St John Ogilvie Pray for us

Lord, Let Glasgow Flourish by the preaching of Thy Word and the praising of Thy Name
MARCH 2015
St John Ogilvie
Pray for us
Today I read about the execution of those 21 Coptic Christians. Their only
words were: “Jesus, help me!” They were killed simply for the fact that they
were Christians. The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a
testimony which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they
be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their
blood confesses Christ. I ask that we encourage each other to go forward
with this ecumenism which is giving us strength, the ecumenism of blood.
The martyrs belong to all Christians.
Pope Francis during his 16 February audience with Rt Rev John Chalmers, Moderator of the General
Assembly of the Church of Scotland, decrying the beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya
MARCH 2015
Monday 2nd North Station
Mass, St Aloysius,
Springburn (7.30pm)
Tuesday 3rd North East
Station Mass, St Matthew’s,
Bishopbriggs (7.30pm)
Wednesday 4th North West
Station Mass (7.30pm)
Friday 6th World Day of
Monday 9th Choral Vespers
for the Feast of St John
Ogilvie, St Aloysius,
Garnethill (7.30pm)
Tuesday 10th National Mass
for 400th anniversary of
Martyrdom of St John
Ogilvie, St Andrew’s
Cathedral (7.30pm)
Wednesday 11th Mass of St
John Ogilvie, St Jude and St
John Ogilvie, Barlanark
Saturday 15th Mass for Irish
Community, St Andrew’s
Cathedral (11.30am)
Monday 16th South Station
Mass, Our Lady & Saint
George's, Penilee (7.30pm)
Tuesday 17th South East
Station Mass, St Margaret
Mary’s, Castlemilk (7.30pm)
Wednesday 18th West End
Station Mass, Our Lady of
Perpetual Succour, Broomhill
Sunday 29th Palm Sunday,
World Youth Day: National
event Our Lady of Good Aid
Cathedral, Motherwell
English Cardinal Pope’s
envoy for Ogilvie 400
Murphy O’Connor is to
represent Pope Francis
at the events in Glasgow
marking the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie.
As the Pope’s special envoy,
the retired Archbishop of
Westminster will officiate at
Vespers in St Aloysius’,
Garnethill, on Monday 9
March, and at the Feast Day
Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral,
the following evening.
Tartaglia, who had invited
Pope Francis to Glasgow for
the 400th anniversary of his
fellow Jesuit, welcomed the
Cardinal’s appointment as the
Pope’s envoy
The Archbishop, who will
preside at the Vespers and
Mass, said: “Cardinal Murphy
O’Connor’s presence and participation as the Papal envoy
will bring the Successor of
Peter closer to us and to the
people of Scotland.”
O’Connor, who will present
the Pope’s message at the celebrations, said: “I am particularly happy because I was in
Rome for the Saint’s canonisation in 1976 and took part in
the great celebration for the
Church in Scotland and indeed, the universal Church.”
Among other special guests
at both liturgies will be
Archbishop Emeritus of
Armagh, and Fr Dermot
Preston SJ, the British
Provincial of the Jesuits.
A number of Church of
Scotland ministers will take
part in the ecumenical
Vespers, along with Bishop
Gregor Duncan, Episcopal
Bishop of Glasgow and
Galloway, and other Christian
A son and daughter of John
Fagan, the Easterhouse man
whose cure from cancer paved
the way for John Ogilvie’s
canonisation, will also attend
the service in St Aloysius’ to
which all are welcome.
Parishioners from across the
Archdiocese of Glasgow and
Scotland’s other seven dioceses will gather for the Mass in
St Andrew’s Cathedral, along
with their bishops and around
70 priests.
Glasgow City Council will
be represented by the Lord
Provost at the Feast Day
Mass, and at Vespers by the
Leader of the Council.
On the feast of St John
Ogilvie two years ago,
Archbishop Tartaglia spoke of
the Scottish martyr as a witness to religious freedom –
Cardinal Murphy O’Connor
with Pope Francis
“the right relation of the state
to religious faith”.
He said: “Ogilvie was not
executed simply because he
was a Catholic priest heroically exercising a forbidden
ministry to a community who
were labouring under penal
conditions. For that he could
have been arrested, imprisoned and punished – but 17th
century Scotland was not so
lawless or heartless as to execute someone for that.
“John Ogilvie was condemned to death and executed
because he upheld the authority of the Roman pontiff in
spiritual matters over that of
the king. He was put to death
for the very old fashioned
crime of treason, but the treasonable act was to assert the
freedom of religious faith in
respect of the temporal
And looking forward to this
year’s 400th anniversary, the
Archbishop added: “I hope
that all Christians will be
united in acknowledging the
many real threats to religious
freedom and that we can work
together to uphold our right
not simply to worship freely
but to live our lives in faithfulness to God’s will.”
Catechumens sign Book of Elect
Pictures by Paul McSherry
THE eyes of the Church
are on you, and we are
all praying for you.
Sunday 1st March
St Andrew, Bearsden
St Benedict, Drumchapel
St Bernadette, Carntyne
St John of the Cross,
Turnbull Hall, Glasgow
Sunday 8th March
OL Good Counsel, Dennistoun
St Agnes, Lambhill
St Eunan, Clydebank
Sunday 15th March
St Joseph, Tollcross
St Joseph, Cumbernauld
St Maria Goretti, Cranhill
St Patrick, Anderston
Sunday 23rd March
St Leo, Dumbreck
St Mahew, Cardross
St Margaret, Clydebank
Sunday 29th March
St Anne, Dennistoun
That was the assurance
given to over 60 women and
men from parishes across the
Arcdiocese of Glasgow, as
they were accepted for the
Easter Sacraments.
On the First Sunday of Lent
they gathered in St Andrew’s
Cathedral where they were
welcomed by Mgr Paul
Conroy, Vicar general, standing in for Archbishop
The Rite of Election and
Call to Continued Conversion
allows all those preparing for
the Sacraments of initiation –
including those already baptised – to express their desire
“Lent belongs to you”, Mgr
Conroy told the catechumens
and candidates. “This is the
favourable time as your preparation reaches the high point
on your journey to baptism
and reception into full communion.”
Whole Church
praying for you
Reflecting the Gospel account of Jesus going into the
desert, Mgr Conroy invited
them to share that experience
and become aware of their
“utter dependence” on God.
“Jesus invites us to go with
him into the wilderness where
we are assured the angels will
look after us.”
The presence of Godparents, sponsors, priests,
family and members of parish
communities indicated the
support they have around
“The eyes of the Church are
on you, encouraging you, urging you on and accompanying
As their names were read
out, the catechumens came
forward with a Godparent and
signed the Book of the Elect –
expressing their desire for
After the enrolment of
names, those already baptised
and seeking to enter into the
full communion of the Church
presented themselves.
The Rite of Election begins
a period of intense preparation
for receiving the Sacraments
at Easter with stages on the
journey celebrated in parish
communities throughout Lent.
On Pentecost they will be
invited to return to the
Cathedral for the celebration
of Mass.
“Please God we will gather
Tartaglia to give thanks for the
grace of the Holy Spirit which
makes us all ambassadors of
Christ and heralds of the Good
News,” Mgr Conroy said.
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Moderator’s ‘real joy’ at
meeting with Francis
POPE FRANCIS has urged
Scotland’s Catholics and
Protestants to overcome
old prejudices by getting
to know one another better and exploring new
avenues for shared faith
And he praised the “outstanding saintly witnesses to
Christ from various confessions” who have shaped the
country’s “rich cultural and
historical traditions”.
The Pope’s uplifting remarks
were made as he welcomed Rt
Rev John Chalmers, Moderator
of the General Assembly of the
Church of Scotland, on a visit
to the Vatican.
Addressing the Moderator
as “Dear Brother”, Pope
Francis assured: “We are pilgrims and we journey alongside one another.
“We need to learn to have
sincere trust in our fellow pilgrims, putting aside all suspicion or mistrust, and turn our
gaze to what we are all seeking: the radiant peace of God’s
He stressed: “Faith and
Christian witness are presently
confronted by such great challenges that only by working
together will we be able effectively to serve the human family and enable the light of
Christ to reach every dark corner of our hearts and of our
Although speaking in
Italian, the Pope acknowledged that in many cases the
Church of Scotland and the
Catholic Church are able to
“speak with one voice” on issues which deeply affect the
Presenting a gift to Pope
Francis, Rt Rev John
Chalmers said: “We
continue to pray that God
will bless and use you
as God is so obviously
using you today.”
lives of all Christians.
“May the journey of reconciliation and peace between
our communities continue to
draw us closer, so that, we
may bring life to all, and bring
it in abundance,” Francis
The Moderator, who was
accompanied by his wife Liz
and Rev Alison McDonald,
the Kirk’s ecumenical relations convener, said it was “a
real joy” to bring the greetings
and prayers of the General
Assembly to Pope Francis.
Pointing out that relations
between the churches in
Scotland “have never been
more cordial and productive,”
Mr Chalmers added: “At local
level ministers and priests have
forged new friendships and
people’s attitudes have changed
as they have come to see in ‘the
other’, first a shared humanity
and then a shared faith.”
He told Pope Francis that
events, such as the joint service marking the 450th anniversary of the Reformation
in 2010, would have been unthinkable when he was
younger, but both churches
had travelled a long and significant ecumenical journey.
“It is now inconceivable
that we would commemorate
sensitive periods of our history without acknowledging
the pain of our separation,” he
“We know too that we are
living in a time when there is
more to be gained from drawing on each other’s understanding of the continual need
for the Church to be in a
process of reform, than drawing lines on the map of history
that we dare not cross.”
The whole of Scottish society had benefited, he said,
from the churches’ engagement in common witness and
Such transformation could
benefit the international arena
with the Catholic and
Reformed churches taking the
lead in “teaching tolerance”,
developing deeper inter-faith
dialogue and promoting “real
investment in the hard talk of
peace rather than the hardware
of war”.
Pope Francis nodded in
Moderator pointed out the
need to “free people from radicalisation, open doors of justice for the poor and the
powerless and awaken minds
to the gross inequalities that
blight the nations.”
Acknowledging the “difficult journey” which the
Catholic Church in Scotland
has travelled recently, Mr
Chalmers told the Pope: “It
would be a wonderful boost to
the morale of all people of
faith in Scotland if, soon, you
were able to make a pastoral
visit to a country that would
surely welcome you with open
The suggestion provoked a
wry smile from the Pope.
Glasgow Archdiocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage
17th – 24th July 2015
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Schoolchildren across the
archdiocese have expressed their
good wishes and prayers for
Archbishop Tartaglia with a
range of artistic ‘Get Well’ cards.
Among the schools sending their
greetings were Lourdes Primary,
Corpus Christi Primary and St
Helen’s primaries in Condorrat
and Bishopbriggs.
If the Archbishop is looking as
well as some of the pupils’
drawings, he’ll soon be back on
his feet.
Mass in Mandarin starts
St Gregory’s Jubilee
17 - 24 JULY 2015 | 7 NIGHTS
Get well soon!
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A Year of Jubilee has begun
at St Gregory’s, Wyndford, to
mark the 50th anniversary of
the founding of the parish.
The launch coincided with
the Chinese New Year and so
among the first events in the
Jubilee calendar was Mass
in Mandarin and Cantonese
reflecting the parish’s
longstanding welcome to the
expanding Chinese Catholic
community in Glasgow.
Fr Joseph Liang travelled
from London for the
celebrations which also
overlapped with Ash
With a full calendar of
events line up for the
Jubilee, Fr Allan Cameron,
St Gregory’s parish priest,
said: “Looking at the history
of the last 50 years there is a
great deal to celebrate.
“When Fr Brendan Murphy
was asked to create a new
parish to serve the people of
Wyndford, he and his coworkers laboured hard and
long to create something
Fr Cameron described the
Jubilee as a time of
liberation, consolation and
rejuvenation – and hopes the
year will shower abundant
graces on the parish which
is home to people from many
different countries for whom
Glasgow is now home.
Every case is considered by our
medical team.
A former pilgrim said: “Being part of
Glasgow pilgrimage is definitely one
of the best experiences of my life.”
If you want to benefit from the
experience of Lourdes please contact:
Mrs Agnes Findlay,
5 Crofthead Drive,
Lennoxtoun, G66 7HP
Tel: 01360 312676
Pilgrims will stay in the Accueil
Notre Dame under the care of the
Lourdes Hospitalite. Price is approx
£625 (inc taxes) pp for 7 nights full
Please note: Closing date for return
of applications is 25th March, 2015.
Price does not include insurance.
Terms and conditions apply.
Parents seek opt-out for St Joseph’s
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THE fight to keep a
Catholic school in Milngavie has taken another
twist, with parents exploring their options for
removing St Joseph’s
Primary from council
Last year, amid a spirited
campaign of opposition, East
Dunbartonshire council approved plans to merge St
Joseph’s with St Andrew’s
Primary in neighbouring
But parents are not giving
up the fight and have raised
the possibility that St Joseph’s
become the first communityled school in Scotland.
St Joseph’s parent council
vice-chair Helen Williams
said: “East Dunbartonshire
council has walked away from
its responsibilities to the
And the parent council’s
chair, Laureen McIntyre,
added: “Our children have the
right to a Catholic education
in their own community.
“If East Dunbartonshire
council is unwilling to provide
Catholic education in Milngavie then we as parents, as a
parish and as a community
seek support to do it ourselves.”
The matter was raised during First Minister’s Questions
in the Scottish Parliament and
Nicola Sturgeon said she
would be happy to meet with
parents of children at St
Joseph’s to hear their arguments for keeping the school
However, a Scottish government spokesperson said:
“The current governance
arrangements have served,
and continue to serve
Scotland’s schools well and
there are no plans to change
these or extend the current
number of grant-aided schools
funded by the Scottish government.”
In Scotland every mainstream state school is run by
the local council apart from
Jordanhill School in Glasgow,
which is funded directly by
the government but is seen as
an exceptional case.
The Milngavie parents, who
have been backed throughout
by parishioners of St Joseph’s
parish, have informed the
Archdiocese of Glasgow of
their plans.
A spokesperson for the
Archdiocese said: “The
Church fully supported the
parents in their efforts to
maintain Catholic schooling in
Milngavie and shared their
dismay at the decision to close
St Joseph’s.
“The idea of a communityled school is one which has
come from the parents themselves. The Church would not
comment on such a proposal
until all the implications had
been worked through.”
East Dunbartonshire council hope to open the new
school in Bearsden in 2017.
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Thursday 5th February
was a special day for St
Agatha’s Primary, Kirkintilloch, as it celebrated
its Feast Day in the
school’s 40th anniversary year.
Fr Paul Milarvie, parish
priest of St Flannan’s, joined
the St Agatha’s staff and
pupils for the celebration of
Mass at which parents, grand-
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also participated.
During the Mass, ten P6
pupils were enrolled in the
Pope Francis Faith Award
which encourages young boys
and girls to live out their faith
joyfully, through prayer and
good deeds at school, at home
and within the parish community.
Paul Manley, acting headteacher, said the feast day celebration was an important
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■ A Mass of Thanksgiving
to celebrate St Agatha’s
40th anniversary will take
place in St Flannan’s,
Kirkintilloch, on Monday 8
June at 7pm. Former
pupils, members of staff
and associated clergy are
all warmly invited to
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moment in the faith life of the
school community and was
heartened to see the Primary
Six youngsters signing up for
the Pope Francis Award.
The Feast Day Mass ended
with everyone joining in the
hymn to St Agatha – part of
the school’s identity over the
past 40 years.
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Faith cannot hide from cultural changes
Around 200 people
turned out on Saturday
14 February to hear
Fisichella deliver the
Cardinal Winning Lecture
as part of Catholic
Education Week.
The Rome-based president
of the Pontifical Council for
Evangelisation talked about
‘The Church in Contemporary
Society' and stressed the need
for Christians to make real difference within a rapidly
changing world by the steadfast witness of their lives.
“The true challenge the
Church must face is that of
taking seriously the lifestyle
of believers,” Archbishop
Fisichella stated. “If we live
like pagans, our preaching of
Jesus Christ crucified and
risen will be in vain.
“It is precisely the conviction and certainty of faith that
renders us witnesses to the
resurrection. This should force
us to examine our lifestyles
more closely.”
By Vincent Toal
Pointing out that faith, hope
and love are common to all
humanity, the Archbishop
borrowed from the insight of
St Augustine to ask what
makes Christians different
from pagans if their lifestyles
are much the same.
The lifestyle of the baptized
should express God’s unique
presence in the world and so
transform the culture and society in which we live.
“Firmly planted in the Word
of the Lord, we privilege
everything the world has rejected by considering it useless or of little practical
worth,” he said.
“The chronically ill, the
dying, the marginalized, the
disabled and everything else
that, in the eyes of the world,
has no hope and no future – all
this Christians take as their responsibility.
“Whenever Pope Francis
speaks of reaching out to the
‘existential margins’, he is
only reminding us of what
Christians have always done.”
The Archbishop added:
“Christianity has always been
at its best whenever it has
found men and women, young
people, adults, and elderly
ready to give their lives in witness to the goodness and truth
of what they believe. This
martyrdom, this supreme witness, is still necessary in our
own day.
“No one who has ever taken
seriously his or her baptism
and who carries the Christian
name with conviction can
think for a moment that martyrdom does not pertain to
“Today, in European countries that enshrine the values
of tolerance and freedom,
martyrdom, as we normally
think of it, may not be required. Nevertheless, we are
being subjected to new forms
of martyrdom – exclusion
from decision-making bodies,
scorn, belittlement and so
much more.”
Across Europe, including
Scotland, the task of confronting apathy and indifference towards the Christian
Picture by Paul McSherry
St Bride’s on song for 40th year
WHEN it opened in 1975,
St Bride’s Primary in
Govanhill served mainly
the children of the Irish
Since then, the school roll
has dropped from over 500 to
its present 335, but the diversity of backgrounds has mushroomed.
Today St Bride’s welcomes
pupils from over 19 different
nationalities – Polish, Indian,
Iranian, Italian, Turkish,
Filipino, Latvian, Afghan,
Malaysian, Libyan, Bulgarian,
American, English, Irish and
All appreciate the school’s
supportive environment and
the challenges which Catholic
education offers them.
This was evident at the
Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated in Holy Cross church to
mark the 40th anniversary.
Hymns were sung with gusto
and prayers offered with reverence.
Russell said: “St Bride’s was
officially opened on 17
January 1975 by the late Frank
McElhone MP in the presence
“The school’s patron saint
was chosen to serve the double purpose of drawing an
analogy between St Bride and
her devotion to the Cross and
the attachment of the school to
Holy Cross parish where to
this day, we still have a very
strong partnership, supported
by our chaplain Fr Neil
Fr Donnachie was joined on
the sanctuary by Fr John
Sweeney, his former assistant
at Holy Cross and chaplain to
the school.
Among the congregation,
which included former staff
and pupils, was Scotland’s
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
whose constituency covers the
Govanhill area, and Maureen
McKenna, executive director
for education in Glasgow.
faith – the continent’s ‘mother
tongue’ – needs to be met
through a renewed commitment to evangelisation.
“I am fully convinced that
we can still make progress insofar as we are able to hand on
a range of values that clearly
express, to varying degrees,
our two-millennial history,”
Archbishop Fisichella attested. “This hope is not a
vague feeling, but a conviction born of faith.”
The momentous cultural
changes being experienced
today pose challenges from
which faith cannot hide, but
must confront.
“On the table is the very
concept of human life and its
future,” he said. “Contrasting
worldviews clash with one another in ways anything but
civil under the form of fundamentalism and violence.
“Individual lives are losing
a sense of relatedness to others and tend to close themselves off in a cage, living
merely according to one’s desires and rights.”
More broadly, defence of
human life, especially at its
weakest and most vulnerable
is now considered a legacy of
the past and, when it is no
The moment
everything in our
faith becomes
obvious, repetitive
or old-fashioned is
the moment we are
no longer being
faithful to Christ’s
—Archbishop Rino
longer effective and productive, is marginalized to a “grey
zone of indifference”.
It is within this ‘dying’ culture that the “radical newness”
of the Christian message
needs to break through.
“The resurrection is the centrepiece of our message,” the
Archbishop summed up.
“The moment everything in
our faith becomes obvious,
repetitive, or – even worse –
narrow, old-fashioned, and
routine, is the moment we can
be sure we are no longer being
faithful to Christ’s command.”
In today’s radically changed
climate, Catholics need to rethink the necessities of faith
that make them responsible to
And the thought of being
challenged in such a decisive
task should “fill the hearts of
believers with joy” not depress them.
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Towering achievements alongside destruction
Alistair Dutton, Director of SCIAF, reports on his
mid-February visit to Malawi
I have just returned from
Malawi where I saw just how
much damage the extreme
rains and flooding have
caused this year and the good
work Caritas is doing.
When I cycled around the
world I came face to face with
people suffering from hunger
and poverty. That’s why I’m
supporting SCIAF’s WEE BOX
Lent appeal. The money raised
will help women farmers in
some of the world’s poorest
countries, to grow more food,
provide for the family, and
have a brighter future.
Mark Beaumont
I had the privilege to be there with
Archbishop Leo Cushley and
SCIAF’s board member, Professor
Mike Mannion.
Driving into the area which had
been flooded we were immediately
struck by the flat, bare soil left by
the water after all the plants had
been washed away.
Grace Bonalli told us that her
field had been planted and washed
away three times, and she had lost
her entire crops for the year. Now
she will have to find casual work to
make ends meet until the next harvest in March 2016.
Elsewhere, we saw field after
field of maize that was stunted and
yellowing. The floods had waterlogged the land and killed the plants,
and now they are slowly rotting
where they stood.
We also met Elinet Buleki whose
house dissolved in the rains and collapsed. Now it is rubble, no more
than a foot high. His son was inside
at the time and was lucky not to be
badly hurt.
SCIAF’s partner, Raymond
Chimsale told how the mud left in
some places was so high that you
could step onto the roofs.
So far, the floods have claimed
the lives of 164 people and 153 are
still missing. About 121,000 people
are homeless and over 630,000 have
seen their crops destroyed or livestock lost. Those displaced urgently
need help.
SCIAF has given £20,000 to
Much to learn from African faith witness
MONTFORT STIMA is a native of
Blantyre in Malawi. Just over a year
ago he was ordained the first
native-African bishop of Mangochi
On Ash Wednesday, we offered
Holy Mass together in his cathedral.
The overflowing congregation – the
fourth of the day – cheered
enthusiastically when I informed
them that I was baptised in “the
other Blantyre” in Scotland.
Blantyre is where my Granma
Kane lived. It was she who regularly
took us to visit the David
Livingstone Memorial, imbuing me
with stories of the brave local boy
leaving Lanarkshire for the ‘Dark
Continent’ to fight lions, sail up the
Zambezi and hunt for the source of
the Nile.
As it happens, Livingstone’s
arrival in Malawi in the 1850s did
two things. It hastened the end of
slavery and the birth of Christianity
in this small African country.
While the 19th and 20th century
saw Europe introduce the Gospel of
Jesus Christ to Africa, it is now we
Europeans who can learn much from
Africans in the 21st century. Let me
Kizito is a name you hear all
across Malawi and, indeed, Africa.
Archbishop Cushley chats
with Bishop Stima
By Archbishop
Leo Cushley
Saint Kizito was a 14-year-old boy
who was burned alive in 1886 by
King Mwanga II of Buganda. In 1964
Kizito was canonised along with 21
other Catholic martyrs of Uganda.
These were people who were
martyred because they would rather
be killed than co-operate with evil.
What urged them on was their
love of Jesus Christ.
African men are so very proud to
tell you that their name is Kizito.
Similarly women who are called
Bakhita after Saint Josephine
Bakhita, the Sudanese-born slave
who became a religious sister and
was canonised by Pope Saint John
Paul II in 2000.
The Catholics of Africa are very
passionate about their faith. Many
of them seriously pursue holiness
often amid poverty, hardship and
In contrast, we Catholics of
Europe have perhaps, sometimes
become a bit tired amid an
abundance of material plenty.
The fact that the Church in Africa
is new is written all over it. They
have an enthusiasm to know and
love Jesus Christ.
This manifests itself in so many
ways: an impressive reverence for
the Holy Eucharist, a fruitful
abundance of vocations to the
priesthood and large numbers of
conversions to Catholicism each
We are an old church. My
archdiocese dates from the 12th
century. However, that should not
necessitate fatigue as regards the
things of God.
A life spent in union with Jesus
Christ keeps the soul ever youthful.
That’s as true for nations and
continents as it is for individuals.
Africa is witness to that. We in
Europe should take note.
So the suggestion that Africa can
catechise Europe in the Catholic
faith should not be too shocking.
Throughout the history of our
continent, it has always been the
way that one church plants the seed
in a foreign land only to be later reevangelised by the very people they
once converted.
Even during this week-long visit
to Malawi, I happened upon two
dynamic young African priests – Fr
Matthew and Fr Israel – who had
both supplied in parishes in Stirling
within the Archdiocese of St
Andrews & Edinburgh.
They are perhaps the first in a
wave of African and Asian priests
and sisters who will come to teach
us about the faith we first taught
This Lent, please do give
generously to SCIAF’s Wee Box
campaign. I’ve seen at first hand the
vastly increased harvests that their
agricultural projects can generate
for impoverished women farmers.
Even greater than that, though,
your Lenten almsgiving – along with
prayer and fasting – will help to
plant the seed for the continued
growth of the Church in Africa and
the re-evangelisation of Europe.
Mike Manion, Leo Cushley and Alistair Dutton
with Medalo, Mary and Kevin Jackson
Caritas Malawi’s appeal which will
provide mosquito nets, temporary
shelters, cooking pots, plates, cutlery, buckets, soap, and other hygiene items.
Originally we were going to visit
SCIAF’s long term projects in the
dioceses of Dedza and Mangochi.
These help people to grow up to five
times more food and earn an income
so they can support themselves and
their families.
Government, the projects also help
communities manage their water
during the dry season and adapt the
way they farm so they can cope better with the increasingly unpredictable weather brought on climate
During our visit we met many of
the farmers SCIAF has been helping. One of these was Mary
Jackson, who is the face of our
WEE BOX appeal this year.
Mary told us about the ways she
has improved her farming and
proudly presented her maize field
that clearly showed how much she
had achieved.
While her maize towered above
her, green and lush, and was starting
to mature well, with fat cobs of corn
developing nicely, her neighbour’s
was stunted, less than knee high,
and yellowing.
Mary also told us how she had
been able to sell the surplus she
grew last year and used the proceeds
“I can’t imagine what it must
be like to have to send your kids
to bed hungry every night – but
for millions of mothers around
the world, that’s a daily reality.
This Lent, I’m giving up alcohol
so that SCIAF can help women
farmers in Africa grow enough
food to feed their families.
Libby McArthur
to buy a bucket, school uniforms
and a couple of bikes. Now her girls
can cycle to school in 15 minutes,
rather than the hour’s walk each
way they had before.
Malawi is still extremely poor
with over 65% of the people living
below the poverty line. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture – 90% of export earnings
coming from farming and 94% of
the rural population grow their own
food to survive.
It was inspiring to see how easily
people can improve their lives and
how much more resilient they can
be with the help of relatively small
and simple changes in the way they
do things.
In and amongst all this, it was
humbling to see the warmth, joy and
hope with which they live their lives
and don’t dwell on the hardships
they face.
Providing the right support to
women farmers can help to
transform many lives. By giving
small-scale women farmers good
seeds and training, developing
countries could grow around
30% more food. This alone
would lift a staggering 150
million people out of extreme
Mary Jackson is a great example
of how this can be done.
This work is only possible
because of your support.
“By giving something up this
Lent and donating the money you
save to SCIAF, you can make
such a difference to people’s
lives. I’m going to be giving up
wasting food to raise money
because no one should have to
settle for a life of poverty and
Deirdrie Davis
John Ogilvie – a martyr’s life
John Ogilvie’s life was short, and yet his
tale of bravery, courage, selflessness and
steadfast faith has endured for 400 years.
A Jesuit priest, he was executed in Glasgow for
refusing to denounce Catholicism and to accept that
the King (James VI of Scotland and I of England)
had supreme authority in all matters spiritual as well
as civil.
Ogilvie was no traitor to his nation. He declared
his loyalty to his King on countless occasions, but
made clear he was dying “for religion alone” –
adding, “for that I am prepared to give even a hundred lives”.
His trial, following unspeakable torture, beatings,
starvation and sleep deprivation, and his subsequent
execution, saw him recognised by the Church as a
John was born into a well-connected family in
1579. His father was Walter Ogilvie, baron of
Drum-na-Keith, whose grandfather, James, had
been treasurer to Mary Queen of Scots.
The 16th century was marked across Europe by
the Reformation which tore at the heart of the
Church, causing division, discord and destruction
of life. In Scotland, Patrick Hamilton –an early advocate of Luther’s reforms – was burned as a
heretic in St Andrews in 1528. Others suffered similar fate before the reformers, then led by John
Knox, succeeded in establishing the Reformation
Parliament in 1560 which heralded the arrival of
Calvinism and with it a purge of the ‘auld kirk’.
The saying of Mass was outlawed, priests banished and anyone suspected of being a ‘papist’
could be thrown into prison. And, yet, brave souls
were still prepared to risk danger, imprisonment and
death to practise their faith.
Although some of the nobility retained Catholic
leanings, few were willing to show them for fear of
losing their lands, their wealth and their status. So,
John Ogilvie was brought up a Calvinist, even
though his mother Agnes Elphinstone (who died
when he was three) had a brother who was a Jesuit
Despite a climate of fear and suspicion, in a
Europe beset by power struggles, Walter Ogilvie
enabled his eldest son to leave home in 1592, aged
13, to further his education and broaden his experience of life. By so doing, he would be better
equipped to play a prominent role in Scottish affairs.
Young John travelled widely and studied in
France, Germany and Italy, listened to scholars both
Calvinist and Catholic discussing religion.
Inspired by what he’d heard, in 1596, at the age
of 17, while a student at the Scots College of Douai,
France, he converted to Catholicism.
Having embraced the faith, John Ogilvie wanted
to become a priest and sought to be admitted to the
Society of Jesus. He did so in 1599, while based in
Glasgow Tolbooth in early 1600s
Brno, Moravia (today’s Czech Republic). He made
his first vows in Graz, Austria, where he stayed
until 1606. He then spent time teaching in Vienna,
before resuming his studies at Olmutz, Moravia.
In 1610, the Jesuit General sent John Ogilvie to
Paris, in the company of his uncle Fr George
En route back to Scotland
disguised as horse trader
Elphinstone, and it was there that he was ordained
priest. He was appointed confessor to the students
at Rouen, north-west France, where priests exiled
from Scotland informed him of the trials endured
by fellow Catholics in his homeland.
Galvanised by these accounts, he pressed his superiors to allow him to work on the Scottish mission. Twice he was refused, but his persistence
eventually paid off.
Although there had been Jesuits ministering in
Scotland since the 1540s, by the early 1600s that
phase of mission was drawing to an end. At the
same time, in the wake of the Gunpowder Plot, rumour of Catholic collusion with Spain had reached
a frenzy.
The Oath of Allegiance of 1606 defined as treason the refusal to recognise the monarch’s supremacy over the pope in spiritual as well as
temporal matters. Catholics refusing to take the oath
were threatened with fines, eviction, banishment or
This was the hostile atmosphere which awaited
Fr John Ogilvie as he set sail from mainland Europe
in the autumn of 1613, accompanied by fellow
Jesuit, James Moffat, and Capuchin Friar, John
Travelling as ‘John Watson’, (the surname meaning ‘son of Walter’ – his father’s name), Ogilvie
took on the guise of a soldier returning from war
looking to turn to horse dealing. On landing at
Leith, he split up from his companions and headed
for his native north-east, where Catholics still enjoyed the favour of Gordon, Earl of Huntly.
Although there is no record of him having contact
with his family, a subsequent mission to London,
where he is supposed to have had discussions with
King James, may have been arranged through his
father who was a close confidant of the monarch.
The purpose of his stay at the royal court remains
a mystery, but is likely to have been an attempt to
build bridges and secure some freedoms for the
Catholic faithful while giving assurances of loyalty.
By June 1614, however, he was back in Scotland,
resuming his covert pastoral work, going between
Edinburgh, Glasgow and Renfrewshire.
In Edinburgh, he was welcomed by William
Sinclair, a young advocate, who risked his life and
later was banished for sheltering priests. Fr Ogilvie
demonstrated his own boldness by infiltrating
Edinburgh Castle to bring spiritual comfort to fellow Catholics being held prisoner on account of
their faith.
Around this time, John Ogilvie wrote a letter to
Father Claud Aquaviva, the Jesuit General in Rome.
“The harvest here is very great, the labourers are
very few,” he informed. “One of them, Fr Andrew
Crichton, the bearer of this letter, long in chains for
the faith, is leaving the country so as not to fall
again into the hands of the enemy.
“In my own country I am known to nobody, and
am engaged day and night in more work than I can
cope with in any day. I, thanks be to God, do whatever I wish freely during the day in the open streets,
and by night, free of all suspicion, I go about the
duties of my vocation…”
But that freedom was soon to end.
While on a mission in Glasgow – where he said
Mass in the house of Margaret Walker and reconciled a number of penitents – he was betrayed by a
spy who reported him to John Spottiswoode, the
Protestant Archbishop of Glasgow, who had a reputation for ruthless ambition and was eager to curry
favour with the king.
On 14 October 1614, John was arrested and imprisoned. In the weeks that followed, he was subjected to beatings, torture and sleep deprivation –
but he met it all with equanimity, humour and
courage. He even engaged in religious arguments
with ministers.
Subjected to
He was moved to Edinburgh for further investigation by the Privy Council and ordered to be subjected to the torture of the ‘vigil’, designed to elicit
information or confessions of wrongdoing.
The prisoner was kept awake by being punched,
thrown to the stone floor, and pierced by sharp instruments. This went on for eight days and nine
nights, until a doctor pronounced that he was within
hours of death.
Through it all this, Ogilvie refused to disclose the
names of Catholics to whom he had been ministering. He was taken back to Glasgow, where for
weeks he was shackled to a heavy iron, unable to
sit up without help.
In a letter smuggled out of prison, he wrote: “I lie
burdened with an iron weight of 200lb, awaiting
death unless I accept what is offered with the
King’s clemency; that is, a rich provostry and abjure the faith.”
King James intervened directly to draft a list of
five questions, all designed to force the priest into
accepting, or rejecting, the “divine right” of the king
in all matters, spiritual and temporal.
On 10 March 1615, John Ogilvie was put on trial
for treason, at the Tolbooth in Glasgow. Facing the
charges, he declared that he would “die in defence
of the King’s civil authority, but he could not obey
him on spiritual matters”.
Two hours into the trial, the jury found him
guilty, and he was condemned to be hanged that afternoon. While the jury went for lunch, the condemned priest spent three hours in prayer.
As he was escorted to the public square for execution, John Ogilvie grasped his rosary bearing the
cross of the crucified Christ. He mounted the scaffold and prayed briefly.
Throwing his rosary into the crowd, it struck the
breast of a Hungarian merchant visiting the city,
and became the instrument of his conversion.
The hangman tied the priest’s hands, led him up
the ladder and pushed him off.
The crowd murmured against the injustice of the
execution, and instead of the body being quartered,
it was spirited away to be buried on the outskirts of
In the years after his death, John Ogilvie was already revered as a martyr. Spurred on by his example, students at the Scots College in Rome took the
‘mission oath’ – vowing to return to minister in
Scotland rather than opting for an easier life on the
Devotion to St
AT various challenging times in my
life I have prayed to St John Ogilvie
for the grace, courage and strength
to face those trying circumstances
in the way he did in his life.
Why St John Ogilvie? Because of
the witness of his life in the way he:
• put God first before riches, status
and prestige;
• followed his conscience and
fulfilled God's plan for him;
• loved Scotland and wanted to
minister to the people;
• was courageous in professing
God's supremacy;
• persevered in the face of powerful
• believed that God was his judge
not man;
• reached out to others with
kindness and compassion;
• witnessed to God’s joy and peace
whatever the circumstance.
John Ogilvie was such a witness.
He didn’t seek to condemn or
judge others but his witness was
such that they condemned
themselves by their treatment of
Miracle man of Easterhouse
JOHN FAGAN had reconciled
himself to dying. After seven
weeks of dreadful pain, alternating with periods of drifting
semi-consciousness brought
on by twice-daily doses of morphine, he accepted the end had
Doctors had long since given up
hope. He had cancer for nearly two
years – cancer of the stomach penetrating to the colon.
On the afternoon of Saturday 4
Macdonald had told Mrs Mary Fagan
her husband wouldn’t survive the
John had been unable to eat anything for the past seven weeks and
now his stomach was succumbing
completely to the cancer.
The weekend dragged on with
Mary keeping vigil at her husband’s
bedside in their Easterhouse home.
She prayed, as other members of
Blessed John Ogilvie parish had
prayed for months, that her husband
would receive a miraculous cure
through the Scottish martyr’s intercession.
At 6 o’clock on the Monday morning, Mary could detect little sign of
life in her husband who was propped
up on pillows with bones protruding
from his skin.
Three hours later, she was startled
to hear John call her name. “Mary,
I’m hungry,” he told her.
Soon after, Dr Macdonald came to
the door and asked: “Is he gone?”
When told Mr Fagan was not only
alive but eating a boiled egg, he was
visibly shaken.
A little later, he told Mary: “I’m
not your religion, but if you told me
right now your husband had been to
Lourdes, I would say this was definitely a miracle.”
In all the excitement, it was only
then Mary realised that this was what
had happened.
John went on to make a full recovery and after nine years of exhaustive
investigation, the Vatican accepted
that the cure was miraculous and was
brought about through the intercession of Blessed John Ogilvie.
John and Mary Fagan, along with
some 50 fellow parishioners from
Easterhouse, were among the hundreds of Scottish pilgrims who trav-
John Fagan and wife Mary with
Fr Thomas Reilly in the then Blessed
John Ogilvie church, Easterhouse
elled to Rome for the canonisation of
St John Ogilvie on 17 October 1976.
While Mary died three years later,
John lived on until September 1993 –
over 26 years after his miracle cure.
Play brings troubled
period to life
Choirs tune up
A play honouring the life and witness of St John
Ogilvie is being staged across Glasgow and beyond as part of the 400th anniversary commemoration of his martyrdom.
t John Ogilvie
The more I reflect on it, the more I
see just how much it mirrors the
life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
John Ogilvie’s life was such a
witness to Jesus’ life and it took
place here in Scotland, in Glasgow.
I believe sincerely that the whole
of Scotland should be proud of this
man's courage and dedication and it
should be an example and
inspiration to us all.
I for one will certainly continue to
seek his intercession.
■ A Glasgow parishioner
Prayer to St John Ogilvie
Dear St John Ogilvie
By your devotion to Christ
You held fast to faith, even unto
With the Grace of God,
May I have a loving heart.
In the midst of trials, may I, like
‘Be of good cheer’
And trust in the love of God.
Please hear my prayer.....
JESUIT school choirs from all over the UK are
coming together to mark the 400th
anniversary of the martyrdom of St John
Ogilvie with two special performances which
will include a brand new piece by Scottish
composer James MacMillan.
The much anticipated Ogilvie 400
celebrations will include two performances by
the massed Jesuit school choirs in St Aloysius
Church over the weekend of Saturday 7 and
Sunday 8 March.
On the Saturday, senior students from five
Jesuit schools will perform Mozart’s Vespere
Solennes di Domenica.
On Sunday, pupils from six junior schools
will add their voices in the celebration of Mass
at 10.30am.
The music will include a setting dedicated
to St Aloysius’ Gonzaga SJ, as well as the Ave
Verum by James MacMillan, which has been
specially commissioned to mark the
As well as St Aloysius, the Jesuit schools
include Stonyhurst, Lancashire, Mount St
Mary’s, Sheffield, St John’s Beaumont,
Berkshire and Wimbledon and St Ignatius
Colleges, London.
400th Anniversary Novena to St John Ogilvie
St Jude’s and St John Ogilvie’s
159 Pendeen Road, Glasgow, G33 4SH
Monday 2nd March
7pm “Martyrdom in the
Canon Robert Hill
Tuesday 3rd March
7pm “Young Catholics &
Evangelisation in Scotland
Dr Suzanne Bunniss
Wednesday 4th March
7pm “Catholics in
Scotland after St John
Rev Michael Briody
Thursday 5th March
7pm “The New
Evangelisation and the
Catholic School”
Dr Leonard Franchi
Friday 6th March
7pm “The Reformation &
The Catholic Church at
the Time of St John
Archbishop Mario Conti
Monday 9th March
7pm “Catholics Suffering
for the Faith”
Mgr Peter Magee
Tuesday 10th March
9.30am Mass & Novena
Wednesday 11th March
7pm Parish Feast Day
Each Weekday there is
Mass & Novena Prayers at
St Jude’s and St John
Ogilvie’s is a Jubilee
Parish in 2015
Written and directed by Stephen Callaghan, director of the
Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project, it depicts the Jesuits
priest’s final months after his arrival in Scotland disguised as
a horse trader.
Mr Callaghan said:
“Although there is some
poetic licence, the play attempts to give a snapshot
of this period in Scottish
history and an insight into
the lives of ordinary people who kept their faith
alive during difficult
This is a reworked version of the Ogilvie story
which had a successful
Lentfest 2012.
“As this year marks the
400th anniversary of the
martyr’s death, we’ve
been encouraged to take it on the road again – and this time
going out to venues beyond the archdiocese,” said Mr
Callaghan, who also plays the part of Ogilvie in the lively
stage performance.
Dates and venues:
Thursday 12th & Friday 13th March, Scottish Youth Theatre,
105 Brunswick St, Glasgow
Saturday 14th, Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral hall, Motherwell
Sunday 15th (2pm), Holy Cross hall, Croy
Wednesday 18th, Our Lady and St George's hall, Penilee
Friday 20th, St Gregory’s hall, Wyndford
Saturday 21st, St Mirin's Cathedral hall, Paisley
Sunday 22nd, St Margaret Mary's hall, Castlemilk
Wednesday 25th, St Joseph's hall, Cumbernauld
Friday 27th, St Stephen's hall, Dalmuir
Saturday 28th, St Ninian Institute, Dundee
All performances at 7.30pm, unless otherwise stated.
Tickets: 0141- 554 1333 or email:
Bucket bounty
Upper Floor
De Courcy’s Arcade
Cresswell Lane
Glasgow G12 8AA
DIGGING deep, parishioners of Immaculate
Conception have rallied to help three local
children make a trip to Lourdes in Easter
Week with the HCPT.
Invited to contribute to a bucket
collection after Mass on Sunday 8
February, they proved unstinting – raising
almost £1000.
When this was added to a similar sum
raised through St Blane’s Primary school,
it proved enough to cover the costs of the
three youngsters.
Fr Jim Lawlor, parish
priest of Immaculate
Conception, said: “People’s
generosity and goodwill is
a response to a great
tragedy which affected our
parish last November.
“Originally, we were
Promoting Scottish creativity
fundraising to send our
young parishioner Sophie
Brannan to Lourdes, but
she was knocked down
and killed.
“We invited her brother,
Graham, in her place,
along with another two
Opening times
Sunday 12–5pm
Closed Mondays
Shop handmade this Spring
A unique range of Scottish arts & crafts
Handmade gifts and cards for Mother’s Day & Easter
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Sophie Brannan
Facing terminal illness –
AFTER a nearly 30-year
career as a journalist in
Washington, DC, and
Rome, Sister Mary Ann
Walsh has returned to
the Sisters of Mercy’s
convent in Albany, New
York, to live out her final
days with metastatic
breast cancer.
There her sisters lift her up
daily in prayer and in practical
ways. They vie to push her
wheelchair into the chapel for
morning Mass and to the dining room, including a 90-yearold sister who says she was
picked by the convent’s staff
nurse for this duty.
One sister brings Sister
Mary Ann toast in the morning, when her appetite is
weak. Others make her bed,
do her laundry and help her
with personal care.
“Mercy has jumped in from
Classical concert
SCOTTISH classical singer Martin
Aelred is giving a charity fundraising
concert in aid of Let the Children Live
at St Andrews church, Bearsden, on
Sunday 22 March at 7pm.
Organised by the parish’s Justice & Peace
group, the concert aims to raise essential funds
as well as awareness of children living on the
street in the shanty towns of Colombia.
With a classical repertoire from Cavalleria
Rusticana, Turandot, Don Giovanni and
Rigoletto through to film soundtracks such as
Titanic, Braveheart and Gladiator, Martin
Aelred has entertained audience across
Scotland and well beyond, lending his talent
to support many good causes.
Tickets priced £5 will be available on the
door; refreshments after the concert.
By Maria Gilmore
every corner to help me, in
ways both large and small,”
she said softly. “I want for
Sister Mary Ann, who is 67,
was first diagnosed with
breast cancer in 2010. At the
time, she was serving as director of media relations for
the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops in Washington and had already made a
Hospice ceilidh
■ A reel mix of Scots and Irish music can
be enjoyed at the Celtic Ceilidh Dinner &
Dance in aid of St Margaret of Scotland
Hospice on Friday 20 March at Oran Mor,
Byres Road.
The festivities begin with a sparkling
reception, followed by three course meal
and then some lively dancing to work it all
Sister Rita, chief executive of St
Margaret’s said: “We are always very
grateful for the support we receive and
shall be delighted to hear from people who
would enjoy a night out in stunning
surroundings, with lovely meal, great
music and dancing.”
Tickets are £35 and £10 for those who
just wish to come for the dancing after
10pm. Contact 0141 435 7018 or
Fertility Care – free and
“The good news is that my twin girls were safely
delivered in March and are now doing really well. I
just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you for
the help and encouragement you gave me through
what was a difficult time. I think the service you
provide is terrific and I'm sure lots of others will
continue to benefit in the way I did”.
That is just one of the
‘Thank-you’ messages received by Fertility Care
Scotland which helps couples
achieve pregnancy using The
Billings Ovulation Method.
This natural fertility regulation method is not as yet available in the NHS, however
teaching is provided free in
various Scottish centres some
of which are based in NHS
Millions of women around
the world use the Billings
Ovulation Method to either
achieve or avoid pregnancy
and to monitor and safeguard
their reproductive health.
It is particularly useful in
helping sub-fertile couples
conceive the child they long
“We would encourage couples experiencing difficulty in
conceiving where unexplained
infertility has been diagnosed,
to contact us, including those
waiting for IVF treatment, as
many pregnancies may be
achieved during the waiting
time,” Lucille McQuade, administrator at FCS.
Fertility Care Scotland runs
eight clinics per month, in various locations throughout
Scotland including two at the
Southern General Hospital,
Glasgow. The charity has 26
fully-trained and accredited
teachers, including medical
and nursing staff.
Free and confidential teaching and follow-up support is
available on an appointment
basis. Each consultation usually takes between 30 minutes
to one hour, depending on the
client’s needs.
The charity is running a
four-day teacher training
course from 16-19 April, offering an opportunity for interested persons, including
previous and current users of
the Billings method and health
professionals to become accredited teachers.
For further information
contact Lucille McQuade at
Fertility Care Scotland on
0141-352 7930, or email
Plan Your Family
Naturally –
The Healthy
To successfully achieve
or avoid pregnancy
contact Fertility Care Scotland
0141 352 7930
Teachers in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow
mercy jumps in from every corner
name for herself as one of the
era’s preeminent Catholic
Sisters of Mercy and other
sisters cared for her and companioned her in prayer as she
underwent a mastectomy.
In a 2012 blog post, Sister
Mary Ann wrote: “Nuns surrounded me. They helped run
my life when I couldn’t run
my own. They prayed with
and for me, cooked meals, accompanied me to appointments
dreamed I’d need.”
Then last July, before taking
up a new post with the Jesuit
weekly magazine America,
Sister Mary Ann had her annual check-up. Tests showed
that breast cancer had not only
returned, but that it had also
spread to her brain, bones and
Before leaving Maryland
for her new home in Albany,
New York, she received the
sacrament of the sick.
This “underutilized sacrament,” she wrote in her blog,
“immersed me in the love of
the Church, a profound experience that drove home the
fact that as part of the
Christian community, I do not
stand alone when facing trou-
on her writing, working about
half of each day. She reads all
sorts of news pages and blogs,
doing her own research.
Prayer and the Scripture are
her other faithful companions.
When she awakens these
days at 3am, she finds herself
turning to traditional prayers
like the Memorare.
Sr Mary Ann with a prayer
shawl gifted to her in her
illness by a well-wisher
Nazareth House, Glasgow, (owned by the Sisters of Nazareth) is a sixty-five
capacity care accommodation, staffed by dedicated professionals to
achieve consistent and personalised care standards for patients with
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bled times.”
Sister Mary Ann had been
attracted to the Sisters of
Mercy’s fourth vow of service
as a high school student serving others through volunteer
work with the Legion of
Receiving mercy instead of
giving it “is very hard,” she reflected. “I feel undeserving. I
don’t think I’ve ever been as
good to people as they have
been to me these past few
months. But they assure me
that I have!”
Her experience of cancer “is
like a living wake,” she said.
“You get letters from people
telling you all that you did and
you had no idea. ‘You helped
us with our marriage. You
helped us with our adoption.
My husband was sick with depression and you were there
for us.’ And I wonder, ‘When
did I do all that?’ It’s humbling.”
She adds: “Here’s how you
get through this thing: A few
people do a lot and a lot do a
little. And they make you feel
like you've honoured them by
letting them.”
That kind of support has enabled Sr Mary Ann to focus
It’s a prayer she has always
loved and sent to family members when they were sick.
Now she is the one who needs
the sustenance provided by
these evocative words.
The Scriptures have also
taken on new meaning for her.
“At a time like this, you see
things in the Scriptures in a
whole new way, you hear
things differently. Maybe part
of it is having time to listen.”
And praying the rosary also
gives her comfort – it became
a habit while driving to work
in Washington.
“I used to say that the rosary
was my antidote to road rage,”
she said with a chuckle. “You
can’t swear and say a Hail
Mary at the same time.”
An ability to smile in the
face of terminal illness and see
life whole are among the
many blessings that Sr Mary
Ann is still able to share
through the gift of her writing.
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Thinking about Life Choices?
Religious gathered in Edinburgh
for Candlemas
Pictures by Paul McSherry
Sr Frances will help you
choose what’s right for you!
Mobile: 07906 372786
Bishop Hugh Gilbert
Is God calling you
to a life of silence and solitude
within a community of fellow seekers?
The Cistercian monks at Nunraw Abbey
offer such an opportunity.
With them you can praise God
through the psalms and liturgy
at set times during the day.
You will have time to study the ways
of God and to meet God in your
lectio divina. And, you will find work
that will keep body and soul together.
If you have good reason to believe
God may be calling you
to be a monk, write to:
Vocation Director, Nunraw Abbey
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Or email:
Scottish Charity No SCO22611
Religious called to be bearers of light
As part of the Year of
Consecrated Life, religious
Scotland came together
in Edinburgh to celebrate
Presentation (Candlemas).
The Mass for the National
Day for Religious was offered
in St Margaret’s Chapel, Gillis
Centre, with Archbishop Leo
Cushley as principal celebrant.
Bishop Hugh Gilbert of
Aberdeen preached the homily which reflected on the call
of all religious to be bearers of
Christ, the light of the world.
“How many good lightbearers we have known and
know among our brothers and
sisters,” the Benedictine
bishop observed. “The light is
there and the light shines out.
“I feel immensely blessed
by so many of the monks and
nuns I have known. I have
been warmed and clarified by
the light they carry. We’ve all
had this experience.”
Bishop Gilbert suggested
that it was the vocation of
those in consecrated life to
“join the stream of light that
flows through the centuries”
from the moment Mary and
Joseph carried the Christ child
to the temple.
They stand out as witnesses
to the inspiration of the
Scripture guiding their movement.
“Nothing can keep the
home fires of the heart burning more brightly than this
daily contact with the Word,”
the bishop said
“We will be bearers of light
if we carry, bear, the Word. If
we make his word our home,
if Mary-like we ponder it,
then, dare I say, we will recover the inspirational poetry
of our lives. And we and our
communities will be words of
God, not meaningless cries.”
prophecy to Mary – ‘this child
is destined to be a sign that is
rejected and a sword will
pierce your own soul too’ –
the bishop underlined the centrality of the Cross as the he
door to the Resurrection and
“It’s along that stretch of the
way of salvation that we live
our consecrated lives. That’s
the Newtonian ‘gravity’ of our
lives. That’s their pole.
“It is the Paschal Mystery
we have eyes for and are
drawn to. We’re meaningless
and empty and tasteless outside it, fit only to be trodden
“And if we are sent to the
young or the sick or the marginalised or the trafficked, or
whoever, it can only be for
that very reason, because they
too are in this mystery and we
want to go with them through
it on the way to salvation.”
While urging religious men
and women to nurture “evan-
gelical light-heartedness” instead of false seriousness.
Bishop Gilbert also advised
against superficiality and the
“uncritical espousal of every
fashionable cause”.
“There aren’t, in the end,
many missions,” he stated.
“There is only one: to serve
the mysterious growth of the
body of Christ in the world, to
be stimulators of his ‘rising’ –
and please God never of his
‘falling’ – in the thoughts and
hearts of men and women.
“To tend this seed, in each
and everyone entrusted to us.
To protect from the weeds, to
water with prayer, to guide to
the sunshine of God, to grow
with them to full stature.”
In this way, Christ grows
and his light fills the whole
The Alexian Brothers, as followers of Jesus the
Healer, dedicate their lives to serving the sick and
those on the margins of society. They do this with
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The Compassion of Jesus
Drug & Alcohol Rehabs., Refuge for Victims of Domestic
Violence, Supported Accommodation for the Destitute,
the Distressed, and all being ‘passed by on the other side.’
FOR OUR TIMES (founded 1970)
There is one sign which we should never lack: the
option for those who are least, those whom society
Pope Francis
Email: Tel: 00353 94 937 6996
Is Jesus calling you?
Vocation info. from Bro. Patrick Mullen,
The Jericho Society, Mater Salvatoris,
Harelaw Farm, Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire. PA10 2PY
Scottish Charity SC016909 Tel: 01505 614669
Be revolutionaries –
swim against tide
THE word ‘blessed’, or
‘happy’, occurs nine
times in Jesus’ first
great sermon. It is like a
refrain reminding us of
the Lord’s call to advance together with him
on a road which, for all
its many challenges,
leads to true happiness.
This search for happiness is
shared by people of all times
and all ages. God has placed
in the heart of every man and
woman an irrepressible desire
for happiness, for fulfillment.
Have you not noticed that
your hearts are restless, always searching for a treasure
which can satisfy their thirst
for the infinite?
The first chapters of the
Book of Genesis show us the
splendid ‘beatitude’ to which
we are called. It consists in
perfect communion with God,
with others, with nature, and
with ourselves.
To approach God freely, to
see him and to be close to him,
was part of his plan from the
beginning; his divine light was
meant to illumine every
human relationship with truth
and transparency.
In the state of original purity, there was no need to put
on masks, to engage in ploys
or to attempt to conceal ourselves from one another.
Everything was clear and
When Adam and Eve
yielded to temptation and
broke off this relationship of
trusting communion with
God, sin entered into human
history. The effects were immediately evident, within
themselves, in their relationship with each other and with
And how dramatic the effects are! Our original purity
is defiled. From that time on,
we were no longer capable of
closeness to God.
Lacking the light which
comes from seeing the Lord,
they saw everything around
Sixth year pupils pursuing the
Caritas award took part in a day
of reflection in St Andrew’s
Cathedral, learning about the
work of NET Ministries,
Nightfever and Fire.Cloud
Christianity is a “project for life” in building
better relationships and a better world,
POPE FRANCIS has told young Catholics.
“Youth is a time of life when your desire for
a love which is genuine, beautiful and
expansive begins to blossom in your
hearts,” the Pope says in his World Youth
Day message on the theme: ‘Blessed are
the pure in heart, for they shall see God’
them in a distorted fashion.
The inner compass which had
guided them in their quest for
happiness lost its point of reference, and the attractions of
power, wealth, possessions,
and a desire for pleasure at all
costs, led them to the abyss of
sorrow and anguish.
In Jesus, God has taken on
a human face. Through his
Incarnation, life, death and
resurrection, Jesus frees us
from sin and opens new and
hitherto unimaginable horizons.
Dear young men and
women, in Christ you find fulfilled your every desire for
goodness and happiness. He
alone can satisfy your deepest
longings, which are so often
clouded by deceptive worldly
Blessed are the pure in
The greatest good we can
have in life is our relationship
with God. It is the knowledge
that we are loved unconditionally by God which gives
meaning to our lives.
Youth is a time of life when
your desire for a love which is
genuine, beautiful and expansive begins to blossom in your
hearts. How powerful is this
ability to love and to be loved!
Do not let this precious
treasure be debased, destroyed
or spoiled. That is what happens when we start to use our
neighbours for our own selfish
ends, even as objects of pleasure. Hearts are broken and
sadness follows upon these
negative experiences.
I urge you: Do not be afraid
of true love, the love that Jesus
teaches us and which Saint
Paul describes as “patient and
In encouraging you to rediscover the beauty of the human
vocation to love, I also urge
you to rebel against the widespread tendency to reduce
love to something banal, reducing it to its sexual aspect
alone, deprived of its essential
characteristics of beauty, communion, fidelity and responsibility.
I ask you to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide;
yes, to rebel against this culture that sees everything as
temporary and that ultimately
believes you are incapable of
responsibility, incapable of
true love.
You young people are brave
adventurers! If you allow
yourselves to discover the rich
teachings of the Church on
love, you will discover that
Christianity does not consist
of a series of prohibitions
which stifle our desire for happiness, but rather a project for
life capable of captivating our
…for they shall see God
In the heart of each man and
woman, the Lord’s invitation
constantly resounds: “Seek
my face!”
When the prophet Isaiah
heard the Lord’s call to speak
in his name, he was terrified
and said: “Woe is me! For I
am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips”. And yet the Lord
purified him, sending to him
an angel who touched his lips,
saying: “Your guilt is taken
away, and your sin is forgiven”.
We are all sinners, needing
to be purified by the Lord. But
it is enough to take a small
step towards Jesus to realize
that he awaits us always with
open arms, particularly in the
sacrament of Reconciliation, a
privileged opportunity to encounter that divine mercy
which purifies us and renews
Caritas pupils, St Mungo’s Academy
Palm Sunday
29th March, 2pm6.30pm, Our Lady of Good
Aid Cathedral, Motherwell
Age specific catechesis,
followed by Mass,
concluding with
Stirling 2015:
Scottish Catholic
Youth Festival
our hearts.
Saint Teresa of Avila, born
in Spain 500 years ago, even
as a young girl, said to her parents, “I want to see God”. She
subsequently discovered the
way of prayer as “an intimate
friendship with the One who
makes us feel loved”.
So my question to you is
this: “Are you praying?” Do
you know that you can speak
with Jesus as you speak to a
friend? And not just any
friend, but the greatest and
most trusted of your friends!
You will discover what one
of his parishioners told the
Curé of Ars (St John
Vianney): “When I pray before the tabernacle, ‘I look at
him, and he looks at me’.”
Once again I invite you to
encounter the Lord by fre-
Scripture. If you are not already in the habit of doing so,
begin with the Gospels. Read
a line or two each day. Let
God’s word speak to your
heart and enlighten your path.
You will discover that God
can be ‘seen’ also in the face
of your brothers and sisters,
especially those who are most
forgotten: the poor, the hungry, those who thirst,
strangers, the sick, those imprisoned. Have you ever had
this experience?
A pure heart is necessarily
one which has been stripped
bare, a heart that knows how
to bend down and share its life
with those most in need.
prayer, the reading of the
Bible and in the fraternal life
30th July to 2nd August
Contact Glasgow’s
youth chaplain Fr John
Sweeney – email:
will help you better to know
the Lord and yourselves.
Like the disciples on the
way to Emmaus, the Lord’s
voice will make your hearts
burn within you. He will open
your eyes to recognize his
presence and to discover the
loving plan he has for your
Challenge yourselves, and
with a pure heart do not be
afraid of what God is asking
of you! From your “yes” to the
Lord’s call, you will become
new seeds of hope in the
Church and in society.
Never forget: God’s will is
our happiness!
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Steadfast on journey to Jerusalem
1 March
2nd Sunday of Lent (B)
Mark 9:2–10
The traditional explanation of
the Transfiguration used to
say that the experience of seeing Jesus in his glorified state
was supposed to help Peter,
James and John to prepare for
his death.
The Transfiguration does
present these three disciples
with a foretaste of what is to
come in Jesus’ resurrection,
but it also helps them cast
their minds back.
Before Jesus’ ministry got
underway, at his baptism, the
Holy Spirit descended on him
and the voice of the Father
came from the clouds: “You
are my son, the beloved. My
favour rests on you”.
Now, once Jesus is transformed (perhaps a better word
than transfigured?), the heavenly voice returns, saying
something very similar but
with two major differences.
The Father addresses the humans: “This is my Beloved
Son,” before instructing:
“Listen to him”.
This is the key to understanding Jesus’ Passion, death
and resurrection: he must be
listened to so that we can
grasp, or at least begin to grasp,
what he tells us. The lessons
continue throughout Lent.
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It is helpful for us to remember another feature of
Mark’s gospel: that Jesus is
often described as teaching
but his words are not quoted.
Sometimes when he performs
an action, the response of people is to say “here is a teaching” that is new.
In the Transfiguration, we
have the Word of God in
speech (the voice of the
Father) and in the action
(transformation) of the Son.
We would do well to listen, to
take on board what God tells
us here.
8 March
3rd Sunday of Lent (B)
John 2:13–25
In Matthew, Mark and Luke,
today’s Gospel story comes
soon after Jesus’ triumphal
entry into Jerusalem, but in
John’s version, Jesus cleanses
the Temple at the very beginning of his ministry. So, which
one is the more accurate?
We really don’t know, but
one thing is clear: it is highly
unlikely that Jesus would get
away with pulling a stunt like
that twice, and certainly not in
the Temple precincts!
Jesus’ action here is clearly
more symbolic than physically threatening – he made a
whip out of some cord! His
point is deadly serious, however.
In all four gospels, Jesus
banishes the money changers
and the animal merchants
from the Temple, but only in
John does he say “Destroy this
sanctuary and in three days I
will raise it up”, answering the
Jews’ demand for a sign to
justify his actions.
In saying this, he makes the
prophetic statement that the
day will come (with his own
death) when all religious
feasts and institutions will be
replaced by and summed up in
Poignantly in John, Jesus
will die on the day the Paschal
Lambs are slaughtered for sacrifice. He, God’s Lamb who
takes away the sins of the
world, replaces even the
Temple and Passover.
(Note: Where there are candidates for Baptism at the
Easter Vigil and the Scrutinies
are being celebrated, the
readings for Year A are used
on Sundays 3, 4 and 5 of Lent)
15 March
4th Sunday of Lent (B)
John 3:14–21
Nicodemus is a semi-prominent figure in John’s gospel,
as one of only a handful who
make a repeat appearance.
Here, he approaches Jesus
tentatively, under cover of
darkness. This is practical: he
could be in serious trouble
with the authorities for associating with Jesus, but it is also
theologically symbolic. One
of John’s great themes is the
contrast between light and
voice/word is for the benefit
of those who hear it; not for
his own benefit.
dark. Jesus is the light of the
world; those who believe in
him come from darkness to
The best we can say for
Nicodemus at this point is that
he partially emerges from the
dark. He will only enter the
light fully when he realises
that the Son of Man will be
raised up (i.e. die on the cross
and rise again) and that those
who believe in him will have
eternal life.
In one of the clearest statements we find in John’s
gospel, Jesus continues: “God
loved the world so much that
he sent his son so that everyone who believes in him may
have eternal life”.
We don’t know how
Nicodemus’ journey to the
light ends, but our Lenten task
is to reflect on our own journey toward Jesus, Light of the
22 March
5th Sunday of Lent (B)
John 12:20–33
John’s Gospel contains some
wonderful images for Jesus,
his mission and his death and
resurrection. This story opens
with Jewish Greeks asking to
see Jesus. They approach
Philip, who goes to Andrew.
The Greek Jews fulfil the
prophetic idea that Jesus will
die not just for the Israelites,
but for peoples from all over
the world.
Jesus then speaks his famous parable a grain of wheat
which unless it falls to the
ground will remain only a single grain, but if it falls, will
give rise to a rich harvest.
In a scene recalling the
transfiguration story, Jesus
prays aloud: “Father, glorify
your name”. A voice calls
from heaven: “I have glorified
it and will glorify it again.”
To glorify God is to make
known the presence of God
among humans. God does this
most fully through the death
of his Son – the clearest indication ever of God’s total
commitment to humanity. In
Jesus’ death, God gives to the
world everything that God
possesses. God’s purpose will
never be more clearly seen.
People who heard the voice
were divided over what it
meant. Some thought it was
the sound of thunder; others
that an angel spoke.
From Jesus’ answer, it is
clear that this is the voice of
God – because Jesus himself
is the voice (Word) of God.
Jesus makes clear that the
29 March
Palm Sunday (B)
Mark 11:1–10 (Procession)
Mark 14:7–15:47 (Passion)
Jesus enters Jerusalem on the
back of a donkey, re-enacting
the arrival of some kings who
entered Jerusalem in peace
(No king intent on war arrives
on a donkey!).
Jesus takes possession of
Jerusalem and its Temple
where he faces all manner of
trick questions from the religious authorities.
The king who has entered
Jerusalem in triumph will not
be tricked into giving answers
which give grounds for his
death. That sentence is passed
without evidence and unlawfully.
One major feature in
Mark’s Passion narrative is
the total, unremitting isolation
and abandonment to which
Jesus is subjected. His disciples flee, his family is
nowhere to be seen; he is rejected by the leaders of his nation and his religion, and put
to death by the occupying
He dies alone on the cross –
women at some distance are
the only ones who will later be
able to give witness accounts
of what happened. Mark even
manages to minimise the presence of the people crucified
with him.
At his death, a remarkable
thing happens. Jesus shouts:
“My God, why have you forsaken me?” This is the first
line of Psalm 22 which begins
in such desolation, but ends in
a shout of triumph from the
sufferer who knows that God
is indeed on his side.
Is this a cry of distress from
Jesus, or a shout of triumph
that he has accomplished
God’s plan? Certainly, when
he dies, the centurion – a gentile – says “truly, this was the
son of God”.
This man is the very first
human being in the entire
gospel of Mark who has properly identified Jesus as the Son
of God, the title Jesus was first
given at his baptism, and
which was repeated at the
Vincent James
In loving memory of our
dear brother and father
who died 17/2/95. In our
hearts and minds, Vince.
Rest in eternal peace.
Leo, Paul, Angela, Teresa,
Marie Adele
Faith must resonate like church bells
THERE is an inscription
that was found on a bell
that hung in the tower of
a church in Northern
Wisconsin that read: “To
the bath and the table, to
the prayers and the
Word, I call every seeking soul.”
The ringing of church bells
was once something with
which we were very familiar.
Whether it was in the small
towns of the countryside or
the competing calls of the
churches of the cities, the
Sunday morning call of the
bells “to the bath and the table,
to the prayers and the Word”
were a constant reminder of
the presence of God in our
The bells still ring out. Not
so numerous and not so often,
but they still ring out, their
meaning captured in the
words of the poet Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow: “For
bells are the voice of the
church; they have tones that
touch and search, the hearts of
young and old, one sound to
all …” [The Bells of San Blas]
Yes, the bells still ring, the
bells still search but not many
are answering the call.
“Come,” the bells say, “Come
and worship with us. Come
and hear what God has to say.
Come to the table and the
bath, to the prayers and the
But not many seem to come
anymore. Yes, most churches
are still places of worship and
communion where folks still
gather, but many of those
gatherings grow smaller and
greyer every year.
Folks look out and say:
“Where are the young people
and the families? Where have
our friends and neighbours
gone? Why are there so few
Before his recent illness, Archbishop Tartaglia had signalled a
three-year period of further reflection to ensure the ongoing
assessment of parish pastoral provision breathes new life into the
Church’s mission. Glasgow and other Scottish dioceses are not
alone in reassessing resources, and this
homily of CHRISTOPHER COYNE, as he
assumed office as Bishop of Burlington,
Vermont, captures the changed landscape in
which Catholic communities are being
called to go out and give more convincing
faith witness
answering the call of the
Church to the life of the Good
In response, one could respond with fatalism, with a
shrug of defeat, and a kind of
long-term communal hospice
as door after door after door of
our churches close and the
Body is finally laid to rest.
And yet, I like many of you,
do not stand here without
hope, without the conviction
that this need not be. Now
more than ever, our community needs to hear the call of
the ‘Good News’ proclaimed
to a culture that seems to hear
so many other voices.
John Henry Newman once
spoke to the wreckage that
was the Catholic Church in
19th century England. After
years of being legally banned
from public life and worship,
the Catholic faith was finally
a legal religion once again.
In the face of continuing
anti-Catholic prejudice and in
the midst of a Church with little to build upon, Newman
preached his famous sermon
entitled, A Second Spring.
The very title invokes hope.
He spoke: “What! Those
few scattered worshippers, the
Roman Catholics, to form a
Church! Shall the past be
rolled back? Shall the grave
open? … Shall shepherds,
watching their poor flocks by
night, be visited by a multitude
of the heavenly army, and hear
how their Lord has been newborn in their own city?
“Yes; for grace can, where
nature cannot. The world
grows old, but the Church is
ever young… One thing alone
I know — that according to
our need, so will be our
strength… We shall not be left
orphans; we shall have within
us the strength of the
Paraclete, promised to the
Church and to every member
of it.”
The gift of the Spirit and the
sublime adoption are realities
that we already possess and
have possessed throughout the
history of the Church.
So, how does this answer
the present challenge of declining membership and a cultural trend away from revealed
religion to a personal spirituality at best or no belief at
The Gospel just proclaimed
(Luke 4:14-22) points the
way. Jesus stood in his home
synagogue in the midst of his
relatives and neighbours and
proclaims himself the one
about whom Isaiah prophesied
to bring healing to the blind,
liberty to prisoners and glad
tidings to the poor.
His voice does not simply
ring out from a place of worship like a bell stationary in a
church steeple, calling people
to come to him. He goes out to
them. He goes out to spread
the Good News of the
Kingdom of God and the offer
of eternal salvation.
No one wants to join a
church that lacks joy. When
people who leave the Catholic
Church to join other churches
are asked why did you do so,
the number one answer is
“They made me feel welcome” followed by “I find the
services joyful and uplifting.”
If we are going to call people to our churches and they
happen to come in, what are
they going to find? People
who have the joy of the ‘good
news’ in their hearts, people
who are welcoming and encouraging, who celebrate the
Church’s liturgy with care and
commitment or a people who
“mourn their religion”?
We are no longer the
If we are going to call people to our
churches, what will they find —
People of joy or people who mourn
their religion?
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Church of the establishment in
which if we just open our
doors and ring the bells people
will come. That is not happening. In fact, we are opening
our doors and people are not
coming. They are leaving.
We have to change the paradigm to that of a missionary
Church, one that has to go out
and engage the wider community in our ongoing acts of
Christian mercy and in our
words and conversation.
Pope Francis calls us to
move out to the peripheries.
He tells us, his priests and
bishops, that it is time to leave
the sacristies and go out into
the fields as good shepherds
who take on the smell of the
One time when I was in
Italy, one of my classmates invited me to come to his hometown for a weekend. While we
were there we climbed up into
the bell tower of his church
because he wanted to show
me the view and the bells. The
view was spectacular and the
bells were big.
We climbed down a few
levels and he began to pull the
rope to ring the bells. It was
loud, but more than that, it
was physical. Every time the
largest, deepest bell sounded,
you could feel the vibrations
through your whole body.
They say that bass notes
travel farther than high notes.
It’s like that car with the
sound system turned up loud
and you hear the “thump,
thump” of the bass long before you hear anything else
as the car gets closer. The
lower notes are foundational. The sound of the
deep bell calling out is the
sound with the deepest
The sound of the “light of
Christ” within us must be
that deep, that foundational.
It permeates our very being
so that our faith is not just a
layer that we put on over
lives but is instead, a way of
life, a way of being in the
Being a follower of Jesus
Christ is not simply what I
believe. It is who I am. It is
the deepest bell of my soul.
I cannot bring the light of
Christ to others unless I first
possess it myself, deeply.
When the bells ring out
from our steeples they are
the voice of Christ – He is
the bass, midrange and treble that sounds and reverberates in the lives of all
whether we know it or not.
His bass notes rumble
through life moving all to
the works of mercy. His
midrange voice calls us to
be with him and enjoy his
company, his treble notes
teach us about a life here as
well as above with one he
calls Father and teaches us
to do the same.
They are still bells of invitation to come to him, yes,
but now we hear them as
well as an invitation to go
out with him in the power of
the Holy Spirit, to spread the
Good News that his
Kingdom is at hand at – that
he, Jesus Christ, is Lord and
Saviour of the world.
One sound to be brought
to all.
Alex Black
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SCIAF recommits to tackling
widespread poverty and hunger
FIFTY years of helping
the poor overseas were
celebrated as SCIAF returned to its birthplace to
mark its golden jubilee.
We can all take what
we have for granted
and forget that many
men, women and
children struggle
everyday just to
survive. Whether it’s
because of poverty,
war or natural
disasters, millions of
people need our help.
I’m supporting
CHANGE appeal
because it will raise
money for emergency
aid like food and clean
water, and long term
support like seeds and
small loans so people
can work their own
way out of poverty.
Darren Fletcher,
ex-Manchester Utd
now West Brom
On Sunday 8 February, a
national Mass of Thanksgiving was offered in St
Columbkille’s, Rutherglen,
with music and choirs from
Asia, Africa and Latin
America adding to the uplifting liturgy.
New president of SCIAF,
Bishop Joseph Toal presided
at the Mass and was joined by
former presidents Archbishop
Mario Conti, Bishop John
Mone and Bishop Peter
Moran, as well as Archbishop
Leo Cushley and Bishop John
All were warmly welcomed
by Fr Pat Hennessy, parish
priest of St Columbkille’s
whose predecessor Mgr John
Rooney founded the charity in
1965 alongside John McKee,
renowned former headteacher
of Holyrood Secondary.
Proud of their longstanding
association with the SCIAF,
sixth year pupils pursuing the
Caritas Award participated in
the Mass at which Mr
McKee’s daughter, Margaret
Mary Robertson, was also
Other distinguished guests
welcomes you in the
Jubilee Year marking the
400th anniversary of
the death of
Prayer cards with images of Peter
Howson’s painting of the saint are
available, and our recently published
colour guide book.
included First Minister Nicola
Sturgeon and leader of the
Scottish Labour Party Jim
Murphy, as well as SCIAF
staff, volunteers and supporters.
Speaking at a simple reception after the Mass, Ms
Sturgeon said: “Scotland can
be proud that we have a fantastic international aid charity
in SCIAF which helps millions of people to recover
from natural disasters and war
– and work their way out of
poverty in the long term.
“From a small classroom in
Rutherglen in 1965, it has become a significant force for
good in the world, giving
practical help like seeds and
farm tools so people can grow
food and support themselves.
It also provides a clear beacon
of hope for many in their darkest hour when disasters strike
such as the current Ebola epidemic and Syrian refugee crisis.”
Hr words were echoed by
Mr Murphy who said: “For
generations of Scots Catholics
and many others, SCIAF has
always been a big part of our
“I have seen first-hand the
difference that faith based organisations can make in some
Sixth Year pupils of Holyrood Secondary pursuing the Caritas Award took part in the Jubilee Mass
alongside Archbishops Leo Cushley and Mario Conti, Bishops John Mone, Peter Moran, Joseph Toal
and John Keenan, as well as Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Jim Murphy MP
Picture by Paul McSherry
of the most troubled parts of
the world.”
He added: “SCIAF has
changed and saved so many
thousands of lives but the
world remains an unfair place
and the need for SCIAF's
work is as necessary now as it
was five decades ago.”
SCIAF’s Director Alistair
Dutton thanked all who participated in and prepared for
the Mass, extending a special
thanks to the many thousands
of ordinary people who have
supported and sustained the
work among some of the
world’s most needy people.
He said: “Thanks to the passion, commitment and support
of the Scottish public, millions
of people have a much better
chance in life and greater hope
for the future.”
From humble beginnings
and with just £8000, the charity now gives emergency aid
and practical long term support to millions of people affected by hunger, poverty, war
and disasters. At the same
time, SCIAF has played a
leading role in campaigns to
address the causes of global
poverty, injustice, hunger and
Mr Dutton vowed to keep
up the pressure, saying:
“Widespread poverty and injustice remain hallmarks of
our world and one in eight
people still go hungry.
Growing inequality, together
with social and economic injustice around the world mean
we must still help people in
need and lobby those in
St Alo
ysius’ College
The Co
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will rep
the Gonzaga
Lecture Series
or 2015
Commemorating the 400th Anni
of the passing of St JJohn
ohn Ogil
vie SJ
Jesuit Schools
in association with Britain’s Jesuit
y, 7th March
lemn Mass
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