Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday December 29th. 2013
A Christmas message from Bishop Joseph
I wish all our parishioners and readers of the Bulletin, especially those in Australia, Canada and South Africa, a very blessed and happy New Year, with an abundance of God’s grace, health, happiness and wisdom.
Masses Roy Bridge: Wednesday, New Year's Day, feast of Mary, Mother of God Mass at 10 a.m. All weekdays Masses are as normal. Wednesday is an opportunity for us all to come together to thank God for the many  graces he has given to us in the past year, and to ask his blessing on ourselves, our families, our loved ones and on all our enterprises  in the year that lies ahead. There will be marriages in the parish, and we hope new babies born—all of which will bring so much happiness. There will also be difficulties and problems to be overcome, but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may these be resolved favourably.  Whatever the future, we place our lives entirely in  to God's hands, and ask for the grace to know and fulfil his Holy Will. Whose better protection to ask than that of our Blessed Lady, our Mother in heaven.
My grateful thanks to Bishop Joseph Unfortunately, I was hit by a vile virus last weekend, and with great difficulty, as I had little or no voice,  managed to say the all weekend masses. By Monday, I realised things were serious, but I thought that with the help of a strong antibiotics, which the doctor kindly sent up to me, I might just manage to say  the Christmas Masses, although I had already cancelled Invergarry. Bishop Joseph heard of my plight and put me completely at my ease by telling me that he would come to Roy Bridge and attend to all the Christmas Masses. It was such a great relief, and I would like to
thank the Bishop for his pastoral kindness by assuring that the parishioners had their Midnight Mass and Masses on Christmas morning at Spean and Roy Bridge.  Parishioners told me how delighted they were at having the bishop with them, and how much they enjoyed his homily and also seeing the children around him at the crib after the Mass. Bishop Joseph is always very at home here in has own parish, and the parishioners are always pleased to  see him, especially saying Mass for them.       As I am not completely over the virus yet, Bishop Joseph has very kindly  offered to say all this weekend Masses—Spean Bridge Vigil, Invergarry and Roy Bridge.
DURING 2013 we have celebrated two ordinations to the priesthood in St Columba's Cathedral in Oban—that of Fr Anthony Wood on July 3, and that of Fr Stanislaw Pamula recently on December 5.       It has been a great blessing for Argyll and the Isles Diocese to have had two new priests ordained during the Year of Faith and we are most grateful to both Fr Tony and Fr Stan for responding to the Lord's call and for coming to serve as priests in our diocese — Fr Tony came from Stoke-on-Trent in England and Fr Stan from Gdansk in Poland.      They are examples, therefore, of the people of many different nationalities who have come to live in Scotland in recent times, like many of our ancestors in previous generations who found their way here also
to seek work and settle in our little country.      It is good to be reminded that Scotland is made up of people of many different nationalities and backgrounds, and, as we celebrate Christmas, to welcome one another in Christ's name. The Child Jesus was welcomed into the world by Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and wise-men, the angels of Heaven and the beasts of the stall, and we like to think of the whole world rejoicing in His presence among us, The Word made Flesh, The Light of the World, The Saviour.      As we look forward to a New Year, in which much attention will be given to Scotland's political future, we pray that Scotland will continue to give a generous welcome to all who come to live among us, and that the Christian faith will continue to be upheld by ourselves and our country men and women, honoured as a precious part of who we are and the sure guide for our future well-being .      We pray also for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, so that the Word of God may be preached and the sacraments celebrated across our land.      May the Lord Jesus bless you, your families, and all in Scotland this Christmas and in the coming New Year + Joseph