Bishop Joseph Toal
Mgr. Joseph Anthony Toal was born in Inverness on 13th October 1956.
He was the eldest child of Patrick and Mary Toal, and has five brothers and three sisters. He was brought up in the village of Roy Bridge in Lochaber, a member of St Margaret’s parish, and a pupil of Roy Bridge Primary School. He went to the National Junior Seminary at St. Vincent’s Langbank in 1968, and later to St. Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeen. He then spent six years, 1974-80, at the Royal Scots College in Valladolid, Spain, studying and gaining his S.T.B. at the Estudio Teológico Agustiniano. He was ordained a deacon in the college in 1979 and returned to Scotland to be ordained priest by Bishop Colin MacPherson in St. Columba’s Cathedral, Oban on 10th July 1980. Mgr. Toal’s first appointment was as assistant priest in St. Peter’s, Daliburgh, South Uist, where he spent three years before returning to Blairs College as a member of staff. On the closure of Blairs in 1986 he returned to his diocese and was parish priest in St. Michael’s, Ardkenneth, South Uist (1986 – 91), St Kieran’s Campbeltown (1991-93) and St. Mary’s Benbecula (1991-99). In 1999 he returned to Spain as Spiritual Director in the Royal Scots College, now in Salamanca, and after a year as vice-rector he was appointed rector of the college in 2005. On 16th October 2008, it was announced that Mgr. Toal had been nominated by Pope Benedict XVl as Bishop of Argyll & The Isles. He was ordained at St Columba’s Cathedral, Oban on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 2008. Many Barrafolk travelled to Oban for the event, some of them contributing the Diocesan Choir. Three representatives from Castlebay High School helped with the Ministry of Hospitality in the Cathedral and read at the Bishop’s Advent Mass on the day following his ordination. Bishop Toal was transferred to the Diocese of Motherwell on the 29th April 2014. He was installed as Bishop of Motherwell on 23rd June 2014.