1913 – The Very Rev. Mgr. Robert Fraser, D D. was nominated Bishop of Dunkeld


Aberdeen Press and Journal – Saturday 10 May 1913

Roma, Friday The Very Rev. Mgr. Robert Fraser, D.D., rector of the Scots’ College here, has been nominated Bishop of Dunkeld, in succession the late Bishop MacFarlane. (Reuter)

Fraser was born at Wardhouse, Aberdeenshire, 10th August, 1858. entered Blairs College on 18th July, 1872; and passed in October, 1875, Edmund’s College, Douai, in the north of France. His collegiate career was marked exceptional brilliance, made brighter his studies in Rome. He went there 1877, and in the higher studies philosophy, theology, and other branches of sacred knowledge distinguished himself. It might truly said of Dr Fraser, it has been said of many of his countrymen the priesthood, that he was animated with the perfervidum ingenium Scotorum. His solid, and conscientious study, resulted in his passing for the Doctorate with honours, while medals and prizes fell to him in such subjects as mathematics, moral theology, mechanics, and canon law.

His popularity with his fellow students became a standing reminiscence of collegiate life at Blairs and at Rome; and he was one of six companions whose careers the Gregorian University reflected credit on the college that produced them. These were the late Canon M’Anaa, of the Edinburgh diocese, the late Dr Connolly, Mgr. M’Gregor, rector Blairs; O’Brien, of Crosshill; and the Rev. Administrator of Mary’s, Edinburgh, Canon Stuart. Fraser’s good nature and superabundant knowledge of the topography Rome, derived from keen observation, had their combined effect in establishing friendship wherever he went; and charmed newcomers with his interesting disquisitions on the Christian Relics and monumental features of Rome and its surroundings.

The tonsure was conferred on the Doctor 16th February, 1870, by Lenti, and shortly afterwards the first two Minor Orders were received, the other two bestowed on 12th April. The same year Dr Fraser received the sub-diaoonate and the former in the Basilica of St John Lateral, where many of the youthful receive sacerdotal ordination, and the latter in the Church of the dei Monti, near the Scots College, where was also ordained, priest August 13, 1882. It was between this latter date and his return Scotland that he sat for his examination divinity.

Endowed with a keen and penetrating intellect, a high degree logical skill, and remarkably lucid style, was at once selected for the office which these qualifications are of most service – namely, the college classroom. Thus time was lost his return making him professor Blairs College, where remained for 15 years, and in the discharge of his duties Professor Eraser showed himself a capable and conscientious master. His favour with the students was unbounded, and when eventually time for his transference a higher sphere arrived, the affection more even the youthful aspirants the ministry was strikingly manifested by numerous parting gifts, and many were the suggestions should remain at Blairs.

Rome, however, claimed him, and his the rectorship the Scots’ College. Rome, in 1898 reunited him once more to old associations. This rectorship is regarded as one the moat important appointments connection with the Catholic body in Scotland, for the holder not only prepares students for the priesthood, but acts agent between the bishops and clergy in Scotland and the authorities in Rome. has also charge of Scottish affairs and property Rome.

The selection of Fraser for the poet has been fully justified, and it may safely be said the Scots College has known better rector. Under his administration the finances of the College have been placed a sound footing, while the number of students have been doubled. His work in Rome augurs well for the future of the Diocese of Dunkeld.

Robert Fraser (10 August 1858 – 28 March 1914) was a Scottish Roman Catholic bishop who served as the Bishop of Dunkeld from 1913 to 1914.

Born in Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on 10 August 1858, he was ordained to the priesthood on 13 August 1882. He was appointed the Bishop of the Diocese of Dunkeld by the Holy See on 14 May 1913, and consecrated to the Episcopate on 25 May 1913. The principal consecrator was Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val y Zulueta, and the principal co-consecrators were Archbishop Thomas Francis Kennedy, Rector of the Pontifical North American College and Donald Aloysius Mackintosh, Coadjutor Archbishop of Glasgow.

He died in office on 28 March 1914, aged 55.