Pope Francis has today appointed Monsignor Brian McGee as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. The diocese has been vacant since April 2014 when Bishop Joseph Toal became the Bishop of Motherwell. Mgr. McGee is currently Vicar General of the Diocese of Paisley and Parish Priest of Holy Family Parish, Port Glasgow.


Reacting to his appointment, Bishop-Elect McGee said:


“It was very humbling, and indeed frightening, to be informed by the Papal Nuncio that Pope Francis had nominated me to be the new bishop of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. However, after reflection and prayer I now face this mission with quiet but definite confidence. Yes, I remain aware of my limitations but I am even more aware of the power of God’s grace which, with our co-operation, overcomes our shortcomings. Experience has taught me that positively answering God’s invitations is always to our own advantage.”


Bishop-Elect McGee added:
“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. 
We have entered into the Year of Mercy. I am inspired by this Jubilee’s ethos and I hope to be a bishop that has an unshakable trust in God’s mercy, unafraid to acknowledge my own need of God’s mercy and one who shows mercy to all, especially those who are most in need. Pope Francis wrote of our Faith Communities being oases of mercy. Please God, as individuals, as parishes and the diocese as a body will be a constant oasis of mercy to all.”
“I cannot deny that it is a wrench for me to leave the Diocese of Paisley. This was where I wanted to minister from my youth and I have always been very happy there. I would like to thank Bishop John Keenan, and his predecessors, as well as the clergy, religious and lay faithful of Paisley Diocese for their encouragement over many years. 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 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.  He will be a valued member of the Bishop’s Conference which will benefit from his fresh perspective and thoughtful discernment.”


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.


Mgr. MacNeil added: “We pray that under his fatherly guidance we will grow in faith and unity so that we may become a community that effectively witnesses to the presence of the Risen Lord among us. Welcome, Bishop-elect Brian; may you have many years of happy and fruitful ministry as Bishop of Argyll and the Isles.”


Peter Kearney
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
G1 2DH
0141 221 1168
07968 122291



Notes to Editors:
1.Bishop-Elect McGee will be ordained at St. Columba’s Cathedral in Oban at a date to be advised.
2. Photographs of Bishop-Elect McGee are available from: Anthony MacMillan 01397 702557 or
3. Bishop-Elect Brian McGee’s Biography
Brian Thomas McGee
Born Greenock 8th October 1965.
Baptised, St Laurence’s, Greenock.
Parents: Seamus and Brighid McGee. Father born in Moville, Ireland moved to Greenock aged five. Mother born Belfast, Ireland moved to Greenock after marriage, 1964. Father engineer fitter, died 1981. Mother Primary teacher. 
Siblings: Brona, Ciaran and Kevin. Both brothers died as infants. Brona is a nurse and currently is Director of Care at St Vincent’s Hospice, Howwood.
Primary School
St Joseph’s Primary School , Greenock 1970-1973
Holy Cross Primary School, Greenock 1973-1977
Secondary School
St Vincent’s College, Langbank 1977-1978
St Mary’s College, Blairs 1978-1983
Senior Seminary
St Patrick’s College, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Ireland 1983-1989
Ordained priest for the Diocese of Paisley 29th June 1989 in St Mary’s, Greenock by Bishop John Mone
Certificate in Philosophy (Distinction)  1984 St Patrick’s College, Thurles, 
Diploma in Theology (Distinction) 1988 St Patrick’s College, Thurles, 
MA Christian Spirituality (Distinction) 2011 Sarum College, Salisbury,
St Charles, Paisley 1989-1995 (Assistant Priest)
Holy Family, Port Glasgow 1995-1997 (Assistant Priest)
St Joseph’s, Clarkson 1997-2007 (Parish Priest)
Spiritual Director,  Scotus College, National Seminary 2007-2009
Holy Family, Port Glasgow 2009- (Parish Priest)
Director of RCIA c1993-2003
Vicar Episcopal for Marriage and Family Life 2006-2014
Vicar General of Diocese of Paisley  2014-
Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 328 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Scottish bishops offer condolences to Cardinal’s family and friends

| 24 hours ago | Blogging

The President and Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and Bishop Joseph Toal have offered their condolences on the death, earlier today (Monday 19 March 2017) of Cardinal Keith O’Brien.     Archbishop Tartaglia said;     “We have received the sad news of the death of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Emeritus Archbishop of  St Andrews & Edinburgh.  On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland I wish to express my sincere sympathy on the death of the late Cardinal to his family and close friends. I ask for prayers for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.”     Bishop Toal said;     “I will pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, who died early this morning – may he rest in God’s peace. I extend my sympathy and prayerful support to his family, friends and all who mourn his passing. With constant hope in the Lord’s goodness and mercy.”     ENDS     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291

Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien (1938-2018) RIP

| 24 hours ago | Blogging

Death Notice   Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien (1938-2018) RIP     At 1am on Monday 19 March 2018, His Eminence Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh, died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne surrounded by family and friends and fortified by the rites of Holy Church. RIP. He was 80 years old.     Commenting upon the news, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh said: “In life, Cardinal O’Brien may have divided opinion – in death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace.” ENDS Notes to Editors: 1.   For more information, contact David Kerr, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, on 07903 621232 m.     2.   Archbishop Leo Cushley will be available for interview at 11am at the Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1BB.     3.   CV of Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien: Born at Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Ireland, 17 March 1938, educated St Patrick’s High School, Dumbarton, Holy Cross Academy, Edinburgh; University of Edinburgh (BSc, 1959; Dip.Ed., 1966); St Andrew’s College, Drygrange; ordained priest at Edinburgh, 3rd April 1965, assistant priest, Holy Cross, Edinburgh 1965- 66; St Bride’s, Cowdenbeath and Chaplain to St Columba’s Secondary School 1966-71; St Patrick’s, Kilsyth, 1972-75; St Mary’s, Bathgate 1975-78; spiritual di- rector, St Andrew’s College, Drygrange 1978-80; rector, St Mary’s College, Blairs 1980-85; nominated Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 30 May 1985, and ordained by Cardinal Gordon Gray, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh, at Edinburgh, 5 August 1985. Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Argyll & the Isles 1996-99; created Cardinal 21 October 2003. Resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 25 February 2013.     4.   Following a series of allegations relating to his personal life, Cardinal O’Brien resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 25 February 2013 and issued a media release on 3 March 2013 in which he announced his retirement from public life, stating: “I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal. To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland." With the agreement of the Holy See, he subsequently moved to the north of England. 5.  Following an apostolic visitation to Scotland led by Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Holy See announced on 20 March 2015 that Pope Francis had "accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien from the rights and duties of a Cardinal". The Holy See Press Office O'Brien stated that Cardinal O’Brien would not take part in future papal elections, act as papal adviser, or take part in Vatican congregations and councils and would lose other roles of a cardinal. 6.  Funeral arrangements for Cardinal O’Brien are still to be finalised but will be done so in coming days in consultation with the Holy See and Cardinal O’Brien’s family. 7.    Suggested commentators and potential interviewees for the media;       * Ian Dunn, former Editor of the Scottish Catholic Observer. Ian was 10 years with the Scottish Catholic Observer until January 2018. Tel: 07908 871858   * John Deighan, former Parliamentary Officer for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. John worked alongside Cardinal O’Brien for many ...

Civic office requires Christian belief and principle like never before

| 06th March 2018 | Blogging

The abusive criticism aimed at politicians like Elaine Smith and Tim Farron might be enough to put Christians off political office for good, warns Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office in The Scotsman.     This follows recent derision of Elaine Smith’s appointment as shadow cabinet secretary for the eradication of poverty and inequality, which some have claimed is untenable because she voted against the redefinition of marriage in 2014.     Mr Horan echoes Pope Francis’ concerns that there is a sustained and ongoing “persecution” of traditional religion.     “For dissenters like Elaine Smith the persecution tends to take the form of bullying and abuse, some of which is obvious and some of which is a little more insidious”, he writes.     He argues that a secular, allegedly progressive religion has taken hold in Scotland attempting to convince people, particularly the young, that it is the only belief system that guarantees freedom; “that its tolerance knows no bounds. The truth is that it guarantees neither”.        He calls on politicians and people of all faiths and none to return to the basics and recognise “the inherent dignity of the human person and the common good”, and to encourage and support those who sacrifice a much easier life to uphold these values and ideals in public office.   Full text of the Friends of the Scotsman article is copied below.      ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291       Notes to Editors   1. An image of Anthony Horan is available at:   2. Full text:     Friends of the Scotsman by Anthony Horan, Director, Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office     The thought police are on the prowl once again, this time criticising the Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard for giving Elaine Smith the portfolio for the eradication of poverty and inequality. Mr Leonard was challenged publicly on his choice and criticism has inevitably followed.     Elaine Smith, an MSP for Central Region, voted against the redefinition of marriage and this, it seems, is unforgivable. Like Tim Farron, Mrs Smith must now prepare herself for the very real possibility of a distasteful, humiliating and painful public inquisition until she is dethroned from her shadow cabinet post and perhaps even forced out of political office altogether. Her crime was to break from the stifling political orthodoxy by which we are all bound.     Even some politicians have taken to social media to join the throng of critics anxious to question Mr Leonard’s judgement and to attack Mrs Smith. Social media, by its very nature, painlessly facilitates the mob culture, giving it a soap box to spew forth intolerant attitudes with the sole intention of damaging anyone who strays from the orthodoxy. It is, in many respects, a secular progressive religion; its doctrine is fundamentalist, imposing on everyone ridicule and abuse if they do not adhere. This new religion also unashamedly clambers for a favoured place in officialdom, seeking favourable legislation and government policy. But unlike other religions, there is little room for forgiveness. It is a zealous faith and it brooks no dissent.       Pope Francis recently spoke of a “polite persecution” of traditional religion. There is indeed a persecution, but it is not necessarily polite. In fact, it is quite the opposite. For dissenters like Elaine Smith the persecution tends to take the form of bullying and abuse, some of which is obvious and some of which is a little more insidious. But it is bullying nonetheless.       The new orthodoxy simply wants to silence those who might hold a view contrary to its doctrine. For example, Elaine Smith has in the pas...

Church calls on Catholics to get involved in politics

| 23rd February 2018 | Blogging

In a new national initiative, the Director of the Catholic Church’s Parliamentary Office Anthony Horan has written to Scotland’s Catholic priests asking them to encourage their parishioners to get involved in politics and to make sure politicians are aware of what’s happening in their parishes.       The call to greater political action provides each parish in Scotland with full contact details of their MSP’s and MP’s and suggests inviting local representatives to events such as special Masses, charity events, coffee mornings, and youth clubs to make them as much a part of parish life as possible.        Commenting on the letter, Mr. Horan said:       “The Catholic parish is the centerpiece of the community and it exists to serve all people, including feeding the poor, ministering to the sick, accompanying the lonely, and engaging with young people”.       Mr Horan added:       “Building positive relationships between parishes and elected representatives, will help reveal the truth about the immensely positive contribution the Catholic Church makes to Scottish society”.       ENDS       Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291     Notes to Editors:     An image of Anthony Horan is available at:   2. The letters will be sent to all of Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes.   3. Full text of the letter is copied below:     Dear Father   Catholic Parliamentary Office     I refer to the above agency of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and I am pleased to enclose some leaflets telling you a little more about the work of the office.       I am keen to increase the level of involvement of Catholics in political life, and in relation to matters of both national and local interest.     The primary purpose of this letter is to invite your parish to engage with local politicians and consider making them as much a part of parish life as possible. For example, inviting them to parish events such as special Masses, charity events, coffee mornings, and youth clubs. You may also want to contact them to make them aware of parish initiatives which serve the community such as the activities of St Vincent de Paul, food banks and so on.      I believe that it is incredibly important for Parliament to know about the great work being done in our local parishes and the most efficient way to do this is to involve elected representatives at a local level and to make them feel part of the parish community, irrespective of whether or not they are Catholic. Your MSP or MP is also able to put forward motions in Parliament and this can be a very useful tool for raising awareness of local matters, such as the success of a St Vincent de Paul project.     I have enclosed a list of your local MSPs and your local MP. If you haven’t already done so I would encourage you or a representative of the parish to make contact with them. I also invite you to join our Catholic Parliamentary Office mailing list to receive our monthly e-newsletter and information on campaigns which might be of interest to you and your parishioners. You can subscribe to the mailing list via our website at or by emailing and entering ‘Subscribe’ in the subject line.       I would also be delighted to hear any feedback you might have in relation to contact you have with politicians.     In the meantime, if I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me using the details, below.     Yours sincerely     Anthony Horan Director...