BY SCO Admin | November 1 2013 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1B-ST-NINIAN'S-INSTITUTE

Nuncio’s message of hope launches St Ninian Institute

POPE Francis’ envoy to the UK has officially opened Scotland’s first Catholic higher education institute in Dundee with a message of hope.

When Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Mennini was in the Dunkeld Diocese for the opening ceremony of the new St Ninian Institute, last Thursday, he said the new facility will serve ‘all those looking for meaning’ in life.

Archbishop Mennini also told the SCO that he was ‘hopeful’ a new bishop would be appointed for Dunkeld Diocese before Christmas.

The nuncio said the opening of the college was a ‘significant’ moment as he conferred the Holy Father’s blessing upon it. “I think the institute will be a great tool for promoting the Gospel among Catholics but also everyone who is seeking meaning in their life,” he said. “It can have a big role in society, promoting peace, justice and understanding.”

The institute will offer long-distance learning modules in Catholic theology and culture, and provides opportunities for ecumenical initiatives. Students will be able to attend residential weekends and lectures at its base in St Joseph’s Convent in Dundee.

The official opening took place at St Joseph’s, in front of representatives from the Scotland’s academic community and Dundee civil society.

Bishop Joseph Toal of Argyll and the Isles and Bishop Stephen Robson of St Andrews and Edinburgh, who gave the homily at a special Mass in the convent chapel, represented the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland at the event.

Bishop Robson said he was very struck by the motto of the institute, which translates as ‘here in this place, we serve God by teaching.’

“In an increasingly secular world, the greatest task we have is to hand on the gift of Faith,” he said.

Dunkeld’s Bishop Emeritus Vincent Logan, who was granted early retirement last year due to ill health, attended the Mass, as did the current Dunkeld Diocesan administrator Canon Basil O’Sullivan.

Diocesan Vicar General Mgr Ken McCaffrey offered the vote of thanks to all who had helped created the college and singled out the work of two men.

“This college was the idea of Bishop Logan and Mgr Paul Watson of Maryvale College,” he said.

David Mieklejohn, the director of the new institute, said the opening was the ‘culmination of many years of work.’

Archbishop Mennini said he understood that Dunkeld’s Catholics were anxious to hear when they would have a new bishop. “I am hopeful there will be news on that by Christmas,” he said.

The opening ceremony was enlivened by some beautiful singing by St Paul’s Academy Madrigal group, which highlighted the new institute’s close links to local Catholic schools

 

—     ian@sconews.co.uk

—     Pic: Paul McSherry

 

—This story ran in full, with additional photographs, in the November 1 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

 

 

 

 

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