Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday December 1st. 2013
Visit to Poland for Fr Stan’s First Mass My family have very kindly invited me to join them, along with a large number from Lochaber, to fly out to Gdansk on Friday evening to be present for Fr. Stan’s first Mass on  Sunday, December 8th. I was hesitant for a while because of my chronic back condition, but  my nephew was very insistent that I come with them. I have arranged for Fr. Grier, a Millhill priest who made the missionary appeal here in September, to cover the parish for the weekend while I am away. I hope to be back Monday evening, or early Tuesday morning should the plane be late. The nuns have very kindly offered to accommodate us in the beautiful hostel they run.  Gdansk is on the Baltic, close to Russia, so we will need to take our thermals with us! I have never been to Poland, so this will be a first for me!  Many of us are familiar with the ship-building port of Gdansk because of Lech Wałęsa, a man of great faith who lead the unions to victory against the communists, and paved the way for the visit of Pope John Paul to Poland. Millions greeted the Holy Father despite the attempts of the communists to prevent them, and this was to spell the end of the total power of communism in Poland. An airport has been named after Lech Walesa, where we hope to arrive on  Friday evening in Gdansk.
Scottish Catholic Observer THERE IS AVERY GOOD ARICLE, with a photo, by Anthony Macmillan in this week’s Observer about the vestments used by priests during the Reformation, and  bequeathed to our parish by Major Dominic Dobson. I am quite impressed by the changes made this year to the Scottish Catholic Observer which has improved its coverage of national and international news, plus its interesting articles, and is now a very good Catholic newspaper.  In this week's Bulletin, I am printing part of an article from the
Observer by a Dominican Sister about the old tradional blessing that her Irish mother gave to her children, and which was quite common at one time. It is very beautiful and one that children, hopefully, will carry on to following generations. It is a beautiful tradition for all parents to start. Catholic papers were never a great success in our parish, as so many were left behind, but they are an important way of keeping in contact with what is happening in the Church. If any parishioners would wish to order a copy I can arrange for a supply to be delivered each week. Please let me know.
A blessing for a child — by Sister Anna Christi Solis, a Dominican nun - Catholic Observer AS OLIVER TWIST was preparing to travel to London in search of a new life, he passed a little child who had been his friend in the charity home. "God bless you," the little boy said as he embraced Oliver for the last time. Charles Dickens comments: "The blessing was from a young child's lips, but it was the first that Oliver had ever heard invoked upon his head; and through the struggles and sufferings, and troubles and changes of his after life, he never once forgot it." Indeed, a blessing fixes itself deeply in the soul giving it roots, holding a person fast with a sort of inner security through the trials of life. Among the best memories of my childhood were the nightly blessings given by my mother. She would dip her thumb in holy water and bless us as we lay in bed. "May you advance in wisdom, age, and grace before both God and man. May you be holy in body, mind, spirit, and soul. And may you have happy, healthy, holy dreams," she would pray. Then she would trace the sign of the Cross over our foreheads, the cool water and the strong, gentle touch of her thumb combining with her words to communicate God's blessing. Each night I was sure I could sense myself becoming wiser, older, and more grace-filled than I had been the night before. Parents are given spiritual authority over their children, an authority that is at the service of their children's baptismal call.
A parent's blessings build children up in their identity as loved and respected children of God our Father, from whom we have all received every spiritual blessing in Christ, his Son. The spoken word, the tracing with the cross, the use of holy water, are all reminders of the baptismal rite in which we became children of God. Furthermore, as sacramentals, blessings prepare us to receive the graces God has in store for us.
Confirmation today at St. Mary’s Please remember in your prayers at Mass today our children who will be confirmed in St. Mary's this afternoon by Bishop Joseph. Our children  will need the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit even more in today’s world where many are abandoning their faith in God for the attractions of the material world with all its pleasures, many of them against God’s commandments.