Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday August 18th. 2013
Spean Bridge: Reader: David MacFarlane Prayers: Ellen Nicholson Euch. Mins: Liz Campbell, Moira Coutts
Roy Bridge: Readers: Val MacDonald  Margaret Sargent Prayers: Ishbel Campbell Euch Mins: Lorna MacGregor, Betty Campbell, Helen Mac Donald.
Rota   August 24th. - August 25th.
Schools in the Highland Region re-open on Tuesday. Many of the children will return to school on Tuesday with still some of the effects of the wonderful July heat wave that made the holidays so special for them this year. The intake in Roy Bridge primary school is very small this year, and the the staff  hours may be reduced for one teacher who will only be required for half the time on certain days. However, it does not mean  that the children  in classes 1 –3  will be deprived  in any way, for it is all to do with the logistics of teaching hours, and another teacher will help to fill the gap. I am not very sure that I understand how this works, but as always finances are involved. Spean Bridge primary school continues to grow from strength to strength with another large intake of pupils to the nursery and the school. We wish the pupils going to Lochaber High School for the first time every success at their studies which will be so different from primary school. I am sure they will not let their primary schools down and be an example to all.  God bless them! I pray that all our pupils at Lochaber High School who sat Standard Grade and Higher examinations were pleased when they opened their envelopes recently containing the results of their exams. Visitors from Australia On the feast of the Assumption we had a visit from two of Mary MacKillop’s sisters who are on a year’s vaction provided for them by their respective university and school. On their retirement. Sister Deirdre lectures in Adelaide university on economics, and Sister Judith was a head teacher of a large secondary school. I met them at Inergarry on Sunday morning and I invited them to come to mass in Roy Bridge for the feast of the Assumption. They were anxious to visit all the local places involved with St. Mary MacKillop, the foundress of their order. Sister Judith is an expert with her iPad, and has an incredible amount of photos to take back home with her. Fort Augustus The recent revelations of what has happened at the former Abbey School has been distressing for everyone. Fort Augustus borders on our parish at Aberchalder,  and we always had close connections with the monks who helped in our parishes supplying Sunday Mass. The monks from the Abbey took care of Invergarry, which is part of our parish, for at least  a hundred years, and this only ceased fourteen years ago when I took over from Fr who had reached ninety years of age. There were many devout and holy the monks in the Abbey who devoted their lives to prayer, and it is so sad and shocking that their reputation has been tarnished by the evilness perpetrated by  two or three members who should never have been ordained priests or accepted for the religious life. But above all, it is the victims of these monks who suffered such abuse and has affected them for the rest of their lives. Compensation will not obliterate their experience, and we pray that  the investigation that will take place in the future will bring them some feeling of justice.  We all have a lot to pray about, for the whole Church has been seriously affected by these and other scandals. During the sacredness of the Last Supper, Judas slipped out to betray our Lord for the price of thirty pieces of silver. The Church itself has been the victim of scandal from within from the very beginning, and this has continued down the centuries when the robe of Christ has been torn and tarnished by so many forms of abuse—yet it has survived these, and with the grace and power of the Holy Spirit it continues to renew itself. The Church as the Body of Christ is always holy through the indwelling of the Spirit, but it is the weakness of some of its human members that continues to make it suffer. We gather round our Holy Father, Pope Francis, who has given us such a lead in his love of God, his care of the poor and his assurance to us of the  mercy and compassion of Christ which is there for each of us who have faltered on our pilgrim journey on this earth, that we may all renew our efforts to serve Christ and each other more faithfully and lovingly and allow the Holy Spirit to shine through us.
The courage of other religious Extreme times often bring out the best and worst in people, and Europe's darkest days were no different. The revelations made by Italian Piero Piperno about the "hot cross bun" British nun who saved him, and 4,200 other Jews, are a reminder of the enormous personal sacrifices made by so many Religious during the worst genocide in history. Acting on the orders of Pope Pius XII, Mother Riccarda Beauchamp Hambrough, who had moved from London to Rome to join a newly-revived order of Bridgettine nuns, sheltered Piperno while German soldiers searched for him. In a new book, Courage and Conviction, written by Joanna BogIe, he explained about the nun whose Cause was taken up last year, how his family had escaped deportations to death camps, and how, along with 12 other Jews, he had hidden in the Cas a di Santa Brigida, the Bridgettine mother house in Rome, and was looked after by "Mamima", Little Mother. When all around hatred and violence ruled, the Bridgettines, like so many religious and priests chose love. It is a powerful witness to faith.