BY SCO Admin | November 30 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

5-ACN-MASS

Persecution can inspire Faith embrace

Archbishop Tartaglia speaks to young Catholics at Mass for Aid to the Church in Need

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow has told young Scottish Catholics that the example of persecuted Christians in the Middle East should inspire them to truly embrace their Faith.

At a Mass at St Bride’s Cambuslang, to mark the passing of Fr Werenfried van Straaten, the founder of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Archbishop Tartaglia told children from five local schools that religious freedom is under threat at home and abroad.

“It was good to see so many young people present at the Mass from our Catholic schools in their smart uniforms,” he said. “I was able to point out to them that such freedom to express one’s faith publicly is denied to many people across the globe and the issue of religious freedom is a live one at home and abroad.”

Live the Faith

Pupils from St Ninian’s High School, Giffnock, Cardinal Newman High School, Bellshill, John Oglivie High School, Hamilton, St Ambrose High School, Coatbridge and St Bride’s Primary School, Cambuslang, listened attentively as the archbishop called on them to live their Faith.

“The Mass itself was a good opportunity to recall the striking and impressive figure of Fr Werenfried van Straaten and the work of ACN across the world to help the Church where it is struggling and/or oppressed,” he said. “I emphasised the fact that the Church is not intimidated or pessimistic because of difficulties, but always full of hope and missionary zeal. We must carry out our mission while loving our enemies and praying for our oppressors.”

Money raised

Neville Kyrke-Smith, director of Aid to the Church in Need, said St Bride’s parish had raised a remarkable amount of money for persecuted Christians.

“They have raised £10,500 in the past year for persecuted Christians in Gaza and Jordan,” he said. “And the St Ninian’s pupils also handed over a cheque for £500 which was tremendous.”

Mr Kyrke-Smith said he had told parishioners about a recent rip he had taken to southern Russia, where Christians are being threatened by Muslim fundamentalists.

“Metropolitan Archbishop Kirill of Sevastopol said to me that there are borders to charity and you have shown there are no borders to charity just as there are no boundaries to the love of Christ,” he said. “The generosity of Scottish Catholics has grown year-on-year for their brothers and sisters in Christ and this Mass is just the latest sign of that generosity.”

—     ian@sconews.co.uk

 

PIC: PAUL McSHERRY

 

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