It was our Holy Father Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI who announced a Year of Faith
to take place from 11th October 2012 to 24th November 2013. It began on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council and ends today on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!
Together with the Church throughout the world we have reflected on the way we believe, celebrate, pray, and live our Faith in Jesus Christ, our King. During the Year of Faith there have been many challenges to our Faith but also lots of opportunities to learn more and strengthen it.
Highlights for the Youth Pastoral Team include two brilliant National Youth Events, World Youth Day in Rio, and Scotland's Rio in Stirling. On the feast of Corpus Christi earlier this summer, there were Eucharistic processions and Holy Hours across the Archdiocese that kept our focus firmly on the Lord.
No one expected that in March 2013 we would bid farewell to Pope Benedict and welcome Pope Francis as the 266th successor of St. Peter. We have been doubly blessed by the leadership of two inspirational, holy men throughout this year. Thank you, Holy Father Emeritus Benedict, thank you, Pope Francis!
Today as we renew our baptismal promises at Mass we give thanks for all we've shared in this Year of Faith and ask for the grace to continue to grow in the Faith we received at Baptism. This is not the end. This is just the beginning...
Almighty, ever-living God,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of the Universe,
grant, we pray,
that the whole creation, set free from slavery,
may render your majesty service
and ceaselessly proclaim your praise!
"Go, make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19) - this was the theme uniting World Youth Day
events in Rio, Stirling, and elsewhere. Not all of us could make the trip to join Pope Francis in Brazil, but we were certainly together in spirit! Hundreds of young people from across Scotland, and beyond, came together at Stirling University campus for our own national gathering organised by Catholic Youth Service Scotland.
Four days of faith, fun, good food, friendship, and a festival atmosphere made Scotland's Rio
a true World Youth Day experience.
Thank you to everyone who participated!
The challenge of the New Evangelisation takes different forms around the world. In Scotland we have a great Christian tradition to rediscover and share with others in our community, despite the difficulties we face. The first step is building up our confidence - faith - in the Risen Lord, and remaining close to Him through thick and thin. The Year of Faith
is not yet over, and full of opportunities to do this!
Now we have been sent out, not only as disciples but as missionaries to our peers. As youth ministry in the Archdiocese of Glasgow goes from strength to strength, involving more and more young people, let's keep sharing ideas and enthusiasm to build momentum ahead of the next World Youth Day - 2016 in Krakow
Young people from all over the Archdiocese are counting down to one of the biggest gatherings of Catholic youth in Scotland in many years!
As Pope Francis prepares to jet off to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day 2013, we're headed closer to home for our own celebration - Scotland's Rio - at Stirling University campus.
Are you signed up? Click the map above to find out who's going from your parish. Purple means pilgrims!
The great news is that for a limited time there are still spaces available for young people aged 14-25 to participate in Scotland's Rio, which takes place from 25th-28th July 2013.
Whether you're a WYD veteran, in need a faith top-up, or just wondering what all the fuss is about, Scotland's Rio is for you!The cost is £200 per pilgrim (+£50 from your parish) for accommodation in single room flats, with a pilgrim pack and all meals and activities included.
Download a form today and return it to us ASAP to be part of Scotland's Rio - a taste of World Youth Day without the jet lag!
There's lots coming up for young people and young adults in the Archdiocese - read on!
, and after the great success of the visit of the relics of St. John Bosco earlier in the month, a new initiative gets underway this Thursday
, 31st January - his feast day. The Don Bosco Teachers' Group
is intended as support for teachers in Catholic schools.
The first meeting takes place in the Eyre Hall of the Diocesan Offices, Clyde Street (next to St. Andrew's cathedral) at 7.30pm. All interested teachers are welcome - email firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
, with this Friday being 1st February (already!), XPO is on at the Youth Pastoral Centre from 7.30-9pm.Music, input, Eucharistic Adoration, a chance to meet other young Catholics... it's all good!
New and old faces always welcome. For directions see here
.We're continuing our current Year of Faith series - trying to answer the questions other people ask about Catholicism!
This month: defending belief in the existence of God
, AGAP's annual Lentfest gets underway soon (at the beginning of Lent, in fact!) and with the programme just released, now's the time to book tickets!See www.agap.org.uk for more information. This year's Lentfest promises to be as brilliant and faith-filled as ever so whether you're into music, poetry, film, visual art, or drama
, there's something for you.(At least one member of the Youth Pastoral Team is delighted that this year kicks off with a whole lorra brass
, our youth ministry colleagues south of the Border have extended an invitation to the annual CYMFed Congress
on Saturday 16th March
.Congress 2013: The Faith Story takes place at The Sage, Gateshead, which is great for us as it means no long journey down to London!This is going to be an excellent day for youth leaders, parents, catechists, teachers, priests... you? A volunteer in need of a boost, or just received the Caritas Award and taking the next step in sharing your faith:
you're welcome!Let us know ASAP if you're 16+ and would like to go. We'll book tickets and transport as a group and cost is likely to be c.£40 for a day trip, or c.£75 with an overnight stay on Friday or Saturday (optional).
, (and finally, because I'm not even sure "fifthly" is a real word!) it's now only 178 days
until World Youth Day 2013: Scotland's Rio
!The good news is that the application deadline has been extended to 28th February
. Don't twiddle your thumbs though - spaces are limited. More info on the World Youth Day tab,
forms on the Downloads tab
, event website coming soon at www.scotlandsrio.org.uk
- get organised and get your name down pronto!
The Year of Faith begins today, opened by the Holy Father with a special Mass in St. Peter's Square. It's also exactly 50 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council by Pope John XXIII, and 20 years since the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
When the Second Vatican Council ended on 8th December 1965, the then Pope Paul VI gave a special message to young people from the Council. Today Pope Benedict presented young people with that very same text, which remains something for us to discover in the present day. It's worth reading as we get underway!
Lastly, it is to you, young men and women of the world, that the council wishes to address its final message. For it is you who are to receive the torch from the hands of your elders and to live in the world at the period of the most gigantic transformations ever realised in its history. It is you who, receiving the best of the example of the teaching of your parents and your teachers, are to form the society of tomorrow. You will either save yourselves or you will perish with it.
For four years the Church has been working to rejuvenate her image in order to respond the better to the design of her Founder, the great Living One, the Christ who is eternally young. At the term of this imposing re-examination of life, she now turns to you. It is for you, youth, especially for you that the Church now comes through her council to enkindle your light, the light which illuminates the future, your future. The Church is anxious that this society that you are going to build up should respect the dignity, the liberty and the rights of individuals. These individuals are you. The Church is particularly anxious that this society should allow free expansion to her treasure ever ancient and ever new, namely faith, and that your souls may be able to bask freely in its helpful light. She has confidence that you will find such strength and such joy that you will not be tempted, as were some of your elders, to yield to the seductions of egoistic or hedonistic philosophies or to those of despair and annihilation, and that in the face of atheism, a phenomenon of lassitude and old age, you will know how to affirm your faith in life and in what gives meaning to life, that is to say, the certitude of the existence of a just and good God.
It is in the name of this God and of His Son, Jesus, that we exhort you to open your hearts to the dimensions of the world, to heed the appeal of your brothers, to place your youthful energies at their service. Fight against all egoism. Refuse to give free course to the instincts of violence and hatred which beget wars and all their train of miseries. Be generous, pure, respectful and sincere, and build in enthusiasm a better world than your elders had.
The Church looks to you with confidence and with love. Rich with a long past ever living in her, and marching on toward human perfection in time and the ultimate destinies of history and of life, the Church is the real youth of the world. She possesses what constitutes the strength and the charm of youth, that is to say the ability to rejoice with what is beginning, to give oneself unreservedly, to renew one's self and to set out again for new conquests. Look upon the Church and you will find in her the face of Christ, the genuine, humble and wise Hero, the prophet of truth and love, the companion and friend of youth. It is in the name of Christ that we salute you, that we exhort and bless you.
Pope Paul VI
Archbishop Philip was present yesterday at the opening Mass for the Synod of Bishops and will be in Rome for the opening of the Year of Faith on Thursday of this week.
The synod fathers - of which our very own Archbishop is one - are in green chasubles, having just concelebrated Mass with Pope Benedict.
The work of the synod gets underway today, and lasts for three weeks. Archbishop Philip was chosen by the Bishops' Conference of Scotland to be our country's participant at the event. He's called a "synod father".
What's a synod anyway?
Here's a short video outlining the numbers of this synod, courtesy of Rome Reports:
A synod is literally an "assembly" or "gathering". The assemblies usually take place every three years to discuss a particular topic, although in fact the preparation starts as soon as the last synod meeting is finished - it's a bit like painting the Forth Bridge!*
To begin the process, bishops and people from around the world are consulted on a subject (such as the Word of God, or the Eucharist). Their comments are collected and circulated to everyone as a guideline for future discussion. From this a working document - "instrumentum laboris" - is published, and that's what the synod fathers plough through during the meeting itself! When the work of the synod fathers is done, the Pope takes their propositions and produces a final document called an "Exhortation" which is published some time later and is for everyone.
A synod is assisted by experts, who are often lay people, and witnessed by observers, such as those from other Christian denominations. Fewer than one in ten of all the bishops worldwide are present, so it's important to get a representative group that can discuss a topic and make wise recommendations for the future. With hundreds of people gathered together there is a strict limit on how long each participant - even bishops! - can speak at a time. Sometimes the limit can be as short as 3 minutes, so everyone's got to stay alert and on the ball to get the work done.
* The last job of the bishops gathered at a synod assembly is to elect those who will carry on its work, and plan the next one! That's why although the public meeting only happens occasionally, the "synod of bishops" is really a permanent organisation within the Church.
What's this one all about?
The full title of this synod assembly is "New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith".
We know that our Faith, once strong here and elsewhere in Europe and North America, is being challenged. Whereas in the past missionaries went in great numbers from Europe to spread the Gospel, now we seem to struggle. In his homily for the opening Mass of the synod, Pope Benedict reminds us that "the Church exists to evangelise" - to bring Good News - but notes that sometimes people do not practice the Faith they have received in baptism, and this affects our ability to share it with others. The New Evangelisation, he says, is aimed at "those who, though baptised, have drifted away from the Church and live without reference to Christian life".
"The Synodal Assembly [which opens today] is dedicated to this New Evangelisation, to help these people encounter the Lord, Who alone fills existence with deep meaning and peace; and to favour the rediscovery of the faith, that source of grace which brings joy and hope to personal, family and social life."
Our Faith is not a theory, it is a person - Jesus Christ. The synod of bishops is meeting now to discuss especially how we can all be renewed in this Faith and share it with others. So the Year of Faith and the synod go hand-in-hand!
Bishops (violet zucchetti), cardinals (red zuchetti), and the Pope (just one white zucchetto!) begin with a short prayer.
Pray for Archbishop Philip as he takes part in the synod. It's a tough job, but an important one! We're very blessed to have our own Archbishop present as one of the synod fathers. Hopefully he'll be able to tell us all about it soon.
There are a number of diocesan and national events coming up for young people to mark the Year of Faith.
Firstly, XPO returns this Friday (5th) at Our Lady of Consolation with Adoration, music, and pizza (although not at the same time!). Come along to meet other young adults from across the Archdiocese to discuss ideas for the coming year. More info on the OLOC tab above. If you've not been along before, why not make our monthly event for young adults your "new year's resolution" for the Year of Faith?
Secondly, the National Youth Event takes place at Gartmore House, near Stirling, from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th November. This year's theme is "Rejoice in the Lord always" from Pope Benedict's World Youth Day letter. We have a number of spaces for delegates from the Archdiocese aged 16-35. The cost is £50 - for that you get to share great speakers, great liturgy, and great food with lots of lovely people! We end with joining the Bishops' Conference Mass for the opening of the Year of Faith at Motherwell Cathedral on Sunday afternoon. Get in touch with the Youth Pastoral Team as soon as possible for an application form.
Thirdly, and further in the distance, we're now taking initial bookings for WYD: Scotland's Rio which takes place at Stirling University from 25th - 28th July 2013. This event is for young people aged 14-25 and includes a taste of the World Youth Day experience right here in Scotland! There's more info on the WYD tab and you can get a form under the download tab (click "more") - send it in to us when you're done, or call if you've got any questions.
That's all for now - hope to see you at one, some, or all of these events so we can grow in faith together!
Our new Archbishop is on tour around the Archdiocese, celebrating Mass in each deanery over the next few weeks.
Go along to your nearest one and say hello! Mass begins at 7pm.
Tuesday 11 September – St. Thomas', Riddrie
Wednesday 12 September – Christ the King, Kings Park
Thursday 13 September – St. Matthew’s, Bishopbriggs
Monday 17 September – St. Philomena’s, Provanmill
Monday 24 September – St. Kessog’s, Balloch
Tuesday 25 September – St. Patrick’s, Anderston
Thursday 27 September – St. Mary’s, Duntocher
Use our Google map to find your way there: http://www.rcagyouth.org.uk/map-of-parishes.html
Not long now until Bishop Philip of Paisley becomes the next Archbishop of Glasgow, succeeding Archbishop Mario. We're praying a Novena (nine days of prayer) for Bishop Philip, and for the Archdiocese.
So what's a Novena? A Novena is a way of praying for a particular grace, or intention. Traditionally there are four types:
1. For mourning: for example, when the Pope dies there are nine days of mourning, called the novemdiales (simply "nine days" in Latin).
2. Leading up to a feast day: like the Divine Mercy, from Good Friday until Divine Mercy Sunday, the second Sunday of Easter.
3. Prayer for a particular intention: such as for the healing of someone who's ill, or before exams.
4. For an indulgence: in exchange for the punishment attached to sin, "making good" the damage that has been done to our souls and to others. (In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we are forgiven our sins, but we still need to make some effort to resolve the situation - such as good works, or special prayer such as a Novena. Either in this life or in purgatory, we'll all have some "making good" to do. Might as well get started now!)
So this Novena is a bit of no.2 and a bit of no.3! Bishop Philip will be installed in the Cathedral on 8th September, Our Lady's birthday, and we're also praying for him and the Archdiocese.
You can follow along on Facebook
or pick up a leaflet from any parish church.
Today it was announced that Bishop Philip Tartagia, until now the bishop of Paisley, will be the next Archbishop of Glasgow. Pope Benedict has accepted Archbishop Mario Conti's resignation after ten years as our father and shepherd.Now "Archbishop-elect", Bishop Philip will be installed on 8th September, which is the feast of Our Lady's birthday.
He continues to guide the diocese of Paisley until then, and our diocese is "sede vacante" - more on that below.Congratulations and welcome, Bishop Philip!Thank you - and happy retirement, Archbishop Mario!There is more information on the Archdiocesan website.