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


January 2019

Boost for saint’s day celebrations

Glasgow is set to mark its saint’s day with a bigger and more ambitious programme of events than ever.

The traditional Feast day of St Mungo (or Kentigern) will be supported by 10 days of activities and celebrations which will recall the city’s saintly founder and its Christian origins.

The Mungo Festival kicks off on Wednesday 9th January at the St Mungo Museum with a reception with wine and mince pies, as Professor Stephen Driscoll describes an archaeological exploration of Kentigern’s origins from his birthplace to the Clyde.

Let us all pray as one for worldwide justice and unity

Catholics across the archdiocese are being urged to take seriously the work for Christian unity this month.

The annual Octave for Christian Unity takes place from January 18/25 culminating in the feast of the Conversion of St Paul.

Canon David Wallace, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes in Cardonald and Chair of Glasgow Churches Together, said: “Many good things happen around the week of prayer for Christian Unity and it would be good to share in some of these events. The organisation Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has produced very useable resources for the week which have been distributed in every parish. The materials can also be accessed online.

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December 2018

Archbishop: Time to tell the real story of Christmas

Archbishop Tartaglia has called on Catholics to use the hype and anticipated celebration of Christmas as a way of helping people understand the real reason for the seasons of Advent and Christmas.

In his annual festive message, Archbishop Tartaglia points out that society’s impatience to start Christmas celebrations earlier and earlier each year is a sign of a deep spiritual thirst, to which Catholics should try to respond.

The Archbishop’s message is reproduced in full below:

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November 2018

Dear young people…

In an extraordinary open letter, composed to mark the end of the Vatican Synod on young people, the Pope and Bishops are reaching out to the youth of the world. Flourish carries the short, powerful letter in full, with a special request… Place this text in the hands of a young person after you have read it

We address you, young people of the world, with a word of hope, trust and consolation.

In these days, we have gathered together to hear the voice of Jesus, “the eternally young Christ”, and to recognise in Him your many voices, your shouts of exultation, your cries, and your moments of silence.

We are familiar with your inner searching, the joys and hopes, the pain and anguish that make up your longings.

Tragedy remembered with Mass

A tragedy which shocked Glasgow half a century ago is to be remembered at a special Mass in the Cathedral, 50 years to the day since it happened.

The James Watt Street fire took place on the morning of Monday, 18 November 1968, and was a fatal factory blaze just along from Central Station in a street which was then full of warehouses.

It was notable for the huge loss of life, with 23 employees killed, trapped in a building behind barred windows, a hangover from its previous use as a whisky bond.

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October 2018

Pope’s plea: Pray Rosary to overcome devil’s attacks

Pontiff’s dramatic plea to world’s Catholics

In a dramatic plea, the Holy Father Francis has urged Catholics all over the world to pray the Rosary every day during October to save the Church from the devil.

It is an initiative that signals how worried Pope Francis is about the scandals of clerical abuse, open division among bishops and cardinals, and challenges to the Pope’s authority and person. The Holy Father asks all Catholics to pray the Holy Rosary every day, during the entire month of October, “asking the Holy Mother of God and Saint Michael the Archangel to protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other.”

Pope Francis asks that Catholic conclude the recitation of the Rosary with the ancient invocation “Sub Tuum Praesidium”, and with the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel for protection in the struggle against evil.

Honoured at last

Glasgow memorial for St John Ogilvie

St John Ogilvie, Scotland’s only post-Reformation saint, is finally to be given a public memorial more than 400 years after he was hanged at Glasgow Cross.

A plaque telling his story will be unveiled on the martyred saint’s feast day of March 10th and will be the first in a series forming a new Glasgow City Council City Heritage Trail.

As campaigners warmly welcomed the move, Flourish can reveal that an anonymous benefactor is ready to make a very substantial donation to help pay for a statue of the saint to be placed nearby.

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September 2018

Pope Francis in Ireland

Pope Francis asked the people of Ireland to stay true to their traditions of prayer and family life in a landmark visit last week.

The Holy Father visited Dublin and Knock during the World Meeting of Families and took the opportunity to offer a heartfelt apology for the scandal of abuse which has besmirched the Irish Church in recent years, offering words of sorrow too for the women forced to work in Magdalen laundries.

In a series of addresses, the Pope also spoke to married couples, bishops and those who care for the poor, urging them to bring the Gospel to 21st century Ireland.

St Andrew’s Cathedral hosts education icon to mark Catholic schools centenary

St Andrew’s Cathedral will this month host the stunning icon written to mark the spiritual, educational and social significance of the centenary of the 1918 Education (Scotland) Act which brought Catholic schools into the local authority system.

During the course of the year the icon of Jesus Our Teacher, a focus for prayer, meditation and reflection has been on a pilgrimage to dioceses throughout Scotland and has already been in Aberdeen, Argyll and the Isles, Dunkeld and Galloway.

Arrangements are being put together for it to be hosted in Motherwell and finally St Andrews and Edinburgh.

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August 2018

Céad míle fáilte!

Glasgow’s Irish eyes are smiling as Pope Francis visits the Emerald Isle

Céad míle fáilte! A hundred thousand welcomes to Pope Francis whose visit to Ireland later this month has been warmly welcomed by Glasgow’s huge Irish population.

The Holy Father will visit Dublin and Knock to mark World Day of Families. All 500,000 tickets have been booked out for the Papal Mass in Phoenix Park Dublin on Sunday 26 August. Demand was such that 400,000 were snapped up in the first 48 hours.

The theme of the event is “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”. Held every three years, this major international event brings together families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of the family in society and in the Church.

Archdiocese welcomes Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle anti-Catholic hate crimes

The Archdiocese has welcomed commitments made by the City Council, Police Scotland and the Scottish Government to show zero tolerance for anti-Catholic bigotry and violence in Scottish life.

Following on the widely publicised incident involving Canon Tom White and his parishioners of St Alphonsus in the east end of Glasgow, the Scottish Government’s new Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “This anti-Catholicism on the streets of Glasgow is no different from Islamophobia or anti-semitism. If it had been an imam or rabbi that had been abused in the way Canon Thomas White was allegedly abused, there would have been universal condemnation of it.”

The Minister has spoken to Glasgow City Council about the possibility of re-routing other Orange parades, so they avoid Catholic churches, especially at Mass times.

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July 2018

“To receive Holy Communion is everything…”

Archbishop Tartaglia has issued a clarion call to Catholics everywhere to rediscover the Mass.

In a heartfelt message, the Archbishop calls for a new era of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, a deeper appreciation of the Mass and a new effort to encourage the lapsed to come back to Sunday Mass.

The Archbishop’s plea has been circulated to every parish in the diocese. It is a summary of the Church’s teaching on what the Eucharist is, how it should be received and why it needs to be rediscovered. In it he warns against “casual or banal” reception of Holy Communion, emphasises the need for care in taking communion in the hand and encourages a new appreciation of silence.

Archbishop decries ‘hostile environment’ facing migrants and refugees

Archbishop Tartaglia has used the opening of a new photo exhibition to make a heartfelt plea for greater support for refugees.

Speaking in the Cathedral at the exhibition previewed in last month’s Flourish, the Archbishop recalled his own background, as the son of an immigrant family from Italy, and reminded his audience that most of the Catholic community in Scotland is made up of children of immigrants.

He said: “I hate to think of a hostile environment being deliberately created to make life harder for people coming to this country.”

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June 2018

Faith on the ocean wave

With its proud roots here in Glasgow, Apostleship of the Sea celebrated its past last month while embracing the future in the city where it all began.

Fittingly Glasgow will host in 2020 the 25th World Congress of the organisation. In preparation supporters of the much-loved charity gathered on board the historic Tall Ship, ‘Glenlee’ anchored on the Clyde, to recognise its sterling work supporting seafarers for almost 100 years.

From its humble origins in St Aloysius’ Church, Garnet­hill, the charity has expanded internationally and those present on the night were intrigued to hear first-hand of exciting plans to mark the charity’s centenary in just over two years.

Youth to take centre stage

On Thursday June 7 close on a thousand S6 pupils, their proud families teachers, friends and relatives will crowd into the Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow for the presentation of the annual Caritas awards.

Now in its seventh year the Pope Benedict XVI Caritas Award was launched after the visit of the Pontiff to Scotland in 2010 during which he famously urged young people to become ‘saints of the 21st century’.

Barbara Coupar, Director of the Scottish Catholic Edu­cation Service who oversees the organisation of the event in conjunction with schools in the Archdiocese said: “The loving service of the pupils within the Archdiocese of Glasgow shows the commitment that each of the participants have to developing their personal faith life and sharing that with the wider community.”

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May 2018

Ave Maria

The month of Our Lady will have a special flavour this year as the Church prepares to celebrate a new Marian Feast.

Pope Francis has instituted a new memorial of “Mary Mother of the Church” on the Monday after Pentecost each year, which in 2018 falls on May 21.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “I was delighted when I heard that the Holy Father had instituted a new feast day for Our Lady in her month of May. The title of ‘Mother of the Church’ is so appropriate for our day.

Stadium Mass celebrates education anniversary

Save the date… Thurs­day 14th June will see the largest gathering of young Catholics in Scot­land for decades when around 8500 schoolchildren and teachers celebrate the National Catholic Schools Mass at Falkirk’s football stadium.

The eagerly-awaited gathering is the highlight of a calendar of events to mark the centenary of the 1918 Edu­cation Act which brought Catholic schools into the state sector.

As schools throughout Scot­land draw up detailed planning for the historic event, Barbara Coupar, director of the Scottish Catholic Edu­cation Service said: “I am delighted that on this occasion every Catholic school in Scot­land will be able to gather as a community of faith and learning and celebrate Mass together.

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April 2018

Happy Easter!

Archbishop’s Easter message

There is something very pleasurable about hearing the first Alleluia of Easter sung after the long cold days of Lent. Even when you don’t have the best musical ear it’s a very special moment!

This year the days of Lent seemed longer and colder than usual, with enough snow and ice to last a decade, and so it is perhaps even more special to be able to mark the joy and indeed the glory of this great feast of Resurrection.

At Easter the Church announces with great joy that Christ is truly risen. And that changes everything. Christ’s resurrection and new life means that we can live a new life, a new life of faith, hope and love. Faith, hope and especially love are life-changing and world-changing virtues. Jesus wants his followers to change the world, not by force or by conquest or by trickery, but by faith, hope and love, by living the life of the resurrection.

Supporters aim high to finally honour St John Ogilvie

Plans to erect a statue to St John Ogilvie, Scotland’s only post-reformation martyr, are now up in the air … literally.

Campaigners have come up with the ingenious idea of placing a statue in an existing empty niche of the Tontine building, a former bank, directly above the site at the Tolbooth where the saint was hanged in 1615.

By placing the memorial at a height – 60ft above street level – supporters believe it will not only serve as a unique reminder of the saint’s place in Scottish history but in practical terms prevent vandalism.

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March 2018

Come home this Lent

Archbishop joins Pope Francis in urging Catholics to return to the confessional

Come home to the open arms of God’s mercy… that’s the powerful message this Lent from Archbishop Tartaglia as he urges a rediscovery of the sacrament of reconciliation.

The Archbishop has written to every parish in the Arch­diocese, urging priests to make themselves available with extra generosity for confessions in the weeks leading up to Easter, echoing the Pope’s call in his Lenten message.

St Andrew’s Cathedral will be turned into a sanctuary of mercy on March 22, with confessions being heard from dawn until dusk, with the Archbishop taking his own slot in the rota for hearing confessions.

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February 2018

Our schools are good for Scotland

Catholic schools are being urged to mark the anniversary year of the 1918 Education Act by putting into action the Church’s “best kept secret” – Catholic social teaching.

The call came from Archbishop Tartaglia in a letter to every parish in Scotland for Education Week.

And in a historic move which underlines the theme of schools as centres of social outreach, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will give the landmark Cardinal Winning lecture next month which will focus on the beneficial impact of state-funded Catholic schools on Scottish national life.

Lentfest 2018: the best, biggest and brightest yet

This Valentine’s Day, Catholic couples could find themselves sharing a romantic fish supper as Ash Wednesday falls on 14th February, announcing the beginning of Lent.

However, the season also heralds a new Lentfest programme organised by AGAP, inviting us to celebrate our faith and share it through the creative and performing arts.

Perhaps the most anticipated Lentfest ingredients are the annual play by AGAP Theatre and the Art Exhibition. Over the years, these two staple features of the festival have been a means of catechesis, allowing artists, performers and audiences to enter into the mysteries of the Catholic Faith or explore the lives of the Saints. This year, the theme takes us closer to home, taking inspiration from the life of Glasgow’s patron saint, Mungo.

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