CLERGY CHANGES: This weekend saw the parishes of St Martin of Tours’ in Tranent and St Gabriel’s in Prestonpans bid a fond farewell to their parish priest, Father James Smith, who is retiring from active ministry.

“On your behalf, I would like to thank Father Smith for his 29 years of priestly services to the parishes and people of West Lothian, Fife, Stirlingshire and, most recently, East Lothian,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley in a note to the clergy of the Archdiocese, 20 April, “I hope you join me in thanking him and in wishing him a very happy retirement. Ad multos annos.”

Meanwhile, the St Gabriel’s website, 22 April, said: “His time at St Gabriel’s has been memorable to all parishioners and we wish him well in retirement, hoping that he gets much more time to spend doing hobbies, that he has put aside for many years."

“On behalf of all parishioners, old and new.... thank you for looking after us and thank you for being you!”

The official Facebook page of St Martin’s noted how “fitting on Good Shepherd Sunday that we say a fond farewell to the incredible leader of people, our own Fr James Smith as he retires from nearly four decades of ministry as student and priest.”

“His humour, magic tricks, and joy will be greatly missed by his friends at St Martin's and St Gabriel's Church, Prestonpans. We wish him every joy and blessing as he finally gets time to go on holiday, watch the Hibbees, and spend more with family and friends.”

The retirement of Father Smith will mean that the Very Reverend Monsignor Brian Provost Halloran, Parish Priest of Our Lady, Star of the Sea in North Berwick, will become temporary administrator of St Gabriel’s. Meanwhile, the Very Reverend Basil Clark VE, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Loretto & St Michael's in Musselburgh, will become temporary administrator of St Martin’s. These changes take effect on 28 April 2018.
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WORTH A WATCH: Here is the Shalom World TV interview with Father Anthony Caruana of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh where he recounts his journey to the priesthood which started out on the island of Gozo in Malta and now sees him a parish priest in Edinburgh at St John Vianney’s, Gilmerton and St Gregory’s, The Inch. Quite a journey! Please do keep Fr Anthony, and all our priests, in your prayers. For more information go to: ... See MoreSee Less

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Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh

WORTH A WATCH: Tonight at 9.30pm, Shalom World TV will be interviewing Father Anthony Caruana, Parish Priest at St John Vianney’s, Gilmerton and St Gregory’s, The Inch, about his path towards the priesthood, and his life after ordination, as part of their Vocare series.

“Vocare is a programme that aims to bring to its viewers the life of priests and religious who have answered God's call in an extraordinary way,” explained Biju George of Shalom World TV, 19 April.

“Each interview explores the life of the priest or religious both before and after ‘the call’ including the challenges they face, the mission they have, the vision that sustains them.”

“The programme also encourages the lay faithful, especially the young, to discern what God is calling them to and to respond to that call.”

For more information go to:
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REQUIEM MASS FOR CANON BAGAN RIP: Several hundred mourners and over 35 priests congregated on Bannockburn in Stirlingshire 18 April for the Requiem Mass of Canon Michael Bagan, Parish Priest of Our Lady & St Ninian in Bannockburn and Sacred Heart in Cowie, who died last week at the age of 64. May he rest in peace.

“When someone like Canon Mike dies, someone of such humour and humanity, it’s hard to believe they are gone,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley in his homily.

“He was someone who loved being a priest, who loved being about his parishes, something that I was very able to see on Sunday when I visited both here and Sacred Heart in Cowie.”

The Archbishop suggested that Our Lady & St Ninian’s baptismal font, ambo and altar, installed by Canon Bagan in 2016, served as a fitting tribute to the late priest.

“It is at this altar that he would have celebrated the Eucharistic sacrifice, where we celebrate the death and resurrection of the Lord, where we offer the sacrifice of Calvary, where all of you have been nourished in Christ’s body and blood, which is a sign and pledge and hope of eternal life in which we all share – and in which Canon Mike shared too.”

Michael Bagan was born in Edinburgh on 14 April 1953 and hailed from the parish of St Peter’s in Morningside. He was educated at the city’s Holy Cross Primary, Holy Cross Academy and St Augustine’s High. He studied for the priesthood at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange, Roxburghshire, before being ordained a priest back in his home parish on 12 December 1978. Canon Bagan subsequently served in parishes in Roxburghshire, East Lothian and Stirlingshire including, for the past six years, the parishes of Bannockburn and Cowie.

During his 39 years as a priest, Canon Bagan also served as a priestly vocations director at both national and diocesan level as well as a chaplain to St Modan’s High in Stirling; the University of Stirling; and the Territorial Army in Stirling. He was installed as a Canon of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter in 2016.

Canon Bagan was buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Edinburgh, 18 April 2018, in the same plot as his late mother and father. RIP.

The Reverend Michael Canon Bagan (1953-2018) RIP

Saints Mary & David’s, Hawick 1978-1986

Saint Francis Xavier, Falkirk 1986-1988

St Margaret of Scotland, Raploch 1988-2005

Holy Spirit, Stirling 2002-2005

St Martin of Tours, Tranent 2005-2012

Our Lady & St Ninian, Bannockburn 2012-2018

Sacred Heart, Cowie 2012-2018
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ROSARY ON THE COAST: With less than a fortnight until Rosary on the Coast, there are already 14 locations across the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh where you can gather to pray the Holy Rosary for faith, life and peace in the British Isles on Sunday 29 April.

“I’m delighted to endorse, support and encourage the Rosary on the Coast initiative that will take place around the coastline of Great Britain on Sunday 29 April,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley speaking 17 April.

“Why it is important? Because all great apostolic endeavours begin with prayer. We see that in the lives of the saints. We see that in the life of Our Lord. We see that at the birth of the Church at Pentecost when those few apostles, fearful of the wider culture, gathered in prayer, around Our Lady, and the Holy Spirit set their hearts on fire such that they put in train the conversion of the whole world.”

“On Sunday 29 April we will do the very same. We will gather in prayer, around Our Lady and ask for the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and courage to be faithful to Christ in our lives.”

For more information or to register your group go to
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