| 29th April 2014 | Modified: 21st October 2014 | Christianity, News Releases | Seen 57 times | Liked 0 times

29 April
Apr 29
29th April 2014

Pope Francis appoints new Bishop of Motherwell

Tuesday 29 April 2014


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.






Peter Kearney


Catholic Media Office

5 St. Vincent Place


G1 2DH

0141 221 1168

07968 122291


Notes to Editors:


1.           The installation of the new bishop will take place in Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral in Motherwell on a date to be advised.

2.           The Diocese of Motherwell is the second largest Diocese in Scotland, by Mass attendance and Catholic population.  It was erected as a Suffragan See of the Archdiocese of Glasgow by the Apostolic Constitution Maxime interest of the 25 May 1947.  Bishop Toal will be the fifth Bishop of Motherwell, his predecessors were:

Bishop Edward Douglas (1948-1954)

Bishop James Scanlan (1955-1964)

Bishop Francis Thomson (1965-1982)

Bishop Joseph Devine (1983 - 2013)


3.           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.


4.          BIOGRAPHY


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.


5.         A photograph of Bishop Toal is available on request from the Catholic Media Office, please email:

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