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DON’T BE LEFT IN THE DARK

GET THE LIGHT OF THE NORTH

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Light

Light of the North

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I am the Light of the World

North I s s ue 22, S pr i ng, 2013

Hymns Some Thoughts

Caravaggio’s “The Calling of St Matthew”

Saving Nature’s Scavengers

The mystery of the Pope’s Shoes

Dr Roger Williams Page 14

Fr Domenico Zanrè Page 16

Fr Peter Barry Page 29

Ron Smith Page 30

TH 2013 I A er F b OF ovem

AR - N E Y 12

20 r be o t Oc

Each copy of the Light of the North costs over a pound to produce and we would ask you to consider this if you wish to make a donation.

A quarterly magazine produced and published by the Diocese of Aberdeen R.C. Diocese of Aberdeen Charitable Trust, a registered Scottish Charity no. SC005122


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Light of the North

n August of 1887 a becalmed yachtsman rowed to the southwest side of Davaar Island at the mouth of Campbeltown Loch to stretch his legs. Unsuspectingly, he wandered into one of the seven caves on the island and struck a match to light his pipe. In the flare of the match, he suddenly saw, illuminated on the wall of the cave, a life-size depiction of the Crucifixion. He is said to have promptly fainted. His shipmates, who came looking for him, took the man back to the yacht, and when the wind rose they sailed into Campbeltown to spread the news of their discovery. The following day, hundreds of townspeople, carrying byre lamps and candles, hurried to the island which can be reached on foot by crossing the Dhorlin, a shingle-bank uncovered at low tide. “Nothing could be more suitable,” the Campbeltown Courier informed its readers, “for the contemplation of such a subject than the semi-darkness and rocky grandeur of the large cavern in which the picture is placed.” But who was the mysterious artist? In the next issue of the Courier it was revealed that the hand that had wielded the brush was that of Archibald Mackinnon, a local art teacher. Of his painting Mackinnon said, “It is a subject which I have long had at heart. Early in the morning of the first day I began to paint, I awoke from a dream in which I beheld the body of our Saviour on the Cross”. Mackinnon was one of five artists born in Campbeltown, a small town with a population of about 7,000, between 1819 and 1865. The other four all achieved considerable success but Mackinnon failed to gain recognition. Nothing is known of his parentage. At 14 he worked in Glasgow as a messenger boy, became an apprentice engineer and attended evening classes at Glasgow School

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of Art. In 1886 he returned to Campbeltown as an art teacher in a local school but with the intention of opening a school of art in the town. Mackinnon’s Crucifixion caused uproar in the area. Before the Courier named the artist some of the locals believed it to be of supernatural origin and legend has it that once the townsfolk discovered that MacKinnon was responsible the teacher was exiled from the town. However, it seems more likely that he absconded, worried about the consequences of having used the school’s art materials to carry out the work. He avoided future accusations when he settled in Nantwich by using his wife’s hair to make his brushes! In 1902 Mackinnon returned to Campbeltown to restore his painting of the Crucifixion and went back there again in 1934 at the invitation of the Town Council. By now he had become something of a local celebrity and his expenses were paid from the Common Good Fund. It was thirty-two years since he had left the town and large numbers of people gathered to greet him. Newspapers throughout Britain carried the story, as did cinema newsreels. On June 6th, 1934 an inaugural ceremony was held at the cave attended by all the town dignitaries, the Moderator of Kintyre Presbytery and the local Roman Catholic priest. Just eleven months later Archibald Mackinnon died in Nantwich, aged 85. The cave painting has been restored several times since, most recently in 2006 after vandals struck. While MacKinnon may never have been considered a serious player in the the art world his depiction of the Crucifixion, painted on the rocky wall of this lonely island cave, must remain one of the most startling pictures of the subject ever painted. Cowan Watson

Altar servers enrolled into Guild of St Stephen

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t St Mary’s Cathedral in Aberdeen six new Altar Servers received their medals as they were enrolled into the Guild of Saint Stephen. Simon Winstanley was also honoured with his twenty year service guild medal on the Feast of Saint Stephen. The servers are pictured with Bishop Hugh Gilbert O.S.B. and Mr George Brand the Diocesan Master of Ceremonies.


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contents

diocese 4 witness 11 faithinaction 12 liturgy 13 educationandformation 16 faithandculture 20 humour 32 crossword 33 Westminster 34

Sackcloth, ashes and Easter bunnies

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ay the word “Easterâ€? to most people and one or more of the following will probably jump into their minds; eggs, chocolate, bunnies, hot cross buns, Lent, holidays, Spring, daffodils, greetings cards. Following this up with the question, “What is the religious significance of Easter?â€?, and you could well be confronted by blank stares for, like Christmas, Easter has devolved, or perhaps that should be reverted, into yet another secular season. However, for Christians the Easter season is not only a celebration of the life of Jesus, but of his resurrection, following his salvific death, through which, if we believe, we too are allowed to share in His everlasting life. And so it is no wonder that, in the light of this, the Ash Light of the North Wednesday liturgies are some of the best attended in the entire year and not, as some cynics have suggested, that this is just because the Church is giving out something for free! Managing Editor The ashes we receive are an ancient symbol of repentance (sackcloth Deacon Tony Schmitz and ashes) and a reminder of our own mortality (“remember that you are dustâ€?). It’s a time to express our recognition of our need for a deeper Editor conversion of our lives during this season of renewal. Cowan Watson But we don’t always get it right. I recently heard a story of a devoutly Catholic family where the children had been encouraged to move Editorial Advisor beyond giving up sweets for Lent to giving up some bad habit that Canon Bill Anderson marked their lives. About halfway through the season the father asked the children how they were doing with their Lenten promises. One of Advertising his young sons had promised to give up fighting with his brothers and Sandra Townsley sisters during Lent. When his father asked him how it was going, the boy 01463 831 133 replied, “I’m doing really well Dad — and I can’t wait until Easter to give Sedstown@aol.com them a good hiding!â€? Turning now to this Spring issue of the magazine, we have some interesting reading for you including Margaret Bradley’s fascinating tale Light of the North of “Methuselahâ€?, the only living Judean Date Palm, in her “Food and Ogilvie Centre Faithâ€? column. In addition, Fr Domenico Zanrè considers how a 16th 16 Huntly Street century Milanese artist offers us a new, profound interpretation of the ABERDEEN “Calling of St Matthewâ€?. Also, in a new mini-series Dr Roger Williams AB10 1SH shares some thoughts on hymns, Canon Peter Barry travels to Bangladesh to visit a project which aims to re-introduce Vultures into the wild and 01224 638675 lightofthenorthmagazine@gmail.com Ron Smith investigates the mystery of the Pope’s shoes! www.lightofthenorth.org A Very Happy Easter Cowan


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2013

Fanning the flame of faith B i s h o p H u g h Gil ber t O. S . B.

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he Year of Faith, proposed by Pope Benedict, can be regarded as a sacramental. Whereas sacraments are means of grace taking their origin from Christ, sacramentals are means of grace offered by the Church. How can we avail ourselves of these means of grace? How can we benefit from this Year of Faith? Sometimes we talk of ‘the faith’ and sometimes of ‘faith’. This year, we are much encouraged to learn more about the faith. God is unfathomable; there is always more to discover. There is so much in the Bible, so much in the prayers of the Liturgy. We have been especially reminded of the two most powerful recent expressions of ‘the faith’: the 16 documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Perhaps we can try to set aside some minutes each day to read a page of these. If we don’t have a personal copy, they are easily found on the Internet. Pluscarden Abbey is offering a series of talks on the teaching of Vatican II. Perhaps there are studies going on in your parish. But the reason for any study of the faith is to deepen faith itself. Faith is a power given us by God at our baptism. It is our victory over the world. It is our rock. By the light of faith, we see something of what God sees, and can offer our whole lives to him in service. . Faith grows when we express it. And the first forum for expressing faith is the public prayer of the Church, the Liturgy, and especially the Mass. The more we share in that, the richer our faith becomes, the more real Christ will be for us. The more too we will find ourselves praying at other times, turning our hearts to God and feeling the light of his

face shining upon us. We know too how our faith is strengthened by being with other people of faith. This year World Youth Day is taking place in Rio de Janeiro in July. I am proud to say that some thirty young people from the diocese will be going there with me. We are the only diocese in Scotland going as a diocese. But meanwhile, back home as it were, there will be “Scotland’s Rio”, an occasion for young Catholics to gather together at Stirling University from 25th to 28th July. Before that we will have another opportunity to go public with our faith – in the annual diocesan pilgrimage to Pluscarden Abbey on the last Sunday of June. Along the same line, bishops have also been encouraged to designate places or events where the Plenary Indulgence granted for this Year of Faith can be gained. Essentially this is an invitation to go on pilgrimage to a holy place, be it as a parish group or as a family or just with a friend. I have named the shrine of Our Lady of Aberdeen in St Mary’s Cathedral, Aberdeen, the shrine of St John Ogilvie in St Thomas’, Keith, and Pluscarden Abbey. The indulgence is available on the usual conditions for those who ‘pilgrim’ to any of these places, participate in a liturgy or spend some time in personal prayer and reflection there, recite the Our Father and Creed and ask Our Lady’s prayers. In the Highland Deanery, this indulgence can be gained by taking part in any Deanery Pilgrimage during the Year of Faith. Faith is something we share with other Christians. On the afternoon of 14th September, St Mary’s Cathedral will be hosting the national Ecumenical Service of Worship and Witness for the Year of Faith. The bishops of Scotland will be present, also the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and some bishops of the Episcopal Church, as well as ‘ordinary Christians’ from many of our local churches and denominations. This is a way of sharing this very Catholic initiative of the Year of Faith with our brothers and sisters of other churches. In all our hearts, God has kindled the light of faith – ‘the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’ (Heb 11:1). May the grace of this Year turn our faith into a great flame!


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ernard Murphy from Holy Family Parish, Mastrick, Aberdeen being presented with a Benemerenti Medal from Very Rev Stuart Chalmers his Parish Priest and Vicar General of the Diocese, on the Feast of the Holy Family. The award was made to mark the many years of service Bernard has given both in his Parish and in the Diocese as a member of the Fabric, Finance and Management Committees' He is pictured with Fr Stuart Chalmers, his wife Janette and members of his family.

Benemerenti medal awards

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velyn and Austin Murray were each presented with a Benemerenti Medal in recognition of the voluntary work they have done in the wider diocese over many years and in particular for their work with the St Vincent de Paul Society. The presentation took place in St Mary’s Cathedral on the feast of the Epiphany by Bishop Hugh Gilbert.

The Benemerenti is a Pontifical decoration begun by Pope Gregory XVI in 1852 and conferred in recognition of distinguished service to the Church. The medal has BENEMERENTI surrounded by a crown of oak leaves engraved on its face side. They are worn on the breast, supported by ribbons in the papal colours.


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Light Lightofofthe theNorth North

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Highland Day of Reflection

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n Saturday 8th December, a group of pilgrims from Inverness, Fort Augustus, Beauly, and as far afield as Motherwell, gathered at the church of the Immaculate Conception in Stratherrick, in a scenic glen near Loch Ness, for a day of prayer and reflection. We began with Holy Mass, celebrated by Fr Domenico Zanre, and this was followed by Eucharistic Adoration and Confession. After a short break, which included a welcome cup of tea and sandwiches, there was recitation of the joyful and sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, together with psalms and Marian hymns. Therese Finlay and the other ladies provided a wonderful lunch, and

after sufficient sustenance, the group – led by Fr James Bell – embarked on a rosary walk, with recitation of the luminous mysteries, to the shrine of Our Lady of the Highlands. The clear, crisp, mountain air was appreciated by all! There were further opportunities for Confession in the afternoon, with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the glorious mysteries, and Benediction. We concluded with Evening Prayer. Everyone felt that the day of reflection had been a great success, and future events are being planned as part of the Highland Deanery’s programme of spiritual initiatives for the Year of Faith. R hon a Calde r

If you know somebody who is unable to get to church to pick up a copy of the Light of the North please let them know that for just £10.00 they can be put on our subscribers’ mailing list, and we will send them a year’s issues of the magazine by post. All cheques should be made out to: “RC Diocese of Aberdeen”


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Enterprising youngsters set up ‘Young S.C.I.A.F’ group at St Mary’s, Blairs

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nna de Bever, Aoife Dreelan and Nicoletta Gambro from the Parish of St Mary, Blairs have formed a ‘Young S.C.I.A.F.’ group. On their own inititive the dynamic trio have been busy fund-raising. With the help of fellow young parishioners they organised a successful concert. Most of the money raised went on SCIAF’s ‘Real Gifts’ which will help to change lives for the better in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The three girls also made a donation to the Blairs Museum Fund.

Enthusiastic reception for Vatican II lecture series

Light of the North News Hounds Wanted

Above are some of the audience listening to Dom Benedict Hardy’s excellent lectures on Lumen Gentium in St Scholastica’s Guesthouse at Pluscarden Abbey. This series on the documents of Vatican II will continue on Saturdays each month, 10.15-3.30, on February 16 (Sacrosanctum Concilium); March 9 (Nostra Aetate, Declaration on the Relation of the Church to nonChristian Religions; Dignitatis humanae, Declaration on Religious Liberty; Unitatis Redintegratio, Decree on Ecumenism; April 20 (Dei Verbum) and May 18 (Gaudium et Spes). More details available on the monastery and diocesan websites and on fliers sent to parishes.

HUGH

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The Light of the North is your Diocesan magazine and we need to know what’s happening in your Parish. If you would be interested in being a Light of the North Parish Correspondent please get in touch with the editor at: lightofthenorthmagazine@gmail.com Ideally, we would like to have a correspondent in every Parish who would let us know about any newsworthy events for inclusion in the magazine. Parish news hounds could also ensure that the magazines are handed out in church and collect any donations. This would relieve their parish priest of this responsibility. So, please say yes to being a Parish Correspondent so that we can continue to provide the news and pictures which help to make the Light of the North truly representative of all the parishes in the Diocese.

f you have access to the internet why not take a look at the recording of Bishop Hugh Gilbert’s talk on the Year of Faith which he gave to the Newman Association in October and which has now been posted on “You Tube” (Search “Bishop Hugh Gilbert Year of Faith”). Also on You Tube are videos of the Diocesan Faith Formation Seminars led by Bishop Hugh which are well worth watching (Search “Bishop Hugh Gilbert Faith Formation Seminars”).


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Northcote Lodge opens its doors to Nazareth Care Home residents

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arly in January of this year the residents of Nazareth House Care Home made the move to a new spacious purpose-built care home, Northcote Lodge, located in the west of Aberdeen in the quiet residential district of Airyhall, . The home which can accommodate 60 residents has two floors and five wings, the upper floor being reached by a lift. All the residents’ bedrooms have en-suite facilities offering a high level of comfort and amenity. The new home also boasts several lounge and dining areas, an activities room, a gym, and a cafe in the front foyer, all of which serve to provide a wide choice of social and recreational opportunities for the residents. There is also a chapel where Mass is celebrated every morning. In addition, the grounds surrounding the home, which will be landscaped in the near future, will offer residents a safe outdoor space. The home has a full-time activities co-ordinator who arranges a wide variety of events and outings and a hairdresser visits two mornings a week. The facility

TWO SPRING RETREATS

LED BY TEAM MEMBERS OF THE IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY CENTRE GLASGOW

A Residential ‘Taster’ Weekend Retreat: ‘Restful Waters, Green Pastures’

Ignation 1/4 Page

Centre

To be held at the Xaverian Conforti Centre, Coatbridge. Friday, 26th April 5.00pm to Sunday, 28th April 2.00pm

A relaxing introduction to a quiet retreat. Offering an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of Eastertime in a gentle and prayerful way. There will be helps for prayer, with input based on scripture, poetry, pictures and music. This will not be a completely silent retreat, - but spaces of quiet will be built into the weekend programme. The Conforti Centre: is a warm and welcoming venue which has been much appreciated by previous ISC retreatants. See www.confortiinstitute.org Accommodation in single en-suite rooms.

The spacious Northcote Lodge Care Home is in a quiet residential area of Aberdeen employs a large Care team of qualified staff who are led by Senior Carers all of whom hold a recognised qualification in the delivery of care and the Care Home Manager and two deputy Managers are all registered nurses.

Ba ncon WE ARE PROUD TO BE C onst r uct ion LEAD DEVELOPER 1 / 4 Pa g eAND MAIN CONTRACTOR FOR NORTHCOTE LODGE

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A Silent Mid-Week Residential Retreat

‘Partnership Built on Strong Foundations’

To be held at the Bield, Blackruthven, near Perth. Tuesday, 28th May (4pm) till Friday, 31st May. (Departures after breakfast.) An individually-guided silent retreat, in beautiful Perthshire countryside particularly for those who are busy at weekends Access to the Bield’s beautiful Chapel, art room swimming pool, labyrinth, gardens and extensive grounds. Meals include home-grown food from their organic gardens. Accommodation in single rooms. See www.bieldatblackruthven.org.uk, --------------------------------------------------------

Numbers limited Please make bookings for both retreat above through THE IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY CENTRE. For further information consult the ISC website: http://www.iscglasgow.co.uk, send us an email: admin@iscglasgow.co.uk, phone on 0141 354 0077 or by post to ISC 35 Scott Street Glasgow G3 6PE Regd Charity SCO40490

Telephone 01330 824900 www.bancon.co.uk


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From Difficult Memories To Amazing Grace Paul Moore Paul Moore is a former manager at the UK bank HBOS, who came to public attention as a whistleblower in the banking crisis of late 2008 as a result of having been dismissed from his position as head of the bank's financial risk management in 2004 after warning his employers that they were taking excessive risks.

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y name is Paul Moore. I am a barrister by training and one of the UK’s most experienced professional advisers on risk management, regulation and corporate governance in the financial sector. I was a Partner at KPMG. I have advised many large banks, insurance companies and fund managers in these areas including quite a number of FTSE l00 companies. I have also advised one of the UK’s largest NHS Foundation Trusts on risk management systems. It is fair to say that I am highly "data rational" and analytical by nature and focused on the "physical" evidence in arriving at the conclusions on which I base my advice. My advice has often been organisationally critical. I am now also a person of deep Christian faith since I had a powerful conversion experience beginning in l999. Before that, I had no faith and lived purely in the secular and material world. I can witness to the Divine mystery that it was only by taking a leap of faith that I received faith. And the more I surrendered to the mystery of faith, the more faith I received. I was introduced to the Little Way Healing Ministries by a great barristcr friend of mine in late 2011 after he witnessed to me that he had experienced a great personal healing when he went on their course. Before I went on the course. my daughter who had been in personal "tribulation" for about four years also was totally delivered from her serious depression and psychological distress in what can only be described as a miraculous way. My wife and I found it almost impossible to believe the extraordinary transformation in her from personal misery and distress to peace and joy and freedom in just one single week. And, to hear her talking about what she had witnessed in such a powerful and honest way, only convinced us even more that God was truly at work in this ministry. Now I have been on the course and have had direct personal experience of it, I simply must share with you my personal testimony. In a nutshell, I can tell anyone reading this that this Little Way of Healing course has been the most amazing grace I have ever witnessed in the whole of my life. I can personally testify to this, both in relation to the miraculous healing of

my own memories, which have deeply affected me all my life, but also in relation to the healing of every single other participant on the course. I ought to add that I spent over £10,000 on secular therapy trying to resolve these memories over a full four year period and, although this was very helpful, it never truly got to the bottom of the problems I had which have affected me all my life. And yet, in one single week, The Little Way Healing Ministries approach simply blew my and everyone else’s deeply wounding memories away with “puff after puff ” of the healing power of the Holy Spirit. The course has literally transformed us all — I even said in one session that we were "transfigured". It has literally been mind, body, spirit and memory blowing for me and all of us. It has been life changing for all of us. Nothing will ever be the same again. We have all changed for good. I am also totally sure that it will work for anyone who surrenders fully to the programme and that if you are painstaking about the course, you will be amazed before you are even half way through. I can tell you that you are going to know a new truth and a new freedom. You will experience joy. You won’t regret the past. You will comprehend the word serenity and know peace. Your whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. You will suddenly realize that God can, indeed, do for you what we cannot do for ourselves. So much for me being "data rational" and analytical! There is more to life on this earth than earthly facts. Faith is a Divine mystery. Please go on this course. Everyone needs it. Thanks be to God the Father, his only Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit! The Healing of Memories Ministry is a Spirit-led approach to the healing of memories. Through this particular way of praying, Jesus shows himself continuing his work of healing amongst us today in the midst of His Church. To find out more about this ministry contact Rev Tony Schmitz who is the resident deacon at St Mary’s

JERICHO BENEDICTINES Combine the Spiritual Life with the running of ‘Jericho Inns’ for those being passed by on the other side’ The Drug & Alcohol Addicted Victims of Domestic Violence Homeless Men & Women Holidays for those on low income Enquiries & donations gratefully received

Jericho Benedictines 1/8 Page Fr. James Monastery of Jesus, Harelaw Farm KILBARCHAN Renfrewshire PA10 2PY


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Di s a b il it y an d th e Ch urc h: We l co m in g Ch u rch Fo r um

Dr Liam Waldron

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elcoming Church Forum was founded in Aberdeen in 2009 by Mrs. Stephanie Brock, mother of Adam who lives with Down’s Syndrome and autism. It is a voluntary body comprising people with disabilities, their families and supporters, theologians and pastors, which works with Christian congregations across the city of Aberdeen (and increasingly in Aberdeenshire) to assist them in developing their pastoral response to those frequently isolated or even forgotten due to disability. We are committed to helping connect families and churches to a wider support network across Aberdeen so that people with disabilities know they are loved, families know they are cared for, and churches know they have the support necessary to minister to all in their midst. Drawing on many theological voices and liturgical approaches to the pastoral care of people with disabilities, their families and friends, Welcoming Church Forum continues to harness the expertise of the members for the good of those congregations which seek to welcome people with disabilities. For example, some formalised programmes such as ‘Messy Church’ and ‘Rhythms of Grace’ are being considered, and in June 2012, we hosted a most engaging evening with Sr. Agnes Nelson SND, who has been focusing on the SPRED (Special Religious Development) method of welcoming and befriending people with disabilities in Glasgow for over twenty years. We have also had a presentation from Cristina Gangemi, Disability Advisor to the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales who challenged us to discover how God is ever more evident through the lives of people with an intellectual disability. Welcoming Church Forum takes seriously the task of all Christians; to love God and to be brother and sister to ‘the other’, made in the image and likeness of God. Encouraging congregations to go beyond the important yet nonetheless inadequate rhetoric of ‘rights’ and ‘inclusion’, WCF encourages all congregations to see that, irrespective of ability, created human persons ‘belong’ with each other in a relationship of communion. Nor is this relationship one-sided. People with and without disabilities grow in love for each other when they encounter one another as

brothers and sisters loved into being by God. Congregations do not just ask what they can do ‘for’ people with disabilities, but rather how they themselves are transformed by the encounter. As Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche movement writes; ‘to belong is to be in communion... communion is mutual trust, mutual belonging…it is the to-and-fro movement of love between two people where each one gives and each one receives’. Welcoming Church Forum is working to extend its membership and in a personal capacity as Chairman, I would encourage more Catholic involvement in the activities of the organisation because the insights of Catholic Social Thought and the liturgical practices of the Church represent a rich resource for pastoral direction and renewal with regard to the place of people with disabilities in churches and parishes. The wider Christian community can be said to be ‘living the Gospel’ authentically when people with disabilities, their families and friends are not marginal to the life of the church but are at its very core; shaping the heart of the church so that all members can be said to be living life ‘in its fullness’ as Christ intended. The website of Welcoming Church Forum is currently having a makeover but as Chairman I can be contacted via liamwaldron@yahoo.com. I, along with the committee and general membership will be happy to chat about how we can work together to support people with disabilities.

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Good News For The New Evangelisation Hugh Gilbert OSB Bishop of Aberdeen

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he apostles whom the Lord took up the mountain had been given, one might say, ‘bad news’. Their hero was going to be killed and they might expect something similar too. And the Lord consoled them with a vision of himself, full of light, with Moses and Elijah, overshadowed by the cloud, endorsed by the Father. Moses and Elijah are important: Jewish ‘saints’. Soon, Peter, James and John would have the Jewish establishment against them, but here was a sign that the Jewish saints were with them. And that – in some shape or form – is always good consolation, even if the mad abuse it. We, too, and over and over again, in recent years, have been given ‘bad news’. I mean, in particular, ‘bad news’ about the Church, from within the Church. In the background, there are the statistics of decline; in the foreground are the stories of abuse, sometimes mercifully untrue, sometimes sadly not. Then, there’s what people say about parish life or what goes on in seminaries or what’s taught under the name of Catholic theology. Then, there’s the sheer uncharity of the orthodox and the saddening unorthodoxy of the apparently charitable. We suffer because of what our fellow-believers are doing. We suffer from the Church, not just for it. We suffer because we love.

It’s not enough to say there’s good news too. The point is: there is a particular suffering for us who are Catholics here and now. We suffer because of what our fellowbelievers are doing. We suffer from the Church, not just for it. We suffer because we love. But here’s the danger. The suffering can erode our love, and especially our love of the Church. And we must ‘firm’ our hearts – every time we’re pained by the Church – in our love for the Church. So, to that end, I’d like to evoke our Moses and Elijah; the people and the achievements we can be proud of, and who will help us rise to the call of the Holy Father and commit ourselves to the work of ‘the new evangelisation’. Firstly, there are the monks and nuns: six or seven centuries worth of them, Celts, Romans, Normans and others too who came from elsewhere and went native, so to speak. They are the fathers and founders of Christianity in our land. The litany is a long one: dedicated men and women of prayer and the love of God. Evangelisers, builders of churches, cumulatively transforming – in fact creating – the society in which they lived. Respect for

‘The Transfiguration of Our Lord’ llustration by Sr. Mary Grace Thull chastity and marriage, for social justice and harmony, for letters and learning and law; all that and more. The national debt to these people is immense and inadequately acknowledged. These are not oddities of the Dark Ages, but the very people who turned darkness into light. Secondly come the mystics, the fruit of the fourteenth century – Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, the author of The Cloud of Unknowing Julian of Norwich. They have very much re-emerged in our times. And there’s no doubt they speak to many people. They’re sane and saintly at the same time, poetic and practical. They mainly wrote in English, too – which is part of their power. Thirdly, the martyrs, the ‘fruit’ of the religious and political upheavals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They run from the Carthusian prior, St John Houghton, martyred in 1535, to the married aristocratic layman, Bl. William Howard, beheaded in 1680, himself a grandson of another martyr, St Philip Howard. There are others, though, who died for their faith in prison, up to 1692. St Thomas Becket was the anticipator of this multitude. ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’ (Rev. 7:14). British Catholics who come after must feel themselves to be the children of the sacrifice and living prayer of this great array of valiant men and women. These martyrs died for two truths of the Catholic faith, in particular: the Petrine and papal primacy, and the reality of the Eucharistic sacrament and sacrifice. It is fair to say, too, as Paul VI did in 1970, that they died for the unity of the Church, of which the Bishop of Rome is a guarantor at the level of


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structure and the Eucharist the symbol and source at the level of sacrament. Thomas More, in his final defence, protested precisely at the rupture of communion – a rupture both synchronic, refusing the rest of Christendom now, and diachronic, breaking with the tradition. One king, one parliament, one nation was setting itself up in isolation. More was like the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite foretelling the break-up of Solomon’s kingdom. He, I suppose, was the most significant – historically speaking – of the martyrs. Who knows which is greatest in the sight of God? But he remains a thorn in the flesh of English history, and he continues to haunt. Certainly, we can be proud of these. ‘In their mouth no lie was found’ (Rev. 14:5). Fourthly, there are the ‘moderns’, ‘moderns’ in two senses: they belong to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and they have been modern Christians, that is, engaged with modernity. The Catholic Church in Britain has over the last two centuries produced some remarkable thinkers, writers, poets, artists – often, strangely enough, more appreciated abroad than by the British mainstream. Any litany too will probably be a bit controversial, but thinking of ‘local’ figures of ‘universal’ significance, I’d want to mention people like Newman, Hopkins, Chesterton, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, Evelyn Underhill. In Scotland, we’ve had Edwin Muir and George Mackay Brown. It is striking to my mind how many of the leading twentieth century poets have in fact been or become or re-become Christians. In a way, these folk have been creators of – at least the possibility of – a new Christian

“More was like the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite foretelling the break-up of Solomon’s kingdom” civilisation. Lay more often than clerical, and generally artistic or historical rather than theological or philosophical. But we are modern too and these can help us. So we have comfort. We have people and achievements we can be proud of. We needn’t fear ‘bad news’. The question before us as Catholics and Christians is: How do we move forward, with our mission in mind, the mission of ‘the new evangelisation’? I suggest that we move mindful of the monks, mystics, martyrs and moderns who have gone before and are still around us. Mindful of them and their meaning, we can move, not miserable or muddleheaded or moping or mediocre, but meek and militant, merciful and manly. May Mary our mother make us missionary!

Hy m n s – som e th oug h t s

Dr Roger B. Williams M.B.E.

T

he subject of hymns and the singing of them is something about which there are many and varied viewpoints. Some hymns are very old indeed while others are being written today. Hymns are sung in many different situations, mainly in churches, but some are favourites at sports events, including football’s cup final, and at various rugby grounds. Certain hymns are sung on important feast-

days, others at specific seasons of the year – such as at Christmas – and hymns are frequently sung at weddings and funerals. Hymns often have strong associations for many, sometimes with considerable emotional and psychological charges. The subject of hymnology is enormous and engenders strong, individually held views. The word hymn has an interesting origin, derived from medieval English and old French, from the Latin hymnus, from a Greek word meaning ode or song in praise of a God or hero. St. Ambrose, from the fourth century, generally held to be the founder of hymnology in the Western


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Church, is both narrower and more specific: ‘A hymn is the praise of God by singing. A hymn is a song embodying the praise of God. If there be merely praise but not praise of God it is not a hymn. If there be praise, and praise of God, but not sung, it is not a hymn. For it to be a hymn, it is needful, therefore, for it to have three things – praise, praise of God, and these sung.’ The Shorter Oxford Dictionary’s definition adds to this: ‘A song of praise to God; specifically a metrical composition adapted to be sung in a religious service; sometimes distinct from psalm or anthem, as not being part of the text of the Bible.’ Even the briefest survey reveals a long history of hymns – perhaps first sung in the ancient Hebrew Church. Some Latin hymns date from as early as the fourth century (Conditor alme siderum) while others go back well over a millennium. In Milan, southern France and English manuscripts there is evidence of collections of hymns before the 9th century, and St.Benedict referred to ‘hymni’ as he was drawing up his outline for the Divine Office. The ‘New Hymnal’, with 105 hymns, dates from the 10th century. There is some evidence to suggest that the Celtic Church also sang hymns. Some of these ancient Latin hymns are still sung today, either within, or as adjuncts to, a particular liturgy. Veni Sancte Spiritus, Veni Creator Spiritus, and Pange Lingua – would be three such examples of ancient Latin hymns which have been sung for many hundreds of years. They are concerned with specific points of Christian teaching and doctrine, and frequently take their place within a particular context. There are also hymns of more recent vintage - many dating from the Reformation – born of Martin Luther’s need for a greater sense of active participation amongst congregations. The first Lutheran hymn book was published in Wittenberg in 1524. While some of these hymns are direct translations from ancient Latin sources, others use scriptural paraphrases, as, for example, in the Chorales of the Lutheran Church. ‘Ein feste Burg’ (A safe stronghold our God is still), Nun danket alle Gott (Now thank we all our God) or The Passion Chorale (O Sacred Head sore wounded) would be three examples of Chorales which are still sung today. The repertoire of Chorales has been a rich source of inspiration both poetically and musically to many succeeding generations, but is perhaps most closely associated with the baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The Anglican Church at its outset did not sing hymns – they were considered to be outside the liturgy. In the English version of the Prayer Book of 1549, Cranmer omitted all hymns. The Episcopal Church sang Psalms, often in poetic, metrical versions. In the seventeenth century there were many distinguished poets and authors in priestly orders in that Church, including such figures as John Donne, Jonathan Swift, and John Milton. The hymn ‘He who would valiant

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be’, by John Bunyan, though not using the vocabulary of everyday speech, is still direct enough in its use of language to retain its impact for many people today. But it was Isaac Watts (1674-1748) who established a distinctive hymnology in English, especially with his Hymns and Spiritual Songs of 1707. O God our help in ages past, and When I survey the wondrous cross are two hymns by Isaac Watts that have remained in the repertoire. The Genevan Psalter of 1560 and the Scottish Psalter of 1650 contain metrical versions of psalms which are often sung as hymns today. All people that on earth do dwell and The Lord’s my shepherd are two commonly sung – though the tune Crimond often used for the latter is a nineteenth century tune. Under the influence of Watts, the founders of Methodism, the Wesley brothers, John(1703-01) and Charles(1707-88), wrote many hymns from the 1730s. The Wesleys, with their intimate knowledge of scripture, striking use of metaphor, coupled with rousing tunes, exerted a universal and lasting influence, especially with the growth of the Chapels in the north of England and other regions. Following them, and during the Victorian era, hymns were produced in vast numbers. Not only Methodists, but Congregationalists, Moravians, Baptists and others, fostered an upsurge in hymn singing, as we judge from the sheer number of hymn books that were published. Not everything was of the best quality, and there were many hymns that were weakly constructed and frankly sentimental. There were also hymns which revealed attitudes which today we find difficult to accept, as, for example, the line, ‘the rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate’, at verse 3 of Mrs. Alexander’s hymn All things bright and beautiful. Though this is a scriptural paraphrase, it would have expressed an entirely familiar sentiment to many of our Victorian forebears. Dr Roger B. Williams M.B.E. is the Emeritus Organist of the University of Aberdeen, the Musical Director of the Aberdeen Diocesan Choir and the Organist at the Church of Our Lady and St John the Baptist, Ellon. He is a graduate of Cardiff and Cambridge Universities, and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music by the University of Aberdeen in 2011. As an Organist he has worked for the Jesuits in Wimbledon, and presently directs music for the weekly Mass in the University Chapel of King’s College, Aberdeen. In the next issue of the magazine Dr Williams will take this brief survey forward to discuss the Oxford movement, the reforms of Vaughan Williams in the early twentieth century and some aspects of hymn repertoire today.


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The Gift of

Clare Benedict “[Faith] is the lifelong companion that makes it possible to perceive, ever anew, the marvels that God works for us … faith commits every one of us to become a living sign of the presence of the Risen Lord in the world. What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end” (Porta Fidei 15).

L

ord, I believe; help my unbelief! (Mk 9:24) Which one of us has not at times in our lives echoed the cry of the possessed child’s father in the Gospel? Which one us does not desire an increase in faith? And what better time to pray ever more fervently for that increase than, in this Year of Faith, during Lent, that special season of grace? Lent is a season that calls for an increase of prayer and evangelical charity; we can combine the two. In his Letter announcing the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict tells us, “The heart indicates that the first act by which one comes to faith is God’s gift and the action of grace which acts and transforms the person deep within” (10). Many years ago, when I was teetering on the threshold of that “door of faith”, knowing that somehow something was still missing, the first priest I had ever spoken with said this to me: “Faith is a gift from God, and you have to wait for God to give it to you. Keep chugging (praying!) along and listen to the silence.” God doesn’t force His gifts on us; faith is a totally free, totally gratuitous gift offered to the individual to accept or to reject. Yet St Paul, the Church Fathers and the Holy Father repeat that it is God’s grace that prompts us to open our hearts to this wonderful gift of faith. Something I have been wondering about lately – and haven’t really come up with any answers! – is this question: how can it be that God offers two people this gift of faith – one accepts and the other either rejects it or fails to notice

what is being offered? Has one been given the grace to accept and the other not? Yet we know that God wills all people to be saved and, at the end, to make our eternal home in him. We know that Christ died for all humankind, that “there is not, never has been, and never will be, a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer” (CCC 605). Faith is a gift too large, too generous to keep to ourselves. There are occasions when we long with all our hearts to give others this gift, to share it with them. This longing can become especially heartfelt, even a heartache, when it concerns someone we love. St Paul was acutely aware of this kind of yearning and a real cry from his heart echoes down to us today: “My conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race” (Rom 9:1-3). How many of us can identify, at least to some extent, with this cry? Listen to the silence. I’ve never lost track of those words. In my case I was listening so loudly that I’d probably not have noticed the last trumpet! Perhaps that’s one of the problems with many people. They don’t hear that “still, small voice” because there is so much clamour in their minds, their hearts. Some might envy the people of faith they know; some might ask them, ask you, for prayers on their behalf. Well, one could say, God will hear your prayer as well as he’ll hear mine. Sometimes – for all of us – where there is doubt, the best course is to act as if there is no doubt, only certainty. Pray anyway, telling oneself over and over that just as the sun rises each day, so our Father is listening to us – to each and every one of us. Pope Benedict talks of a “credible witness”: of whom is he talking? Bishops, priests, saints? Well, all of them, of course, but aren’t we all called to be saints? A whole chapter of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium was entitled “The Universal Call to Holiness”, centred around Jesus’s words

“Faith is a gift from God, and you have to wait for God to give it to you. Keep chugging (praying!) along and listen to the silence.”


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in the Sermon on the Mount: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:28). “All Christ’s faithful, whatever be the conditions, duties and circumstances of their lives – and indeed through all these – will daily increase in holiness, if they receive all things with faith from the hand of their heavenly Father and if they cooperate with the divine will. In this temporal service, they will manifest to all men the love with which God loved the world” (LG 42). No one ever suggested that being a Christian was easy! But for the sake of eternal life with God... It is a natural desire for Christians to want to attain to heaven and it is also natural for us to want all those we care about to get there as well. Parents and grandparents pray for their children and grandchildren; brothers pray for brothers, sisters for sisters; some pray for dear friends. What about

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people we don’t care about so much? What about people we actively dislike? What about those about whom we may harbour a secret hope that they definitely won’t get to heaven? St Paul talks of God calling some “according to his purpose”; why? Surely for the sake of others, the sake of a deaf world. It all comes back to witness really, “credible witness”, and striving to become “a living sign of the presence of the Risen Lord in the world”; and, above all, “praying constantly”. We don’t really have to think very hard about a prayer ‘project’ for Lent. Pray that stubborn, closed hearts may be opened “to the desire for God and for true life, life without end”. After all, Jesus’s Passion was a prayer of intercession and through it the world was redeemed. Lord, increase our faith!

NewCatholic Education Institute for Scotland The St Ninian Institute will provide new opportunites for all to deepen their knowledge and insight of the Catholic faith Miracles are not only not unlikely, they are positively likely; and for this simple reason, because, for the most part, when God begins he goes on…If the divine Being does a thing once, he is, judging by human reason, likely to do it again. (John Henry Newman)

I

n September 2013, a new Catholic Higher Education Institute will open its doors to all those who wish to deepen their knowledge and insight of the Catholic Faith. Courses will be available at certificate and diploma levels as well as involvement in graduate and post-graduate studies, working in close cooperation with the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham. It was the united vision of the David Meiklejohn, Director of the new St Ninian Institute former Director of Maryvale, Mgr Paul Watson, and “Here is an outstanding opportunity to provide a range Bishop Vincent Logan of Dunkeld Diocese, that a parttime distance learning College should be established so of excellent courses at a time when many people, inspired that the people of Scotland could benefit from a major by the example and teaching of Pope Benedict XVI, want learning and teaching resource commencing in the Year to fortify their faith to meet the demands of a rapidly of Faith. Both were pleased to offer the post of Director changing world. As Director, I am well supported by of the new St Ninian Institute to David Meiklejohn, a leading Catholic academics who are sharing in this Course Director and Director of Liturgical Music at the exciting vision and who will variously serve the St Ninian Maryvale Institute. David, who is a native of the Diocese Institute as Trustees, Research Fellows and Senior Research of Dunkeld, has expressed his passion for this new project Fellows as well as the generous Diocesan staff in Dundee and all those who have contributed so enthusiastically to to the Light of the North:


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Light of the North It was the united vision of the former Director of Maryvale, Mgr Paul Watson, and Bishop Vincent Logan of Dunkeld Diocese, that a part-time distance learning College should be established so that the people of Scotland could benefit from a major learning and teaching resource commencing in the Year of Faith.

our Academic Library”. Prior to its opening at the start of the academic session in the Autumn, a ‘Year of Faith Lecture Series’ will commence in March 2013 with the Inaugural Lecture, ‘At the Service of the Mystery’ being given by our own Bishop, Hugh Gilbert OSB on 2nd March. A stimulating and inspiring series of talks given by leading Catholic speakers will be advertised on the St Ninian website soon. The Lawside campus comprises the Diocesan Offices and St Joseph’s Convent, previously occupied by the

Sisters of Mercy. There are twenty-one bedrooms available for visiting students and staff in the Diocesan Centre as well as lecturing facilities and meetings rooms. Additional rooms for seminars and workshops are available in the Convent which contains thirty-five bedrooms. Maryvale is well served by the dedication and spiritual charism of the Bridgettine sisters and it is an important goal to encourage a religious order to take occupancy of St Joseph’s Convent on the Lawside campus, not least to

6* '    2 .75%#4&'0 2'0 6'% 15 6 .'% 674'5 given by Fr Vincent Twome y S.V.D. Prof e s s or of Mor a l Theology a t the Po n ti f i c al Un i ve r s i ty o f St Patr i c ks C o l l e ge , Ire la n d

2 1 s t – 23 rd M ay 20 1 3 at Pl u sc ard e n Ab b e y, n e ar E l gi n

E

ach year the Abbot and Community of Pluscarden Abbey sponsor a series of four lectures by an invited Theologian on an aspect of Catholic Theology. Previous Lecturers have included Professor John Haldane, Fr Aidan Nichols OP, Fr Thomas Weinandy OFM Cap, Fr Anthony Meredith SJ, Fr Paul McPartlan the (then) Fr. Bernard Longley and Fr Tom Herbst OFM. The Lectures are held on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after Pentecost in St Scholastica’s Retreat House at the Abbey. They are open to all who wish to attend and are free. Limited accommodation is available at the Abbey and those who wish to stay should book as soon as possible. There are also many places to stay in the Elgin area: contact the local tourist office: 01343 542666.

1. Tuesday 21st May at 2.45 pm : “Man’s Search for the Face of God” - [Ratzinger on Philosophy, Prophecy and Religion] 2.Wednesday 22nd May at 10.15 am : “God’s unveiling of His face” - [Ratzinger on Revelation] 3.Wednesday 22nd May at 2.45 pm: “The Sensorium of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty” - [Ratzinger on Primordial Conscience] 4.Thursday 23rd May at 10.15 am: “Orthodoxy as Divine Worship” -[Ratzinger on Reasonable Worship (Rom 12:1)]


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support students and staff who stay for residential weekends. The name of the institute is chosen to commemorate the first day of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Scotland in September 2010. While the Institute will, in principle, allow and encourage access to all Maryvale courses and staff, it is also envisaged that the development of courses with a specifically Scottish character will become a central feature of the Institute’s profile. The short-term aim is for the institute to host some of Maryvale’s post-graduate activities. In addition, we envisage the provision of courses tailored to respond to the growing need amongst professionals to increase their knowledge of the Faith, particularly in the business and healthcare sectors. The medium-term aim is for the Institute to develop its own special courses, which will be made available to Maryvale. These will include a number of courses in Sacred Music, on Catholic Art and Literature, Catholic Media Studies, and courses on Catholic History. In the long term, it is envisaged that the St Ninian Institute will become a place of excellence for Catholic Liberal Arts. We are delighted that the new Institute will be located in the vibrant and rapidly developing city of Dundee, supported by the diocese of Dunkeld. It is anticipated

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that it will become a national resource for all the Catholic community in Scotland, with active participation from across the country, motivating others to reach wider horizons in accepting and contributing to a life of Faith in Jesus Christ. Our shield, designed by Mr Cowan Watson of Sheldrake New Media, comprises an image of St Ninian with the words ‘St Ninian Institute’ in both English and Gaelic; the lilies refer to the flowers shown on the Dundee Coat of Arms which has associations with the Blessed Virgin Mary; the Lion rampart signifies the strength of partnership between the St Ninian institute and the Maryvale Institute. We are most grateful to Canon Bill Anderson, for the formation of our motto Hic Deo Servire Docendo (To serve God by teaching in this place).

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Achieving eternal blessedness through the Beatitudes Eileen Grant

O

ne of the most inspiring parts of the Catechism is the section entitled “Our Vocation to Beatitude”: how fruitful it might be to reflect prayerfully on its contents during Lent. “Christian, recognise your dignity and, now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your Head and of whose Body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God” (St Leo the Great). “The dignity of the human person is rooted in the image and likeness of God; it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude. It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfilment. By his deliberate actions, the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience… With the help of grace they grow in virtue, avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son to the mercy of our Father in Heaven. In this way they attain to the perfection of charity” (CCC 1700). We are called to follow Christ and to imitate him in selfgiving love and in obedience to the Father’s will. We constantly struggle to get back to that original state of harmony for which God created us and to which He desires us to return and in which we all have an inbuilt longing to belong. Created in the image and likeness of God, through Jesus Christ we become adopted children of God; our inheritance, therefore, is a divine inheritance, and one for which we must desire to be worthy. We are called, in fact, to be perfect, as our Father in Heaven is perfect – or, at least, to keep trying! We are called to beatitude, that is, to divine blessedness, to a state of eternal happiness in Heaven. St Matthew tells us of the Sermon that Jesus preached to the crowds when he told them how to achieve eternal blessedness by teaching them the Beatitudes, the blessings which fulfil the promises made by God to His people and direct them (and us) towards the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 5:3-12). Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven: those who consciously rely on God for everything and are not unhealthily attached to material things. During Lent, we are given a particular opportunity to ‘give up’ something to which we are attached and, in so doing, may find our burden on the way to blessedness made lighter. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted: those who willingly accept suffering or

‘The Sermon Sermon of the Beatitudes’ by the French Painter, James Tissot (1886-96)


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difficulties will one day know the eternal happiness of heaven – “… the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18). Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth: those who are gentle and treat others with kindness as Jesus did, selflessly and always thinking of others. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt 11:29-30). Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied: those who don’t just sit back and think holy thoughts but translate them into action; giving oneself to and for others no matter what the costs. Doing what is right takes courage and faith. “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14). Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy: those who forgive readily; those who show compassion for others’ suffering. Be merciful to others as God is to you. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God: those who don’t only do the right thing but who have the right attitudes in their hearts; those who say and do something and mean it. Jesus came to change people’s attitudes to help them to change they way they felt deep inside themselves. “Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall se him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2). Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God: those who are at peace within themselves, with others and with God. Peace is not just absence of conflict. It is a situation in which everything is for the good. “The attainment of peace depends above all on recognizing that we are, in God, one human family. Peace is an order enlivened and integrated by love, in such a way that we feel the needs of others as our own, share our goods with others and work throughout the world for greater communion in spiritual values … Peace is not a dream or something utopian; it is possible” (Pope Benedict XVI). Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven: it is not easy being a good and faithful Christian witness; we may be mocked or find ourselves standing alone. Sometimes it seems easier to go with the flow, but standing up for what we know in our hearts to be right will, in the end, bring happiness. “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is right? But even if you do suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet 3:13-15).

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Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven: In these turbulent times in which we are living, may these words bring consolation, hope and renewed determination to stand up for what is right. “Rejoice in so far as you share in Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Pet 4:14). God calls us all towards this blessed state; He has placed in our hearts this desire for blessedness which can be satisfied only in Him: God alone satisfies (Aquinas). Human happinesses are brief, fleeting, gone almost before we have tasted them: wealth, power, pleasure, sexual gratification – nothing lasts. Only the blessedness of being with God lasts forever and it is offered to each and every one of us, through Christ. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. It is true, because of the greatness and inexpressible glory of God, that ‘man shall not see me and live’, for the Father cannot be grasped. But because of God’s love and goodness toward us, and because he can do all things, he goes so far as to grant those who love him the privilege of seeing him … For ‘what is impossible for men is possible for God.’” (St Iranaeus) Eileen Grant is an RCIA Catechist for the Diocese of Aberdeen

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Caravaggio: Vocations Director of Baroque Rome? How a 16th century Milanese artist offers us a new, profound interpretation of the Calling of St Matthew the left side of the painting. This is one of a series of distinctions between the two principal characters: Matthew is seated, whilst Christ is standing; Christ points to Matthew, and his actions are mirrored by the apostle t may seem rather bizarre to claim that the Milanese artist Peter, whilst Matthew responds with a surprised and somewhat Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) should be able bewildered expression and points incredulously to himself. The gestures to tell us anything about the dynamics of a religious vocation, of the protagonists lead the eye across the painting, thus helping to particularly when one calls to mind the innumerable underline its strong linear composition. The movement begins with the controversies surrounding his short but colourful life. However, piercing gaze of Christ, and moves along his arm and finger, across the even the most cursory of glances at his oeuvre reveals a central space, and on to the finger of Matthew. The link between Christ predominant interest in religious art. It is true that the subject and Matthew is reinforced by the subtle interplay of light and shade, a matter of a painting, including the specific details of the technique known as chiaroscuro, which was perfected by Caravaggio and composition, was often provided by the patron, as opposed to subsequently imitated by other artists. An ethereal shaft of light enters being the result of fantasia or creative inspiration on the part of the painting from the right, and mimics the gestures of Christ and Peter, the artist. However, the religious commissions of Caravaggio until finally arriving at Matthew. Christ’s hand is an almost exact mirrorexpress an inherent sensibility that is not superficial and image of the hand of Michelangelo’s Adam on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, a assumed; rather, it is simple, immediate, and yet profound, work which Caravaggio would certainly have known and studied. Christ, revealing an underlying awareness of human emotion and of the new Adam, the Eternal Word by whom all things are made, is in effect calling Matthew to a new life by following Him. As Adam was created, so psychological introspection. This is certainly evident in Caravaggio’s Calling of St Matthew. The Matthew is re-created. What we have here is an instance of high drama, apostle’s own account of his calling is probably not the most obvious frozen in time and captured on canvas. The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church biblical example of a vocation story, nor is it the most famous. Indeed, it literally comprises one line of Holy Scripture: ‘As Jesus passed on from maintains that everyone has a vocation to dedicate his or her life to Christ, a ‘universal call to there, he saw a man called holiness’ (Lumen Matthew sitting at the tax Gentium 5). Though office; and he said to him, universal, the call is at "Follow me." And he rose one and the same time and followed him’ (Mt highly individual: each 9:9). Clearly, Matthew person receives a specific does not provide us with vocation that is both much information. supernatural in origin However, a detailed and personal in nature. It analysis of Caravaggio’s is clear in Caravaggio’s artistic depiction of the painting that Matthew is event can offer us a in the act of receiving his greater understanding of call. The Gospel passage the dynamics of the tells us very little; all vocation process. that we have is a series The Calling of St of transitive verbs. Jesus Matthew was Caravaggio’s passes by, he sees first major church Caravaggio’s “The Calling of Saint Matthew” (1599-1600), Matthew, and he speaks commission, completed in The Contarelli Chapel, Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome to him, using the 1599-1600, and located in imperative mode of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. It is one of three works by the same artist for the Contarelli family; address: ‘follow me’. This is how Christ similarly calls us in our lives. The opposite this painting is a representation of The Martyrdom of St Matthew, next step in the process of vocational discernment is crucial; it is our whilst above the altar hangs The Inspiration of St Matthew. In his Calling response to this call of the Lord. Caravaggio’s rendering of Matthew’s of St Matthew, Caravaggio has captured perfectly the moment of drama response underlines the emotional depth of the moment. Matthew is in which Christ, who is depicted on the extreme right side of the incredulous. Tax collectors were hated and despised in equal measure by composition, calls the eponymous subject. Next to Christ stands St Peter. all of Jewish society; for Matthew, this is a moment of metanoia, or Matthew, by contrast, is located in the middle of a group of five men, on spiritual conversion, as well as personal redemption. He is clearly taken

Fr Domenico Zanrè

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aback, and his surprise is evident in his facial expression. Matthew points to his chest in an interrogative gesture that not only highlights his own emotional consternation but also indicates the fact that a supernatural call from the Lord literally touches our heart, and lies at the very core of our being. Matthew’s reaction is described in very simplistic terms and with great economy of language: ‘he rose and followed him’. Paradoxically, this reaction would surely have been far from simple, a fact that is reflected in Matthew’s body language. A close examination of the composition reveals that his right hand is still clutching some of the coins on the table; clearly, he is in the very act of having to make a major life decision. Matthew was being asked to give up all those indicators of success that are considered so important in society – a good job, a comfortable lifestyle, money, status – and to place his faith and trust in Christ. This is precisely what those of us who feel called to ministry in the Church are being asked to do. Like Matthew, many men and women nowadays who hear the call of the Lord to follow Him in the priesthood and religious life tend to be older and already have a career. Caravaggio’s understanding of the dynamics of a vocation is most relevant for our own times. What is asked of anyone contemplating a religious calling is to have the same faith and generosity of spirit, not to mention courage, which Matthew displayed. Caravaggio’s painting highlights another common feature of a call from the Lord: it can come when we least expect it, and when we are seemingly least ready to receive it, in the very midst of our everyday lives. In the case of our protagonist, the call has taken place in a dark and smoky tavern (a setting that no doubt would have been all too familiar to the artist). The shady atmosphere of the setting is reflected in the shady character of the individuals who are seated on either side of Matthew. Their features and demeanour recall another of Caravaggio’s compositions, The Cardsharps, painted five years previously (1595). Matthew’s companions are dressed in fancy clothes, and are armed with swords. There is a hint that the money in front of them may have been obtained by illegal means. These features only accentuate the striking and innovative nature of the call, whilst the various facial gestures of each of the men reflect the prevalent attitudes of society towards a religious calling: surprise, scorn, incomprehension, and indifference. The fact that Matthew and these other men are all dressed in late sixteenth-century costume brings a greater immediacy and relevance to the subject –matter of the composition, and it is contrasted by the simple Galilean clothing of Christ and St Peter. Christ Matthew’s reaction is described in very simplistic terms and with great economy of language: ‘he rose and followed him’. Paradoxically, his reaction would surely have been far from simple. a fact that is reflected in Matthew’s body language. has stepped into Matthew’s world (a gambling den in Baroque Rome), yet he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and his message of love and salvation speaks to us in every age and circumstance. The collision between the world of faith and that of amoral materialism is highlighted further in the ray of light that shines from above Christ’s head and penetrates the gloom of the tavern, falling upon the face of Matthew: Christ brings the true grace-filled light of faith to our lives and, in so doing, he illuminates our souls. What we have here in this painting is the

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Who? Me? ... An incredulous Matthew interruption of man’s mundane existence by the miraculous. The figure of St Peter was a later addition to the painting, and was added as a symbol of the pilgrim church on earth (cf. the staff in Peter’s hand); as Matthew himself was to write, Peter is the rock upon which the church of Christ was founded (Mt 16:18). The symbolism is significant, since it is within the church that we are called to live out our vocation. Peter’s presence in the painting also highlights Rome’s devotion to this Prince of the Apostles – a fact that was made explicit by Caravaggio later on in the same year (1600), in his Crucifixion of Peter, painted in the Cerasi chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo. The call to follow Christ is a radical one, and involves a ‘dying to self’ and a willingness to take up one’s cross. For Matthew, as for Peter, this journey of special friendship with the Lord was to end in martyrdom, and we can see Caravaggio’s representation of this on the opposite wall of the Contarelli chapel. There is a prefiguration of this violent but glorious end in the cross-shaped window-pane above the heads of Christ and Peter. The words of St Paul – that other great pillar of the church – come readily to mind: ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.’ (Gal 2:20) In conclusion, it should be readily apparent from an attentive study of The Calling of St Matthew that Caravaggio has succeeded beautifully in conveying a number of insightful elements that typify the dynamics of a religious vocation. In his perfect juxtaposition of the sacred and secular, the artist brings the transcendent to the immanent. The work underlines a poignant moment of great drama and tension, and at the same time it offers a new, profound interpretation of the gospel passage.


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Shelagh Noden’s Musical Memories of the North-East An Eighteenth-Century Scottish Catholic Songbook

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ecently while Fr Keith Herrera was getting his books together for his move from St Peter’s in Aberdeen to the Cathedral, he came across an old songbook, and, knowing my interest in such things, sent it over to me. It was an exciting find as only two other copies of this little book, ‘A Collection of Spiritual Songs’, are known to exist. The collection was printed in 1791. From an examination of the style and layout it is thought to have been produced by Chalmers of Aberdeen, but no printer’s name is given, which was understandable because the penal laws were still, at least theoretically, in force. The book is made up of 110 pages and contains forty-one songs on various doctrinal topics, each one directed to be sung to a particular Scottish traditional air. It is not a hymnbook as such; rather it is similar in style to a sixteenth-century Presbyterian songbook known as ‘Gude and Godlie Ballatis’, which was said to be ‘one of the

Mis s i on

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S o l i da ri ty

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most effective instruments in Scottish Reformation propaganda’. This Protestant work, compiled by three brothers — James, John and Robert Wedderburn, all students at St Andrews university — consisted of a selection of metrical psalms, Lutheran hymn translations, and ‘spiritual songs’ which were set to the tunes of contemporary secular songs. The similarity between the two works is therefore obvious, and the Catholic collection could indeed be seen as an imitation of the earlier Protestant publication. A preface to the work states that the songs were ‘written at different periods during this and the last two centuries,’ so one can imagine these being sung by the boys at Scalan, accompanied by the scrape of John Gordon’s fiddle. Any passer-by would have heard only a well-known tune such as Pinkie House or Auld Lang Syne, and been unaware of the real text being sung. The book seems to have been well-received; a second collection appeared in 1802, and the first was reprinted in 1823. The texts include satire, doctrinal verses and some devotional poems akin to hymns. In 1867 the collection was described by the priest-historian Fr James

Welfar e

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Hospit al i ty

Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) Registered charity in Scotland number SC043085 Full-time Port Chaplain: North East Scotland (including Aberdeen Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Invergordon, Orkney and Shetland). Salary: £23,000 per annum For an application pack or an informal chat contact Martin Foley, National Director, on 07914 231628 or martinfoley@apostleshipofthesea.org.uk. For information about AoS please visit our website: www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk. Port visits can be arranged with a working port chaplain. Deadline for applications: 15 February 2013. Interviews: 5 March 2013 in Aberdeen.


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Stothert as follows: ‘We have the authority of the late AbbĂŠ McPherson for saying that the greater part of these Songs were the composition of Father Gordon, or Johnson, S.J., the Provincial of Scotland, at the suppression of the Society [in 1773]’. He died in 1780. Bishop Hay also contributed some of them as did Bishop Geddes and others. The only one now certainly known as Bishop Hay’s is ‘On the Origin of Rants’ set to the tune of Killicranky.[sic] The object of this Song was to expose the sinfulness and the danger of young men and women meeting at the Country Dances, popularly called Rants. The character of the songs is rugged and inartificial; and suited to the ‘genius’ of the times. There is no indication of authorship on any of the songs. It is now thought, however, that at least seven can “Mr Alexander Wood, his old medical friend [Bishop Hay had originally trained as a surgeon] who was present, was affected to tears, and at the conclusion of the song, remarked, while wiping his eyes, ‘O, Geordie, man, I didna think ye had sae muckle po’er ower me.â€?’ definitely be attributed to Bishop Hay, in addition to The Origin of Rants mentioned by Stothert, as versions of them can be found in a small notebook thought to date from the bishop’s student days in Rome. There they are headed ‘Controversial Songs’. One other text can be shown to have been written by Bishop Hay, and that is Song XI, Regret on the Loss of Time, set to the beautiful tune, The Broom of the Cowdenknowes. It begins: O, the years! The many many years That I have lived in vain! Oh! Could I by my sighs and tears, Recall them back again! There is an account of Bishop Hay, a very capable and expressive singer, performing this song and moving at least one of his audience to tears. “On one occasion, at a convivial party in Edinburgh, Mr Hay was invited to sing. He gave the company a song from his own Collection, entitled, 'O the Years, the many many Years that I have lived in vain,' arranged to the excellent Scotch melody of Cowdenknowes. Mr Alexander Wood, his old medical friend [Bishop Hay had originally trained as a surgeon] who was present, was affected to tears, and at the conclusion of the song, remarked, while wiping his eyes, ‘O, Geordie, man, I didna think ye had sae muckle po'er ower me.'â€? The St Peter’s copy of Spiritual Songs bears a Blairs College library reference number (written in biro!). The opening pages of the book tell us something about the original owners. The first signature is: Jas. McGrigor May 15th 1792 His Song Book. On the reverse of this page

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there appears: Malcolm McGrigor, his Song Book, Anno Deo 1794. Malcolm McGrigor his book, The grace of God upon him look. Auchindryne is my dwelling place, Scotland is my nation And heaven is my habitation. December the 5th anno deo 1794. There follows the poignant comment: This Book belonged to James McGrigor who died in Auchindryne in the year 1794 aged twenty four years, written by his Brother with Sorrow and Grief to think of his absence but I hope although absent from us that he is present with God. One further signature appears, that of John Malcolm Cameron, again of Auchindryne, Braemar, who entered Aquhorties College in 1803 before going out to teach at Valladolid in 1816, where he later became the rector (See Alasdair Roberts’ article on Page 25 regarding the Catholics of Auchindryne). I wonder what other historical treasures could be sitting in church bookcases waiting to be discovered? Shelagh Noden is researching the history of Catholic church music in Scotland, and would be delighted to hear from anyone with any musical memories to share. You can contact Shelagh by email at: s.noden@abdn.ac.uk



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Two Families in the Braes of Mar In the preceding article by Shelagh Noden you will have read how the opening pages of St Peter’s copy of Spiritual Songs bears the signatures of the original owners: James and Malcolm McGrigor followed by that of John Malcolm Cameron. Historian, Alasdair Roberts, now brings these three signatories back to life in a fascinating piece of research on two families in the Braes of Mar

Valladolid during John Geddes’ time as rector, who ‘engaged a Spaniard to teach the boys singing.’ Masters also benefited from religious music, with ‘half an hour apart to Messrs Gordon, MacDonald and me; and even I hope to be able to sing a Preface, a Pater Noster etc.’ The Camerons moved down the Dee valley and John Cameron (third owner of Spiritual Songs) was born on 20 February 1791 at Tominturn in Glengairn. At a time when corn was in demand for whisky this south-facing Alasdair Roberts piece of land sheltered by its tom enjoyed a certain renown. Ann Dean Lachie McIntosh fertilised his ground at nearby Ardoch using a ‘cairtie’ to distribute dung: ‘The strae o’ Tominturn piritual Songs was passed from James and Malcolm McGrigor to John Malcolm Cameron, was good, but the heid was luttle by Lachy’s.’ The Rev. all from Auchindryne: the village of Braemar is Lachlan McIntosh also lived at Ardoch. A Braemar man, divided into Auchin-dryne on the west bank of Cluny he overlapped with Alexander Cameron at Valladolid, and Castleton on the east. The district’s first slated where he was taken back as a prodigal son of the college chapel was opened at Auchindryne in 1795. McGrigors after spending all his lottery winnings. His register records the baptising of two girls at were common in the Braes of Mar which extended east ‘Tamenturn’ to Colin Cameron and Mary Durward in to Glengairn. In a Jesuit list of Catholic householders the likeliest boyhood home for James and Malcolm is 1796 and 1800. Although the record of his own baptism Auchallater two miles south of Auchindryne, their has not survived, John Cameron was almost certainly in father the well-to-do Alexander McGrigor. Father Glengairn at the turn of the century. The Scalan seminary Charles Farquharson visited his own people at in Glenlivet had just closed so he must have received his Auchallater but there were others. The Braemar mission early education elsewhere. Perhaps it was the priest with had 118 ‘whole Catholick’ families and 48 Protestant. the dark Spanish cloak who taught a neighbour’s promising There are no Camerons in what had become an outdated son: in later days Cameron’s talent for Latin, Greek and list, although Bishop Alexander Cameron was born at Hebrew was greatly admired. Aged twelve, John Cameron entered the seminary of Auchindryne in 1747 and his nephew, also Alexander Cameron, twenty years later. He started as a student at Aquhorties near Inverurie. Completing the course too early to be ordained, he went to study maths and chemistry at Edinburgh University. As a priest he was vice-rector and rector at Valladolid for sixty years. Soon after arriving in Spain Cameron wrote: ‘The Rector has just hired a musician to teach them music and they are to be initiated in all the Rubrics and ceremonies of High Mass – a knowledge of which, in some of the Missionaries at least, may now be supposed necessary.’ At Auchindryne and Tominturn Gaelic was the language of McGrigor and Humanae Vitae House in Braemar, built in 1795 and originally a Catholic chapel, Cameron homes, but literacy (and from a business point of it was last used as a Pro-Life Prayer, Study and Conference Centre but is now in view numeracy) in English private hands. Watercolour by artist, Ann Dean gave an edge to young men

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who wrote their names in song books. Distilling was women’s work, using barley which the men brought in to that cold corner of Scotland. The trade was perfectly legal and every household was involved: two hundred stills have been claimed for Glenlivet alone. After the Napoleonic wars ended, however, small stills became illegal and the people became smugglers. Another Ardoch man called William McIntosh fell foul of authority on the road to Aberdeen. Stopped near Skene with kegs of the mountain dew on horseback, he wounded an exciseman with his own sabre. When they met again in Union Street McIntosh’s cudgel sent the gauger ‘sprawling and senseless in the gutter.’ Then he saw the light, entered the priesthood after study in Paris, and became Bishop Scott’s vicar general at Arisaig. There, as the Highland Apostle of Temperance, he fought the demon drink. The decline of Braemar and Glengairn was wistfully

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described in Legends of the Braes o’ Mar by John Grant, brother to Aberdeen’s Bishop Colin Grant: ‘Well then, on the Cluny we have Coldrach and Achalater, who sold and went away. . . The M’Grigors of Dalfad, Ardoch, Inverigny and Ballater, the fierce and terrible, are no more among the strong men of Gairn.’ In Spain Rector John Cameron always encouraged music. As Bishop Taylor (another rector) tells us, ‘the college choir could be accompanied by two flautists, a violinist and a clarinettist.’ Cameron’s coffin was led through the Valladolid streets by musicians. Young Allan MacDonald arrived from Blairs that year. Benefiting from the Cameron tradition, the priest of Uist and Eriskay was to give something back to Gaeldom: ComhChruinneachadh de Laoidhean Spioradail or ‘A Collection of Spiritual Hymns’.

Trials and tribulations at St Thomas’ The copper dome of St Thomas’ Church in Keith is an outstanding landmark but more recently it has given the parish some major headaches. Now, at last, the dome has been made wind and water-tight and, by 2015, when the church will be celebrating the 400 years since St John Ogilvie’s martyrdom, St Thomas’ should be looking its best. Parishioner Ron Smith tells the story ...

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t. Thomas’ Church in Keith is an interesting and striking church. For a start it is on the highest point in the town, and the big copper dome can be seen for miles around. It didn’t always have a dome though (and with all the trouble that we have been having with the dome recently we sometimes wish that it had never been put on!) and its origins go back to the French revolution. There was a chapel at Kempcairn, about 1 kilometre outside Keith, built in 1785, and this was inadequate and inconvenient. When Father Lovi was appointed to Keith in 1825 he began raising money to build a new church in Keith itself. In France, a revolution overthrew the Monarchy, and younger son Charles escaped to the UK, and was given shelter at Holyrood. He became friends with the Gordons of Fochabers and came to the north, and also became friendly with our Father Lovi. Then the French had another revolution and Charles was made King Charles the Tenth of France in 1824. Father Lovi was travelling extensively trying to raise money for our church, and in Paris approached Charles, who happily donated enough money to let construction begin. Charles also had his court painter, the famous François Dubois, to paint an

alter piece, “The Incredulity of St. Thomas”, for us. Construction started in 1830 and our church was completed, and opened by Bishop Kyle on the 7th of August 1831 – but meantime the French had another revolution and had deposed Charles in July 1830; he was back seeking shelter in Edinburgh! We had not received our painting! The indomitable Father Lovi simply set of for France, traced our painting to the Louvre just after Christmas 1830, and somehow managed to bring it home. This must have been quite an undertaking as the picture measures approximately 10’ x 8’ (3m x 2.5 m) The huge frame didn’t come until a few years later, with a record that it had difficulty coming from Elgin as it was too big for the coach! At this time the church looked quite different to what it does today. It is Italian Renaissance style, and believed to have been modelled on St. Maria Angelis church in Rome. In 1837 huge statues of St. Peter and of St. Paul were added to the façade. The capacity of our church was 300 seats, and this was proving inadequate. In 1907 Monsignor Charles McDonald was appointed to Keith and he decided to enlarge the church. A transept was added giving us the cruciform shape that we have today and the huge copper dome added. The seating capacity was then 500, our oak pews, altar and pulpit in Caen stone was added, plus a tailor-made niche for the big painting, which is still there today. The Bishop of Aberdeen opened it on the 13th of September 1916. The copper dome was predicted to last 80 years – and it nearly did! In 1988 we found extensive dry rot, which had to be immediately dealt with, and the dome was causing problems. In 1996 it was obvious that the repairs and patching of the dome was not enough, and so it was completely replaced, at a huge cost. Fortunately


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St Thomas’ in the 1890s before the huge copper dome was added (Photograph courtesy of the Keith & District Heritage Group).

The dome now restored to its former glory (Photograph courtesy of Ron Smith).

grants were obtained from Historic Scotland and with a loan from the Diocese, the work was completed in a year. Serious fund raising soon saw the loan paid off, and we all breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that we were set for another 80 years – but not so at all!!!!! It transpired that the replacement copperwork, and associated slate, lead and zinc work, was a shoddy job, badly done. Keith is a stormy place from time to time; indeed the name “Keith” is an Anglicised version of the Gaelic name which means place of wind, and the dome is the highest point in Keith of course and so catches all the weather. Various efforts were made with sealants and nails, but it was just a bad job that could not be patched up – and over the winter of 2011/2012 we were back to having buckets on the altar and elsewhere catching the drips. There was also the concern that the water was obviously penetrating the copper and soaking the timbers of the dome and the other roof sections, and the paint and plaster of the interior was beginning to crack and fall away. We could not go into another winter with the deteriorating condition of the dome. We then encountered one of those “catch 22” situations. The dome needed replacement with copper again, which would cost around £185,000, with a large unknown cost which would become clear when the dome was stripped and we could see what damage had been done to timbers. We approached Historic Scotland, who said that the Heritage Lottery Fund provided grants for this now. Their procedure is quite long, and going through it would have delayed starting work until Spring 2014 – which we just could not contemplate – the storm damage would have been cumulative. To carry out some form of sheeting to protect the dome over the two winters was unimaginatively expensive. We had no choice but to go it alone. As you can imagine the entire Parish was extremely disappointed that the 1996 repair was such a bad job and that we were, once again, embarking on a very expensive repair which we didn’t think we would see again in our lifetimes. We took

a deep breath, found a reputable contractor, and started work in March 2012 and the work was completed in September. Fortunately there was little damage to the timbers, and the windows in the Dome (one of the weak points for leaks) have been encased in copper and another layer of toughened glass fixed on the outside. At the time of writing (January 2013) we have had some pretty severe storms, and there has been no ingress of water – which is a huge relief as you can imagine. Out of our own resources we have been able to pay for this repair (just!) but it leaves us with no money left at all to pay for the internal repair and repainting. In 2015 we will celebrate the 400 years since Saint John Ogilvie (who comes from Keith of course) was killed at the Cross in Glasgow on the 10th of March 1615. We have a St. John Ogilvie chapel on your left as you enter our church, and down that side corridor is an exhibition and display that tells you all the story of the saint, with examples of his tartan, a statue, booklets and prayer cards. We are planning to have some great celebrations in 2015, and want to have the church interior returned to the glorious vibrancy that it deserves. To do this we need to raise around £35,000 pretty quickly, to have this carried out in the summer of 2014 – so we are fund raising and looking for contributions – if you would like to help, any donations would be very welcome, please make cheques out to St. Thomas Church Keith, and send them to St. Thomas Church, Chapel Street, Keith, Banffshire AB55 5AL. When visitors come to St. Thomas’, they always remark what an attractive church it is. The big altar painting is still there (it was painstakingly and professionally cleaned as part of the 1996 repairs), there are very interesting stained glass windows, and the glorious burst of stars inside the dome. If you are passing through Keith please stop in, the church is open during daylight hours, and appreciate the tranquillity of our (wind and water-tight) beautiful church.


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Margaret Bradley’s FOOD AND FAITH

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or thousands of years throughout ancient biblical times, the Judean Date Palm flourished along the river Jordan from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the Dead Sea in the south. It was a major provider of food, building material, fuel and medicines. The local economy was founded on it; dates were a major export crop. Because of it, Jericho became a major trading centre and centre of population and is known throughout the Old Testament as “The City of Palms”. (Deut. 34:3; Judges 1:16, 3; 13; 2 Chron 28: 15). Palm tree motifs were used to symbolise goodness and victory and were depicted on coins and buildings. Psalm 92: 12-15 declares: "The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green, to show that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no wickedness in him." It was customary to cover with palm branches the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honour. John 12:13 relates that when Jesus entered Jerusalem for the Passover before His crucifixion, the people "took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him". Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphal entrance of Christ into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-9), when palm branches were placed in His path, before His arrest on Holy Thursday and His Crucifixion on Good Friday. It thus marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent, and the week in which we celebrate the mystery of our salvation through Christ's Death and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Sadly, date growing as a commercial enterprise

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Herod the Great’s Palace at Masada stopped in Judea about 70AD; the tradition was lost and the Judean Date Palm became extinct. However, in the mid 1960s Herod the Great's Palace, the cliffside fortress by the Dead Sea at Masada, was excavated. It had lain undiscovered for nearly 2,000 years and along with hoards of coins, parchments, weapons and textiles, ancient date seeds were found preserved in a stone jar. Carbon dating of the seeds revealed that they dated from around 73 A.D. In 2005, some of the seeds were treated in a fertilizer and hormone-rich solution and then three were planted. Eight weeks later one of the seeds had sprouted, and by June 2008, the tree had nearly a dozen fronds and was nearly 1.4 m (4 ft) tall. By the summer of 2010, the sapling stood at about 2 meters tall. The plant was nicknamed "Methuselah," after the longest-lived person in the Bible. Extinct for nearly 2,000 years “Methuselah” is the only living

No longer extinct—The Judean Date Palm grown from a 2,000 year-old seed


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Judean Date Palm. In 2011 "Methuselah� flowered, it is male, and it is hoped to crossbreed it with a close relative, the Hiyani date to hopefully produce fruit. There is keen scientific interest in any unique characteristics it may

Date and Lamb Pilaff 1kg (2lbs) shoulder lamb 3 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground allspice 1/4 tsp ground ginger 5 cardamom pods, split open 375g (12oz) dates 500g (1lb/3cups) long grain rice-or to suit 785 ml (25fl oz/3 cups) chicken stock 1 tbsp grated orange rind Pinch of saffron (or1 tsp turmeric) Salt, pepper to taste 1/2 pomegranate 60g (2oz/1/2 cup) shelled pistachio nuts Cut the lamb into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes. In a large pot,

contribute to modern varieties, such as disease resistance and environmental tolerance. This Easter, why not try this Date and Lamb Pilaff. You don’t need remarkable dates, ordinary ones will do, they taste just as good! Happy Easter! heat oil, then add onion and garlic and fry for five minutes or until softened. Stir in cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cardamom and fry, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the lamb and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning frequently to ensure meat cooks evenly. Cut the dates in half (remove any stones). Set aside half of them; chop the remainder into small pieces and add to the lamb. Add rice, stock, orange rind, saffron or turmeric and salt and pepper; bring to the boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed and rice is cooked; stir occasionally during cooking. Cut the pomegranate in half and scoop out the seeds, separating them; add to casserole with pistachio nuts and remaining dates. Cook for two minutes to heat through. Check seasoning, adding more spice if necessary. Spoon onto a heated plate and serve at once. Serves 6-8

Ac t i on for Children 1 / 2Pa g e COPY STILL TO COME


Light of the North

faithandculture

On a wing

Page 29

and a prayer

Father Peter Barry Saving nature’s scavengers

I

’m sitting at the airport waiting for a bus into Dhaka, among heavily bearded men. To pass the time, they recite the Koran. A strike has been called by the opposition, from dawn till dusk, which no-one dare break. Everything, even the airport, closes down from dawn till 6.00pm. One of the men, his hair and beard dyed a bright Henna, asks if I am a Muslim. He is disappointed at my reply, but wishes me welcome. Salam Eleyakum, and I reply Eleyakum Salam. After 3 hours, there is transport into Dhaka, I’m on my way to visit a project, financed by the RSPB and assisted by a generous donation from the parishioners of St Francis’ Church in Aberdeen, to re-introduce captive Vultures, from a breeding programme, into the wild. The number of vultures in the Indian sub-continent has tumbled from around 35 million to only 110,000, with tragic consequences. It means that Vultures, which are nature’s scavengers, are no longer cleaning up rotten animal carcases. Feral dogs, jackals and rats have replaced them, and are thriving. Dog attacks on livestock and people have increased, as has the incidence of rabies. Carcases pose an increased threat of disease. To dispose of animal carcases is expensive, which Indian villagers can ill afford. And if there are no vultures the Parsees cannot dispose of their dead. Corpses are normally left out in special sacred sites, and are consumed by the birds very quickly. It is forbidden in their religion to bury their dead, as this pollutes the earth, or to cremate their dead, as this pollutes the sky. The culprit: Diclofenac. This medicine is used widely by farmers and vets for a variety Vultures feeding from a carcase of animal ailments.

Canon Peter Barry with Tania and Munir Khan who head the project to re-introduce captive vultures into the wild Vultures which eat meat from carcases containing Diclofenac quickly die from kidney failure and a kind of gout. Most cattle in India are considered sacred, and are not consumed by people, but die naturally, and are consumed by vultures. It has been shown that even if 1% of animal carcasses contain lethal levels of the drug, it is enough to have caused the almost total collapse of vulture numbers. Diclofenac is now banned, and a substitute, Miloxican, has now been patented. The project is headed by a local couple, Tania and Munir Khan. They guard an area of rain forest where vulture numbers have risen to around 26. I stay at their home, where they have ten cats, among them a pair of orphaned fishing cats, which are fed in a special cage as they will kill the other cats if set free. They are still tiny, and will be reintroduced into the wild after 6 weeks. A girl of 13 visits the house to clean. She has been withdrawn from School as they cannot afford the school fees. I offer to pay, but Tania tells me it is too late. So what is her future, I ask. Already they are looking for a suitable husband! Bangladesh is not for the faint hearted. Visitors are unusual, and are stared at from very close range: the comfort zone seems to be around 2 feet, but this is a country with 1,100 people per square kilometre. There are beggars everywhere, often in a pitiable condition. At the railway station a young man, whose remaining leg is covered in open sores, bleats for alms in a plaintive voice. He drags himself along the platform, clutching a few Taka, as Muslims are obliged to give to charity. Others live exactly where they have been born, on the little islands which separate the tracks. Blind men sing verses from the Koran, young children in rags crowd around and plead for handouts. It’s impossible to give to them all, and guilt kicks in with a vengeance. And I think of the man who knocks on my door to complain that a parishioner has parked their car on a Sunday morning ( for 1 hour ) in his street!


faithandculture

Page 30

Light of the North

The mystery of the Pope’s shoes Ron Smith

I

t was in 2006 and I was with a Swiss group on another trip to look at Italian railway yards (yes, I know – I’m funny that way) and we stayed overnight in the Montresor Tower Hotel in Novara, northern Italy. In the morning, we had our bags packed, all checked out, and we were waiting around for our bus to turn up. It was then that, wandering around the reception area, that I came across a glass cube, mounted on a free standing black pillar, so that the contents of the cube were at eye level. Spotlights on the wall lit it up very well. The cube contained an elaborate pair of elegant slippers or fine shoes, propped up on a wooden last that was used to make them, all resting on a red cushion. These ornate slippers were made from white satin. A notice said that these are the shoes of Pope John Paul ll, they were made (delivered?) in September 2004, by a craftsman in Novara, called Adriane Stefanelli and from August 2005 would be in a museum dedicated to Pope John Paul in Wadowice, Poland – which didn’t make much sense as this was September 2006. What were they doing on such prominent display in this hotel? I asked at reception if I was reading this correctly, they studied the notice – obviously they had not read it before, then with that wonderfully extravagant Italian shrug, shoulders up to ear level and hands held out, palm upwards, mouth turned down at the edges, dismissed me. The bus was at the door, the others were getting on, and I had to go. Why WERE the Pope’s shoes in that reception? I never did find out why the shoes were in that hotel, but this mystery leads me to another investigation. There is quite a history to Pope’s shoes! The shoes worn by the Popes were usually the same colour as the vestments worn at Mass, and so would be either red, green or white. Before Pope Pius X revised the breviary in 1911, most Sundays were dedicated to Saints or Martyrs, for which red and white chasubles would be worn and red coloured shoes would complement this, and gradually red shoes became a habit. Red of course is a good colour; it is the colour of power, kings and emperors, blood of martyrs, and of Jesus himself of course, the red tongues of fire at Pentecost, and also the most expensive colour to produce and therefore special and only for nobility. The white slippers in the hotel have labels in them

These elegant red slip-ons were made for Pope Benedict XVl with the name Antonio Stefanelli, but they were made by Adriano Stefanelli. This is because Adriano still puts his father’s name on the shoes in tribute to his late father who taught him the trade. He produced the shoes for John Paul ll and is today the official shoemaker for Pope Benedict XVl. He is not paid for this, but makes the shoes in honour of the Pope. He has made wonderful red shoes, white slippers for wearing in the papal apartments, and walking boots for when the Pope is on holiday. The materials are the very best, including sift Kangaroo leather. The style is always slip-on, and the red shoes are always plain, with black soles, usually made of rubber, or partly rubber, partly leather. When Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope, he went in to the “Chamber of Tears” (so called because Pope’ are reputed to shed bitter tears on being elected to this onerous position) to put on the new white robes and new red shoes before going out onto the balcony to greet the crowds in St. Peter’s Square. Three sets of white robes are made in pure Italian cloth, small, medium and large, as of course they do not know who will be chosen – but how the appropriate size of shoes is made ready I do not know! There has always been competition to make shoes for the Pope. Pope John Paul ll had many made in Poland. Earlier Popes had quite elaborate shoes made in striking colours and with decoration, coats of arms, braid laces, buckles and so on, but the last two popes have gone for plain elegant slip on shoes. So, a chance encounter in a hotel in Verona opened up a whole area of interesting investigation – I wonder if the white shoes are still in the hotel? Perhaps it is a good reason to go back to Verona!


faithandculture

Light of the North

Page 31

P oetic Licence Canon Bill Anderson delves into some of his favourite inspirational verse.

T

homas Gray (1716-1771) best known for his "Elegy written in a country churchyard” wrote comparatively few poems altogether. A few, like "The Bard" or "The Progress of Poesy" are of the highest merit, though a little too intense and scholarly for some tastes! The underlying reflectiveness of his character reveals itself more gently, less demandingly, in certain earlier pieces like the poem which follows. As you read it, think of the solitary academic, living in Cambridge for most of his life, who nevertheless spent much time in his last years pursuing botanical and antiquarian interests in the Lake District — and in Scotland! Now the golden Morn aloft Waves her dew-bespangled wing, With vermeil cheek and whisper soft She woos the tardy Spring: Till April starts, and calls around The sleeping fragrance from the ground, And lightly o'er the living scene Scatters his freshest, tenderest green.

Smiles on past misfortune's brow Soft reflection's hand can trace, And o'er the cheek of sorrow throw A melancholy grace; While hope prolongs our happier hour, Or deepest shades, that dimly lour And blacken round our weary way, Gilds with a gleam of distant day.

Newborn flocks, in rustic dance, Frisking ply their feeble feet; Forgetful of their wintry trance The birds his presence greet: But chief, the skylark warbles high His trembling thrilling ecstasy; And lessening from the dazzled sight, Melts into air and liquid light.

Still, where rosy pleasure leads, See a kindred grief pursue; Behind the steps that misery treads Approaching comfort view: The hues of bliss more brightly glow Chastised by sabler tints of woe, And blended form, with artful strife, The strength and harmony of life.

Yesterday the sullen year Saw the snowy whirlwind fly; Mute was the music of the air, The herd stood drooping by: Their raptures now that wildly flow No yesterday nor morrow know; 'Tis Man alone that joy descries With forward and reverted eyes.

See the wretch that long has tost On the thorny bed of pain, At length repair his vigour lost And breathe and walk again: The meanest floweret of the vale, The simplest note that swells the gale, The common sun, the air, the skies, To him are opening Paradise.

Advisedly, I’ve withheld the poem’s daunting title: “Ode on the Pleasure arising from Vicissitude”. Worry not! See the lines as a descriptive contrast between the seasonal certainties of nature and the moody uncertainties of humankind’s experience. Failing which, simply relish and make your own any individual line or couplet. I think my favourite is: “Newborn flocks, in rustic dance, Frisking ply their feeble feet” — and this is the time of year to watch them!


humour

Page 32

Light of the North

Humour from the Vestry Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humour to console him for what he is. ~Francis Bacon Pancakes A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin and Ryan. The boys began to argue over who ZRXOG JHW WKH ÂżUVW SDQFDNH 7KHLU PRWKHU VDZ WKH opportunity for some moral instruction. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my EURWKHU KDYH WKH ÂżUVW SDQFDNH , FDQ ZDLWϫ Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, \RX EH -HVXV´

SIGNS OF THE TIMES At an Electric Company: "We would be delighted if you send in your payment. However, if you don't, you will be." At a Funeral Home: “Drive carefully. We’ll wait.� In a Vet’s Waiting Room: “Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!� At a Car Dealership: “The best way to get back on your feet - miss a hire-purchase payment.� On a Tow Truck: “We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.� On a Plumber’s Van: “We repair what your husband fixed.� At an Optometrist’s Office: “If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.� In a Podiatrist’s Office: “Time wounds all heels.� Sign on the back of a Septic Tank Truck: “Caution - This Truck is full of Political Promises� Misplaced Enthusiasm in Parish Bulletin!

:HOO WKDW¡V ZKDW WKH WHDFKHU VDLG When a bad smell is smelled the smell acts on the legs and the muscles force the legs to hurry away quickly.

It’s the way I tell ‘em! Paddy was in New York. He was waiting patiently and watching the traffic cop on a busy street crossing. The cop stopped the flow of traffic and shouted: ‘OK, pedestrlans.’ Paddy allowed the traffic to pass. He had done this several times and Paddy still stood on the sidewalk. After the cop had shouted ‘pedestrians’ for the tenth time Paddy went over to him and said: ‘ls it not about time ye let the Catholics cross?’ Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal and says to the first man he meets: ‘Do you want to go to heaven?’ The man said: ‘l do, Father.’ The priest said: ‘Then stand over here against the walI.’ Then the priest asked the second man: ‘Do you want to go to heaven?’ ‘CertainIy Father,’ was the man’s reply. ‘Then stand over there against the waII,’ said the priest. Then Father Murphy walked up to 0’Toole and said: ‘Do you want to go to heaven? 0’TooIe says: ‘No, I don’t father.’ The priest said: ‘l don’t believe this. Do you mean to tell me that when you die you don’t want to go to heaven? 0’TooIe said: ‘Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.’ Gallagher opens the morning papers and is dumbfounded to read his own name in the obituary column. He calls his best mate Finney and says: ‘Have you seen the papers? It says l’ve died.’ Finney replies: ‘Yes I’ve seen it. Where are ye callin’ from?’

Call Centre Conundrums

Samsung Electronics Caller: ‘Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?’ Operator: ‘I’m sorry, sir, I don’t understand who you are talking about’. Caller: ‘On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the number for Jack?’ Operator: ‘I think you mean the telephone point on the wall’. RAC Motoring Services Caller: ‘Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am travelling in Australia ?’ Operator: ‘ Doesn’t the product name give you a clue?’ Caller (enquiring about legal requirements while travelling in France): ‘If I register my car in France, do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car?’ Computer Help Line Tech Support: ‘I need you to right-click on the open desktop’. Customer: ‘OK’.. Tech Support: ‘Did you get a pop-up menu?’. Customer: ‘No’. Tech Support: ‘OK right-click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?’ Customer: ‘No’. Tech Support: ‘OK, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?’. Customer: ‘Sure. You told me to write ‘click’ and I wrote ‘click’’.


Light of the North

crossword

WORD No. 22

In this issue’s competition there’s an opportunity to win a copy of Bishop Hugh Gilbert’s “Living the Mystery”, the companion volume to his first book, “Unfolding the Mystery” Just send your completed entry, together with your name, address and telephone number to the ‘Light of the North’, Ogilvie Centre, 16 Huntly Street, Aberdeen AB10 1SH. First correct entry drawn out of the hat is the winner.

Page 33

Last issue’s solution Across: 1 Israel, 5 Master, 10 Epistle, 11 Lintels, 12 Strong, 15 Behind, 16 Defiled, 17 Side, 18 Aged, 19 Certain, 20 Cush, 22 Left, 25 Captive, 27 Azriel, 28 Estate, 31 Contain, 32 Chariot, 33 Feasts, 34 Sheber. Down: 2 Stirred, 3 Attend, 4 Lies, 5 Milk, 6 Sinned, 7 Evening, 8 Beasts, 9 Ashdod, 13 General, 14 Hittite, 15 Believe, 20 Chance, 21 Strange, 23 Examine, 24 Twenty, 25 Cedars, 26 Escape, 29 Ends, 30 Acts.

Little Horror Sudoku No. 9 If you prefer sudoku to crosswords then you still have a chance to win a copy of Bishop Hugh Gilbert’s, “Living the Mystery” with our super tough sudoku puzzle.

Name ............................................................................. Address ......................................................................... ......................................................................................... Telephone ...................................................................... Across 1. A war carried on under papal sanction (7) 5. Inevitable outcome (4) 8. ‘Time like an ever flowing –’ (6) 9. Cares for (6) 10. Careful management (8) 12. Chat (4) 13. 40 days after Easter (9) 17. Land measure (4) 18. A contract (8) 20. Human (6) 21. Chief chorister (6) 23. Smudge (4) 24. Author of the Book of Common Prayer (7)

Down 2. Sharp answer (6) 3. Bishop’s area of authority (3) 4. Servant of the devil (5) 5. Esau (9) 6. Boy chorister (6) 7. Heavenly messengers (6) 11. One who does not agree (9) 14. Stands out (6) 15. Ancient form of book (6) 16. Doze (6) 19. Church leader (5) 22. Devotes her life to Christ (3)

Congratulations to our last competition winner, A.S. Robertson from Aberdeen

Name ............................................................................. Address ......................................................................... ......................................................................................... Telephone ......................................................................

FOR A WIDE RANGE OF ADULT AND CHILDREN’S READING ● Talking

books

● Classical

music CDs survey maps ● Postcards ● Greetings cards for all occasions ● Book tokens ● Fax and photocopying service HIGH STREET DORNOCH SUTHERLAND IV25 3SH TEL: 01862 810165 FAX: 01862 810197

Dor n oc h Book sh o p 1 /8 pag e ● Stationery ● Ordnance


Westminster

Page 34

Light of the North

IN CONTEXT Sr Janet Fearns FMDM

S

ometimes customs must be seen in their own context before they make sense. When I first went to Zambia, I found some occasions horribly embarrassing. I would be working in the hospital and one of the villagers would come up to speak to me, but, instead of standing to say whatever had to be said, the person would crouch down so that my head was above theirs. That wasn’t too bad if I was standing, but if I was sitting, then the person would crouch down low, sometimes going down on one or both knees. At first, I was horrified and made the individual stand up. How on earth could he or she think, first of all, that I deserved such respect and, secondly, that it was necessary to go to such lengths to be respectful? After a while, although I still didn’t particularly like it, I began to accept that although I was embarrassed, the other person wasn’t. Gradually my eyes were opened to the traditional signs of respect that were considered absolutely normal. For instance, there was the day that I visited some Zambian friends and the husband, Simon, disappeared into the bedroom for a few minutes. Their eldest daughter entered the house and needed to speak to her father. To my surprise, even though he couldn’t see her, Charity went down on her knees and talked to him through the closed door. Even though a father and daughter were not visibly present to each other, respect was maintained. On another occasion, I visited a family and discovered that the husband, James, was sitting at some distance from the house, his chair carried about ten yards from where he normally sat. The explanation? His mother-in-law had come to visit and it would have been very disrespectful for him to show such familiarity as to sit on the veranda with her, even though his wife, Florence, was with her mother. In fact, for the month that the mother-in-law stayed with them, in order to show his respect, James ate separately. In Zambia, the in-laws receive an amazing degree of courtesy that, to those of us from a different society, might be difficult at first to accept. For instance, whereas in Britain, a son or daughter-in-law is immediately welcomed as part of the family and is brought into the family circle, to many Zambian families, this is seen as presumptuous. It is extremely rude to enter the house whilst the parents-in-law are present: it’s almost a takeover of their house, and for the same reason, the in-laws don’t eat together. In fact it can take many years for such freedom to be given to a son or daughter-in-law. Such reverence goes beyond the confines of the home. It is very common, for example, for the son or daughter-in-law to kneel in respect or to cross over onto the far side of the road if the mother or father-in-law approaches unexpectedly – and few people would think twice to see a fellow pedestrian suddenly fall to their knees: blame the in-laws! A similar thing happens when visiting the chief, especially in the rural areas. It is often considered extremely disrespectful to wear shoes in the chief’s presence. In the part of Zambia where I was living,

Respect for tradition - Former Zambian president, Chiluba, greeting Chief Puta during Nc’wala ceremony at Mutenguleni in Chipata on Feb 27,2010 (Picture by Thomas Nsama) it was necessary to go down on one knee and give three claps. In other parts of the country, someone who wished to speak to the chief would actually first lie down in front of him. It is a great sign of condescension and politeness on the part of the chief to allow a individual not to go through these preliminaries. Traditions and customs must be taken in context. Think of Burns Night, which only makes sense in a Scottish context. Normally, speaking, who would expect to see food made from a sheep's heart, liver and lungs solemnly escorted by a piper in full dress and playing the bagpipes for all he was worth? To a Scot, the customary address of the host to the haggis before cutting it with a dirk, is a quirky but time-honoured tradition. It is carried to all parts of the world and celebrated with national pride whether or not it makes sense to anybody else. Many would be surprised to learn that in order to guarantee the correct and appropriate celebration of Burns Night, British Airways and the British High Commission annually fly a piper out to Lusaka for the benefit and enjoyment of the Scots in and around the Zambian capital city. Rabbie Burns is surely commemorated in a fashion that must be unique for any poet. Local and national traditions and customs might make little sense out of their normal environment or to outsiders, but they have evolved over the course of centuries and make perfect sense within their own culture. This is why, when the Church talks of inculturation, it means something considerably deeper than the superficial expressions of a culture. It means entering hearts and minds… and staying there in a way that makes sense to the people to whom the Church addresses herself. When the Church speaks in Scotland, she must have a Scottish accent, and for that, she needs Scots! Sr Janet Fearns FMDM is the Communications Coordinator for the Pontifical Mission Societies and a regular contributor to the religious press.


Light of the North

Page 35

Rainbow Glass Studio LTD is a family company, which specialise in the design, manufacture and installation of Ecclesiastical, Public and Residential stained glass. Along with a number of new contemporary commissions, we are currently working on a conservation project for the Nazereth Trust, Aberdeen. Nazareth Care home is moving to new premises this year. The project involves de-glazing 6 beautiful stained glass windows from the original chapel and re-locating them within their new building. The stained glass windows are by the London company, Lavers and Westlake and dated 1897. Each lancet contains a central figure of various saints surrounded by gothic architecture. The style is “Gothic Revival” and typical of the company. All are commemorative with the names listed on labels at the base. The windows and are part of the history of the chapel and this project will “save” these stained glass windows and bring some of the history from the old chapel into the new one. We would like to thank all those involved in the project.

Rainbow Glass IBC We have now removed the 6 stained glass windows and they are in our studio, where they will be sensitively conserved and cleaned, ready for re-installation in their new home. All work carried out will be of the highest standard by skilled craftsperson’s using traditional methods and high quality materials. We do not compromise the quality or finish of our work. All work carried out followed CVMA Window being removed. guidelines, which promotes minimal intervention and maximum retention of original materials.

Bonding broken pieces.

Our Directors include a PACR accredited conservator and an Accredited artist of the Church of Scotland. Please feel free to contact us if you require any future advice regarding architectural stained glass windows. We cover all areas of Scotland but we would welcome any enquiries from further a field.

Window before removal.


Page 36

Light of the North

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Light of the North Issue 22  

A quarterly magazine produced and published by the Diocese of Aberdeen

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