Franciscans descend on the Tay

The Community of Franciscan Sisters and Friars, known as the Franciscan Family of the Immaculate had been based in Portsmouth but needed new accommodation after the lease ended on their previous home. They will be the largest Catholic religious community in Scotland.

The Diocese of Dunkeld had been trying to sell the Lawside pastoral centre and convent for some time.

Bishop Robson (above with some of the sisters) said he was delighted when the Franciscans discovered it and made an offer.

Bishop Stephen Robson asked his diocese to ’offer them a welcoming hand; love and tolerance; and a realisation that our wonderful Catholic Church is so much bigger, wider, and more inclusive than we sometimes realise, allow for, or are even aware of.’

“It will be good to have young religious about the place,” he said.

“The friars just now are three priest-friars and four simple professed friars preparing for the priesthood in their first year of theological and philosophical studies, the bishop said.

“The Sisters are a relatively new community and are all quite young. There are, presently, 20 Franciscan sisters in total: 10 sisters are professed, six are novices and four are postulants.”

The Bishop also said that the new arrivals are ‘an Old and New Rite traditional Catholic Community’.

“Though among themselves and in their own community they celebrate Mass and the Office in the Old Liturgy, they are also able to celebrate Mass in the so-called Novus Ordo in all our parishes in the diocese,” he said.

Photo credit: Fr Pio

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