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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Bishop of Aberdeen revives French connection
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 Links between the French Catholic communities of Aberdeen and London were revived recently. Bishop Peter Moran of Aberdeen has been invited to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for sixty four French teenagers in London. Bishop Peter Moran has been celebrating a monthly Mass for the French community in Aberdeen for about thirty years. Yesterday, he was at the French church in London to administer Confirmation. Bishop Moran explained: "The French school in Aberdeen is a small cousin of the Lycée français in London. The monthly Mass in Aberdeen is a faint copy of the full pastoral provision given by the French church in London ­ Notre Dame de France in Leicester Place, just off Leicester Square." "North Sea oil exploration first brought the French community to Aberdeen in the seventies. In those early days I had just a little contact with the French Church in London. I thought that the French Catholic community in Aberdeen might benefit from becoming a northern outpost of London's much larger group." "When more recently, I was in London on other business, I visited Notre Dame de France and met Father Andraud, the chaplain to the Lycée. He invited me to officiate at the forthcoming Confirmation ceremony. I gladly accepted and have already had a two-hour meeting with the young people involved. This is something I also try to do whenever possible in my own diocese." The French community in Aberdeen has grown up because of North Sea oil exploration. A number of French companies have had personnel in Aberdeen over the years since about 1973. The early arrivals were Total Marine, Elf Aquitaine and Schlumberger. Total Marine set up a French School in one of the separate buildings within the campus of Aberdeen Grammar School. That school is still functioning some thirty years on. Monthly Masses in French have been celebrated since then in Aberdeen. at St Francis, Mannofield. Source: Diocese of Aberdeen
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