Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Solemn Requiem Mass

Today I attended Lauds and the Solemn Requiem Mass for H.E. Fra' Freddy Crichton-Stuart which took place at St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral.

Mass was offered by Fr. J. Emerson FSSP with Fr Deighan as deacon and Fr. B. Gerard FSSP as sub-deacon. In choir was His Eminence Keith Patrick Cardinal O'Brien, H.E. Fra' Gheraldo Hercolani, Legate to H.E. Fra' Festing, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta, His Grace Mario Conti Archbishop of Glasgow, Fr Hugh Gilbert Bishop Elect of Aberdeen (Abbot of Pluscarden), fellow Knights and Dames of the Knights of Malta, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, Family and friends of Fra' Freddy.

I was given the honour of photographing this moving event and have uploaded a few which may be seen here and the slide show here

Archbishop Conti of Glasgow (right) with Bishop-elect Gilbert of Aberdeen on the left 

Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta

His Eminence Cardinal O'Brien delivers the eulogy after Mass

I shall upload the video I took in the next day or two as my schedule permits (sorry for the delay).

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart R.I.P. UPDATE

Yesterday I was informed of the death of Fra' Freddy.  We first met in Pluscarden Abbey whilst we were both on a retreat many years ago.  He became a friend, colleague and mentor to me and was instrumental in introducing me to the Old Rite (Forma Extraordinaria).  We sat on the Una Voce Scotland committee over the past years, he as chairman, and saw each other on Sundays in Edinburgh where we attended Mass in the Usus Antiquior.

This professed religious of the Sovereign Military Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (Knights of Malta) became the 56th Grand Prior of England, also Delegate of Scotland and the Northern Marches for the Order.  A tireless worker for the Order and their many charitable undertakings.

He,  like his forebears, was a devout Catholic.  His great grandfather, the 3rd Earl of Bute, was the man who bought the ruins of Pluscarden Abbey and handed them over to the Benedictine community of Prinknash who turned it into one of the most thriving communities of monks in the UK today.

A prayerful man, a confidant and teacher who will be sorely missed by us all in Scotland.

Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart   (1940 - 2011)

Requiescat in pace

Details of Funeral Arrangements

Monday 27th June

Reception of remains and Vespers at 5 p.m. at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Tuesday 28th June

Lauds at 10:30 a.m.

Solemn Requiem Mass at 11:15 a.m.
Celebrant Fr. John Emerson FSSP. His Eminence Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien, His Grace Archbishop Mario Conti and Knights of Malta will be in choir. Cardinal O’Brien will preach the homily.

There will be a reception in the Cathedral Hall after Mass. 

Fra’ Freddy’s burial will take place at 3 p.m. at Mount Vernon.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

New Bishop of Aberdeen

H.E. Bishop Peter Moran
Abbot Hugh Gilbert  O.S.B.


At 12 noon today in Rome (11am GMT) it was announced, that Pope Benedict XVI had nominated Abbot Hugh Gilbert as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Aberdeen.

He will succeed Bishop Peter Moran who has been Bishop since 2003. Reacting to his appointment, Abbot Hugh who is currently Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey near Elgin said;
“The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, has nominated me to succeed Bishop Peter Moran as Bishop of Aberdeen. As a Catholic Christian and Benedictine monk, I accept this as the call of Christ, and, trusting in the help of God and the saints, intend to give myself wholeheartedly, like my predecessors, to the lay people, religious, priests and deacons of this beautiful diocese.”

The Bishop-elect added;

“I have much to learn, and it will not be easy to leave my monastery after 37 years. But I do so knowing that I am not going among strangers. I commend myself to the kind hearts and prayers of all whom I am called to serve. Together in Christ may we shine with the light of his Resurrection!”
Responding to the news Bishop Peter Moran said:

“After my nine years at the helm of Aberdeen Diocese, seven of them as Bishop, I am happy that the Holy Father has named Abbot Hugh Gilbert to take over as my successor. He is, of course, well known in the diocese to clergy and laity alike. I welcome him most warmly.
During his nineteen years as Abbot, Pluscarden Abbey has continued to be the serene spiritual heart of this diocese. I am confident that his spiritual leadership as bishop will bring many graces to the members of the diocese, and to the wider community, in the years to come.”
Reacting to the announcement, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said;
“I am delighted to welcome Abbot Hugh Gilbert, Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey, as the new Bishop of Aberdeen - and, consequently, as a member of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland. The name and the reputation of Abbot Hugh are well known outside the confines of his monastery. His spirituality and his writings, have inspired many throughout Scotland and indeed in other parts of the world. May God indeed bless him at this present time, as we say a very sincere thanks to his immediate predecessor, Bishop Peter Moran, who has fulfilled his apostolate as Bishop of Aberdeen and a member of our Bishops' Conference, in an exemplary manner.”
Commenting on the nomination Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow said;

"As native of Aberdeen diocese, where I spent 25 happy years as Bishop, I am delighted at the appointment of my second successor. The Abbot is well known to me. I had the joy of ordaining him priest almost 30 years ago and later of blessing him as Abbot of Pluscarden. If it can be said that Abbot Hugh's appointment is a loss to the Abbey, there is great gain for the diocese of Aberdeen and the wider Catholic community of Scotland in his being named Bishop. The news will be particularly welcomed in Aberdeen diocese, where Pluscarden has warm links with every part of the territory and is recognised as a thriving centre of spirituality, monastic practice and culture in the north of Scotland. Abbot Hugh has played a key role in the success story that is Pluscarden over the last few decades, a period which has seen it expand its influence far and wide.
I also wish to pay warm tribute to my friend and colleague Bishop Peter Moran whose resignation on age and health grounds has now been accepted. Bishop Peter's wise and warm leadership mean that Abbot Hugh will inherit a diocese in fine heart.
Peter Kearney

Catholic Media Office

This is joyous news indeed in two respects. 

First for Bishop Moran who has soldiered on through continuing ill health for some months and who deserves to have his remaining time without the burden of responsibility that the Episcopate brings.

Second for Abbot Hugh, whom I have known for many years, and, as an oblate, he is my "boss" as Abbot of Pluscarden.

Please pray for both men and the communities of Pluscarden, the diocesan clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Aberdeen.

Te Deum Laudamus ................