Pope Francis has today (Tuesday 29 April 2014 – the Feast of St Catherine of Siena) appointed Bishop Joseph Toal, as Bishop of Motherwell; he is currently Bishop of Argyll & the Isles and has been Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Motherwell which has been vacant since 31 May 2013, when Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph Devine.
Reacting to the announcement, Bishop Toal said:
“Over the past eleven months, I have come to know the Diocese of Motherwell and appreciate the warmth and generosity of the clergy and laity, I look forward to deepening that relationship with them. While I am sad to be leaving my home diocese of Argyll and the Isles, I know the deep faith of the people there will sustain them as they await a new Bishop and I ask them to pray for me as I prepare to translate to the Diocese of Motherwell.”
Commenting on the appointment, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said:
“While sympathising with the priests and people of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles on the transfer of their much loved and respected bishop, I welcome the nomination of Bishop Joseph Toal as the new Bishop of Motherwell and I wish him every blessing in his new appointment.”
The appointment of Bishop Toal, is the fourth Scottish Episcopal appointment made by Pope Francis since his election on 13 March 2013. He appointed Archbishop Leo Cushley as Archbishop of St. Andrews & Edinburgh on 24 July 2013, Bishop Stephen Robson as Bishop of Dunkeld on 11 December 2013 and Bishop John Keenan as Bishop of Paisley on 8 February 2014.
Rt Rev Joseph Toal, STB KC*HS
Born at Inverness 13 October 1956; educated Roy Bridge Primary School; St Vincent’s College, Langbank; St Mary’s College, Blairs; Royal Scots College, Valladolid, Spain (STB, Pontifical University of Comillas). Ordained, St Columba’s Cathedral, Oban, 10 July 1980, assistant priest, St Peter’s Daliburgh, 1980-1983;
staff, St Mary’s College Blairs 1983-86; St Michael’s Ardkenneth, South Uist,
1986-91; St Kieran’s, Campeltown, 1991-93, St Mary’s, Benbecula 1993-99. Royal Scots College, Salamanca; Spiritual Director 1999-2005, Rector 2005-08. Prelate of Honour 2007; nominated Bishop of Argyll and The Isles, 16 October, and ordained by Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, at Oban, 8 December 2008. Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Knight Commander with Star, 2012. Administrator, Diocese of Motherwell, 2013-14.
(Information provided by the Scottish Catholic Media Office, 2014)
The clergy and parishioners at St. Augustine’s offer our prayers and heatfelt good wish to Bishop Toal as he prepares to begin his ministry among us. We also continue to pray for Bishop Devine, our emeritus Bishop and we offer our thanks for the years of sterling service he has given to our diocese over these many years. May God reward him and grant him a happy retirement.