Monsignor Tom Connelly

With deep regret the Catholic Church in Scotland announces the death of Monsignor Tom Connelly, Spokesman of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference. Monsignor Tom Connelly died peacefully on the morning of Monday16th October.

Father Tom, as he was universally known, was born in 1993 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.

He was ordained in his home parish in Portobello by the then Bishop of Motherwell, James Donald Scanlan, on the 1st July 1962.

He first 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 II was to visit Scotland. The Papal visit made Father tom a well-known and respected figure among media professionals in Scotland and beyond.

His experience was called upon by the Vatican when he was appointed a Consulter to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Father Tom was also deeply involved for over twenty years with the International Association for Catholic Broadcasters (UNDA).

On November 11th 1998 he was appointed a Prelate of Honour by pope John Paul II with the title “Monsignor”, but for those who knew him and those who worked with him he was always just “Father Tom”.