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Letter from Bishop Toal




24th August 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I write to thank all who have come to Mass in our churches over the past month, and to all the volunteers who are making sure the return to Mass is very safe. I want to thank you also for your financial support for your parishes and the Diocese through the months of church closure and now in this period of restricted numbers. Your weekly contributions, whether in church or on-line, are vital to meet the normal expenses, to support the clergy, and maintain the buildings. Each parish does depend entirely on what comes in and every donation matters, so again I thank you for your generosity in these difficult times.

As we need to support, and indeed protect, our parishes, we have to be prudent in the extent of collecting for other causes, however worthy they are. In that regard we have to limit extra or special collections so that they do not take away from the weekly income to the parishes. At the same time, we recognise the need to fulfil our obligations to support our Diocesan needs, the Church in poorer lands, and local charities who depend on our assistance. At our recent meeting, the Diocesan Trustees decided that we would have one special collection each month through the rest of this year. Rather than putting out an extra basket in the churches you are encouraged to make a contribution on-line on the Motherwell Diocesan web-site to each month’s special collection. You may also put your contribution in an envelope marked for the special collection and put it in the basket at Mass with your weekly contribution. You can do this on any Sunday through the course of the month.

The special collections for the rest of 2020 are as follows:

September - for the Ecclesiastical Students Fund of Motherwell Diocese (for those preparing for priesthood and diaconate).

October - for Missio Scotland (The Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith for the Church’s Mission in the World).

November – for Catholic Education (to support the work of the Scottish Catholic Education Service)

December – for St Andrew’s Hospice/ Other local hospices.

Any other charitable appeals asked for in the parishes can be publicised in the parish media outlets and donations sought on-line. For example, if SCIAF makes an appeal, good publicity should be given to the needy cause and people directed to the SCIAF website to make their donations directly.

I realise I am placing some restrictions on collections in our churches at present but the limits placed on the numbers attending Mass mean we need to give a higher priority to the needs of the parish, with opportunity to give to the special collections we have put in place.

I hope you will continue to contribute to our collections according to your means and I thank you most sincerely for doing so.

With my prayers and best wishes,

Yours in Christ

+ Joseph Toal

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