Photo: Very Rev Sheilagh Kesting

Very Rev Sheilagh Kesting

The Ecumenical Officer of the Church of Scotland, the Very Rev Dr Sheilagh Kesting, was invited by a fellow member of the Joint Commission on Doctrine, Rev Dr William McFadden, to visit the Pontifical Scots College in Rome in September during the Pastoral Week for students before their term begins.

Dr McFadden is a former Rector of Scotus College. Dr Kesting is to speak about ecumenism in Scotland and will give suggestions as to what the students can do ecumenically as priests. She will give an overview of the Church of Scotland, its General Assembly, presbyteries and kirk sessions.

The Pontifical Scots College, Rome, was founded on 5th December 1600 by Pope Clement VIII. It provided an education for young Scots Catholic men who, due to the laws against Catholics, could not receive a Catholic education at home.

During the centuries that followed, the college sent a steady supply of priests to Scotland, being closed only when the French invaded Rome in 1798 and again during the Second World War. For two hundred years, Jesuits and Italian secular clergy directed the College, but since 1800, the Rectors have all been Scots secular priests.