New Council of the Laity for Dunkeld

Press release


Fr Jim High with Bishop Stephen

Fr Jim High with Bishop Stephen

Bishop Stephen welcomed representatives of lay associations from around the diocese at the launch of a new Council of Laity in Dunkeld. The meeting took place in the St Ninian Pastoral Centre, Dundee, with Fr Jim High, Vicar Episcopal for Lay Associations, Fr Jim McCrudden (parish priest at St Joseph’s, Callendar) and Fr Michael Carrie.

The Laity Council will hold its first meet on Saturday 3rd September, 2016.


The inaugural meeting of the Council of the Laity for the diocese of Dunkeld took place in the the St Ninian Pastoral Institute, Lawside Road, Dundee on Saturday 3rd September 2016, with Bishop Stephen Robson in attendance.

With Fr James H High, Vicar-Episcopal for the Laity in the Chair and Fr James McCruden of St Joseph the Worker, Callander as Vice-Chair, the Council consisted, for this inaugural meeting of twenty three representatives of societies , organisations, and groups. Following an introduction by Father Leszek Wiecaszek of St Joseph’s, Dundee, the Council adopted as its patron, St. Vincent Pallotti(1795-1850). Born in Rome, he founded the Society of the Catholic Apostolate which is considered as the forerunner of Catholic Action.
The council opened and closed with prayer – the essential beginning and ending of every undertaking, as St Vincent Pallotti wrote: “the practice of holy prayer is most necessary …… A Christian without prayer is a person without reason….. A missionary without prayer is a solder without a sword ….. In all my works may it always be Jesus Christ who lives and acts in me”.

The Council discussed inter supportive action in the diocese, eg. volunteer drivers providing transportation to and from hospital and transporting the aged or infirm to events in the diocese which they would not, otherwise, be able to attend.

Other issues discussed included the continuing development of the Pastoral Institute as a place that parishioners throughout the diocese would find easy to access, providing library and repository resources and meeting and conference facilities.

Bishop Stephen talked about catechesis, pointing out that first there was evangelisation (baptism and formation in the home) which was then developed by catechesis in the home and in the school. Concerned that after receiving the sacraments, children without the support of practising parents might drift away from the church, Bishop Stephen and Council representatives discussed measure for catechesis being spread to young people throughout the diocese.

The Council will consider everything talked about at its inaugural meeting for further discussion at the next meeting in February 2017. In the meantime any member of the Council may forward ideas or items for the agenda to the Secretary, Mrs Daria McDowall.

Begun during the Year of Mercy proclaimed by the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Council of the Laity will strive to fulfil the words of St. Vincent Pallottii: “….. by the grace of God, our lives, words and deeds will be works of God’s mercy”.

The members of the Council of Laity hope to extend the Good News to other people and to deepen the Good News within their own lives.

Fr James H High
Council of Laity

4 September 2016


Margaret Parke –
St Ninian’s, Dundee

Associates of St Jeanne Jugan
Jim Galligan

The Catenians Association
Raymond Carlin
St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee

Catholic Spiritual Renewal – JPPM
Chris McCrosson
St Fillan’s, Crieff

Catholic Grandparents’ Association
Rev. Ron Wylie
St Pius X

Cecilia Choir
Pauline Veal
St Joseph’s Dundee

Diocesan Administration
Malcolm Veal
Curial Office

Diocesan Independent Action Group
Cecilia Mulford
St Margaret’s, Montrose

Dundee Secular Carmelite Group
Audrey Toshney

Friends of Wellburn
Ann Kenny
St Mary’s, Lochee

Legion of Mary
Margaret Caswell
Our Lady of Victories, Dundee

Lourdes Pilgrimage Association
Margaret Mitchell
St Fergus, Forfar

Marriage Catechists
John Paul Cecil

Norah Sloan

Helen Kidd

Syro-Malabrese Group
Viau Pullan
St Clement’s Dundee

Traditional Latin Mass Group
Steve Smith

Union of Catholic Mothers (UCM)
Pauline Porter

University Catholic Society
Stephen Love
St Andrew’s, Dundee

World Day of Youth Group
Frankie McGuire
St John’s, Perth

Fr Jim High
St Margaret’s, Montrose

Fr Jim McCruden
St Joseph’s, Callander

Daria McDowall
St Ninian’s, Brechin