Flourish, the monthly newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow

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

2017.04.apr.flourish.cover

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.flourish.cover

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.flourish.cover

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.flourish.cover

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.flourish.cover

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.flourish.cover

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.flourish.cover

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.flourish.cover

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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2016.07.jul.flourish.cover

July 2016

Praise for Glasgow’s hardworking priests

Dominicans’ departure highlights pull on resources

THE renewed commitment of priests across the Archdiocese of Glasgow to working together in strengthening parish life has been praised by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia.

Over the past two months, the Archbishop has met with the nearly 100 priests in parish cluster groups, hearing about their work, assessing local needs and listening to plans for greater cooperation.

He said: “It was good to talk to the priests in smaller groups about the pastoral challenges they are facing.

United in support of refugees

Members of faith communities across Scotland issued a joint statement to mark World Refugee Day on Monday 20 June

AS representatives of faith traditions and organisations assisting faith communities in the struggle against poverty in Scotland, we share an imperative to offer compassion and justice to those who are afraid and oppressed.

We are saddened that there are those who would tear down bridges in place of strengthening human relationships and we pray for the healing of the scars which trouble the world.

We believe in the importance of citizens playing an active and constructive role in society, contributing to the common good, and in the name of our common humanity we believe in the obligation on those who have the power and ability to help those in desperate need.

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2016.06.jun.flourish.cover

June 2016

Broken for others

IN breaking bread for his disciples, Christ gave an example of what it means to allow oneself to be broken for the good of others, Pope Francis has said.

And he explained that it is the Eucharist which gives people the strength to do this.

Just as the “breaking of the bread” became the icon of the early Christian community, giving of oneself in order to nourish others spiritually and physically should be a sign of Christians today.

Happy companions on journey of faith and mercy

From 22 to 29 May, 77 pilgrims took part in the Archdiocese of Glasgow Year of Mercy Pilgrimage to Rome

EACH day of our Jubilee Year of Mercy Pilgrimage has had its own spiritual highlight, its own richness and its own emotion.

Through our visits to the papal basilicas of St Peter, St Paul, St John Lateran and St Mary Major, Rome made us conscious of our communion in Jesus Christ with the Apostles and Martyrs – including the courageous and wonderful girl-martyr, St Cecilia, whose story so impressed and touched us through our visit to the catacombs.

Our pilgrimage was beginning to work its magic – we were experiencing a deepening of our faith.

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2016.05.may.flourish.cover

May 2016

Youth leaders wanted

YOUTH ministry in the Archdiocese of Glasgow is being strengthened with the search underway for fresh talent.

Two new posts are being created in the revamped youth office – a coordinator and youth worker – to work alongside existing youth worker Kate Curran.

Fr John Sweeney, director of youth ministry, said: “This is a truly exciting time for the youth office as we seek to re-establish our role and presence in the archdiocese.

Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love

AS Christians, we can hardly stop advocating marriage simply to avoid countering contemporary sensibilities, or out of a desire to be fashionable or a sense of helplessness in the face of human and moral failings.

We would be depriving the world of values that we can and must offer.

It is true that there is no sense in simply decrying present-day evils, as if this could change things. Nor it is helpful to try to impose rules by sheer authority.

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