Tom Connolly's death is a great loss to the Catholic Church in Scotland. He was above all an excellent pastoral priest and his community in Cambuslang will mourn his passing. For me his priesthood possessed two great talents: a vision of Church in today's world and of how to communicate and so share it with others and promote it.
"Put the world in touch with the life-giving energies of the gospel" was a call made some years ago by the present Pope and might well be a fitting epitaph for Tom. Nor did he ever lose his enthusiasm for doing this. Even after a heart by-pass almost ten years ago, he bounced back with a daily round of his duties that would have exhausted a younger man.
Perhaps his preferential opinion was working with students for the priesthood and interested lay people to help them in the finer points of communication through the mass media. He had a soft-spot for all journalists, indeed not infrequently he would be found defending them and standing up for them.
The resilience with which he coped with the final weeks of his illness made a great impression on those who met him.
I extend the sympathy of the Catholic Church in Scotland to Tom's family friends and parishioners.
May he rest in peace.