On Trinity Sunday 1769, Fr George Hay a Scottish Priest was consecrated a Bishop in secret. An illegal act.
During those years following the Scottish Reformation the Catholic Faith was outlawed. It was to remote wild places such as Scalan College in the highlands where this ancient faith was rekindled by training for priesthood to administer to the Church underground. The Protestant Reformation tried but ultimately failed to wipe Catholicism from Scotland.
Bishop George Hay is fundamental to the revival story of Scottish Catholicism. It was fitting that 3 Bishops and one Archbishop along with many priests, deacon and pilgrims honoured this historic occasion.
The Principal Celebrant & Homilist was Bishop Hugh Gilbert, OSB (Order of St. Benedict). He spoke of the need for secrecy and that Bishop Hay had written discreetly to the Pope at the Vatican in Rome, to avoid suspicion he always addressed the letters to: ‘The Gentleman at Oldtown’
Other celebrants included, Archbishop Mario Conti, Emeritus Archbishop of Glasgow, Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell Diocese, and Bishop William Nolan of Dumfries & Galloway, and priests and deacons from throughout Scotland and beyond.