Monsignor Brian McGee, the parish priest of Holy Family Parish in Port Glasgow, has been appointed as the new Roman Catholic Bishop of Argyll and the Isles.
Mgr McGee’s appointment ends a 21-month period in which the post has been vacant after Bishop Joseph Toal was made Bishop of Motherwell in April 2014.
Bishop-Elect McGee said: “I am excited about coming to the diocese of Argyll and the Isles. It has an ancient and proud heritage whose roots stretch back almost one and a half thousand years preceding even its spiritual father, Saint Columba.
“Since then, the consistent witness to Christ and the contribution to the National and Universal Church have been immense and I pray that it will continue to be so. I am also mindful of the diocese’s rich Gaelic character and I, although not yet a Gaelic speaker, will endeavour to promote its rightful use in the worship of God.
“I recognise that I have much to learn about the diocese of Argyll and the Isles and I hope to be a good listener. It is an area I already love. I grew up in Greenock, daily enjoying beautiful views of the Cowal peninsula, Bute and Arran, and I still savour them from my parish in Port Glasgow today.
“I have holidayed and trekked throughout the diocesan boundaries from my earliest childhood to the present day. I have made several pilgrimages to Iona. I already look forward to living within what will be my new diocese and I sure that I will naturally come to love its people.”
Bishop John Keenan, the Bishop of Paisley, said: “Many congratulations to Bishop Elect Brian on his appointment by Pope Francis to the See of Argyll and the Isles. I am not at all surprised that he has been chosen for this important office.
“Since appointing him as my Vicar General and getting to know and see him at work I have been highly impressed by his wisdom about the ways of the Church, his personal commitment to living the Gospel and his sense of service to the clergy and people of the diocese.
He is loved and respected dearly by his own parishioners in Holy Family, Port Glasgow, who will miss him, and his elevation leaves big shoes to fill in the diocese of Paisley.
“I can assure the clergy and people of Argyll and the Isles that they are getting a pastor who will give his all to serving them with justice and who will lead them with energy and vision.
Commenting on the appointment the Administrator of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles, Monsignor James MacNeil said: “It is with gratitude that we the clergy and faithful of the diocese of Argyll and the Isles welcome the news that Pope Francis has appointed Mgr Brian McGee as the new bishop of our diocese. “We welcome him with joy and he can be sure of the support, cooperation, affection and prayers of the community of the diocese as he begins his ministry of leadership and service.”