Church mourns death of Canon John Angus MacDonald

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Argyll and the Isles has announced the sudden death of Canon John Angus MacDonald.

A native of South Uist, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Colin McPherson.

Canon MacDonald served the diocese in a number of parishes and the church nationally by teaching at the junior seminary at St Mary’s College, Blairs.

Father John Angus MacDonald, a native Gaelic speaker, served as a parish priest in Arisaig during the 1980s, then at St Mary’s Church in Fort William during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

During this time he served on the Crofters’ Commission in Inverness.

He moved from Fort William to Kingussie Parish around 2004/5, but due to poor health took early retirement soon after.

He retired to Killin in Perthshire to be near to family and friends, although he would make guest appearances to St Columba’s Cathedral in Oban for funeral services and ordinations.

He was present in Oban for the installation of Bishop Brian McGee, but was walking slowly and with the aid of a stick.

His death in his mid seventies came as a shock to many as he was a great scholar of the church and a keen linguist. He spoke several languages and was often called upon to assist foreign holidaymakers who had taken ill in the Fort William’s Belford Hospital, or appeared in court as a translator.

He also advised Highland and Island crofters and farmers on Scottish crofting law and always sought to be a reasonable arbitrator.

Parishioners in Fort William were told of his death at Sunday mass recently.