SCIAF’s annual Advent Mass and lunch for its volunteers and staff is always a joyful event but there was additional cause for celebration this year. It was chosen by former Director and current Board member Duncan McLaren as the setting for his installation as a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. And there was more to come, as SCIAF marked the retirement of its former Bishop President, Bishop Emeritus Peter Moran, from the Board.
SCIAF staff and volunteers were joined by Board members, guests, and family and friends for Duncan’s installation. The award was in recognition of all the work which Duncan has done for the church in Scotland and throughout the world, including his work with SCIAF and Caritas Internationalis.
After being presented with the formal declaration and the very impressive cross of the Order on its scarlet ribbon, Duncan expressed thanks to all those who had helped him during his career, including Archbishop Emeritus Conti who had suggested him for the newly created post of Director at SCIAF, Bishop Emeritus Moran who had supported him and SCIAF through some turbulent times. He also thanked Frs. Ambrose and Dominic from his current parish of St Columba’s for their support.
Alistair Dutton then presented Bishop Moran with a painting to mark his retirement and expressed on behalf of all at SCIAF their deep gratitude and appreciation of his work as Bishop President helping SCIAF through what Alistair agreed had been a difficult time in its history. With characteristic modesty and humour, Bishop Peter said his job had amounted mainly to keeping in the background and smiling!