Reminder: Pro-Life Mass This Wednesday

December 17, 2017

Please join us in praying for the pro-life cause this Wednesday 20th December evening. Mass will be celebrated by Fr Bernard Waave, Cssp. We will also be joined by young people who are going to January’s March For Life in Washington D.C.

The programme for the evening is: Eucharistic adoration 6-7 pm, Rosary 7 pm, Mass 7:30 pm. Followed by refreshments. Join us for as little or as much of the evening as you can.

Venue: Blessed John Duns Scotus RC Church, 270 Ballater Street, Gorbals, Glasgow, G5 0YT

Here’s more information about the young people who will be joining us: Led by SPUC Scotland, 17 young people will fly to DC to take part in the biggest pro-life event of the year. Primarily an educational trip, last year was incredibly fruitful where participants returned much stronger and fired up to serve our pro-life movement in Scotland.

As part of their preparation, they will attend our pro-life Mass and will be given a blessing for their work. A collection will also be taken up to help towards making the trip more affordable for the students attending who have been heavily involved in pro-life work over the past year, including volunteering for the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative; taking part in Project Truth; attending 40 Days for Life; giving school talks and fighting for freedom of speech at university.

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A Place to Grieve

November 29, 2017

While we’re still in November, and continuing that excellent practice of praying more intently for our beloved dead, I wonder if I might draw your attention to a beautiful memorial that stands in a fairly prominent spot in a circular patch of grass in Bent Cemetery in Hamilton.  The inscription reads: ‘In loving memory of all unborn children whose lives have been lost to abortion.’

The memorial was erected at the request of the Hamilton SPUC branch in 1995. A member of the branch had just been to the US on holiday, and had come across not one but several memorials to the aborted unborn in various cemeteries throughout her travels. She put the idea to the group, who agreed to approach the local council and request that a similar memorial be installed in Hamilton. Very much to their credit, the council readily agreed, and when the branch starting hunting for a stonemason, one by the name of Domenico’s immediately came to the fore and offered to donate it.

I know that memorials such as these can be controversial. In Hamilton at the time, people were scandalised and objected that its very presence in the cemetery would cause an unnecessary and unwanted guilt trip. More recently, parishes have created memorial gardens for all unborn children – those who have died through miscarriage or stillborn – and the inclusion of children who have died through abortion has caused offence. But surely this is unjust. An abortion decision does not exclude the presence of grief – far from it. It usually entails a far more complicated grief that, too often, never properly heals.

The fact of abortion means that somebody didn’t want the child, but that somebody is not necessarily the mother. Often enough, she herself wants the child very badly, but feels powerless in the face of explicit or implicit pressure from elsewhere. In the aftermath, all she knows and remembers is that she signed the consent form, she submitted to the procedure. The blame, as far as she sees it, lies entirely at her door.  Yet she does not bear the full responsibility of what happened, as St John Paul II clearly stated in Evangelium Vitae (#99).

In any case, the point is this:  countless women and men grieve the death of their aborted children and it’s entirely hidden. Society does not acknowledge, quite simply, that there should be any grief at all; friends and family want to spare their loved ones unwanted distress. And so it never gets mentioned and the wound becomes deeper. It’s a grief of the worst kind: there’s no funeral, no headstone, no anniversary to share with others, no photo to keep on your phone or purse and say, ‘This is my son’, no possession of theirs to treasure. Theirs is a haunting, never-properly-graspable pain.

The memorial in Bent Cemetery gives people broken by abortion an opportunity to express their grief and let their tears flow. Where else can they acknowledge that their children lived, even for a very short time? It’s a place to go to, and we all know how important that can be. Even if we’re not especially inclined to visit the graves of our family members, we often like to visit places associated with them and places they loved, places we spent time together.  (My Dad’s ashes rest in a crypt in a church in Madrid, but I only have to go to Largs to hear him telling me to breathe the glorious air and marvel at the Clyde.) It was Margaret Cuthill who took me to Bent Cemetery the first time. In her many, dedicated years of healing people hurt by abortion through her work in ARCH (Abortion Recovery Care Helpline), she would often take her clients there to help bring them some kind of closure. It was she and a few others who chose an additional inscription on the Hamilton stone: “I wish there was something I could do or say to turn back the hands of time and bring you, my child, back to me.”

So if there’s any talk in your parishes or local cemeteries of erecting such memorials, I appeal to your generosity of spirit and understanding. The aborted unborn more than deserve formal recognition of their existence; and it will do untold good for those who grieve their loss.  Over and above that, however, my prayer is that – on this 50th anniversary year of the passing of the Abortion Act, when we reflect on the unspeakable number of lives lost to abortion and hearts torn apart – each one of us might become that oasis in an otherwise parched land in which broken souls can pour out their story and their grief without fear of misunderstanding and judgement.

We all know that memorials are a good thing.  An infinitely better thing is a person who cries with us and feels the pain with us, because that’s when the road to healing begins.


Advent Witness on Tuesday Evenings

November 28, 2017

You are all invited to the following:

The Friends of Divine Mercy are going onto the streets of Glasgow again this Advent to give witness to our Faith.  They will quietly be praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the rosary in Buchanan Street.   This will happen one evening a week during Advent.  The aim of this is to:

  • Promote the devotion to Divine Mercy as Our Blessed Lord asked us to do especially in the Year of Mercy we have just completed and hopefully the blessings from this very special year will continue to Flourish in the years ahead
  • To help focus peoples’ minds upon Our Lord Jesus Christ during the holy season of Advent leading up to Christmas
  • To obey the wishes of our Pope Francis to take the church out into the streets and get our hands dirty
  • To pray for the lonely, poor, prisoners, victims of terrorism, victims of abuse and victims of abortion

Dates: Tuesday 28/11, 5/12, 12/12, 19/12

Times: 6.30 p.m. – 8.30 p.m.

Location: Buchanan Street underground in the middle of Buchanan Street opposite the Concert Hall.

 


Reminder: Pro-Life Mass This Wednesday

November 12, 2017

Please join us in praying for the pro-life cause this Wednesday 15th November evening. Mass will be celebrated by Fr Paddy Boyle.

The programme for the evening is: Eucharistic adoration 6-7 pm, Rosary 7 pm, Mass 7:30 pm. Followed by refreshments. Join us for as little or as much of the evening as you can.

Venue: Blessed John Duns Scotus RC Church, 270 Ballater Street, Gorbals, Glasgow, G5 0YT


Retreat: Meditations from a Monastery

November 10, 2017

BBC4 has done a TV series about various Benedictine monasteries in the UK. Each episode has scenes filmed at the monastery- from the monks at prayer and work. Calm, quiet, uplifting and an interesting insight to the lives of monks, which an outsider would not normally see. The monasteries covered are: Downside Abbey, Pluscarden Abbey and Belmont Abbey.

Available to view on BBC i-player http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09c0hwb/episodes/player 


Bad Habits, Holy Orders

November 8, 2017

A TV series has recently been on channel 5 about five young women who live a party lifestyle visiting the convent of the Sacred Heart in Swaffham, Norfolk. Beautiful to see the positive effect that this spiritual experience has on the young women. Worth a ‘watch again’ if you’ve not seen it.


Pro-Life Torchlight Procession Thursday 26th October

October 20, 2017

From George Square to St Andrew’s Cathedral. To mark the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act.

6 pm: Gather in George Square

6:30 pm: Rosary

7 pm: Torchlight procession

7:30 pm: Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral