BY Amanda Connelly | October 27 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Hundreds unite to show solidarity in the face of cancer

Hundreds gathered at Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral in Motherwell last week as they made a show of Christian solidarity against cancer

The ecumenical ‘Pause for Hope’ service, organised by the Knights of St Columba, offered an opportunity to pray for all those who have been affected by cancer—from those who have it and their loved ones to carers and researchers.

Led by Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell Diocese on October 12, the congregation of 270 gathered for evening of prayer, music and reflection.

Bishop Toal gave the opening address at the service, before cathedral administrator Fr Gerard Chromy invited those present to light a candle for their own intentions as organist John Pitcathley and the Motherwell Diocesan Choir provided music.

The bishop then prayed over the candles, before Nan Hall of the Church of Scotland gave a reading and Roberta Hutton, Moderator of the Hamilton Presbytery of the Church of Scotland, gave a homily.

Two prayers were said by provincial grand knight Francis Kelly, Council 246 grand knight, and Br Gerard Donnelly.

A reflection was then given by organiser Br John Lennon from the Knights of St Columba, who spoke about his personal 10 years’ experience with cancer.

Susan McLean sang a solo rendition of ‘Ave Maria’, which many found very moving, before a further two prayers by Grand Knight Des Hamill of Council 520. The diocesan choir then sang Howard Goodall’s ‘Bone Pastor’, before the moderator gave the closing address and Bishop Toal the final blessing.

The congregation then gathered for refreshments in St Bride’s Hall, where the wonderful sum of £673 was collected for cancer charities.

‘Pause for Hope’ services take place all over the UK and beyond, and were started in 1999 by Professor Ray Donnelly, a retired cancer surgeon who founded the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

The service was previously held in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Carfin, in both 2006 and 2008, and this year marks the first time it has been held in the cathedral.

It is one of three ‘Pause for Hope’ services to take place in Scotland this year, the others having been held in Paisley and Glasgow.


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