The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland have announced a new member of staff for the Scots College in Rome.

Fr James Walls from the Diocese of Dunkeld has been named by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland as the new Spiritual Director of the Scottish seminary in Rome. Fr Walls will replace Fr Mark Cassidy whose term will conclude at the end of the current academic year.

Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Stephen Robson, the Bishop of Dunkeld said:

“I am absolutely delighted that the Bishops have decided to appoint Father James Walls as spiritual director to the Pontifical Scots College in Rome. As a former Spiritual Director in Rome myself, I can recognise great qualities, spiritual, intellectual and moral in Fr Jim’s priestly ministry.  He has been well trained in spiritual direction and accompaniment, and together with his pastoral experience as parish priest in a large North Dundee Catholic Parish Community, I believe him to be an ideal choice to serve the community of seminarians there and as an effective collaborator with Fr Fitzpatrick the Rector and Fr Parkes the Vice Rector. Fr Jim has my full support and I wish him many blessings and congratulations.”

Reacting to his appointment, Fr. James Walls, said: JimWalls_SD

“I would like to give thanks to God, and the bishops of Scotland, in appointing me as Spiritual Director in the Scots College. I would also like to give thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for taking my mum into their home; without this generosity, the decision would have been much more difficult. I look forward to getting to know those men who have generously put themselves forward for the priesthood.”

Responding to the appointment, Fr. Dan Fitzpatrick, Rector of the Scots College said:

“I am very grateful to Fr Jim for generously accepting the post of spiritual director here at the Pontifical Scots College. He brings with him his experience of parish ministry, spiritual direction and priestly life. I am sure he will find great joy and fulfilment in his important role of helping the men here in the College discern and prepare for service as priests in Scotland.  As the community gets ready to welcome him, I would also like to thank Fr Mark Cassidy, our departing spiritual director, for his hard work, enthusiasm and positive contribution to our seminarians and to the College during his seven years here. Our prayers are with him as he returns to the Diocese of Dunkeld and I would like to thank Bishop Stephen Robson for his on-going support for the College.”

Fr Jim will begin his position in Rome this September after some time training in the USA and Salamanca.