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In memory of Father Hugh Purcell

Everyone at Castle Craig was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Father Hugh Purcell, who recently died suddenly at St John Vianney’s parish house in Gilmerton at the age of 62.

Father Hugh had a long relationship with Castle Craig; for many years he was our pastoral counsellor, helping many patients into recovery. He spoke openly of his addiction issues and our patients and staff loved his warmth, his spirit, and his down-to-earth nature.

An obituary can be read on the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh website, while some of the team at Castle Craig have said the comments below.

Father Hugh Purcell with members of the Castle Craig team
Father Hugh Purcell with members of the Castle Craig team Father Hugh Purcell with members of the Castle Craig team

Dr Margaret Ann McCann, CEO and Co-Founder of Castle Craig:

“We will greatly miss him and feel the loss of his joyful spirit and sense of humour. Despite the many demands upon him as a busy parish priest he carved out time to visit weekly at Castle Craig, for many years, in order to provide pastoral care to our patients, often travelling a considerable distance – so great was his dedicated commitment to those suffering from addiction and his enthusiasm to impart the Message of Recovery.”

“We will always be grateful for his kindness, compassion , generosity and unselfishness which marked him out in a singular manner.  We are grateful to have known him and Let Go with Love and gratitude to our Higher Power.”

“What You give, You take not away, for what is Yours is ours also if we are Yours.
“And life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon,
“and a horizon is nothing, save the limit of our sight.”

Guy Heath, Senior Staff Nurse at Castle Craig:

“Patients loved him. He could really talk their language, he was very down to earth, and committed to helping people as much as he could.”

Gordon Hogg, Therapist at Castle Craig:

“Father Hugh had a long relationship with Castle Craig and for many years was our pastoral counsellor. His warmth and passion for recovery and life would embrace you from the moment he came into your life. He was well loved by the patients and I am sure influential in their recoveries.

“I had the pleasure to be present when Hugh was ordained. It seems like yesterday, a joyful and happy day made even more poignant by the journey he had taken to get there. He was surrounded by all who loved him and his fellow priests in the Diocese.

“Father Hugh had a common touch which endeared him to all and he made himself available to any who crossed his path. He was full of sound wisdom, which he dispensed with little effort and lots of passion.

“His other passion in life – and indeed it was a passion – was for fishing. To be with Hugh when he was fly fishing was to be taken to another dimension. He tried to entice me into the joys of fly fishing at Threipmuir Reservoir up in the Pentland Hills one day with little success, however I did experience the joy it gave Hugh. He was generous with his catches and many an evening I enjoyed a lovely fresh brown trout that Hugh had caught and of course accompanied by the tale of its catching.

“I will miss you Father Hugh. Rest in peace.”

Father Hugh Purcell Card