Sunday March 2nd. 2014                                                                                        Charity registration No. SC 002876

St. Margaret's,                        St. Joseph's,                        St. Finnan's


Arabella MacKenzie Simpson with her mother Laura Simpson (MacGregor)


We offered our sincere congratulations in the Bulletin to Gordon and Laura Simpson when Arabella was baptised in St. Margaret's on January 5th, 2014, but it was only recently I managed to obtain a photograph of Arabella with her mother, Laura.  She is a gorgeous baby, and her slightly older sister, Annie Jane, gets on famously with her.

The godparents at the baptism  were Aileen-Anne MacGregor, Alexander Ross MacGregor, Andrew Iain Simpson and Nicole Smolenaars.

We wish Arabella every blessing and happiness throughout her life, and may  the angels always protect her and keep her safe.

The young MacGregor sisters, Laura and Joanna, were faithful altar servers at St. Margaret for several years, and rarely missed a Sunday serving Mass unless they were away on holiday.

Laura and Gordon have been truly blessed in the early years of their marriage with two beautiful daughters, and it is so nice to see them back occasionally at Sunday Mass in St. Margaret’s when they come down from their lovely home in Inverness to visit the family at Achnabobane.

God bless them all!


Margaret Duffy R.I.P.

It was with great sadness and a sense of shock that our parishioners, and Margaret's many friends, heard of her sudden death on Saturday afternoon in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where she had been flown by helicopter from the Belford Hospital in Fort William.. Although  a team of surgeons were waiting for her, sadly there was little they could do, and she passed gently to God.  Margaret was in her early sixties and had made great progress after having had previous surgery in Edinburgh in  November.

Our deepest sympathy goes to her husband, Stephen and her two sons Stuart and Gordon, their respective families and her elderly mother. Mary Millen.

Her funeral took place from St. Margaret's on Friday, and  a large number of parishioners were present and also many relations and friends from different parts of Scotland. She was laid to rest at Cille Choirill.

Stephen met Margaret Millen when she was seventeen; they were engaged when she was nineteen and married  in 1971 when she was 21. It was a beautiful marriage, made in heaven,  that was to last 43 years, and they were blessed with two sons, Stuart and Gordon, and a grandson, Cameron.

Margaret qualified as a teacher from Hamilton College of Education in 1970, just a year before her marriage, and taught for three years until her first son was born, and then she gave up teaching for ten years to bring up her family. When she returned to teaching, Margaret graduated to an even more responsible position for the next 12 years, until her retirement in 2009, for she was appointed by the Psychological Services Department of Clackmanan Council as a Senior Special Needs Adviser to their primary schools.  In this role she was responsible for helping the staff in the County's 17 primary schools to identify children with special needs, those with dyslexia, dyspraxia and other childhood ailments, and to devise personal plans to assist them—not an easy task, but one she devoted herself to with the greatest care, and the success of her work with these children was so much appreciated by their parents.

During this period, she worked with over 300 children who needed special assistance, and it brought her immense happiness to her to know that she had given so many children the opportunity in life that they may not have had otherwise. This was a vocation in which Margaret truly excelled. She was highly regarded by her colleagues, two of whom were present at her Mass of Thanksgiving, for her kindness, professionalism and her selfless dedication.

Margaret was also a member of the Lochaber Voluntary Service which  was responsible for running elderly people to the Health Centre for a doctor's appointment or to the chemists to collect a prescription She just loved helping people, and made many new friends

Mary's Meals was another favourite of her charities,  which helps feed three quarters of a million  children each day in some of the poorest areas of the world. She and Betty Campbell took  many boxes of clothes to the Mary’s Meals shop in Oban, and these brought in a considerable amount of money. She and Stephen  sponsored, printed and published my book on the life of  Fr Alexander Cameron  S.J. of the ’45, which realised over £3.500 for Mary’s Meals.  Margaret loved nothing better than devoting herself to helping those in any kind of need.

Besides all her various involvement, Margaret  always had time for her mother, Mary, who does not enjoy the best of health, and we are pleased she was able to be present at the funeral Mass. Margaret would journey to Glasgow regularly to visit her in all types of weather to assure she did not lack anything. No mother could have had a more loving daughter.

A light has gone out in the lives of many, and especially in this parish, and we will miss Margaret so much.

Margaret was received into the Church before her marriage to Stephen, and was a devout Catholic with a great love of the Mass, the Eucharist and Our Lady. She has completed her pilgrimage here on earth, and fulfilled so beautifully her vocation of a loving wife, mother, grandmother and a loving daughter

When God called her serenely to himself on Saturday afternoon. she went with confidence into his presence prepared to meet him whom she had loved so well on this earth and served so faithfully and lovingly in the  vocations of marriage and teaching to which God called her.

May her gentle, good soul rest in peace

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