Monsignor Thomas Wynne
It is with great regret that I inform you of the death of Monsignor Thomas Wynne during the night. May he rest in peace.
Father Tom was greatly loved by so many people. He ministered for an incredible 60 years in Oban, Rothesay, Kingussie, Oban, Arisaig and Roy Bridge – retiring at 86 years of age! Even then he still helped out in parishes until a few weeks ago. He was a great servant of our diocese of Argyll and the Isles.
Father Tom’s remains will be received into his home parish of St Mary’s, Fort William on Thursday 27th February and his Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Friday 28th at 11 am.
I offer my grateful thanks on behalf of the diocese to Monsignor Wynne’s nephew, Deacon Tom Wynne and his wife Sheena for the care which they, together with their wider family provided to him.
Tributes have been paid to one of Lochaber’s most well-loved clergymen, Monsignor Thomas Wynne, who died on Friday at the age of 89.
At the time of his death, Father Tom, as he was affectionately known to all, was staying with his nephew, Deacon Tom Wynne, and his wife Sheena, at their home in Fort William.
A native of the town, Father Tom had retired from the church in the June of 2017 on the same day he had celebrated 50 years in the priesthood.
He died in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, after a short illness. Bishop of the Diocese of Argyll, Brian McGee, had anointed him the evening before he died.
Bishop McGee told the Lochaber Times: ‘Mgr Thomas Wynne was an inspirational priest and a much-loved pastor with wonderful people skills and a formidable work ethic.
‘From the first time I met him, I was also lifted by his warmth and encouragement. Of course, I was far from the only person who benefited from his warm personality.
‘He touched countless lives all through our diocese. Father Tom served as a priest for 60 years – into his late 80s – and even after he retired he helped out in local parishes until a few weeks ago.
‘I offer my grateful thanks on behalf of the diocese to Deacon Tom Wynne and his wife Sheena for the care which they, together with their wider family, provided to him.’
Tribute was also paid by Bishop Joseph Toal, currently Bishop of Motherwell but formerly Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, whose home parish is St Margaret’s in Roy Bridge.
Bishop Toal said: ‘It was with great sadness that I heard of the death of Mgr Wynne; he was a great priest of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles, where he served his parishes with great fervour and dedication. He will be greatly missed.
‘I extend my deepest sympathy to the bishop and priests of the diocese as well as Mgr Wynne’s family who loved him dearly and the parishioners of my own home parish of St Margaret’s in Roy Bridge where he served in his latter days.’
The director of the Scottish Catholic media office, Peter Kearney, also paid his own tribute, describing Father Tom as the ‘quintessential’ Highland priest.
He was, said Mr Kearney, a ‘man of deep spiritual convictions, utterly embedded in the communities he served, so much a part of the traditions, history and culture of the West Highlands from a generation of gentle caring pastors who had time for everyone and never forgot a face’.
He added: ‘He grew up in Fort William and was at school with my dad and my uncles, all of whom spoke very fondly of him. The last time I met him after mass at St Margaret’s in Roy Bridge a few years ago, his interest in me and my family was humbling. May he rest in peace.’
Born Fort William in 1930, Father Tom attended St Mary’s Primary School in the town, followed by secondary schooling also in the town and then at the junior seminary of Blairs College near Aberdeen.
He attended the seminary of St Sulpice, in Paris, and continued his studies in Rome and was then ordained at St Mary’s, in Fort William, on June 15, 1957.
There followed parishes at St Columba’s Cathedral 1957-1965 in Oban; St Andrew’s, Rothesay 1965-66; Our Lady and St Columba, Kingussie 1966-1968; St Columba’s Cathedral 1968-1985; St Mary’s, Arisaig 1985-1996 and St Margaret’s, Roy Bridge, 1996-2017.
Interviewed in 2017 on the occasion of his retirement, Father Tom told the Lochaber Times: ‘I think I first told someone I wanted to be a priest when I was only about 10 or 11. I had served as an altar boy and there was nothing I wanted to be more than a priest.’
- A mass of thanksgiving for the repose of the soul of Mgr Thomas Wynne will take place from St Mary’s RC Church, Fort William, tomorrow (Friday February 28) at 11 am, followed by interment in Cille Choirill Cemetery.
Article by Obantimes