The Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate heart of Mary, shortened 'Spiritans' is a Roman Catholic Congregation of Priests, brothers and, since Vatican II, lay associates. It was founded on Pentecost Sunday in 1703 by a young French brilliant lawyer-turned-seminarian called Claude Poullart des Places. Under threat of suppression or extinction, it was revived about a hundred year later by another Francis, a Alsatian convert from Judaism called Fr Francis Libermann who merged his own Congregation of the Holy Heart of Mary with the original Spiritan Congregation, following the direction of the Holy See. The members of the Congregation today number over 4000 priests and brothers and countless Lay Associates working in over 65 countries of the world.
St Columba's was entrusted to the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in 2016 both priests were chosen to represent the Spiritans here.
Father Ambrose was born in the Plateau State of Nigeria in 1973, one of a set of triplets. Most of his early education was in schools run or founded by the Holy Ghost Missionaries.
His seminary formation all took place in Nigeria He was ordained in 2003 and worked for about 5 years in Ghana and then a short spell in Nigeria before coming to Scotland in 2012 - where he was posted to the Holy Ghost Fathers' house in Carfin.
In November 2016 the Spiritans or Holy Ghost Fathers took over St Columba's and he was re-assigned here. Since then he has enjoyed every minute of his time here ministering to our beloved parishioners. He loves basketball, badminton and scrabble.
We are very delighted to welcome Fr Thomas Wilberforce to St Columba's. He hails from Cape Coast in Ghana. He had his primary, secondary and Philosophical Education in Ghana, studied Theology in Spiritan International School of Theology (SIST) which is affiliated to University Of Nigeria and was awarded a Bachelor of Art (BA) in Religion.
He was ordained as a Priest in 1998 and in 1999 obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) at the University Of Cape Coast-Ghana. In 2006 he gained a Master of Education Degree from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and 2008/2009 he did a Formation Course in Loreto House, Dublin, Ireland and was awarded with a Certificate on Religious Formation Ministry.
Fr. Thomas has spent time in Sierra Leone, Ireland, Manchester, Chester, Stockport and Motherwell diocese. .
He is also one of the Chaplains of the Queen Elisabeth University Hospital. He speaks many languages and is a talented footballer. His hobbies also include swimming.