The new Bishop of of Motherwell, the Rt Rev Joseph Anthony Toal, was installed at a packed Motherwell Cathedral on Monday night.
There was an overspill of around 200 into St Bride’s Hall where the installation of the fifth Roman Catholic bishop of Motherwell was beamed via CCTV.
On the altar sat all the bishops of Scotland plus the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain Archbishop Antonio Mennini (66).
At the front of the Cathedral, on the left sat, row upon row of priests and permanent deacons of the diocese, and several from further afield, dressed in white albs.
On the right sat the new Bishop’s mother, Mary (86), his three sisters and five brothers and other members of his very extended family from far and wide.
At the beginning of mass Archbishop Philip Tartaglia (63) asked that the apostolic mandate, the letter from Pope Francis, naming Bishop Joe as Bishop of Motherwell, be shown to a group of the senior priests of the diocese and then be read.
This was done by Mgr Tom Millar, Vicar General.
Pope Francis stated in the Bull that he was minded to appoint Bishop Joe because of his “proven gifts of mind and heart” and his “abundant experience in pastoral matters”.
Later, in his sermon Bishop Joe made clear his sadness at leaving his old diocese but his eager anticipation as he takes charge of the new.
There was a full musical accompaniment for the mass with the choir was in great voice and organist John Pitcathley, who played during both papal visits to Scotland, was in particularly fine form.
After the mass a reception was held at the new Cathedral Primary School where Bishop Toal met family and friends, old and new.