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4-POPE-EASTER

Scots to serve with Pope at Easter vigil

Amanda Connelly

Seminarians studying at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome have been given the honour of being asked to assist Pope Francis at the Easter Vigil in the Vatican.

The Mass, the most important event in the Church’s calendar, will begin in the Basilica of St Peter at 7.30pm UK time on Saturday April 15, and marks the first time that the Scots College community has been asked to serve at a Papal Liturgy involving Pope Francis.

“I am delighted that the college has been invited to serve the Easter Vigil in St Peter’s Basilica,” Scots College Rector Fr Daniel Fitzpatrick said. “I remember, during my own time as a seminarian serving for Pope St John Paul. It was one of those moments where you realise what a blessing it is to be able to study for the priesthood here in Rome. I am sure that this opportunity to be close to Pope Francis during the celebration of the Easter mysteries will help our seminarians and deacons on their journey towards priesthood.”

The college has maintained a strong relationship with the popes throughout its history, and expressed its gratitude at being given the opportunity once again to serve at the Mass. It comes a year after the Scots College community met the Holy Father at a private audience in the Vatican City, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the formation of young men for the priesthood at the college.

“The opportunity to serve for the Holy Father in St Peter’s Basilica is a great honour for all the seminarians at the Scots College,” senior seminarian Deacon Bernard Mournian said. “I know we are all very much looking forward to the chance to be close to Pope Francis, both in person and in prayer.

“To be in St Peter’s for the Easter Vigil will be such a special occasion in itself, let alone serving for His Holiness. I know for myself and for the others it will be a moment that we will never forget.”

Seminarian Ryan Black also spoke of his gratitude at being asked to take part in the Vigil Mass.

“It is a great honour that we have been asked to assist the Holy Father at the Easter vigil this year,” he said. “After the vice-rector gave us the news, there was a buzz around the college.

“It is incredible to think that we will meet the Pope again, one year after we were invited to a private audience at the Apostolic Palace.

“It has been a long time since the college community was asked to serve at a Papal liturgy, and to be asked to serve at the most significant Mass of the year is incredible.

“It will be great to witness people being brought into the Church, as we never have that opportunity at our own Easter Vigils in the college. I think it will be a defining moment in my vocation journey.”

The Scots College in Rome trains seminarians from across all of Scotland’s eight Catholic dioceses, as well as one seminarian from the diocese of Oslo in Norway.

 

—This story ran in full in the April 7 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

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