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Right Rev. Joseph Toal, Bishop of Argyll & the Isles
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has appointed me Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
These are painful and distressing times for this venerable Archdiocese. You have lost your Cardinal Archbishop in the most difficult of circumstances.....
As The Year of Faith progresses and we begin the Season of Advent it is worth reflecting on the robustness of our Catholic Faith. Our faith will be tested in the times ahead and it is legitimate to ponder how able we will be to continue to live our faith fully and freely in more trying circumstances.....
In all things, we as Catholics look to Jesus Christ as our model and teacher. When asked about marriage He gave a profound and rich reply: “Have you not read that the Creator, from the beginning, ‘made them male and female’, and said: ‘This is why a man must leave father and mother and cling to his wife and the two become one body’.” (Matthew, 19: 4-5).........
The priests of the Diocese have had some discussions among themselves and with me in recent times on the conduct of funerals in our parishes. One of the concerns raised is in regard to the taking up of collections at funerals. I would, therefore, like to make some comment on that matter and then go on to mention some other points in regard to the celebration of the Funeral Liturgy......
One of the great privileges we have as Catholics is to receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Holy Communion. This encounter with the living Lord is the high point of our spiritual lives and the moment in which we experience the Lord´s presence and love in its fullest and deepest way. Being so richly blessed, we are invited by the Lord to carry his love into the whole of our lives. It is always, therefore, a very precious moment but also one which asks for our loving response to the Lord´s goodness
In wishing you a very Happy New Year, I pray that the Lord may be with us all and guide us in our lives of faith through the year ahead, both as individuals and as a believing community.
This coming Sunday we celebrate the Epiphany of Our Lord, recalling the arrival of the Wise Men at the stable in Bethlehem and their acts of homage before the child in the manger......
Lent is a time when we are asked to turn again to the Lord and be converted by his grace - each Mass we attend offers us this opportunity, as we listen to his Word, pray for our every need, unite ourselves with the renewal of the Lord's Sacrifice, and are offered the possibility of receiving his Body and Blood in Holy Communion. I would encourage all of you to come to Mass as frequently as you can this Lent, not just on Sundays but on weekdays as well. If you have grown careless in attending Sunday Mass, now is the time for change and to turn again to the Lord and seek his mercy and goodness in your life.