It was with sadness and mixed feelings that the people of diocese heard the news on Wednesday of Bishop Toal’s appointment by Pope Francis as the new Bishop of Motherwell. We are sad at the loss of a bishop who was a true shepherd of the flock, who visited every parish regularly and was known to all the people and children in the diocese, but it is Motherwell’s gain, and we know he will bring the same pastoral love and care to his new diocese as he gave to us in the past.
The following is the message the Bishop sent to the diocese:
I ask for the continuing support of your prayers for all of us in the Diocese, and for the Diocese of Motherwell also, and for myself as I get ready to move. I realise that my appointment will create challenges for us all and I trust everybody will respond well during this time of change. I thank you for all the love and support given to me during my priesthood and episcopate in Argyll and the Isles. The thought of moving Diocese is difficult -
The five years we had Bishop Joseph as our Bishop seem to have passed so quickly, because they were so happy and fulfilled,
Special Farewell —
Bishop to say Mass in Roy Bridge on Sunday, June 1st
The parish gave a special welcome to Bishop Joseph after his episcopal ordination, and it would be nice if the parish could say its fond farewell to him and thank him for the special care he has taken of us.
The bishop was in Roy Bridge on Thursday evening after consecrating the new altar at Glenfinnan church, and said Mass on Friday morning. I asked if he could manage to come on a Sunday before leaving the diocese to say farewell to us, so he very kindly said he would travel up from Glasgow on the Saturday to be with us for the Sunday Mass.
Preparations for the Bishop’s farewell –buffet in the Hall after Mass
I have booked the hall for the Sunday morning, June 1st, and I ask our parishioners if everyone would help with supplying sandwiches cakes, pastries etc...so that we can have a cup of tea with the bishop and the opportunity to say our farewells personally to him.
Meeting in the Chapel House next Sunday after Mass
If you would like to help, please come to the Chapel House next Sunday after Mass. I ask members of the Social Committee also to join us. It will be good to have any suggestions parishioners would like to make, and to have as many volunteers as possible.
I know the choir will also help to make the Mass special as our tribute to Bishop Toal. A presentation will be made to the Bishop at the end of the Mass on behalf of the parish.
I would like to make this occasion very special for it is our way of saying thank you to a very special parishioner who has been our bishop for six years and has achieved so much in that time for the diocese and its people.
Everyone is welcome to help in any way whatsoever and add their suggestions!
Come along next Sunday after Mass to the Chapel House and make it a real parish effort
Bishop Joseph on the evening of his Episcopal Ordination in St. Columba’s Cathedral, Oban, December 8th, 2008, taking possession of the Episcopal Chair, the symbol of his authority as our bishop