BY Ryan McDougall | October 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Jesus our Teacher Icon is welcomed to Motherwell Diocese by its creator

The Icon of Jesus Our Teacher was officially passed over to Motherwell Diocese on Wednesday October 10, as it continues its journey around Scotland.

The artwork has now visited Galloway, Paisley, Glasgow and Motherwell in celebration of the centenary of the Education Act, which granted state funding to Catholic schools.

The icon is now set to remain in the diocese until November 20. During the week, it can be found in Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral, Motherwell. At weekends, the icon will visit various host parishes in each deanery in Motherwell Diocese in order to be as accessible as possible for schools and parishioners.

A handover Mass was celebrated in St Bartholomew’s Church in Coatbridge, with staff and pupils of nearby schools and friends of Catholic education from both Glasgow and Motherwell dioceses.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow passed on the icon to Bishop Joseph Toal, and both spoke about the past, present and future of Scottish Catholic education.

St Bartholomew’s is the home parish of Bernadette Reilly, the artist behind the Icon, meaning the changing of hands was especially memorable for all who were present.

Ms Reilly was commissioned by SCES to create the artwork ahead of the centenary, and it has since travelled across much of Scotland. Having suffered an injury to her foot, Ms Reilly arrived at the ceremony via wheelchair.

She explained how witnessing her handiwork enter her parish for the occasion was ‘wonderful.’

“It was very moving,” she said. “It’s hard to describe because I’ve been here at this parish since I was a child, apart from when I moved abroad for a while. Normally when I get to work on these things I just get my head down—I never really think about what might happen with it or where it could go.”

For Ms Reilly, seeing her parish priest, Fr James O’Kane, support her in her work was the highlight of the occasion.

“Father went to get a copy of the icon and placed it on the sanctuary altar, which made me feel very touched because I never thought I’d see some of my own work in my home church,” she said.

“I feel very privileged and blessed to have been able to share the joy and that the icon has touched so many people all over Scotland.”

Glad to have the icon in Motherwell for the month, Claire O’Neill, religious education coordinator for Motherwell Diocese, said: “The Diocese of Motherwell was delighted that the Catholic schools of the diocese joined together as a true community of Faith as we welcomed the Icon, Jesus Our Teacher.

“We hope all who have been educated in our Catholic schools, both past and present, will have the opportunity to reflect on, and celebrate, what we have achieved so far and will support our children as they continue their journey of Faith in our Catholic schools.”

The Icon’s next stop after Motherwell is St Andrews & Edinburgh Archdiocese.

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