Sunday July 27th. 2014                                                                                        Charity registration No. SC 002876

St. Margaret's,                        St. Joseph's,                        St. Finnan's
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Parish priest: Fr. Tom Wynne.  Tel: 01397-712-238    Mobile: 07879297420      St. Margaret’s, Roy Bridge PH31 4AE

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1731 was a very significant year for the Catholic Church in Scotland, when the Scottish Mission was divided into two vicariates, Highland and Lowland; and Hugh MacDonald, son of the Laird of Morar, and one of the first boys to commence his clerical training on Eilean Ban, was consecrated as the first Highland, Bishop,  Vicar Apostolic. The success of this appointment was apparent in 1747 when the first Highland boys selected by Bishop MacDonald to train for the priesthood, arrived home as ordained priests from the Colleges abroad.

Bishop Hugh immediately recognised the necessity of having a seminary of his own situated within the Highland Vicariate. This would overcome the previous vexing problem of Catholic youths being enticed to join the various Orders abroad on completion of their training at considerable cost to the Scottish Mission. It would also ensure that maturer students were sent to the Colleges and be less likely to forget their native language, so vitally necessary for their future missionary work in the Highlands. The Bishop's contention was that if students had to complete their training abroad, they would orily go after reaching the required educational standards at home; and were truly dedicated to their calling of returning to minister among their own people.

Bishop Hugh decided Eilean Ban was the most suitable location for the Seminary, remarking in his correspondence with Rome, that it was the most suitable site he could find within his district. The island is half. a mile from the shore and of sufficient size to provide a good garden and other ground for the boys' exercise, while the distance from the shore is such that they would be able to cross almost any day.

The outline of the Seminary buildings can be traced on the island, whilst the walls of the garden are still standing enclosing a fair amount of excellent soil.

The Seminary on Eilean Ban was dogged by financial problems. Bishop MacDonald begged Rome to help with its maintenance, stressing that without a supply of native priests, there was little hope of upholding the faith throughout the Highlands. The parents of some of the boys at the Seminary promised help towards their upkeep; but as the Bishop complained, 'it was a case of out of sight, out of mind, and the burden fell on the meagre resources at his command'.

By 1737 it became impossible to keep Eilean Ban Seminary going, and the eight students were moved to Guidal in Arisaig, where the Bishop's brother John, Laird of Morar and who lived at Bunacaimb, also in Arisaig, undoubtedly helped with their upkeep. This new Seminary at Guidal remained open until 1746, when the ravages of Culloden destroyed all that had been so laboriously achieved in the preceding half century.

 Eileen Ban seminary was later destroyed by Cumberland’s troops in the aftermath of  Culloden. Today. Its remains are a testimony to determination of an oppressed people who were willing to sacrifice everything to preserve their Catholic faith.  Thank God we live in happier times!

Programme: Pilgrims, if they wish, can join a group who will walk from Mallaig to Morar (approx one hour) reciting the rosary on the way for an increase of vocations to the priesthood.  Mass at 1 p.m. and everyone is invited afterwards to refreshments at  the Mallaig Community Centre after the Mass. If you intend going to the Mass, could you let me know so as to allow Fr. Callelja, the parish priest, cater for numbers

Visit from Bishop Toal

Bishop Joseph will be in Roy Bridge next weekend and will say the 11.30 a.m. Mass on Sunday.  We look forward to welcoming the bishop back to the parish. He will be the main celebrant of the Mass at Morar on Wednesday, August 6th at 1 p.m.

Dominic Dobson—great news

Dominic has made such excellent progress after his major surgery at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary that he is being allowed home to Achaderry on Monday. The family are grateful for the prayers of our parishioners for Dominic's recovery, and we will continue with our Masses and prayers that Dominic's progress will continue until he is back to his buoyant good health once again allowing him to participate in his many involvements in  the parish and community which he loved so much and which so many appreciated.


Thursday, July 31, feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola and Friday, August 1, is the feast of St. Alphorns Ligouri.

 Both these saints were responsible for founding great religious orders which made a tremendous spiritual impact on the life of the Church over the past four centuries, and still do to the present day.  St. Ignatius founded the Company of Jesus, known as the Jesuits, which defended the Church at the time of the Reformation and was a also a great missionary order, and St. Alphonsus, founder of the Redemptorists, concentrated on missions to parishes all over Europe bringing many back to the practice of the faith.  Their monastery in Scotland is at Kinnoul in Perth.

Spean Bridge:                                     

Reader: Margaret Muncie

Prayers: Lindsay Simpson

Euch Mins: Moira Coutts David MacFarlane

Roy Bridge:

Readers: Val MacDonald  Margaret Sargent

Prayers: Ishbel Campbell

Euch Mins: Lorna MacGregor, Colleen Porter, Ian MacDonald

Rota: August 2nd – August 3rd.