BY Ian Dunn | February 27 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Standing-room only

Bishop John Keenan told the over-flowing congregation at St Mirin’s Cathedral that the joy of the Gospel could save Scotland from sorrow during his comments at the first event of the Paisley Lenten Catechesis programme.

There was standing-room only in the cathedral last Sunday for the first event in the invocative programme and the bishop told the assembled flock that Scotland was a secular country and it was making us miserable.

“Why when life is so much better for so many of us than it was for our grandparents are so many of us so miserable?” he asked. “Why are 15 per cent of Scots on anti-depressants? We live in secular society that tells us we came from nothing, we’re going nowhere and we’ll end as nothing but we know different.”

The bishop went on to say that though it was a hard time to be a Catholic:  “We need to be brave and not hide away but bring the joy of Faith to all.”

“When the Church has it easy, it becomes flabby,” he said. “It’s when we are challenged that the Church is at it’s best. Wherever the Church has been holy, brave and confident in engaging the world it has triumphed over every adversity and power that has challenged it.”

Bishop Keenan also spoke of the people’s love of their priests saying: “I know you love them and think the world of them. They are wonderful priests and I am constantly amazed at their dedication to the diocese and to you.”

A key part of the talk was a focus on the creed and the bishop reminded those present that ‘the Creed is the answer to what Catholics believe,’

The event also included testimonies from pupils from St Andrew’s Academy.

“The importance of faith and of the Church is paramount to young Catholics,” Ben Smith said. “St Andrew’s Academy and the Diocese of Paisley have formed me and all their young Catholics into what we are today. Our schools, churches and families have planted the roots of faith deep within us and these roots will remain part of us for the rest of our lives. A lot of people worry about the future of the Church, but the dedication that can be seen everyday in our schools fills me with optimism. I hope you leave the Cathedral today with your belief in the youth of our Diocese renewed.”

The event opened with a colourful procession starting with primary pupils from St Mary’s carrying the colourful Gifts of the Holy Spirit banners, followed by the sisters of the diocese, the priests and deacons and finally Bishop Keenan.

The series will continue every Sunday of Lent at St Mirin’s Cathedral at 2pm.

This Sunday Archbishop Charles Brown, Papal Nuncio to Ireland, will lead the Lenten Catechesis in Paisley, on March 8 it will be lead byBishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen, followed by Bishop Mark Davis of Shrewsbury on March 15, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth on March 22 and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow on March 29.




—Read the full version of this story in the February 27 edition of the SCO in parishes from Friday.



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