About Monsignor Tom Connelly

Monsignor Tom Connelly

Fr Tom was a big man, with a big heart, a sense of humour, a rich vision of Church and dedicated to his priestly ministry

Monsignor Tom Connelly was born in Portobello and was a parishioner of St. Mary Magdalene parish. He attended St. John’s Primary school and then Holy Cross Academy.For almost twenty years he was Press Officer for the Catholic Church in Scotland until his death in 2000. He is the only parishioner who has become a priest and, of course, the parish is proud of him.

The following account of his life was published by the Scottish Media Office on Communication Sunday following his death

Tribute to Monsignor Connelly

The high reputation of the Catholic Media Office with media professionals throughout Scotland is largely the work of one man. Monsignor Tom Connelly, but everyone called him “Father Tom”, was Director of the Catholic Media Office from 1981 until his death in October 2000.

Father Tom was born in 1933 and after several jobs in industry decided his vocation lay in the priesthood. Although from Portobello he was working, at that time,in east Kilbride within the Diocese of Motherwell. Consequently he offered himself for service in that Diocese.

Ordained in 1962, Fr Tom gave himself totally to everything he undertook and his enthusiasm rubbed off on many of those who became involved with him and his many pastoral initiatives.

He came to national prominence on his appointment as Press Officer to the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland in September 1981,just a few months before the announcement that Pope John Paul 11 was to visit Scotland. The Papal visit made Fr Tom a well-known and respected figure among media professionals in Scotland and beyond.

The high international profile which the Scottish Catholic Church has in media circles, in spite of being a relatively small country, is also due to the tireless work of Fr Tom. For over twenty years he was deeply involved in UNDA, the International Association for Catholic Broadcasters. The Vatican recognised his experience by appointing him a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Fr Tom was a big man, with a big heart, a sense of humour, a rich vision of Church and dedicated to his priestly ministry which he saw as including his work with the media. With his death many lost a good friend, the media lost a trusted voice and advocate, and the Church lost a loyal and dedicated priest

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