BY Ian Dunn | July 25 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-QUEEN'S-BATON-RELAY

Getting into the spirit of the games

Archbishop Tartaglia welcomes Glasgow 2014 athletes and visitors after Church-run conference

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow has issued a very special welcome to all the athletes and visitors who have descended on the city this week for the Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow 2014 got underway with the opening ceremony at Celtic Park on Wednesday and Archbishop Tartaglia said that ‘if the Commonwealth Games are known as the friendly games then it is only right that they should come to the friendly city of Glasgow!

“As archbishop of the 2014 host city, I welcome, in a special way, competitors and their families, officials and spectators who are arriving in our city for this great festival of sport,” Archbishop Tartaglia added.

“The concepts of friendliness and hospitality are profoundly Christian ones. Jesus Himself uses the word ‘friend’ in a way that really changes relationships for the better when He says to His disciples: ‘I do not call you servants… I call you friends.’ And the virtue of hospitality is explicitly lauded in the pages of the Gospels: ‘I was a stranger and you made me welcome.’”

Representatives from each of the 71 countries and territories of the Commonwealth are taking part in the games. The archbishop said he believed ‘all of us who live in and around the games are called upon to be the best of citizens, the friendliest of hosts and the most welcoming of human beings.’

The archbishop also asked all Scottish Catholics to ‘pray for a happy, peaceful and successful Commonwealth Games.’

“I hope that all who come to our country will return home having experienced the best in Scottish hospitality,” he said.

The archbishop also praised last week’s Celebrating the Gift in Sport conference at Blessed John Duns Scotus Church in Glasgow, which explored the link between Faith and Sport and featured many leading athletes of Faith.

“As part of our own Service Through Sport initiative, the archdiocese hosted this conference,” he said. “It explored the vital part sport can play in proclaiming the dignity and purpose of each person, engaging people of all abilities in teamwork and friendly competition, as well as building up communities with shared goals and ambitions. Sport is a gift of God and the Glasgow Games is an ideal opportunity for us to celebrate that gift and proclaim the dignity, respect and purpose that God bestows on all people, no matter their ability or nationality.”

The Archbishop will celebrate Mass this Sunday St Andrew’s Cathedral (Clyde Street) for all involved in the Games. It will begin at 5.15pm, several hours after after the competitors in that day’s Marathon have crossed the finish line on Glasgow Green.

 

— ian@sconews.co.uk

—Pic: Robert Wilson

—Read the full version of this story in the July 25 print edition of the SCO, in parishes from Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

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