Flourish, the monthly newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow

Recent issues

Missed an issue? Catch up here on the last year of Flourish news, views and features

2017.07.jul.cover.3d

July 2017

Reboot the faith

One of the world’s top Catholic speakers is coming to Glasgow – with a mission to reboot the Catholic faith of the Archdiocese.

Chris Stefanick is currently selling out events across America in his ministry which presents the Catholic faith in all its beauty, power and truth in an engaging and uplifting way.

He has worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the areas of marriage and family life, laity, and youth. This month he brings Reboot Live to Glasgow.

Pastoral Council helps prepare parishes for a future of changes

Lay people from across the Archdiocese met last month to offer their insights and advice to the Archbishop on how to structure parish provision in the future.

Representatives from 17 of the 22 parish clusters set up several years ago were present at the Eyre Hall gathering of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. The Archbishop presided and the Vicar General, Monsignor Paul Conroy, and the Chancellor, Monsignor Paul Murray, were in attendance.

The event allowed a frank and honest exchange of views on the current state of parish life and the need for restructuring over the next decade.

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2017.06.jun.cover.3d

June 2017

Make the X count

Bishops urge voters to remember the vulnerable

Make the Cross count by caring for the poorest and most vulnerable … That’s the eve-of-poll plea by Scotland’s Bishops.

The Bishops published their traditional guidance for voters last month, asking Catholics to reflect on the issues highlighted. As voting day approaches, the Bishops have repeated their message.

The document repeats previous calls for respect for life – describing it as “fundamental to the Catholic faith” and support for families, but makes a special plea this year for EU nationals caught up in the uncertainties of Brexit to be granted security.

Communications at the heart of the Church’s life

Archbishop’s letter for World Communications Day

My dear brothers and sisters,

Communication is at the heart of all that we do. We share information, emotion, ideas and experiences every day.

Our faith is based on the communication of God’s message to humanity, namely that God is love. It is not a coincidence that St John refers to Jesus as the “Word” made flesh. (John 1:14).

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2017.05.may.cover.3d

May 2017

Pray! Pray! Pray!

Archbishop’s plea to parishioners to support priestly vocations

Pray. Pray. Pray … that’s the plea this month from Archbishop Tartaglia in a heartfelt letter to parishioners on Vocations Sunday.

Next month sees the ordination to the priesthood of Deacon Jim Dean. And at the start of the next academic term in autumn, there will be five Glasgow students in seminary with two more taking part in the applicants’ year.

These are the highest numbers for some time, but the Archbishop is convinced that more prayer is needed to encourage and sustain more vocations.

Our Lady’s message of penance, peace and pilgrimage

Two of the visionaries of Fatima – young shepherds Jacinta and Francisco Marto – will be canonised by Pope Francis when he visits the Portuguese shrine next week.

His Holiness will canonize them at the Mass already scheduled for May 13, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and the 100th anniversary of the date when the two children - along with their cousin Lúcia Santos - said the Virgin Mary first appeared to them.

Francis will be the fourth pope to visit the shrine, following Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Archbishop Conti 40th anniversary

Four-page special

Fellow bishops have paid warm tributes to Archbishop Mario Conti to mark his outstanding contribution to the life of the Church on the 40th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop.

In a series of reflections, Scotland’s Catholic hierarchy offer their own words of congratulation to the boy from Elgin who became the successor of St Mungo.

And in an exclusive interview, Archbishop Conti also tells the story of his unanticipated nomination.

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2017.04.apr.cover.3d

April 2017

Homeless death on our city centre streets… Who cares?

THE tragic death of a young homeless man, sleeping rough in Glasgow city centre, must galvanise all with a concern for society’s most vulnerable to work harder to alleviate suffering and isolation.

That is the determined view of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia in the wake of the death of Matthew Bloomer. His body was found in a shop doorway at the Trongate on Argyle Street on the morning of 21 March, as people made their way to work.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “It was distressing to hear about the death of this young man on the streets of central Glasgow.

Now you’re talking!

Hundreds of refugees have learned English in a ground breaking church led project, but in this first anniversary report BRIAN SWANSON hears an appeal for more parish groups to play their part while ALAN MacDERMID gives his personal view as a classroom volunteer

A Glasgow parish priest is urging fellow clergymen to provide English classes for refugees following a hugely successful initiative at his own church.

Father Tim Curtis, of St Aloysius, Garnethill, was speaking on the first anniversary of the project which has seen scores of refugees learn English with the help of a group of dedicated teachers and other volunteers.

The popularity of the classes, which will continue for the foreseeable future, means that there is no spare capacity at the St John Ogilvie Centre prompting Fr Curtis to issue his appeal to other churches to consider similar schemes.

Take my word for it … teaching is fun

AFTER a lifetime as a newspaper reporter, I like to think I have a reasonable grasp of English. I had a good grounding in reading – the Beano and the Dandy – and progressed from there. The question is – can I pass on this facility?

Shouldn’t be all that difficult, I think – after all, I’ve helped to raise two children and they are perfectly literate.

But these are men and women with pressing needs – finding work, filling in forms, dealing with bureaucrats, communicating with neighbours and shopkeepers. They don’t have time for bedtime stories or comics.

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2017.03.mar.cover.3d

March 2017

Milestone on poverty-hit streets

THE courage and visionary thinking behind The Space – reaching out to some of Glasgow’s most marginalized people – has been commended by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia.

As he blessed the project’s premises on Belleisle St in Govanhill, the Archbishop praised the commitment and drive shown by the Daughters of Charity who pioneered the outreach work among the area’s poor and the staff who are taking their vision forward.

“The Space is a place of hope,” he said. “It has opened its doors in welcome to all, especially those who endure the hardships of this time.”

Answering the challenge

FOR most people living in wealthy countries such as Scotland, it can be hard to fully realise what it means to not have enough to eat or to feel hunger regularly.

It is only when we unpack the shocking statistics relating to hunger that we begin to appreciate what it really means and the parallel worlds in which we live.

A staggering one in nine people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.

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2017.02.feb.cover.3d

February 2017

‘No medical explanation’ for Mgr Smith’s recovery

GLASGOW priest Mgr Peter Smith is gradually getting back to work in St Paul’s parish, Whiteinch, two months after doctors suspected he could not survive a critical health scare.

And he is convinced his dramatic turnaround is a “miracle” which he attributes to prayer through the intercession of Venerable Margaret Sinclair.

His surgeon has assured him that there is “no medical explanation” for his recovery.

Worldview of education rooted in faith

Archbishop Tartaglia’s message for Catholic Education Week

Each year, around this time, we celebrate Catholic Education Week.

During this week we:

This year the theme, Developing as a community of faith and learning, reflects that Catholic schools do not act in isolation but work in partnership as they carry out their task of educating and completing the whole person.

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2016.12.dec.cover.3d

December 2016

Spiritual home for all our people

Archbishop Tartaglia reflects on 200th anniversary of St Andrew’s Cathedral

This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad (Ps 117: 24)

We rejoice to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of St Andrew’s Church which was to become the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

This is undoubtedly an historic occasion. It has been said that St Andrew’s Cathedral symbolises at once the survival – after very difficult times – and the revival of the Catholic faith in Glasgow and the surrounding area.

Open to new beginnings after closure of St Louise

ON a day of raw emotion, parishioners of St Louise’s, Darnley, did their best to remain upbeat as they joined together for Mass in the parish church for the last time.

The Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the liturgical year, marked the end of a chapter in the life of the Glasgow southside community.

With the parish merging to form part of St Vincent’s, Thornliebank, the church which opened in January 1983 has been closed.

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2016.11.nov.cover.3d

November 2016

Great awakening needed to confront power elites

AT a Mass marking the 49th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia called for a “peaceful revolution” to heal society’s throwaway culture and treasure the gift of human life.

“I would like to take this opportunity to call on those who have legislative power in our country to repeal the law which allows abortion,” he said. “But I am nearly certain that our parliamentarians and lawmakers are beyond recall on this matter.

“I think it would take a great awakening of some kind before the 1967 Abortion Act would be revisited with a view to its repeal or significant diminishing.”

Bishops rally in Monaco to defend Christian witness

EUROPE’S bishops have decried growing anti-Christian discrimination on the continent and the outright persecution of Christians in other parts of the world.

Meeting in Monaco, last month, the Council of European Episcopal Conferences highlighted the “tragic urgency of the growing acts of persecution” which affect human rights and religious freedom.

“These are manifestations of an irrational violence which is fuelled, too often, by a call to religious motivations that are an abuse and an insult to the very name of God,” the bishops stated.

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2016.10.oct.cover.3d

October 2016

Financial justice has become moral imperative, says Archbishop

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia has castigated politicians for moving the economic goalposts, with benefits’ reforms which place heavier financial burdens on those already struggling.

And he expressed dismay that, in a country of plenty, more and more people are relying on handouts from foodbanks to survive.

His pointed remarks came at a Mass marking the 60th anniversary of the opening of St Maria Goretti’s church in Cranhill, where some of the community are directly impacted by financial hardship.

Passionate peace plea at Assisi day of prayer

HUMANITY should feel ashamed it can wage war, kill the innocent, bomb cities and prevent food and medicine from reaching survivors, Pope Francis stated at an interfaith prayer meeting in Assisi.

Violence and division are the work of the devil who “wants to kill everyone,” and that is why people need to come together and pray for peace, united in the conviction that “God is a God of peace,” he said on the special day of prayer for peace, 20 September.

“If we today shut our ear to the cry of these people who suffer being bombed, who suffer exploitation by arms traffickers, it could be that when it's our turn no one will respond to us,” he added.

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2016.09.sep.cover.3d

September 2016

Icon of compassion

Mother Teresa believed that even the most destitute person is still the child of God to be treated with all the reverence such an identity demands.

Mother Teresa believed that even the most destitute person is still the child of God to be treated with all the reverence such an identity demands.

Mother Teresa lived a life of joy – a special joy that comes from serving others in Christ’s name. She once said that when bathing a leper she felt as if she were bathing the wounds of Christ himself.

Bring out the best

A MAJOR initiative to enable teachers in Catholic schools to have greater confidence in their abilities and better respond to the challenges of educating young people in faith is being rolled out across Scotland.

Companions on the Journey aims to provide more accessible career-long professional learning in Catholic schools, helping teachers to be wise and faithful companions to young people as they learn and grow in faith.

Barbara Coupar, director of SCES (Scottish Catholic Education Service), said: “It aims to assist teachers to respond to the vocation to teach in Catholic schools, benefitting from professional learning opportunities which will support them in their work at every level.

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2016.08.aug.cover.3d

August 2016

Keep moving forward

POPE FRANCIS has called on young Catholics to be the driving force for change in the world by showing the face of God’s mercy.

Counselling against living life in the slow lane, settling for the comfort zone, he urged them push ahead in confronting today’s challenges and so leave their mark on history.

“What better way to experience the contagious joy of the Gospel than by striving to bring the Good News to all kinds of painful and difficult situations!” the Pope said as he led an estimated 1.5million young people at the World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

Christian response to violence

IN the wake of the brutal murder of 85 year-old Fr Jacques Hamel in the Normandy church where he served for over 25 years, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia expressed his deep sorrow at such an horrific attack.

In a message to Mgr Dominique Lebrun, the Archbishop of Rouen, he said: “We are truly appalled at the series of attacks which have been perpetrated on France and her people over recent weeks.

“This latest incident represents a new and shocking development – namely the attack on people engaged in the worship of God in a sacred place.

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