SAINT SYLVESTER, ELG1N
The first Priest to settle in Elgin after the Reformation was John
Farquharson, a native of Strathavon, who was educated at the Scalan in Glenlivet, and in
A property was purchased near to the old Academy and this served as
Church and Presbytery for many years.
The present Church of St. Sylvester, which is situated in Institution
Road, dates from 1843, and its existance is owed to the enterprise and energy of Father
John Forbes, who came to Elgin in 1827, and remained there until his death in 1856.
During the period from 1837 to 1840, Father John travelled throughout
Scotland, England, Ireland, and in Europe, in search of funds to build a new Church in
Elgin. It was during these travels that he was to receive generous financial help from a
Benedictine monk, a Scot, by the name of Dom. Sylvester.
In 1843 the construction of the new Church which was designed by Thomas Mackenzie,
commenced in 1843 and it was opened with great solemnity on the 25th of September 1844,
one year before Dom. Sylvesters death.
The Church was dedicated to St.Sylvester, who was his Patron Saint, a Benedictine
Abbot, who founded the Congregation which bears his name, and whose feast is on the 26th
The Coat of Arms displayed on the wall to the left of the entrance, is that of Dom.
In 1967, following Vatican 11, the Church of St. Sylvester, was entirely renovated, to
meet the needs of the revised liturgy.
(a brief outline of his life)
On the 18th of July 1845, Dom. Sylvester Thomas Drummond Stewart
was murdered in Ancona, Italy, during the uprisings against the Temporal power of
Thomas Stewart was born in 1802, the third son of Sir George Drummond
Stewart, and he became a Catholic while he was studying at Oxford.
He went to Italy and joined the Benedictine Order of monks in Palermo, and was
ordained a Priest. He was a distinguished student, and was the author of a number of poems
and essays on philosophy. His health had been poor for some time and he had been planning
to return to Scotland, and it was thought he might possibly settle in Elgin. He had many
friends and his tragic death was a great shock.
After his death, his body was taken back to Scotland for burial, by his brother, Sir
William Drummond Stewart, in Perthshire.
Requim Mass was offered on 16th December in the Gothic revival Chapel at Murthly
Castle, at which the Rt. Rev. Drs. Kyle and Gillis and several of the Clergy
St. Sylvesters Church. Times of Mass:
Saturday Vigil 6.00 pm
Resident Priest Rev. A. M. Doyle