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Knights hoping for a flowering of Faith

IAN DUNN reports on the launch of the Knights of St Columba’s national prayer campaign for the family, backed by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia—president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland—Archbishop Malcolm McMahon—ecclesiastical advisor to the order—and also by The Scottish Catholic Observer

The Knights Of St Columba is launching a campaign for Catholics to pray together throughout 2015, and the SCO is giving the order its full backing. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow is also supporting the order’s ‘Spiritual bouquet’ prayer campaign to urge its members and the wider community to pray throughout 2015 for a return of family values in our country and for the protection of life from conception to the grave ahead of the 2015 General Synod on the Family next October.

Ahead of the campaign launch Mass on December 28, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said the order’s call for people to turn to the power of prayer was ‘inspired and timely.’

“I wish the Knights of St Columba every success with its inspired and timely Spiritual bouquet prayer campaign,” Archbishop Tartaglia said. “When we consider the challenges we face in life, in our society, especially in times of austerity and hardship, we are reminded of the real need to pray. Praying together as a family, group or parish is a powerful extension of personal prayer. It gives witness and is a form of evangelisation.”

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool— the knights’ spiritual adviser—has also backed the campaign.

“Pope Francis has called on us to prepare for the forthcoming Synod in October 2015 by prayer and reflection,” he said. “We are all very aware of the crisis which is affecting the family and the sanctity of life in our present time. Pray about the family and ask the Holy Spirit to know how to strengthen marriage and family life. Above all, pray for your own families, that they may be strengthened in love by the gift of God’s spirit.”

Glasgow launch

Glasgow’s Charlie McCluskey, supreme knight of the Knights of St Columba, said the order invited ‘all Catholics to join together with members of the Order in a journey of faith as we embark on our Spiritual Bouquet on the Feast of the Holy Family.’ The campaign, which will be launched on Sunday, the Feast of the Holy Family, during 12 noon Mass in Blessed John Duns Scotus, Glasgow, will run until the feast of St John Paul II in October 2015.

The order—whose members are organised into 32 provinces throughout Britain and the Channel Islands—will be holding similar services in each Province, to coincide with the launch in Glasgow.

“During these next 10 months we will be praying for various intentions but with a single thread; that we continue to live and offer a Lifetime of Faith and call for the return of family values in our communities, with respect for life from conception to the grave,” Mr McCluskey added. “During this spiritual journey we ask you to participate by praying as individuals, groups, or families for the intention of that month. The power of prayer is a wonderful thing and I believe that with the support of the Holy Spirit, this bouquet of prayer and hope will send out a powerful message and that our country will again begin to put God back at the heart of our society.”

Prayer bouquet

A record of prayers, devotional acts or good deeds completed over the 10 month period of the campaign will be recorded in an electronic format in the KSC website, to be collated in a bound book, which they intend to present to the hierarchy.

The intention is to gather as families, community groups or as individuals in prayer, worship, meditation and the Holy Rosary for particular

chosen intentions. A different intention has been selected for each month.

The order, the largest organisation for Catholic men in mainland Britain and the Channel Islands, hopes that together with their local clergy, they can enthuse their fellow parishioners to join with them in this very worthwhile endeavour.

Those taking part should simply choose a form of prayer, devotional act or good deed and inform the KSC on how you celebrated the moment. Your personal dedication will then be added to the collection. To see the full list of those participating, visit our website at where you can view the growing Spiritual Bouquet and have your own involvement recorded. Visit


The overall theme of the prayer campaign is: “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs.” (Matthew 25.35-36)

The theme for each of the 10 months will be:



In this month dedicated to the World Day of Peace, the theme is slavery. Let us consider all people who find themselves modern day slaves. Many find themselves physically and sexually abused.



In the month that has the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, we consider the sick. We think especially of the rights for life from cradle to grave, disabled rights, the fight against euthanasia and so on.



During Lent let us think of the people thirsting for God’s Word. As we lead up to the feast of Easter and see people Baptised and Confirmed into the Catholic Church, what do we do to Evangelise? If we are Godparents or confirmation sponsors what support do we give?



In the lead up to the general election, politicians will be discussing the subject of immigration. They will be trying to divide communities and stop less fortunate people entering our countries. Because we can’t see them, does it mean we can ignore them?



May is the month dedicated to the ‘World Day of Prayer for Vocations.’ The need for priests is notable in most areas. Convents are becoming a rarity.

We need unselfish men and women to dedicate

themselves to the religious life.



We are called to unite. Religion is being used to divide and kill. Complete peace is not found in many places of the world. What small things do we do to ‘love our neighbour as ourselves?’



As a new-born baby, we all come into the world naked. Let us consider the babies who do not get the chance, the ones that are aborted. In the month of the feast of St Anne, the Mother of Our Lady, we implore all mothers and mothers-to-be to do what is right for their unborn child.



Children on school holidays, young adults leaving education and starting their adult life—Do we encourage and support the youth? Do we set them an example? Do we see the good or the bad?



This month is the time we think of the harvest as 850 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy, active life. Food banks are becoming more necessary. Do we consider the hungry when we eat?



St John Paul II made marriage and family the heart of his concerns. As Pope, he went on to open the Institute for the Study of Marriage and Family, which is dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. Society puts a lot of pressures on the modern family and the raising of children in the Faith is a constant battle. They need our help and support.


— The SCO—as media partner for the prayer campaign—will bring readers reports and

highlights of events throughout the campaign








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