Annual Scalan Mass

Press releases

On Sunday 2nd July 2017, Bishop Joseph Toal celebrated Mass, with priests from across the country, at the historic Seminary at Scalan, near Tomintoul.

Hidden deep in the Braes of Glenlivet, the Scalan seminary is arguably one of the most significant sites of historical interest in Scotland for the Church.The old College of Scalan, (named after the Gaelic sgalan, meaning turf roof), is open all year for visitors to savour how ‘with courage and dogged perseverance’ the Catholic faith survived through penal times in Scotland.

Around 120 of the faithful endured the blustery weather to walk the final track leading to the open air Mass. Mgr John McIntyre gave an abridged homily as the heavens opened. Nevertheless there was time to recall the hardships and sacrifices that had been made, in the period from 1716-1799, when Scalan was the only place in Scotland where the training of priests was kept alive.




The Holy Family Sisters of the Needy, from the Diocese of Aberdeen, were among the congregation together with some of the Scalan Association’s 600 members from across the world.


The Scalan Association preserve the house and buildings as well as promote knowledge of the Scalan throughout Scotland and further afield.

Photographs courtesy – Andrew Mitchell