Mgr Aldo’s Golden Jubilee

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Mgr Aldo was ordained a priest by Bishop William Andrew Hart on 3rdJuly 1973 in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee, a day that he says “filled me with so much joy and hope, a day I will never forget”.

Immediately Bishop Hart sent him to ‘hold the fort’ at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Fintry, Dundee, as the Servite Fathers were pulling out of the Parish and a new Parish Priest was to be appointed. This was his first experience as a priest in a parish and he was on his own, and still wet behind the ears!

He then went back to Rome to complete his studies and on returning to Dundee, was sent as an assistant priest to St Mary’s, Lochee, The Immaculate Conception, the parish where he grew up and attended the local Primary School. It was a busy parish and he gained a lot of experience, especially visiting the primary and secondary schools. He also did some pastoral work for the hearing impaired and learned a bit of sign language.

At this point Radio Tay was starting up and he was ‘volunteered’ as the Catholic presence, and he jointly produced the Religious programme on Sundays as well as a “Thought for the Day” on weekdays. This led to him being invited to contribute to giving “Reflections” an evening religious slot on Grampian Television

Bishop Hart then sent him to Perth, to the Parish of St John the Baptist and the experience continued in a challenging and fruitful ministry – on a Sunday, he offered Holy Mass in Perth Prison, a Young Offenders’ Institution, a Private School for Girls, (Kilgraston) and a small village Church in Dunkeld. 

When Bishop Vincent Logan arrived, he sent Mgr to Newport on Tay, in Fife, with charge of two Parishes, St Fillan’s Newport and Star of the Sea, Tayport. The new challenge there was the duty of being Visiting Chaplain to RAF Leuchars, where he got to know all the customs and protocols of the RAF, visiting families, attending mess nights and organizing catechism for the children. He enjoyed every minute and spent seven years there, including the historic visit of Pope John Paul II, the first Pope to visit Scotland.

Then came the parish of St Columba’s Kirkton, which was a complete contrast: a big Dundee scheme parish with a great many social problems, but with great active people in the parish who shared in caring for the needy, including visits to Strathmartine Hospital for those with learning disabilities. 

After 3 years in St Columba’s, he was sent to St Pius X in Douglas, another Dundee scheme parish, and he remained there for 11 years. It was a very lively parish, with good social evenings and activities in the parish Hall, and duties in the primary school and in St Saviour’s High School.

When he needed a bit of a change, there came the opportunity to be a chaplain for Ninewells Hospital, in addition to Catholic Chaplain at Dundee University. As he lived in a flat in Invergowrie, he was also asked to look after the Parish of St Joseph’s for a short time. He was delighted then to be asked to return to The Immaculate Conception Lochee as Parish Priest in the parish where he grew up and had his first appointment as assistant priest. There he celebrated 40 years of priesthood. His service in Ninewells Hospital continued 16 marvellous years in total, full of new experiences and meeting many wonderful people and colleagues.

It was another new Bishop, Bishop Stephen Robson, who asked him to go to the coastal Parishes of Monifieth and Carnoustie and face new challenges and experiences there, the worst being the terrible Covid pandemic. Latterly he was appointed one of the Vicars General for the Diocese.

He says “Where have all the years gone? Now I am trembling as I anticipate 50 years of Priesthood, a proof that God is Merciful and He is in charge. Praise His Holy Name!”