Sunday February 17th. 2013 Charity registration No. SC002876   Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Main Menu Next Sunday, February 24th, eight of our children will make their First Holy Communion. This is a great day in their young lives, and they have been preparing  for several months with their catechists, Catrina MacDonald, who takes the Roy Bridge children, and Marie-Ann Wardlaw, who takes Spean Bridge children. There will be a practice with the children on Wednesday afternoon after school and we will collect the children and see them safely home afterwards. There will also be a meeting of the parents of the children on Thursday evening at 7p.m. in St. Margaret’s, to remind them of the true importance of the sacrament their children will receiving,  and  what they can do to ensure that their children grow up strong in their faith with a great love of the Eucharist in their lives. Unfortunately, we cannot have the use of Roy Bridge Hall for a small party for the children afterwards, as it has been booked over a period of several for weeks by the RAF Mountain Rescue. However, we hope to have the use of Spean Bridge hall, and I would be grateful if the parents and friends of the family could help with some baking etc. Statement from Cardinal Keith O’Brien on the announcement by Pope Benedict XVI of his intention to resign on health grounds. “Like many people throughout the world, I was shocked and saddened to hear of the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to resign. I know that his decision will have been considered most carefully and that it has come after much prayer and reflection. I will offer my prayers for Pope Benedict and call on the Catholic community of Scotland to join me in praying for him at this time of deterioration in his health as he recognises his incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to him. I hope I will also be able to rely on the prayers of Catholics across the world for the Cardinal Electors as we prepare to travel to Rome in order to participate in the conclave, which will be convoked to elect a successor as Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff.” Cardinal O’Brien will be representing our three nations at the conclave to vote for a successor to Pope Benedict.  A Cardinal cannot vote if he is over 80. Our other British Cardinal is  Cormac Murphy- O’Connor, who  celebrated his 80th birthday last year, so this excludes him. Our prayers will be very much with our Cardinal when he leaves to go to Rome. This is the second conclave he has attended and it will be a very historic occasion for him, as he himself will have to submit his resignation to the Holy Father on March 17th when he becomes 75 years old. Cardinal O’Brien has been a powerful force for the Church, not only in Scotland, but also in Britain with his  loyal defence of faith and morals in a society that is becoming ever more pagan. A message from, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia. President of the Bishops' Conference : “I was very surprised, as we all were, to hear the news. My immediate thoughts were that I would miss him enormously. On a personal note he was the Pope who appointed me as a Bishop, first in Paisley and then last year he asked me to  become Archbishop of Glasgow.     “While I was Bishop of Paisley, I had 15 minutes alone with him to present my five- yearly report on the life of the local Church and I remember being struck by his great kindness - he was so gentle and humble, preferring to listen to me rather than speak himself.     “When he came to Scotland, I had the privilege of seeing him off at Glasgow Airport. He was clearly pleased, and a little relieved I think, with the first day of his visit to Great Britain and he took my hand in his, and said, in Italian: “Si vede che quì la Chiesa è viva” - It’s clear that the Church is alive here.” That was as much a programme as it was a statement - we need to pray and work that the Church will be fully alive in Jesus Christ, for only He gives the Church true life. “His contribution to the Universal Church was to turn us all towards the person of Jesus Christ in every circumstance. He did this in his homilies and addresses in the most insightful and thoughtful and creative of ways. He is, I believe, a latter-day Father of the Church in the footsteps of great saints like Irenaeus and Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine, and his writings will nourish hearts and minds for decades to come. “As we look to the immediate future we recognise that this is an unprecedented time for the Church. No Pope has resigned since Celestine V in the 13th century. Pope Benedict will cease to be Bishop of Rome and Successor of St. Peter on 28th February. He has indicated that he will dedicate himself to a life of prayer thereafter. We have no more detail on that, nor as to where and how it will happen. All we know is that God will continue to provide for His Church, as He always has. My prayer today is for Pope Benedict XVI and for the man who will succeed him, and I would ask all Catholics to join with me in that prayer.   God bless our Pope.