little bit of coming home for me! But most importantly, we must proclaim a Church where everyone can feel at home and welcomed.”


Responding to the news Diocesan Administrator Fr. William McFadden said:

"On behalf of the community in the Diocese of Galloway, I am delighted to warmly welcome Fr Dougan as our new bishop. I can assure him of an enthusiastic welcome as he comes among us bringing his unique pastoral leadership and skills. I look forward to working with him, and in continuing the implementation in the diocese of the pastoral and prophetic vision offered by Pope Francis for the Church today. "


Reacting to the announcement, Bishop Joseph Toal, the Bishop of Motherwell said;

“I am very happy to hear that Fr Dougan has been chosen by the Holy Father as the new Bishop of Galloway. My thoughts and prayers are very much with him at this time. It is very good that Motherwell Diocese is again able to provide a Bishop for a Scottish Diocese, and it is quite something that another Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride, will become Bishop of Galloway.”


“We will miss Fr Frank in Motherwell as his ministry extended beyond the the Parish to St Andrew's and St Bride’s Secondary School and Hairmyres Hospital, along with his Canon Law responsibilities in the Diocese and with the Interdiocesan Tribunal. I am sure the wide pastoral experience gained here will be of great benefit in his episcopal ministry.”

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