A Gaelic Priest and Front Row Seats

One of the wonderful things about working in a monastery bookshop is that I get to meet all sorts of interesting people. Just yesterday I met Fr. Ross Crichton, a young priest from Scotland with bright eyes and a warm smile. Fr. Ross is in Georgia this week visiting friends, and they brought him by the monastery and made a point of introducing him to me (I make no secret of my love for all things Celtic). Fr. Ross and I hit it off immediately, and my admiration for this young priest only grew when he told me that he celebrates the mass in Gaelic as well as in English.

His church is St. Mary’s, Griminish, on the Isle of Benbecula in the Western Isles (the Outer Hebrides) of Scotland. You can read a bit about the parish here. According to Wikipedia, the Isle of Benbecula still has over 56% Gaelic speakers. It’s off the beaten path — but if you should ever get there, go to mass at St. Mary’s and say hi to Fr. Ross.

And now, for something completely different… tonight is a big Christian rock concert in Atlanta, the “Third Day Family Picnic,” featuring Third Day, Jars of Clay, and about a half dozen other bands. My wife, who is just amazing when it comes to winning free stuff from her favorite radio station, won us a pair of free front row seats to this gig. Of course, with Rhiannon there’s three of us, and the front row of the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, alas, isn’t exactly wheelchair accessible. We solved that dilemma by inviting one of Rhiannon’s friends to come to the concert with us, and bought tickets for her and Rhiannon in the accessible section. Not exactly front row, but Rhiannon is happy enough to spend the evening with her friend, and mom and I get to sit close enough where we can watch the guitarists and bassists do their magic. A fun time is anticipated for all.

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  • http://www.stpauls-medina.org Eric Funston

    Last summer, I spent four weeks in the Gaeltacht of Co. Galway, An Cheathru Rua, and worshiped twice at the Catholic parish there. The Mass was in Irish Gaelic, of course, and it was quite lovely. The parish priest was a native of the Connemara who had served in Chicago for several years. He was quite happy to have an Anglican in the congregation and never hesitated to offer me communion. Would that the church everywhere was as warm and welcoming as that Gaelic congregation!

  • http://web.me.com/lstrovas/All_Things_New:_A_Christian_Conversation_on_Food/Welcome.html Leslie

    Have fun!

  • http://www.philfosterlpc.com phil foster

    1) So when do we get to visit Fr. Ross (I’ll sleep on the floor!)?

    2) Rock out. “Give Me Revelation.”

  • http://dkam136.com Danny Kam

    I saw Third Day many years ago at Six Flags Magic Mountain. It was a good show. They are a great band.

  • Greg

    Saw you guys there Carl but could not make it over to say hello. I took my daughter and her friends. Our seats were about 12 rows out in the center. Great show and a long night.


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