BY Staff Reporter | February 24 2012 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Scotland hosts double Lenten launch

—Pancakes with Susan Boyle launch SCIAF’s Wee Box, Big Change campaign; Vatican gives Glasgow’s Lenfest its seal of approval

By Ian Dunn and Martin Dunlop

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow were blessed with the chance to launch major Lenten events this week as Catholics across the country began to prepare for Easter.

Global singing star Susan Boyle joined Cardinal Keith O’Brien to launch SCIAF’s Wee Box, Big Change Lenten campaign on Shrove Tuesday with a pancake master class at St Augustine’s High School in Edinburgh while Archbishop Mario Conti was joined by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to launched the Vatican approved Lentfest at Glasgow University.

Popular singer Ms Boyle and the most senior Catholic clergyman in Britain were joined by Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund president Bishop Emeritus Peter Moran of Aberdeen, eager school pupils and members of the media who watched them whisk batter and toss pancakes to help publicise SCIAF’s work.

While enjoying the good-humoured launch, Cardinal O’Brien took time out to make the serious point that now, more than ever, SCIAF’s work around the world is vital.

“They work in some of the most serious and difficult environments in the world but that doesn’t mean you cannot have a lot of fun raising funds to support their work,” he said. “Today’s launch with Susan and the marvellous young people of St Augustine’s will hopefully inspire more people to join the campaign and give up a wee treat during Lent  and put the money they save in a Wee Box to donate it to help SCIAF’s work.”

Ms Boyle said that: “SCIAF and is really close to my heart, it was the charity my mother supported. I am happy that I am now in a position to help.”

At Tuesday’s Lentfest launch, Stephen Callaghan, Lentfest director, read out a letter to Archbishop Conti—the founder of Lentfest—signed on Pope Benedict XVI’s behalf by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, cardinal president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, which was founded by Pope Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

“It is with great joy that I unite myself with the launch of the Lentfest programme at the University of Glasgow,” Cardinal Ravasi said in his message. “I warmly congratulate you, however, on all that has been achieved and encourage you to continue along the path of cultural and spiritual renewal and enrichment which Lentfest has come to signify in Glasgow, Scotland and beyond.”

Speaking at Tuesday’s launch at the university’s memorial Chapel, Archbishop Conti highlighted the importance of Lentfest receiving recognition from the Vatican and spoke of his delight at the contribution the festival makes to the arts, paying tribute to the ‘rich talents’ of the many artists, painters, musicians, playwrights and performers, who contribute to the festival programme.

“All of us are indebted to them for the enrichment of our lives and our endeavours,” the archbishop, who this week celebrated the tenth anniversary of his elevation as Archbishop of Glasgow, said.

— Full reports and more photographs in this week’s edition of The Scottish Catholic Observer in parishes.

— For further information on all Lentfest events, visit the website:

— To order your Wee Box and sign the campaign action visit or call 0141 354 5555



— Pics: Paul McSherry and Gerard Gough

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