BY Peter Diamond | November 15 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

celtic glasgow mass

Faith is the ‘leaven in the bread’ of Celtic FC

St Mary’s Church in Glasgow’s Calton held the annual Celtic memorial Mass on Monday evening to celebrate the ‘historic links between the parish and football club.’

Around 200 people, including Celtic FC staff and directors, gathered at St Mary’s to ‘acknowledge a very important facet of the club,’ according to Canon Tom White, parish priest of St Mary’s and St Alphonsus’.

Before the Mass, Tony Hamilton, chief executive of Celtic FC Foundation, gave some insight into the projects being run by the charitable arm of the club, including the launch of the Christmas appeal, which raised over £250,000 in 2018.



Terry Dick, a Celtic FC historian then gave an oration about the ‘symbol of hope’ which the creation of Celtic gave to the community of St Mary’s and poor of the East End, who were largely Irish immigrants.

Terry said: “St Mary’s Calton is central to the Celtic narrative and the formation of the club’s admiral ethos. The parish community doesn’t just know the history, they helped to make it.

“That band of Victorian brothers, the soberly dressed first committee, looking out proudly from fading images, driven by the dynamic leadership of John Glass and inspired by the altruism of Dr John Conway, were also men of this parish.”

During the homily, Canon White reflected on the Gospel of Matthew 25 being at ‘the heart of the motivation of the founding fathers of Celtic, including Br Walfrid.’


Humble beginnings

“It is true to say that no matter how Celtic Football Club evolves from its humble beginning as a club formed in a parish hall to a club reconstituted several times in terms of its business face, surely at the heart of Celtic’s identity must be Matthew 25, because from it’s inception they have been feeding the hungry, inviting the stranger, clothing the naked and visiting the sick.”

During the Mass, music and song was provided by St Margaret’s Youth Group, who fundraise throughout the year to visit Lourdes with Glasgow Archdiocese.

Canon White added: “It’s good for us to be here, acknowledging a very important facet of the club, an important facet which is like leaven in the bread. Without the yeast of charity and Faith, Celtic would be a naan bread but with the yeast of Faith by God it makes it a bloomer.

“That’s what we celebrate, that actually we have a higher power, that we never toil alone.

“That indeed when the Celtic support say, ‘You’ll never walk alone,’ we know that because we walk with our founder’s Faith and we hope that He will call us one day to graze amongst the sheep and not the goats.”

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