New National Director appointed
AFTER having spent 19 months as Acting National Director of Missio Scotland, the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples recently appointed Fr Vincent Lockhart to the role of National Director for Scotland of the Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio Scotland).
Announcing the appointment, Bishop Joseph Toal, the Bishop of Motherwell said: "I am pleased to announce that Fr Vincent Lockhart has been appointed by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples as the National Director for Scotland of the Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio Scotland). Fr Vincent has been Acting Director for some time and it is good that his five-year term of office has been confirmed by the Holy See.
"The bishops gratefully acknowledge the dedication and commitment of Fr Tom Welsh to the work of Missio Scotland until his untimely death last year."
Commenting on his appointment Fr Lockhart (above with the Missio Scotland team) said: "I feel very honoured and grateful to have been appointed as the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Missio Scotland, and look forward to serving God and the Church in this role together with the bishops, the diocesan directors and the staff of Missio.
"Missio is the Pope’s personal mission charity and is an expression of the fact that the Church is a family. The work of Missio Scotland is to deepen that family bond between the Church here in Scotland and the Church in those countries where it is in need of our spiritual and material support. I place my trust in Pope Francis' prayers and ask for those of the Catholic community of Scotland."
Fr Lockhart was born and brought up in the west and north of Scotland. He was ordained a priest in 1983 for Motherwell Diocese after working for a year as a deacon in Cameroon, West Africa. After his ordination, he returned to Cameroon and, in total, spent 16 years living with the Bangwa, Mundani and Bayang peoples in a remote area in the mountains and rain forest in the south western part of the country. As well as being involved in normal parish work and youth ministry, he ran 12 primary schools and was engaged in road and bridge building projects.
In the mid-1990s he studied at Edinburgh University and gained an M.Sc in African Studies and an M.Th. in the study of Non-Western Christianity with a particular focus on social change and inculturation.
Fr Lockhart has been the parish priest of St Monica’s in Coatbridge since 2003 and was the diocesan director for Missio in Motherwell Diocese.
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