From the May 2017 edition…
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.
Archbishop Tartaglia told Flourish: “While it is still too soon to say that the vocations crisis has bottomed out, I am encouraged by the vocations which are emerging at the moment. However, we still do not have enough priests for our needs in the present and in the immediate future.
“So, I would encourage every parish, every parishioner, to pray hard for those who are in training, and for those discerning their future, that they will have the courage and confidence to come forward to serve God in the priesthood.”
Describing the total consecration to Christ and the Church that is the core of priestly identity and ministry, he said, “That consecration is active in the pastoral care we, acting in the person of Christ the Good Shepherd, give to our people when we bind up their broken hearts, when we listen to their sorrows; when we share their joys; when we console them in their times of illness; and when we help them on their final journey to the Father’s house.
“This consecration is at work when we are available to our people, make time for them, and dedicate ourselves to them above and beyond the call of duty.”
Archdiocesan Vocations Director, Fr Ross Campbell, had reassuring words for any young man who may be experiencing the first stirrings of a vocation. He said: “When I first felt God could be calling me I found it somewhat frightening but it is never a bad thing to discern what the Lord may be calling us to do. And if he is calling you to the priesthood you will be entering a life full of meaning and purpose and so much joy!”
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.
Ahead of the anniversary, Archbishop Tartaglia celebrated Mass in Nazareth House, Glasgow, for Pilgrims going on the National Pilgrimage in August and also for other Pilgrims who are going during this anniversary year.
He spoke of how, when the Church declares an apparition “worthy of belief”, it is because the message of the apparition is in harmony with the traditional teaching of the Church.
“Our Lady always points us forward to Jesus”, the Archbishop said. “At Fatima, she asked for a dedication to prayer and penance.” He reflected on how Francisco and Jacinta picked this up immediately – Francisco spending long hours in prayer while watching the sheep in the Cova da Iria and Jacinta giving away anything she had, particularly the bread and milk she had for lunch. This she gave to the poor children by the roadside and ate instead the bitter oranges that grow in the hedgerow in Portugal.
The Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be welcomed into St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow the day of the canonisations on Saturday 13th May before the 1 o’clock Mass.
Mgr Chris McElroy, Cathedral Administrator, hopes to encourage school children and parish groups to come to the Cathedral that week. Glasgow is the first stop for the statue which will visit each of Scotland’s eight Cathedrals this year.
Archbishop Conti 40th anniversary
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.