BY SCO Admin | November 8 2013 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1A-YEAR-OF-FAITH-MASS

Youths must ‘stand their ground’

Bishops inspire, inspired by young Catholics at national Mass ending the Year of Faith

Archbishop Leo Cushley has said the end of the Year of Faith must be the ‘starting point’ for young Scottish Catholics to ‘stand their ground’ for their Faith.

“The world tells you not to bother to search for God, to fall in love instead with money and sex and the culture of death,” he told the congregation at the thanksgiving Mass for the young Catholics of Scotland, which marked the end of the Year of Faith in the Church. “But again and again, you look at this barren landscape, you look at the shallow, pointless life the world offers and you say, ‘No: I want something better than that.’”

The Mass brought together many members of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, current and retired. Their president, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, said it had been ‘a year in which Faith has been tested and strengthened.’

 

Year of Faith

In his homily at the Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh last Sunday, Archbishop Cushley spoke of the highs and lows of the Year of Faith.

“The year has been an opportunity to unpack something of our rich, deep faith, a very old faith, but always new as well,” he told the congregation. “Some have seized that opportunity; others have let it slide. Are you curious yet? Are you enthusiastic or joyful about your faith? Have you learned to stand your ground? Be joyful in your faith. And above all, don’t be half-hearted. The prayers of all of us accompany you on your journey of faith.”

Underscoring the importance of the celebration, Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen, Bishop Joseph Toal of Argyll and the Isles, Auxiliary Bishop Stephen Robson, Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti, Bishops Emeriti Joseph Devine and Ian Murray all joined Archbishops Cushley and Tartaglia for the Mass.

 

Catholic teaching

Archbishop Cushley said that young Catholics had greatly impressed him with their ‘goodness in the face of all the temptations you must confront and of your willingness to search for God.’

“[You] want to love God, to serve Him and to lead a happy, coherent life in harmony with people and with all God’s good creation,” he said, before adding that he had been very pleased to learn that during the Year of Faith  ‘a lot of work has been done in our parishes and schools to unpack a substantial but very useful touchstone of our faith: the Catechism of the Catholic Church.’

“If you want to know about the beauty of our faith, if you want to know why we are here and what we ought to do about it—you could do a lot worse than go and buy a copy of the Catechism, even just to have it there on the shelf as a point of reference,” he said. “It should be like having the Bible and a good dictionary in the house: it should be unimaginable not having one handy.”

 

Youth Event

The Mass was the culmination of a spiritual weekend for many of the young Catholics present as they had been together at Gartmore House for the annual National Youth Event.

“Almost 60 young people attended and the weekend had the Rio World Youth Day theme, Go and make disciples of all nations,” Fr Stephen McGrattan, Galloway Diocese’s youth chaplain told the SCO. “Bishop Gilbert was the keynote speaker and he shared his experience of accompanying the Aberdeen diocesan group to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day in July.  His observations were faith-filled, interesting, and often humourous.”

 

Scotland

The Year of Faith saw many local initiatives across the country in addition to national events.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “None of us could have foreseen at the great celebrations which launched the Year of Faith, quite how challenging and eventful the period would be. I think it is true to say that the Year of Faith has been in some senses a year of trial for the Church in Scotland. But at a deeper level it has been very definitely a year in which faith has been tested and strengthened.”

 

— ian@sconews.co.uk

 

—This story ran in full in the November 8 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

 

Pic: Paul McSherry

 

 

 

 

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