Archbishop Malcolm visited the Isle of Man on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord to bless and inaugurate the Holy Door at St Mary of the Isle in Douglas.
St Mary's is the mother church of the island and will be a focal point for pilgrimage during this Year of Mercy for Catholics on the Isle of Man. It was also the first time that Archbishop Malcolm had celebrated Mass at St Mary’s and he received a warm welcome. It was his first visit since the departure of Canon Philip Gillespie to the Beda College in Rome and his replacement by Monsignor John Devine. Last summer, on his first visit to the island, Archbishop Malcolm had presided over Mass at Castletown and Port Erin in the south and in Peel and Ramsey in the north.
The island is served by four priests. Father Leo Cooper in the south and Father Brian O’Mahony in the north, with Father Brian Dougherty and Monsignor Devine serving the three parishes in Douglas, Willaston and Onchan. Each Sunday morning Father Brian O’Mahoney makes a 30-mile round trip between Ramsey and Peel. This is the longest distance covered by any one priest in the Archdiocese to celebrate Mass.
Since his arrival last September Monsignor Devine says he has learned something new about the Isle of Man every day, including the fact that although the population of the island is approximately 85,000, geographically it is one-third of the land mass of the Archdiocese and, with a population boosted by people from the Philippines and Eastern Europe, you are as likely to meet people from the USA, South Africa, Uganda and Argentina at Sunday Mass.