Rt. Rev. Stephen McGill, P.S.S., S.T.L.

Stephen McGill was born in Glasgow on 4 January 1912, the son of Peter McGill and Charlotte Connolly. He was educated at St. Aloysius College in Glasgow before moving to St. Mary’s College, Blairs, the national junior seminary, where he began his studies for the Priesthood.

In October 1931 he entered Le Grand Seminaire, Coutances which is in Normandy in France. He was ordained Priest in St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow on 29 June 1936 by Bishop Henry Grey Graham. He returned to France to begin his novitiate with the Sulpicians at La Solitude de St. Sulpice, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris, in October 1936, becoming a Priest of St. Sulpice (P.S.S.) in July 1937. He then undertook the Licenciate programme at the Faculty of Theology of the Insitut Catholique, Paris in October 1937, gaining his S.T.L. in 1939.

The Priests of St. Sulpice are committed to working in Seminaries and in the formation of Priests, and so Fr. McGill was appointed to the staff of Le Grand Seminaire, Bordeaux, in October 1939 before transferring to Le Grand Seminaire, Aix-en-Provence in January 1940.

By this time, Europe was already at war and on the fall of France in June 1940, Fr. McGill escaped backed to Britain via Marseilles.

On arrival in Glasgow he was appointed to the staff at Blairs College as Spiritual Director to the Philosophers and in 1941 was appointed Spiritual Director to the whole College. He remained in this post until 1951 when he succeeded the newly appointed Archbishop Gray as Rector. In 1952 he was appointed an honorary Canon of Glasgow.

Bishop Kenneth Grant of Argyll and The Isles died at the early age of 59 on 7 September 1959 and on 4 April 1960 Pope John XXIII nominated Canon McGill as the new Bishop of the vacant See. He was Consecrated Bishop of Argyll and the Isles in the Cathedral, Oban, by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Gerald Patrick O’Hara, assisted by Bishop Scanlan of Motherwell and Bishop Walsh of Aberdeen on 22 June 1960. From 1962 to 1965 he participated in the II Vatican Council. Bishop McGill worked hard in his time as Bishop of Argyll and The Isles to promote the Gaelic language and culture and undertook the publication of a Gaelic Prayerbook and the translation of the new liturgical texts into Gaelic.

Bishop McGill was translated to Paisley on 25 July 1968 where he served for the next twenty years, retiring as Bishop of Paisley on the 30 March 1988.

Bishop McGill died peacefully at Nazareth House, Paisley Road West Glasgow in the early hours of Wednesday morning (9th November 2005).

Funeral will take place at St. Mirin’s Cathedral at 12noon on Saturday 12th November 2005.