A selection of  homilies by Bishop Joseph Toal and priests of the diocese.

Bishop's Homily Christmas 2011

Coming into the unusual surroundings of celebrating our Christmas Masses in the hall, I am reminded of visits to the parishes of Fr Colin MacInnes in Ecuador – he had big main churches in the centre but then had a cluster of smaller, more sparse and simpler ones in the outlying areas of his parishes. Perhaps, our move this year from the grandeur of the Cathedral to the simplicity of the hall can bring us closer to the reality of the Christmas story.....

Bishop's Homily for Mass at Gearraidh Fluich, Gerinish, South Uist 24th July 2011

The last words in today’s  Gospel, “things both old and new”, could be applied to this old township of Gearraidhfluich, where we are celebrating this special Mass today, and the more modern township of West Gerinish, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its establishment. One interesting fact about this older place and the reason for celebrating Mass here is that it had one of the earliest post-reformation Catholic chapels in South Uist.

Bishop's Homily for Scalan Mass 3 July 2011

The Parish Priest of St. Margaret’s, Roy Bridge, Mgr Thomas Wynne, after many years of honing his literally skills on the weekly parish bulletin, recently published a little book entitled  “The Forgotten Cameron of the ’45 – The Life and Times of Alexander Cameron S.J.”  Since the life of this Scottish Jesuit priest coincided with Scalan’s seminary life I read Mgr Wynne’s book over the last few days with an eye on what I might say today.

Bishop's Homily for Feast of St. Mary MacKillop – 8th August 2011

Mary MacKillop was the eldest of eight in her family, and I was struck on reading a little about her brothers and sisters that most them died quite young – one as a little child, and others from illness in their 20s and one brother died in New Zealand after falling off his horse. By the time Mary was in her forties there were only three of them left – Mary, Annie (who accompanied and cared for Mary through much of her life as a Josephite) and Donald, who was a Jesuit and was ordained a priest in 1885.

Homily for Mass in honour of St. Josemaria Escriva 25 June 2011

A striking image in the scripture passages we have just heard is that of the water. In Genesis we were told that a flood was rising from the earth and watering  the surface of the soil – with the fertility of the earth thus guaranteed the Lord God proceeded to create man and to settle him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it.

Homily for 60th Anniversary Mass of Canon Angus John MacQueen

The story of Mary Magdalene coming to the tomb very early in the morning fits in very well with Canon Angus – he has always had the habit of being up early and out and ready to get the first bit of news on the go. He would probably have beaten Mary Magdalene to the tomb if he had been around on that first Easter Sunday and I am sure he wouldn’t have been slow either to pass on the news to others of what he had seen and heard.....

Bishop's Homily for the Ordination of Rev. David Connor 14 June 2011

 We celebrate your ordination this evening shortly after the Feast of Pentecost, in which we recall the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the beginning of their ministry in the Lord’s name. We invoke the same Holy Spirit, spoken of also by the Prophet Isaiah, to come upon you this evening through the ancient sign of laying on of hands, to sanctify you for priestly ministry in the person of Christ for the service and love of his Body, the Church.

Homily for the Golden Jubilee of Our Holy Redeemer, Stornoway

It is indeed a privilege for me being here with you at the invitation of your Bishop, Bishop Joe Toal and your Parish Priest Father Roddy Johnston. It is a joy for me being back here with you again following my apostolate as Apostolic Administrator between the years of 1996 and 1999.

Diaconate Ordination in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth

Homily for the diaconate ordination of David Connor

Homily for National Pilgrimage to Carfin

Before becoming Bishop of Argyll and the Isles I spent the previous nine years in the Royal Scots College in Salamanca in Spain, and in its cloister there is a painting of St John Ogilvie, which also hung for many years in the previous college location in Valladolid. 
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