PARISH OF ST JOHN OGILVIE
This Parish came into being in 1979 with the
increase in the Catholic population of the area, brought about by the coming of the
Invergordon Smelter (now extinct) and the Nigg Oil Rig Yard.
The former Dingwall Parish was divided, and the
Easter Ross part from the Novar Toll to Edderton, became a Parish in its own right with
Canon Malaney as Parish Priest. It embraces the towns of Alness, Invergordon and Tain, as
well as their seaboard villages of Hilton, Shandwick, Balintore and Portmahomack. In each
town there is a church.
St Joseph's Invergordon,
built and opened in 1958 was a replacement for a derelict Navy hut at
the other end of the town, which had served for many years as a meeting place for the
Catholics of the area. The town has had a long association with the Navy on account of its
importance as a deep-water dock, and the Parish Priest was formerly Chaplain to the Royal
St John Ogilvie's, Alness,
a lovely Chapel adjoining a Parish House in which 3 La Sante Union
Sisters live and work in the Parish. It is situated in a large
housing estate and was opened by Bishop Conti in 1977 as a Mass Centre for Catholics
living in the area. Mass is said here twice a week.
St Vincent De Paul's, Tain,
a beautiful new Church with Priests house adjoining, which was
built under the leadership of Canon Malaney in 1986 on a site just off the A9 in Cameron
Road. The building of this Church was greatly helped by the contributions from St
Peters Parish, Wilhelmshaven, Germany, to which parish our married Deacon, Paul
Lippok formerly belonged.
Although this is the most recently built Church, the history of Tain
is very ancient having religious and Christian associations going back to the Middle Ages
and before. St Duthac is the Patron Saint of the town and the few remaining stones of his
place of prayer and sanctuary can still be seen on a hillock in the old cemetery.
St Duthac was born in Tain about 1000 AD, but was sent to Ireland at
an early age and became a great figure in the early Celtic Church. After his death, his
remains were returned to Tain and interred on a site in the centre of the Town, where the
old Church of St Duthac now stands, preserved as a National Monument and used only on
special occasions. The town became a popular place of pilgrimage most notably for the
Kings of Scotland and their Courts, as well as for the many devout people who came to
honour the Saint.
This idea of Pilgrimage has recently been revived, and a Centre has
been set up adjoining the old Church recounting the ancient Catholic and Christian
associations. The original Papal Bull conferring Collegial Status on the Church can be
seen, as well as many other interesting pieces of historic and religious interest. Tain is
by far the oldest part of the Parish and steeped in our ancient Faith.