RE-OPENING AND UPLIFTING OF RESTRICTIONS
The First Minister has recently announced the re-opening and uplifting of restrictions to public worship for faith communities from Friday 26th March. On re-opening of our Church, numbers will again be limited to 50 persons.
Details of bookings to reserve a place for Lenten/Holy Week and Easter services will be announced through our parish website next weekend (20th/21st March).
RCIA UPDATE – ZOOM STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Our RCIA team is offering weekly Stations of the Cross by ZOOM during Lent. These will now take place on Fridays at 7.00 pm.
You are welcome to join as many or as few as you like.
SICK AND RETIRED CLERGY
Traditionally, during the Season of Lent our Lenten Alms (retiral collection) is taken up in support of our Archdiocesan clergy who have retired from active ministry and those whose health is deteriorating. If you would like to support these clergy during the Season of Lent please place any donation at the Church house. Many thanks.
REST IN PEACE
Our parish community extends our sympathy and prayers to the family and friends of
Donald Campbell (Glencoe Street)
James McCormick (Blairdardie Road)
Anne Richardson (Helensburgh Drive)
Whose funeral Mass and Committal took place on Tuesday 9th March, Wednesday 10th March, and Friday 12th March.
– May They Rest in Peace –
Fr Celestine has now returned to St Ninian’s after his holiday to Nigeria. Both he and Fr Frank are happy to be contacted at any time. We continue to celebrate our daily Mass for your intentions and hold you each dearly in our hearts and daily prayer.
SCIAF SUNDAY – 14th MARCH 2021
“My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
I write on behalf of the Bishops of Scotland on this fourth Sunday of Lent to thank you for your generous and prayerful support for SCIAF – the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund – over the past year.
In the Gospels, we hear of many occasions when Jesus heals the sick, reaching out with love and mercy to the most marginalised and the poorest, both in action and in spirit.
As Catholics we are called to follow his example, to recognise that we are our brother or sister’s keeper. To reach out to the poorest with love. SCIAF is the embodiment of the love of our Church in Scotland, reaching out to our vulnerable sisters and brothers around the world. It is why during Lent, we ask you to give generously to support the vital work SCIAF does on our behalf.
This has been a difficult twelve months for all of us, but through WEE BOX and collection donations, gifts in wills and direct debits, SCIAF have continued to help the poorest people in the world.
SCIAF is extremely grateful that last year, generous parishioners raised £945,218 to help survivors of gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Victims of a devastating war that lasted more than 20 years. Where many were killed, displaced and are in need due to ongoing violence.
Through SCIAF’s Church partners these vulnerable survivors, mostly women and girls, were given the medical care and trauma counselling they needed to recover and gained new skills to build a better life. That is our faith in action.
This year, SCIAF asks us to look to another country where frequent conflict has left behind a legacy of fear, displacement and despair, making it one of the world’s poorest and most fragile states. Children with disabilities were already the most vulnerable in society. Now the coronavirus pandemic has deepened already existing issues of poverty, putting them at greater risk. When a crisis comes, be it conflict, famine or even the coronavirus, it’s the poorest and most vulnerable children who suffer most.
Many children with disabilities in South Sudan are not able to go to school or, later on, to work and earn a living. They may have no access to support services or hospitals for treatment. They may face stigma and exclusion. Due to a lack of access to education and opportunities, disabled children can miss out on vital learning that helps them to break out of the cycle of poverty, unlock their potential and live life to the full.
Through SCIAF the Scottish Catholic Church can help children with disabilities in South Sudan to access the education and support they need to build a bright future. SCIAF will reach the poorest people first and put our faith into action.
With the support of parishes, SCIAF’s work in South Sudan will provide a lifeline for children with disabilities and their families. Our support will help to adapt to schools so that pupils with disabilities can access education. Children will be provided with aids such as wheelchairs, ramps, hearing aids and canes, as well as healthcare to help them live more independently.
For example, just £35 could buy a classroom desk so a pupil with a disability doesn’t need to sit on the floor.
I am delighted to let you know that this year, all donations to SCIAF’s WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE appeal, made before 11th May, will be doubled by the UK government. Your donations will help SCIAF’s life-changing work around the world, while match funding from the UK government will provide a lifeline to children with disabilities, their families and communities in South Sudan, helping them to build bright futures. Thank you for your continued generosity, know that it goes towards good work.
As Lent continues and we look forward to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, please remember SCIAF and everyone who work within your prayers.
May God bless you and your families during the holy season of Lent and throughout the year.”
Bishop Joseph Toal (Bishop President of SCIAF)
THE LENTEN JOURNEY
Over the last year, many new words have found their way into our everyday conversation. Most of them have been around for a while but now have gained fresh popularity and significance. Maybe for the first time, we are paying attention to them. ‘Social distancing’, ‘bubbles’, ‘hubs’, ‘two metres’, ‘hand washing’, ‘self-isolation’, ‘asymptomatic, ‘face coverings’, ‘frontline’ are part of our everyday life now. It’s no exaggeration to say they keep us healthy.
Another one that comes up pretty frequently is ‘quarantine’. This word was quite popular in bygone days and has now enjoyed something of a resurgence. In recent times it was applied to a period when animals or goods would be held behind closed doors to prevent the spread of disease. However, in earlier days it was applied to isolating people also.
Its origin goes way back but it comes from an old word for ‘forty’ – the number of days people of that time thought was needed to kill disease. They really had no proof (medicine was still very primitive) so they had landed on the period ‘forty days’ from the bible.
The number ‘forty’ is very common there. The flood lasted 40 days/nights. Moses fasted for 40 days on the mountain, the Jewish people wandered in the desert for 40 years, Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert. And in every case, the past was being left behind to welcome a new future.
So it’s no surprise that what we call ‘Lent’ in the English language is called some version of ‘forty’ in many other places. The time before Easter is a time of ‘forty’ or ‘quarantine’, a time to leave behind any unhealthy ‘viruses’ we may have picked up to create space to take on a healthy life, breathing God’s oxygen and practising God’s word. As we say nowadays a time to ‘detox’. And another phrase that has elbowed its way into the headlines is ‘essential/non-essential goods and services. Now everybody has their own explanation for that but it does show us that most of us expend a lot of energy and resources on unimportant things.
The forty days of Lent are there to help us identify what is truly essential. The pandemic has forced us to evaluate our lifestyles. It is forcing us down a road that rhymes so well with the centuries-old wisdom of Lent. Those who have gone before us, wandering in the desert or sojourning on the mountains, can ease that journey.
24 HOUR LENTEN FAST FOR SCIAF
You can take part on a date of your choosing. Find out more at www.sciaf.org.uk/24hourfast
SCIAF’s work is saving and transforming lives, however, this is only possible because of the generosity and prayers of our parishes throughout Scotland.
Together, we will help children with disabilities in South Sudan to access the education and support they need to build a bright future.
Thank you again for your ongoing support year on year. You are helping to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
The deadline for sending donations to SCIAF in order for them to be doubled by the UK aid match is 11 May 2021.
If you would like a WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE pack – please contact the Church house.
During this prolonged lockdown, we can still support SCIAF and share their Lenten message. Everything you need can be found at www.sciaf.org.uk/weebox
Many thanks to all our parishioners for your generosity towards our parish and clergy, it is most appreciated.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE WHO DIED RECENTLY
DONALD CAMPBELL (Glencoe Street)
JAMES McCORMICK (Blairdardie Road)
ANNE RICHARDSON (Helensburgh Drive)
– May they Rest in Peace –
PLEASE PRAY FOR WHOSE ANNIVERSARIES OCCUR ABOUT NOW