Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday May12th. 2013
. There is an African proverb that can appropriately be applied to Mary: 'the heart of a mother is deeper than a well'. Mary's was a deep heart that experienced the gamut of maternal emotions, like all mothers. Disciple of Jesus Pope Paul V1 presented what he  considered to be the most pertinent Gospel image of her, namely that, besides being Jesus' mother, she was his disciple. In fact, he describes her as 'the first and most perfect of Christ's disciples.  On the occasion of the Visitation, she goes 'with haste' to the one in need, as all disciples are asked to do, and in Magnificat, she speaks out strongly on behalf of the poor and oppressed. Later, in finding  Jesus in the temple after three days, she  accepts that God's claims over her son,
as well as over herself, surpasses all other claims'.  There are many times when Mary does not understand what is going on, nor what is being asked of her, but when this happens, instead of rejecting God's word, she remains pondering it in her heart (Luke 2: 19,51).She is thus the model  of all disciples called to ponder God's word and allow it to be  born in them. We can conclude that Mary grew in her understanding of discipleship throughout her life, and that it was precisely in her humanity, with all its joys and sorrows, its doubts and hopes - and not outside that humanity - that she became the 'first  and most perfect' disciple of Jesus Christ. We are blessed to have  her as our model in living our own graced human lives as disciples of Jesus Christ today.
In one of his regular letters to the clergy, this month Bishop Toal  highlights two coming events which are of great importance. Consecration of the Papacy of Pope Francis to Our Lady of Fatima As a diocese, I ask you to join your prayers to the prayer of  consecration which our  Holy Father, Pope Francis, has asked to be offered at Fatima on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Monday 13th May, for his well-being and protection from every evil, and for that of the whole Church in the face of the difficulties to be faced at present. I  ask all priests to join in the act of consecration at their Masses this coming Monday. I hope many of our parishioners will come to this Mass on Monday morning, as requested by the bishop,  which will be offered in honour of Our Lady of Fatima. At Fatima, she warned of the dangers that the Church could expect, but also foretold the fall of communism in Russia. We need her maternal care from heaven even more these days when the Christian faith is being attacked all over the world.  Triduum of Prayer in Honour of St Columba, Our Patron: As the diocesan celebration of the 1450th Anniversary of The Arrival of St Columba on Iona draws closer, I would like once again to propose that this anniversary be marked in all the parishes on the days around his feast on 9th June. I ask that we keep a Triduum of Prayer in each parish from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th June, taking in therefore The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, The Feast of the Dedication of the Cathedral, and The Solemnity of St Columba. I would ask that encouragement be given to the faithful to participate through Mass and other liturgies and devotions in the parishes leading then to the Mass in the Cathedral on the afternoon of Sunday June 9th and the Pilgrimage to Iona the next day. Although not everybody will come to the Cathedral or go to Iona, all should have the chance to join in the spiritual celebration of this important anniversary and hopefully be renewed in their own faith journey, and in their full participation in the great mission Christ gave to us all, to make his name known to the ends of the earth. The tradition is that St Columba arrived on Iona with his twelve monk companions on Pentecost Sunday. There will be an ecumenical service on Iona on Pentecost Sunday, May 19th, organised by the local community with church and civil guests coming from Scotland and Ireland. I will be attending this service as well as offering Mass on Iona that morning