Official Voice of the Scalan Association November 2007
Master Nov 1716-Jan 1718 to Bishop
Alexander Smith was born about 1683 at Fochabers in the Diocese of Moray. He
entered the Scots College Paris in 1698 returning to Preshome (situated between
Fochabers and Buckie) in 1712 for his ordination. Bishop Gordon brought the young Priest
A quiet unassuming man, God loving and pious, a good model for the students to follow. His one failing was his ability to organise himself and others. In January 1718, he was called to the Scots College Paris to take up the post of Procurator, a post he held until 1730. He was appointed Bishop by Bishop Gordon in 1735 and served in this capacity until1766.Like so many connected with the Scots College Paris he was drawn into the Jansenist controversy.
(Refer to Scalan News no 34 George Innes or to
As Bishop, he was much involved with Scalan and in Holy week, 1739 visited the newly built college where he must have seen a many changes. The original turf house built in 1716 was now a byre and adjacent to this a new college was built of stone and mortar at the instigation of Bishop Gordon in 1738 and completed the following year before the disastrous winter of 1739. It was destroyed on May 16th by the Hanovarian troops. Money had been left to Scalan by the late Lewis Innes of Balnacraig and the administrators had recommended re-building Scalan, which was endorsed by Bishop Gordon. No trace remains today.
Bishop Smith died in August 1768 a year after the present day Scalan was started. It is doubtful if he saw the building but he would have known of the plans to build on the east side of the Crombie in the rectangular garden, which had been there since about 1720.
The Bishop ensured that the College was left in good hands; in September 1762, he appointed John Geddes as Master and it was he who pulled the Seminary up from near disaster to a well-run establishment enjoying a new stability.
Student summer 1720
Leslie was born in the north east and spent the summer of 1720 at Scalan before travelling
Leslie had to escape from
James Leslie returned to
He was born in 1703 at Fochabers. He was ordained in
Student summer 1720
He was born in
1699 at Dallachy near
Father Godsman wrote to the Vicar Apostolic asking if he remembered being shown a small
house between Auchenhalrig and Tulloch where a poor woman had lived for some time. He goes
on to say that Tynet was proposing to build a sheep cote adjacent to the house. This has
now been done and the sheep are now using it for shelter. After a suitable period of time
we will be using the cote for celebrating Mass; a permanent centre for people to gather
and worship. There will be no outward signs of a chapel; nothing to indicate that it is
anything more than a sheep cote. The Little House and the adjoining sheep cote
became the nucleus of the present
Father Godsman died in April 1769. His friend Bishop Geddes assisted at his bedside and later wrote that everyone regarded this missionary priest as a saint He endured so much to keep the Catholic faith alive in the mid 18th century.
Student 1724-1725 Bishop 1755-1778
James Grant was born in 1706 at Wester Boggs, Enzie This area known as The Enzie was a Catholic enclave.
the younger brother of John Alexander Grant who in 1725 was master at Scalan. James Grant
entered the Seminary in 1724 and was deemed ready to leave for the Scots College Rome in
September 1725. He travelled with a letter of recommendation addressed to William Stuart,
the Scots Agent, as he could expect little support from the College staff. James completed
his course and was ordained in 1733 returning to
his release he was in very poor health and had no wish to return to the Highland
Vicariate. He wished to work in a less remote station in the lowlands. He was to find
himself in Presholm near
May 1755 he was finally persuaded to take up the post of Coadjutor Bishop for the
lowlands. He was consecrated Bishop in
interesting to note that thirty years previously his elder brother John Alexander was
pressured to become a Bishop. He travelled to
Bishop Grant was appointed Lowland Vicar Apostolic in 1767 a post he held until his death in 1778.
was born at Stoneybridge SouthUist. He was one of seven students enrolled by Bishop Gordon
at Eilean Bán in 1714. In 1715 he and John Maclachlan were sent to
left the Scots College Rome in 1721 due to recurring bouts of ill health and worries about
his choice of vocation. Six years later he reapplied to
was born in 1708 at Blairfindy, Glenlivet and was a fluent Gaelic speaker. He entered
Scalan in 1724 leaving in 1725 for
1777 he finally realised how bad the situation was and contacted the Scottish Bishops. In
1781 Bishop Hay travelled to
Peter Grant remained the Scots Agent in
Points of Interest
6 On 15th and 16th of September geese were seen flying south for the winter; on the 18th the tops were sprinkled with snow. Is this the sign of an early winter? Last year there were an amazing amount of rowan berries. This year there are very few berries. I wonder what sort of winter we will have; nature can be a bit confusing. The lack of bees and butterflies was also very noticeable after the cold and wet summer. On the other hand large frogs were plentiful.
7 I would like to draw your
attention to two books written by John
Scalan; The Forbidden College 1716-1799.
ISBN 186232 0373
Tuckwell Press £14.99
Highlander, Jacobite and Bishop.
ISBN 085976 5601
John Donald Publishers £14.99
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour,
following is the description in an
There are changes too in the chancel layout, for since the second Vatican Council (1957) the altar is well forward of the reredos in order that the celebrant may face the congregation. The readers will spot others .and hopefully will enjoy doing so. I will contribute my own comments in the next issue of Scalan News.
new Roman Catholic Church was opened at Chapeltown, Glenlivet. Pontifical High Mass was
sung by the Archbishop of
Bp. Macdonald, in the course of his sermon, said they had gathered together that day at the opening of the new church in this holy spot which had not been without a church for the last 200 years, perhaps not ever since the faith was preached there by the disciples of St Columba. The Bishop went on to remind the congregation of one or two duties of the great and happy celebration of the day. The first duty was of thanksgiving many of the features of the church were the gifts of kind benefactors, but he would remind them that there was still a debt of £500 and he asked them to do their best to completely finish what they had so nobly begun.
The new church is a
very fine structure, but chaste in its outside proportions, the furnishing inside is still
more so. There is no gaudy glitter, no sham adornment every thing from the choir to
the tabernacle is worthy of being, as far as man can make, a place for worship. On
entering by the door, which is towards the north, there is a hall paved with tiles, and
around, numerous pegs for overcoats, wraps etc. The most important object however which
meets the eye is a marble slab taken from the old church, which was created to the memory
of Abbé McPherson by a grateful people. It
was he who built the church and schools, and endowed them. Entering the church, a passage
runs between two rows of pews to the transept,
the eye steadily fixed upon the altar and the magnificent carving with which it is
elaborated. This is truly a piece of the most
exquisite work in oak which we have seen. Behind the altar the work is panelled with oak
and between is maroon coloured silk, chastely adorned. The altar itself is of carved oak
and so is the tabernacle. The latter has a beautiful brass engraved and bejewelled front
edged with red. In the centre of this engraving is the figure of a lamb, the emblem of
innocence. Crowning the tabernacle stands a handsome cross of black ebony and brass; with
the figure of our Lord crucified overhanging the altar is a beautiful piece of fresco in
oak, the carving of which is particularly rich. This
noble altar, we understand, is the gift of Father Mackenzie, the pastor of this
congregation. The lamp, which hangs from the
roof in front of the altar, is a beautifully worked lamp in brass and crystal, which is
seen whenever one enters the church. Within the transept,
on the left hand side, is a bishops throne of carved black oak with velvet curtains
on a raised dais. This throne was occupied on
Wednesday for the first time in the new church by the most Rev. Angus Macdonald,
Immediately outside the transept¹ on the left hand
side is the pulpit which is also of carved oak. It
rests upon a foundation of
1 This should be referred to as the chancel
1 This should be referred to as the chancel
2 The gallery above the main entrance
By Elizabeth Beaton
Founded1716 Discontinued 1799
Through the Braes of Glenlivet, there flows a clear stream,
With many a long winding, the Crombie by name-
In green Cairn Dhulac takes its rise Ive heard say,
And falls into the Livet at romantic Tombae.
On a wide spreading haugh near its source may be seen,
A long ancient building embowered in green;
Midst a park of rich land where the rowan tree grow
That surrounds it, and shields it from all winds that blow.
In the dark penal days of that dread by-gone times,
When our Catholic faith was condemned as a crime.
The great Duke of Gordon, so generous and brave,-
To the Bishops, a site for a college he gave.
And Scalan, remote in a wild highland glen,
Surrounded by mountains, morasses, and fen
Was adjudged most secure, whilst possessing some charms,
Where students might pray, safe from all harm.
There esteemed Bishop Gordon the foundation stone laid,
And on the west bank of Crombie he raised it is said,
A college that soon spread its fame far and wide,
But in time twas transferred to the opposite side.
And to every Braes Catholic a blessing effected;
As the one being nearest stood some miles away,
At fait Caen-na-Choile mong the birks of Tombae.
Many Priests and good Bishops their learning received,
And one, Rev. George Gordon, that name being so rife,
Was dubbed Scalanensus the rest of his life.
Here the great Bishop Hay, that famed saintly divine,
Received Consecration in the days of langsyne;
In his much loved Scalan passed long happy years,
And on quitting his loved home he left it in tears.
For almost a century the college remained
As teachers of youth, many Priests were ordained
Within the grey walls, Bishops also were told
Held councils therein in those dark days of old.
But the State soon refused - for our faith had its foes-
To allow men to worship their God as they chose,
And soldiers were sent in the silence of night
And they burnt down the college; put its inmates to flight.
That kind, gentle Bishop, John Geddes by name-
He rebuilt the old house as it stands to this day,
But increasing afflictions soon pressed him away.
The Abbé MacPherson, that prince of good men
And esteemed benefactor of his dear native glen,
Near this famed seat of learning first opened his eyes,
Studied under its roof for the Priesthood likewise.
Here he built a fine church, gave a sweet sounding bell,
Erected two schools, and endowed them as well;
A graveyard enclosed, trenched a park of good ground,
A clergymans house built with everything found.
But at length the old college was found rather small
To accommodate students, professors, and all-
So its Bishop Superior, and the students each one
Removed to Aquhorties, near the banks of the Don.
And the college which nigh a century was spared,
And men for the priesthood in
Is abandoned at last to the snow and the rain,
And the fierce winds that blow in that upland domain.
Now its century of time in its course has run on,
And those Bishops and Clergy, and students are gone.
Still as years follow years, many people come round
To view the old college and its once hallowed ground.
Author J. Sharp Original held by Scalan Association
Submitted by J. S. Gallacher
Presidents Report 2007
was celebrated in the outdoor chapel before our last A.G.M. which was attended by twenty
two members. Later that month on the
have been installed in the house by David Taylor of the
the last A.G.M., the committee sought an estimate of the value of the land and buildings
from the firm of D.M. Hall. This was sent to us on
At the end of February this year the Scalan Association received £35,000 from the estate of the late Canon Daniel J. Boyle.
Two issues of the Scalan News have been circulated since the last A.G/M., and they have received wide approval. We are most grateful to the editing team.
Thanks must be to all who have helped; to the Buckie choir for their contribution to the annual Mass, to Mr. and Mrs. McEwan for the use of their cottage for committee meeting and their hospitality on these occasions, to Mr. and Mrs. Toovey for their regular checks on the building, their emptying of the collecting box, doing small repairs. Thanks also to (those who worked on the ground after the cows had churned up the grass area, thanks to the committee for their time and dedication.
Cannon Brian Halloran President.
Annual Pilgrimage to Scalan
Sunday 1st July Mass
The weather in the preceding week was very wet, and the forecast for the Sunday was not at all promising. Would we have to retreat to the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour at Chapeltown of Glenlivet for the first time in years? It certainly looked like it on the day itself, but we persevered down the road to Scalan and were rewarded with a lovely occasion, devoid of rain to bother us, and blessed with a celebration of Mass which renewed our love for this holy place which speaks so powerfully of the love of God in young men preparing themselves to give over their entire lives to the task of bringing the Mass and the Sacrament to the people of Scotland
Mass was celebrated by His Grace, Archbishop Conti
The homily was provided by Rt. Rev. John Jukes OFM Conv., emeritus auxiliary Bishop of Southwark, parish priest of Huntly and Banff, who wore his Franciscan habit and provided us with a few thoughts, Franciscan in their simplicity yet profound, and delivered with a touch of humour. He alerted us to the danger that communities might decline or die if they did not have the dedicated leadership of a priest, and so we must redouble our prayer and work for vocations to the Priesthood. Parents and others had to open the eyes of our children and young people to the deceits of our society and the way in which indifference to religion and not outright persecution was the nature of things today. Lastly, he left us the challenge that if we have shown that we can rebuild Scalan, can we rebuild the Church in our day?
Music at the Mass was provided by the music ministry of St. Peters, Buckie and we thank them for their support again this year. Music of a different kind was provided as we arrived at Scalan by piper Jimmy Stewart. It is one of those nice touches which individual members of the Association have the initiative to supply for this occasion and a special word of thanks must be given to the local committee and their helpers for the practical arrangements for setting things up for the Mass and, with the help of some of the pilgrims present, tidying up after Mass was over.
Celebrants at the Mass
One aspect of the event, which is worth mentioning from
time to time, is the practice of car drivers picking up pilgrims who find the last mile to
Scalan difficult walking, and transporting them back after Mass. This is something which
is greatly appreciated, and helps to strengthen the sense that we are a Family of Faith as
we gather to celebrate the Annual Scalan
Thank you Father Michael Briody
Very Rev. Canon Brian Halloran
St James, 17, The Scores,
Tel. 01334 472856
Treasurer and Membership Secretary:
Mrs Jane McEwan
Ogilvie Cottage, Gallowhill, Glenlivet AB37 9DL
Tel 01807 590340
All correspondence regarding the Association should be directed to Mrs Jane McEwan
Rev. Michael Briody,
Tel. 01236 872537
Mrs Sylvia Toovey, Miss Ann Dean, Mrs Elizabeth Beaton.
Web Site firstname.lastname@example.org
This is your newsletter and the committee would welcome your ideas, views and news. Correspondence can be sent to Sylvia Toovey, Chapel House, Chapeltown of Glenlivet, Ballindalloch. AB37 9JS. Tel. 01807 590295. Emails. email@example.com
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They are happy, who dwell in your house,
for ever singing your praise.
They are happy, whose strength is in you,
In whose hearts are the roads to Sion.
As they go through the Bitter valley
They make it a place of springs,
The autumn rain covers it with blessings.
They walk with ever growing strength,
They will see the God of gods in Sion.
Taken from Psalm 83
Copies of photos used may be obtained from the editor with a donation to The Scalan Association. Please state size (up to A4)