Saturday, June 4, 2011

Abbot of Pluscarden appointed Bishop of Aberdeen

The Vatican Information Service announces today the acceptance by Pope Benedict of the resignation of the Bishop of Aberdeen, Scotland, Peter Anthony Moran in conformity with Can. 401 § 1 (i.e. because he has reached the required age for submission of resignation).

The Pope has nominated the Rev. Father Hugh Gilbert OSB, until now Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey near Elgin, Scotland.

The Vatican gives the following information about Bishop-elect Gilbert (my loose translation from the Italian).
The Rev. Fr Hugh Gilbert OSB was born in Emsworth, Hampshire, England, on March 15th 1952 into an anglican family. He was received into the Catholic Church at the age of 18 on the vigil of Christmas 1970. Educated in a variety of schools in London, he went to King's College, University of London, where he obtained his Bachelor degree in History in 1974.

Having entered the monastery of Pluscarden in Scotland, he was sent to Fort Augustus Abbey for his ecclesiastical studies and preparation for priesthood. He made his solemn monastic profession in 1979 and was ordained priest on 29th June 1982.

In 1984 he became Sub-Prior and Vice-Master of novices in Pluscarden. In 1985 he was made Master of novices. He was nominated Prior in November 1990 and was elected Abbot of the monastery on 29th October 1992. His abbatial blessing took place on 8th December of the same year.

He was a member of the Council of the Union of Monastic Superiors from 1993 to 1997 and of the Abbot Visitor's Council from 1995 to the current time.

As an oblate of the Abbey, Pluscarden is my favourite place to return for retreats. Pluscarden is noted for its authentic monastic life and its faithful rendering of the Novus Ordo liturgy in Latin. There is a wonderful spirit of fraternity.

There will, no doubt, be great jubilation and celebration at Pluscarden. For some time, however, the monks have been fearing this moment. The elevation of Abbot Gilbert will, humanly speaking, be a great loss for the community. The Holy Spirit will without doubt raise another man of Abbot Hugh's calibre to be Abbot of this community.

Abbot Hugh is a bit like a Father of the Church in his preaching and writing. The people of Aberdeen are very fortunate to have such a paternal pastor.

Among Bishop-elect Gilberts writings are Unfolding the Mystery - Monastic Conferences on the Liturgical Year

and Living the Mystery - Monastic Markers on the Christian Way.

Congratulations to Bishop-elect Gilbert!


  1. Te Deum laudamus!

  2. Ditto.
    Now let's see what happens in England and Wales. Veni, veni creator Spiritus.


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