June 2018

PALESTINE/ ABOUD – Only two years after his ordination, Salam Haddad, a young priest of the Latin Patriarchate was installed in the Latin parish of Aboud. During a solemn Mass, he was introduced to his new parish by Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine.

Fr. Salam Haddad comes from the land of Gilead, the mountains which range along the Jordan River on the East Bank, which is also the birthplace of Prophet Elijah. His family is now living in Amman, where he was ordained priest on June, 23, 2016. He then served two years as Vicar in Our Lady of Grace in Fuheis, Jordan.

During his installation mass, Bishop Marcuzzo gave him two objects: a stole, the symbol of the pastoral responsibility that he has been entrusted, and the key of the tabernacle which symbolizes the grace of giving the sacraments and especially celebrating the Eucharist.

He is now continuing his apostolic mission in Aboud, a village well-known for its ancient churches, one of which is decorated with an inscription in Aramaic, dating back to the 5th century A.D. These closeness and solidarity between the various Christian rites still goes on. Morevoer, the orthodox priest, Fr. Emmanuel Shahin and his faithful came to greet the new Latin priest alongside his new parishioners. As a sign of the universality of Church, pilgrims from Bergamo, Italy, attended the Mass, for they had chosen to visit not only the holy places but also the living Christian communities in Palestine.

Vinciane J.

The Consulta of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is the Order’s main advisory body. Under the presidency of the Cardinal Grand Master, all the highest offices of the Order, the Grand Magisterium, the Lieutenants and the Magistral Delegates, a representative of the Secretariat of State and a representative of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches take part.

In the last twenty years, the Consulta has focused on the deepening of a specific theme that this year will concern the role of the Lieutenants in the mission of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. It is also an opportunity to hear updates on the activities of the Grand Magisterium and open discussion on important themes.

The Consulta must be convened at least once every five years.  The previous meeting took place in 2013, during the Year of Faith, and is remembered with particular joy as an opportunity to propose an even wider experience of communion, thanks to the participation of Knights and Dames wishing to join their Lieutenants and Magistral Delegates - already present in Rome - for a pilgrimage to the Eternal City from September 13 to 15. This historic pilgrimage recorded the participation of over 3,500 Knights and Dames from around the world and culminated in a meeting with Pope Francis.

Five years after that event, we are again preparing ourselves for a meeting that will allow a global representation of the Order to confront itself on its chosen direction and the current affairs of our Pontifical Institution. All Lieutenants and Magistral Delegates, together with the leaders of the Order will meet in Rome from November 13 to 16, 2018. An Instrumentum Laboris is being drafted by a special commission chaired by Lieutenant General Agostino Borromeo and will help to direct the reflection of the participants, who will receive it before the meeting.

During the days of the Consulta, plenary sessions will alternate with meetings of the participants divided into linguistic groups. The Grand Master, Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, and the Governor General Leonardo Visconti di Modrone, both very active in visits to the peripheral structures of the Order on five continents, will have the opportunity to meet the Lieutenants and Magistral Delegates both during the formal sessions and during convivial moments of a more spontaneous sharing.

#ConsultaOESSH2018

June 2018

 

TEEING OFF FOR THE HOLY LAND

 

The pleasant setting of Auchterarder Golf Club, Perthshire was the location for a recent charity Golf Day organised by the Scottish Lieutenancy of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.  Their aim was to raise funds for the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows in the Palestinian town of Aboud some 25 miles northwest of Jerusalem, which the Lieutenancy assists as part of its mission to support the Church in the Holy Land.  In an open competition sixty-three golfers from all over Scotland, inclusive of 5 female competitors teed off at 10.30am promptly for a bright sunny day of play for the 2018 Cardinal Winning Memorial Trophy.  This is the fourth annual occasion in succession the tournament has been held.

 

It was a very good-natured event, despite the increased competition, and over an excellent high tea friendships were made and renewed while exploits were discussed and analysed.  The spirit of generosity extended to a charity auction held before the trophy presentations with two items, one a 2 ball at Gleneagles realising £250 and a 2 day holiday break at a Luxury Cottage in Comrie which fetched £200, clearly demonstrating the generosity on show on the day.

 

After the judges had checked the scorecards the winner of the Cardinal Winning Memorial Trophy was declared to be Derek Stirling.  We also had a trophy for the first time for the Best Female Score that was won by Moneena Peebles.  Both have already indicated that they wish to defend their titles in 2019.  Ryan Smith Gardner won the longest drive at hole 17 while the award for nearest the pin at hole 4 went to Paul Burns.  The members of the overall team winners were Gordon McLaughlin, Peter McLean, Mick Gibson and Derek Stirling.  We had an extra prize this year where Mick Gibson won a donated bottle of Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky for being nearest the pin on the eighteenth hole.

 

This was a day of high achievement, the greatest of which was to raise over £6,000 for Aboud.  This money will go towards financing projects in the village improving the living environment and lift the morale of the people who live in very difficult circumstances.  At the end of the day, Joe McEnaney one of the organisers, commented, “Again we were blessed with good weather, prayers do work. The golfers thoroughly enjoyed their day and with donations from our supporters another significant amount was raised to help keep the Christians in the Holy Land.  A big thanks to all and bookings have already been taken for next year’s tournament scheduled for Thursday 13 June 2019.”

 

 

May 2018

 

EOHSJ Pilgrimage to Malta in the footsteps of St. Paul

 

The Scottish Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem has recently returned from a week’s pilgrimage to various shrines in Malta.   The island has had a chequered history because of its strategic location in the central Mediterranean and its well-sheltered, deep-water harbours.   Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Arabs, Normans, Germans, Sicilians and Spaniards were followed by the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem and Rhodes who ruled the island for some 250 years shaping both Malta and Gozo as we see them today.   French and British also ruled the archipelago before it became independent in 1964.

 

The Scottish pilgrims learnt about a different conquest, a religious one.   Malta is devoutly Catholic, and traces the root of its Christianity back to the Apostle Paul who was shipwrecked there in AD60 when on his way to Rome to stand trial before the Emperor Nero as described in the Acts of the Apostles [Acts 27:27-28:11].   During the three months that St Paul remained in the island he is credited with establishing Christianity there.   For most of their time in Malta the pilgrims followed in the footsteps of the Apostle and prayed in many of the places he himself visited.

 

Aptly the opening Mass of the pilgrimage in Valletta took place in the church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck.   A few days later the pilgrims took a boat to St. Paul’s Island, traditionally the site of his shipwreck.   Unable to land there because of the wind the pilgrims recited Evening Prayer in the lee of the island, before returning to the small harbour in St Paul’s Bay, right next to the church of St Paul’s Bonfire where they had celebrated Mass a few days earlier.   The curious title of the church stems from Acts 28 3-6.    After his shipwreck St. Paul picked up some wood to add to the fire which the friendly Maltese had lit for the sailors and was bitten by a viper which had no effect on him.   For this he was considered to be a god, and hence made many converts.   High above the bay the pilgrims visited the site of St. Paul Milqui, a Roman villa believed to have been the residence of the Roman Governor of the island, Publius, who took St. Paul under his protection after the saint had miraculously healed his father.   The Knights and Dames also celebrated Mass in St Paul’s church in Rabat.  Beneath this was St Paul’s Grotto, a cave beneath the church which was clearly used as a prison in earlier times and in which St Paul was believed to have spent some time when in Malta.

 

Malta has a great devotion to Our Lady and the pilgrims visited many of the Marian shrines, particularly appropriate as they visited in the month of May.   Highlights were the privilege of celebrating Mass on the high altar of the Marian National Shrine of Ta’ Pinu on the island of Gozo, the intimate Mass celebrated in the shrine of Our Lady of the Grotto in Rabat, our visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady in Mellieha, and our final Mass in Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Marsa.

 

While in Gozo the pilgrims visited the remains of the megalithic temples at Gigantija constructed during the 3rd and 4th millennia BC, pre-dating Stonehenge by some 1500 years, and artistically far more advanced.   It was clear that Malta was spiritually attractive to people long before the Phoenicians arrived.   Reflecting on the pilgrimage, Dame Dominique Donnelly said: “I particularly enjoyed our daily Mass in wonderful surroundings which provided a still point in an often changing landscape”.

 

May 18

A letter from Fr. Juan Solana, LC

Dear friends,

This year, Notre Dame of Jerusalem celebrates 130 years of service to pilgrims from all over the world. In addition to sharing the news with you, we ask you to support us with your prayers, so that we can continue this beautiful mission at the service of the people, of the groups, of our beloved Church and of the Holy Land.

We are proud to provide this service on behalf of the Catholic Church and we thank the Holy Father Francisco for his trust in us.

Offering hospitality to pilgrims is one of the Works of Mercy. We are aware that this kind of hospitality supports the experience that souls go through as they follow the traces of God in history and in this Holy Land.

In these days of Easter, we remember the Gospel of the disciples of Emmaus:

"Stay with us, because it is late". Lk 24:29

Stay with us could be the motto of Notre Dame, because we recognize that each of our guests and visitors represents Jesus, who said:

"What you do to one of these younger brothers of mine, you would do to me". Mt 25:40

We want to serve and we want hearts to light up while visiting this wonderful city of Jerusalem, and this Holy Land.

Our anniversary is an occasion to thank so many people who have made this work possible: from the Assumptionist Fathers, their benefactors, the authorities at that time; all the collaborators that have been succeeding each other over time... until arriving at the present time: each and every one of our employees, our clients, all the friends who have been part of Notre Dame for many years. To all, our grateful memory and our recognition.

The occasion is also pleasing to inform you that Notre Dame has been completely renovated during the past years, and that we are preparing an expansion for future years, which will allow us to accommodate twice as many pilgrims.

Thankful we remain at your service,

Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center.
Legionaries of Christ,
Consecrated women of Regnum Christi

May 18

"To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendour and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe." 
Benedict XVI

The journey of every pilgrimage leads to the places of God, those spaces that He has chosen to put his tent or dwelling place among us. Those places, make it possible to broaden the heart. They allow us to see with our own eyes the background of the history of salvation and lead to a gratitude so full of wonder, that the perspective of the revelation and redemption is widened. To be a pilgrim is to update the mystery of the Incarnation.

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
(Jn1: 14)

"Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle."
(Ex 40: 34-35)

The man of all times longs to see and find the face of the Lord. Our human reality is no stranger to such a feeling and to that desire already expressed in many Psalms. It has always wanted to see the face of the Lord. " One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life”; “I seek your face, Lord; I want to see you”; “My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”, Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

That is why we make a pilgrimage with the illusion of finding something, the illusion of finding Him. In the end, we discover that it He is in our hearts and He has been there all along. Like Saint Augustine said: “You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.” So many pilgrims have experienced it as they approach the Holy Land, where so little is enough to find Him. There are not many things here to distract you. He fills everything, everything is a reference of Him. He fills this small space of Earth and this great heart that has set out to seek Him.

This year, the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, celebrates 130 years of welcoming thousands and thousands of these pilgrims who seek to walk, see and breathe His dwelling place. Since 1888, the year in which the first group of French pilgrims arrived, to this day, Notre Dame has witnessed countless stories. Whether it is for sleeping, resting, eating, praying, attending mass, seeking confession, NDC provides pilgrims with the possibility of feeling cared for and welcomed by a center that wants to be the "house of the Holy Father in Jerusalem."

In the end, each pilgrim returns with a heart full of God, widened for an active commitment of apostolate and a certain truth: The Holy Spirit leads the Church to the holiness willed by God.

Happy Easter to everyone.

Christ is risen in our souls. 
Such is our celebration on these days from the blessed Holy Land.

May 18

Half Price Holy Land and Amazing Jordan

Two wonderful pilgrimages coming up soon! One for clergy to the Holy Land in January next year which is at half price! Visiting the holy places and meeting with the local Christian community we will have time for reflective scriptural input and new insights for preaching. Pass on this news to your local priest.

Also there are still some places left on our amazing itinerary to Jordan. Travelling in October this year we will be visiting Petra, Jerash, Madaba and Amman; this wonderful journey is full of surprises and an unforgettable experience.

Contact us for more details 0800 6123423 or info@pilgrimagepeople.org

April 2018

 

CHARITY GOLF DAY

 

IN AID OF THE PARISH OF ABOUD IN THE HOLY LAND

 

THURSDAY 7TH JUNE 2018

 

AUCHTERARDER GOLF CLUB

PERTHSHIRE PH3 1LS

 

REGISTRATION FROM 09.15AM

COFFEE/TEA BACON ROLLS ON ARRIVAL FROM 09.30AM

TEE OFF SHOTGUN START AT 10.30AM PROMPT

HIGH TEA & PRESENTATION AT 03.30PM

 

ENTRY FEE £65 PER PERSON

ENTRY FEE £260 PER TEAM

NON PLAYERS (HIGH TEA) £20 PER PERSON

 

ALL WELCOME

 

Cheques and all donations to be made payable to

 

“Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre”

 

For further information please contact

 

Bert Daly mob 07834004570 or Email bert_daly@hotmail.com

 

Joe McEnaney mob 07500049696 or Email joe1961@hotmail.co.uk

 

December 2017

 

By Bishop John, Paisley

 

Celebration of Holy Mass for Deceased Members

 

Dear Brothers and sisters, as Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem we gather dutifully for this this annual celebration of Holy Mass in memoriam of our deceased members. We ask the Lord to have mercy on our brethren who have died so that their faith and hope in the Lord may be rewarded by Him with Eternal Life.

 

We pray that the Bread and Wine we will soon present to the Lord will win them peace and rest, will count them among those whom Our Lord Jesus Christ has freed from death, and will afford them sound sleep in Him until they awake to share in the light of that radiance which they began to know while sharing in this Holy Sacrament here below.

 

It is integral to our duties as an Order of chivalry, really a badge of honour for us, that we mark, in death as much as in life, the high respect our fellow members deserve as recipients of one of our Church’s most important distinctions. It is something I like to think we do well!

 

I am thinking, not least, of the impressive sight we make when we gather, vested at the moment of the Requiem Mass of a deceased brother or sister. The whole body of mourners watches on inspired by the homage we pay to our brethren at the last, in our guard of honour formed at their funeral. Robed in our heraldic dress, we stand on guard along the aisle, accompanying our brother or sister to the sanctuary before taking our seats across from the family as a sign of fraternal ties similarly close to family bonds. At the conclusion of the sacred rites we reassemble in processional line behind the Cross, leading our brother or sister to the final resting place

 

Our annual Mass for our deceased members, which we are celebrating today, sort of completes the honour we showed them on their funeral day. We remember especially by name those who went to the Lord this year, but we remember in pectore all members who have now laid down their holy arms to rest after spiritual victories gained.

 

I am sure, of course, our hearts and prayers will neither be too far from so many of our unfortunate Christian brethren in the Middle East who continue to bear witness to the Lord through trials, persecutions and even death. This week’s Red Wednesday, promoted by Aid to the Church in Need, reminds us of how persecution against Christians in the region not far from our Order’s pastoral care has reached a new peak, the impact of which is only now beginning to seep through into the consciousness of our Western world in all its horror.

 

Our Order was formed in that selfsame crucible of struggle against spiritual forces that menace the Lord’s peace on earth and His plans for the eternal life of His elect. Our ancient Order, all its days, has lived under and experienced all too immediately the Lord’s observation about how ‘the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force’ (Mt !1:12).

 

The scene of Christians down the ages, and more than ever today, dying as martyrs for the Faith brings home to us how our gathering here this morning is no matter of routine but always, when we are concerned with the Kingdom of God, a matter of urgency in our spiritual battle for justice on earth and the salvation of souls into eternity.

 

The Book of Maccabees demonstrates how those, like us, who were called by the Lord to fight the good fight of faith on earth and lead His people in spiritual battle are the ones most keenly aware of the need to pray for the dead and to do what it right in the way of their salvation. It was those knighted Maccabean warriors of old, conscious of their duty to pray for their dead, whom the Lord commended most for their care for their faithful departed. In taking up an offering for them to be prayed for in Jerusalem they acted ‘very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if they were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if they were looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought to make atonement for their dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin.’ (2 Mac 11).

 

So we come as part of a long and noble tradition of kings and warriors who pray for their departed and who recognised it as an essential duty of our Order. That is what it is marked out in red letters in our Orders’ annual calendar of events and continues to be attended so well.

 

Please God, through our prayers and Christ’s merits, the souls of our departed brethren are in the hands of God where no torment will ever touch them and where they will receive the great blessings for which they hoped. Tested in this life in their faith and not found wanting, may or petitions see that they shine our like sparks through the stubble. Having held firm and died in the Lord may they live and reign with Him in the Father’s mansion of many rooms.

 

Finally, for ourselves: we turn to Our Lady, Queen of Palestine that we in our turn, following the example of our departed brethren, may serve the Lord in sanctity and justice all the days of our lives so that, by the merits of Jesus and Her motherly aid, we may at the last, pass from this earthy Jerusalem to the splendours of Heaven.

 

November 2017

 

Our Lady Queen of Palestine Honoured in Scotland

 

Most people know that the month of October is dedicated to the Rosary.  Fewer know that the last Sunday of October is the feast of Our Lady Queen of Palestine, a feast established in 1927 when the term “Palestine” was synonymous with “the Holy Land”.   The Scottish Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre celebrates this feast with particular devotion because Our Lady Queen of Palestine is the patroness of the Order.   When it goes on pilgrimage to the Holy Land the Lieutenancy makes a point of visiting the shrine established in her honour in the Judean village of Deir Rafat whose chapel is surmounted by a six metre high bronze statue of  Our Lady looking out over the land of Palestine with her hand outstretched in protection.   And inside the church, beneath a roof decorated with the opening words of the Hail Mary in 208 different languages the Lieutenancy prays for those Christians who live and work in the troubled land of Our Lady’s birth.   Sadly these now form only 1% of the population of the Holy Land, down from 10% around ten years ago.

 

So when it celebrates the feast of Our Lady as Queen of Palestine the Lieutenancy is not simply honouring its patroness.   It is also a good moment to ask her to intercede for those who live in the land where she herself once lived.   The Lieutenancy focusses particularly on those who live in the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows, Aboud, support for which is a major part of the Lieutenancy’s mission to help the Christians living in the Holy Land.   Accordingly,on the last Saturday in October, over forty members of the Lieutenancy, together with family members and postulants hoping to join in 2018, gathered in Stirling in the church of St. Mary’s, to celebrate a Mass to pray for the church in Palestine and to commend it to Our Lady’s care.   The ceremony was greatly enhanced by the singing of the Cecilian Choir from Dundee.

 

In his homily the Lieutenancy’s chaplain, Fr. Michael Conroy, reminded members of their call to discipleship.  He based his words on the three precepts laid out by the prophet Michah (6,8) “to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with God”.   Drawing on the Gospels he reflected on how Mary fulfilled these three mandates in her life.  He went on to challenge members to see how they should implement them in their own lives and to see how they might be applied to the work the Lieutenancy does for Christians in the Holy Land.  The Lieutenancy members left the celebration of their patroness invigorated by her example and reinforced in their commitment to work to support the ever-diminishing numbers of Christians who live in the land where the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ was born, lived died and from where she was assumed into Heaven.

 

 

September 2017

 

EOHSJ SCOTLAND Pilgrimage to the Enzie The Nursery of Priests SURVIVAL and REVIVAL

 

Twenty members of the Order completed a most enlightening and informative Pilgrimage to Banffshire/Moray led by the Grand Prior, Archbishop Mario Conti.  We were based in Elgin (where His Grace grew up) and travelled South, East and West to reach the sites associated with the Catholic Church's Survival and Revival in the 18th Century and before.  We were left in no doubt of the deep debt of gratitude we owe to the Catholics of the Enzie and beyond in NE Scotland for keeping the faith alive despite invidious persecution and great hardship.  It was a dangerous time when the practice of Catholicism was outlawed and incurred severe penalties.  

 

On FRIDAY we travelled EAST starting with Mass in the Greyfriars Convent (1479), a medieval friary now in the care of American Dominican Nuns. 

 

The Church is divided into two by a magnificently carved timber screen.  A splendid barrel vaulted ceiling stretches to a stained glass window depicting Christ The King leading throngs of virgins through the Land - Lost, Promised and Regained in Heaven.  After robing we processed along the cloisters into the Church to celebrate our first Mass in the Choir with the nuns.  Much of the Friary's restoration was carried out by the 3rd Marquess of Bute and given to the Sisters of Mercy by his son Colum Crichton-Stuart in 1944. A very short distance from Greyfriars Convent are the ruins of the impressive Gothic RC Cathedral which was the medieval seat of the Bishops of Moray and called, 'The Lantern of the North” established in 1224 and disbanded 1560 at the time of the Reformation.  It was built on land granted by Alexander II of Scotland. The Cathedral was badly damaged by fire in 1390 following an attack by Robert III's brother, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan known as the Wolf of Badenoch.  After this it was greatly enlarged and reconstructed both in length and in height becoming Scotland's second largest Cathedral after St.Andrew’s.  In 1560 it fell victim to the Reformation, the congregation moving to St Giles in the town when the Pope's authority was rejected, after which the Cathedral’s fabric began to suffer and gradually fall into disrepair.  

 

Today, even mostly in ruins (although the octagonal chapterhouse has been restored and the impressive western towers overhauled) we can still visualise its considerable size and imposing grandeur.  

 

The reason why Presbyterianism failed to gain a total hold in the Enzie (after the Reformation) was due to the powerful Catholic Noble House of Gordon.  However, after the death of Alexander 2nd Duke of Gordon (1728), the Duchess, a Protestant, brought the children up in her own faith. For the next 100 years until the Catholic Emancipation Act (1829) Catholics had to look after their own spiritual welfare, secretly attending Masses in barns and outhouses, usually at night. In time a dedicated, clandestine chapel came into being in the shape of St Ninian’s Tynet (The Banffshire Bethlehem ) which was built a few years after Culloden on land owned by the Gordon family.

 

Although Catholicism was banned after the Reformation, the Jacobite Rising (ending at Culloden) led by Bonnie Prince Charlie, grandson of the Stuart King James ll, resulted in even more persecution of Catholics by Government soldiers led by the Duke of Cumberland, grandson of the Hanoverian King George l.  Catholics were treated as rebels, outlawed, chapels burnt, priests imprisoned and laity deprived of their property.  This was the Church in Survival mode!  

 

St Ninian’s Tynet (1755) is the earliest Post-Reformation, clandestine Chapel in Scotland, purposefully built to be disguised as a whitewashed long low barn in a field.  It was designed to look anonymous, unassuming and inconspicuous, devoid of any symbolism or sculpture.  Originally it had a thatched roof and no windows which also gave it a domestic appearance.  

 

Today it has been restored with simple cream painted pews, altar rails and walls. Instead of a cross a ball of stone has been placed on top of the west gable, a reminder of the dark days of persecution.  Over the altar hangs a gilt dove which had belonged to the old church in St Ninian’s Cemetery (1687-1746) that had been burnt by Redcoats returning from Culloden.  It is a place of pristine simplicity offering peace and tranquillity for prayer or reflection.

 

During our visit, Mgr. Robert MacDonald, retired PP of the Gothic Chapel St Mary's Fochabers (1825), an expert and author on the Church's Survival and Revival in the area, shared with us the fruits of his great knowledge centred on Tynet Chapel and Preshome Church.  If St. Ninian’s represented Survival then St. Gregory’s epitomised Revival.

 

St Gregory's Preshome (1788) was built openly in the style of Italian Baroque.  It boasts of a beautifully marbled altar above which hangs a copy of the painting, ‘St Gregory the Great’ by Annibale Carracci, exquisite stencilled wall and ceiling decoration, chancel floor tiles depicting the Passion and a pipe organ dating back to 1820.  A most attractive church, and, like Tynet, built in the middle of a field!  Both churches still have Masses celebrated throughout the Summer.  

 

In the afternoon we travelled to 15th Century Huntly Castle (now in ruins) former seat of the Catholic Gordon Earls and Marquises of Huntly who were instrumental in preserving the Catholic faith in this part of Scotland.  They moved from Huntly to Fochabers where they built Gordon Castle, an 18th Century construction incorporating a tower of the late 15th Century.  

 

The octagonal parish church of St Margaret’s Huntly (1834) contains beautiful Spanish paintings donated by a cadet branch of the Gordon Family, the Gordons of Wardhouse.  The Spanish inspired architecture is reflected by the unusual classic entrance porch culminating in a Spanish Baroque tower and spire.

 

On our homeward journey we visited St Thomas’ Keith (1831) birthplace of St. John Ogilvie which houses his shrine.  It is a prominently sited neo- classical cruciform Church boasting of a magnificent copper clad dome, colourful 70’s stained glass windows and the altar piece painting, ‘The Incredulity of St Thomas' commissioned and gifted by Charles X of France in 1828.  

 

When St Peter's Buckie was opened in 1857 the local paper called it,'The New Catholic Cathedral.’  In the early 19th Century there were many Catholics in the Enzie and records show over 400 in Buckie alone.  They were active members of Preshome Church but the case for a dedicated one in Buckie grew stronger.  In 1832, three years after the Catholic Emancipation Act, the Trades Hall was leased and served as a chapel for the Buckie congregation. In 1850 Sir William Gordon of Letterfurie gave sufficient land for a church, house and school.  

 

Times had changed - no longer was it necessary to conceal church buildings and St.Peter’s Buckie is a testament to that! A very fine Gothic Church with impressive twin towers, a landmark seen from both land and sea, was begun in 1850 and completed in 1857.  It is a substantial church with marble being a feature - marble side and high altars surrounded by large murals and an attractive rose window.  The Bryceson Organ (1856) came from Fort Augustus Abbey.  It also contains a copy of the statue of Our Lady of Aberdeen, the original statue dating back to 1450 and remaining with the Gordon family for safekeeping until 1625 then sent to the Spanish Infanta Isabella in Brussels.Today it is in the Church of Notre Dame du Finistere in Brussels and known as Notre Dame du Bon Succes.  

 

On SATURDAY we travelled WEST to the 14th Century Cawdor Castle, historically fascinating, housing an intriguing collection of paintings, furniture and objects d’art.  It started as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor, however, today it is a living home occupied by the Catholic Dowager Countess of Cawdor who joined us at lunch time.  She is justifiably proud of her unique Castle, attractive, extensive gardens with a large maze.  After lunch we journeyed to Culloden Battlefield (1746) the final confrontation of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 and part of the War of the Austrian Succession in Europe. This was the last battle to be fought in mainland Britain.  The Jacobite Rising, under Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie - The Young Pretender), was to restore the throne to the Catholic House of Stuart from the Protestant House of Hanover for his father (James lll).

 

Charles’ father, James Francis Edward Stuart (The Old Pretender and a Catholic) was the only son of James II, the last Catholic monarch who was deposed by his son-in-law William of Orange, during the Glorious Revolution (1688) from which he fled to France and into exile.  

 

James ll’s Protestant daughter, Mary and her husband William of Orange became joint sovereigns but none of their children survived into adulthood nor did Mary's sister Queen Anne's children.  In 1701 the Act of Settlement was passed under which anyone who was a Catholic or married one was disqualified from inheriting the crown.  

 

After the last Stuart Queen Anne died (August 1714) there were 68 of the Stuart Dynasty still alive but the first 55, being Catholic, were excluded. Next in line was Protestant Sophia, Electress of Hanover but she died in June 1714 thus her son George, Elector of Hanover, became George l.  The crown passed from the House of Stuart to the House of Hanover.

 

The town of Culloden has the newest Catholic Church, the very modern St. Columba’s dedicated in 2008, serving a diverse congregation including a sizeable Indian Community from Kerala which has a monthly Mass in the Syro - Malabar Rite. Heading to Loch Ness we visited the rustic Church of the Immaculate Conception, Stratherrick (1859) a small, whitewashed building, reminiscent of a farmhouse, the interior very bright and atmospheric while the Stations of the Cross were located in a field at the back culminating in a small grotto.  At the southern end of Loch Ness lies Fort Augustus. The Benedictine Abbey (1880 - 1998) which owed its inception to 3rd Marquess of Bute in 1874, had been bought from the Government in 1867 by Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat and given to the Benedictines.  The small former gatehouse now serves as the Catholic Church of SS Peter and Benedict.  

 

Travelling north along the west side of Loch Ness we reached Inverness for Mass in the very large Church of St Mary's (1837).   Situated on the banks of the River Ness it was dedicated a few years after the Catholic Emancipation Act - the first church to be built in the area since the penal times. It is a fine example of Victorian Gothic Revival, the high altar built of Caen White Stone after the style of Pugin who acted as adviser.

 

On SUNDAY we travelled SOUTH starting with a sung Latin Mass in the Benedictine Pluscarden Abbey (1230) founded by Alexander ll of Scotland.   

 

After robing we processed along the beautiful cloisters to our places in the Choir beside the monks.  The Mass was a wonderful, uplifting experience; the superb chanting, the impressive organ music, the utter dedication of the monks yet all accomplished with uncomplicated dignity.   

 

The Abbey has suffered many attacks, the worst in 1390 by The Wolf of Badinoch.  It was disestablished in 1587.   In present times it was bought by 3rd Marquess of Bute in 1897. His son, Colum Crichton Stuart, gave it to the Benedictines of Prinknash in 1943, they arrived in 1948 and seven years later the bell tower had been re-roofed.   Restoration continued and the priory gained Independence from Prinknash in 1966 and achieved Abbey status in 1974.   

 

It holds the distinction of being the only medieval British Monastery still being used for its original purpose. Restoration is always ongoing when funds permit!

 

During the troubled times of the 18th Century Scalan College - “The Hidden Seminary” in the Braes of Glenlivet (1717-1799) was one of the places in which the Catholic faith was kept alive.  After a brief attempt at Morar, Scalan (a plain, simple building hidden in the Braes) was the only place in Scotland in the 18th Century to educate boys for the priesthood. During the eighty-two years of its existence, apart from the very many priests, five bishops had their rudiments of education here and stayed the course despite frequent attacks by Government soldiers.   

 

It was strategically built, almost invisible from a distance, a factor invaluable in trying to evade detection by the soldiers whose distinctive red coats were immediately visible in the surrounding countryside.   By 1796 the dark days of oppression had begun to pass away and as the number of students grew, a new larger seminary opened at Aquhorthies on Donside (1799).   

 

Today, Scalan is very well restored affording us an insight into the daily hardships and dangers the seminarians had to endure as well as the committed determination they had to cultivate.  A short distance from Scalan is the pink granite, Scottish Romanesque Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (1829/1896) situated in Chapeltown of Glenlivet and built in a farmyard setting.   

 

It is uniquely and exquisitely decorated with vivid stencil detail illuminating its green interior and the Pater Noster depicted in italics along the two horizontal cornices.   It belongs to the Pastoral Area of St. Sylvester's, Elgin ensuring regular Masses are still celebrated in this charming church.   

 

Other churches were also built in the 19th Century to serve the growing Catholic population:

 

St. Mary’s, Dufftown, 1825

 

The Incarnation, Tombae, 1829

 

Our Lady and St. Michael’s, Tomintoul, 1837

 

Sacred Heart, Aberlour, 1909

 

 St. Margaret's, Forres,1929

 

They are all part of the Pastoral Area of St. Sylvester's Elgin and are still in use for the celebration of Holy Mass on a regular rota basis except Tombae which unfortunately is on the ‘at risk’ register.   

 

Tombae’s Conacher Organ had its last recital on July 25th 2017 before being dismantled and shipped to Kherbet Qanafar in Lebanon to be installed in the Autumn.  

 

On MONDAY morning our final Mass was celebrated in St. Sylvester's Elgin (1843) the Principal Church of the Pastoral Area.  A church of unpretentious dignity, the handsome marble Baptismal Font was donated by Archbishop Mario’s father and uncle in memory of his grandparents and the delightful Lady Altar donated by his mother in memory of his father.  

 

A very successful, informative, thought provoking pilgrimage.

 

HE J. Ritchie Greig, EOHSJ Lieutenant Scotland

December 2017

 

By Bishop John Keenan, Paisley

 

Celebration of Holy Mass for Deceased Members

 

Dear Brothers and sisters, as Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem we gather dutifully for this this annual celebration of Holy Mass in memoriam of our deceased members. We ask the Lord to have mercy on our brethren who have died so that their faith and hope in the Lord may be rewarded by Him with Eternal Life.

 

We pray that the Bread and Wine we will soon present to the Lord will win them peace and rest, will count them among those whom Our Lord Jesus Christ has freed from death, and will afford them sound sleep in Him until they awake to share in the light of that radiance which they began to know while sharing in this Holy Sacrament here below.

 

It is integral to our duties as an Order of chivalry, really a badge of honour for us, that we mark, in death as much as in life, the high respect our fellow members deserve as recipients of one of our Church’s most important distinctions. It is something I like to think we do well!

 

I am thinking, not least, of the impressive sight we make when we gather, vested at the moment of the Requiem Mass of a deceased brother or sister. The whole body of mourners watches on inspired by the homage we pay to our brethren at the last, in our guard of honour formed at their funeral. Robed in our heraldic dress, we stand on guard along the aisle, accompanying our brother or sister to the sanctuary before taking our seats across from the family as a sign of fraternal ties similarly close to family bonds. At the conclusion of the sacred rites we reassemble in processional line behind the Cross, leading our brother or sister to the final resting place.

 

Our annual Mass for our deceased members, which we are celebrating today, sort of completes the honour we showed them on their funeral day. We remember especially by name those who went to the Lord this year, but we remember in pectore all members who have now laid down their holy arms to rest after spiritual victories gained.

 

I am sure, of course, our hearts and prayers will neither be too far from so many of our unfortunate Christian brethren in the Middle East who continue to bear witness to the Lord through trials, persecutions and even death. This week’s Red Wednesday, promoted by Aid to the Church in Need, reminds us of how persecution against Christians in the region not far from our Order’s pastoral care has reached a new peak, the impact of which is only now beginning to seep through into the consciousness of our Western world in all its horror.

 

Our Order was formed in that selfsame crucible of struggle against spiritual forces that menace the Lord’s peace on earth and His plans for the eternal life of His elect. Our ancient Order, all its days, has lived under and experienced all too immediately the Lord’s observation about how ‘the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force’ (Mt !1:12).

 

The scene of Christians down the ages, and more than ever today, dying as martyrs for the Faith brings home to us how our gathering here this morning is no matter of routine but always, when we are concerned with the Kingdom of God, a matter of urgency in our spiritual battle for justice on earth and the salvation of souls into eternity.

 

The Book of Maccabees demonstrates how those, like us, who were called by the Lord to fight the good fight of faith on earth and lead His people in spiritual battle are the ones most keenly aware of the need to pray for the dead and to do what it right in the way of their salvation. It was those knighted Maccabean warriors of old, conscious of their duty to pray for their dead, whom the Lord commended most for their care for their faithful departed. In taking up an offering for them to be prayed for in Jerusalem they acted ‘very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if they were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if they were looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought to make atonement for their dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin.’ (2 Mac 11).

 

So we come as part of a long and noble tradition of kings and warriors who pray for their departed and who recognised it as an essential duty of our Order. That is what it is marked out in red letters in our Orders’ annual calendar of events and continues to be attended so well.

 

Please God, through our prayers and Christ’s merits, the souls of our departed brethren are in the hands of God where no torment will ever touch them and where they will receive the great blessings for which they hoped. Tested in this life in their faith and not found wanting, may or petitions see that they shine our like sparks through the stubble. Having held firm and died in the Lord may they live and reign with Him in the Father’s mansion of many rooms.

 

Finally, for ourselves: we turn to Our Lady, Queen of Palestine that we in our turn, following the example of our departed brethren, may serve the Lord in sanctity and justice all the days of our lives so that, by the merits of Jesus and Her motherly aid, we may at the last, pass from this earthy Jerusalem to the splendours of Heaven.

 

 

 

September 2017

 

North East Prigrimage - Pluscarden Mass

 

Homily for the 8 o’clock Mass, 24 September 2017, Sunday 25A, on Matthew 20:1-16

And repeated at the 10 o’clock Mass

 

The parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard, like several other of the parables of the Kingdom, is found in St. Matthew’s Gospel alone.

 

In the verse immediately before it, at the end of Chapter 19, Jesus says to Peter: Many who are first will be last, and the last, first. At the end of our parable he says exactly the same thing, though in a different order: Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.

 

This is one of the great themes of St. Matthew’s Gospel. We find it set out most clearly in the Beatitudes. In the Kingdom everything will appear to be upside down. Those are blessed, happy, in the Kingdom, who seem to this world to be unhappy. Those who seem to this world to be poor, are the ones who are most truly rich. Those who are most humble will wear crowns and sit upon thrones. Those who are put to death are the ones who finally possess life.

 

By the 20th Chapter of the Gospel, we are used to this theme; we like it, and we’re ready to hear Jesus speak of it again under some new aspect. Still, today’s parable tends to trip us up. The behaviour of the landowner here seems to us simply bizarre. The parable certainly can’t be offered as any sort of model for a just human society. And if Jesus is going to tell us about his Kingdom, we want him to describe a scene in which everything is peaceful, beautiful, loving and harmonious. Instead we are given a story involving grinding physical toil, hard-nosed financial bargaining, apparent unfairness, grumbling, and rebuke. The equality of the payment is hard to reconcile, too, with what we know about the rewards of heaven, which are certainly not exactly the same for everyone, and are certainly not to be compared with the rather low minimum daily wage of one denarius.

 

All this difficulty in the parable must certainly be deliberate. Jesus obviously framed it so as to perplex, to challenge, even to annoy.

 

In the context of the Gospel, his target must be the Pharisees, and other Jews who refuse to accept him. The problem is their attitude. With their ancestors all the way back to Abraham they have been called to labour in the cause of God’s Kingdom. And they have laboured: they have kept the law. But now Jesus is going to invite sinners and gentiles to enter his Kingdom too. He comes with wonderful news of God’s great generosity. Christ’s invitation, extended to Jews and Gentiles alike, will be the fulfilment of God’s plan of salvation from the beginning. In its light we will understand why God first chose Israel: not ultimately in order to exclude the others, but precisely for the sake of the others.

 

Far from rejoicing in that, as they should, the Pharisees grumble. They are bitter, and envious. They want at least a special, higher place in the Kingdom for themselves, because they feel they deserve it; they feel it’s their due. This attitude is diametrically opposed to the attitude of the Lord, and to the attitude of anyone who truly belongs to his Kingdom. So there is even a hint that these grumblers could find themselves altogether excluded: Take your earnings, he says, and go. If they do somehow manage to scrape in, it will be in the very last place. As for the first place: that will go to those described in the Beatitudes. They are poor in spirit and humble in heart; full of gratitude at the gifts they have received; astonished at the Lord’s generosity towards them; wanting only to sing his praises, in endless joy, and together with all others who share their blessings.

 

Let us assume, please God, that none of us here has the attitude of the Pharisees. Let us assume that none of us is even tempted to be envious about the salvation of others. Still, the parable has plenty to teach us. We note, for example, how the Lord himself actively goes out to look for workers; actually five times. So it is that Jesus was sent by God into our world, in order to search us out and bring us into his Kingdom. And still now he continually and repeatedly comes to us, and searches us out. Ever and again he touches us, with ever renewed grace; ever and again he renews his invitation to come to him.

 

We note too the irony in the indignant complaint of the first workers: “You have made them equal to us.” And immediately we think of how Jesus as eternal Son was equal to God his Father; but he humbled himself, precisely to make himself equal to us in our misery and mortality. Far from grudging our equality with him, he came to confer it: to raise us up to a share in his own perfect holiness, and his own divine Sonship.

 

As for the toil in the vineyard: there too we see a picture of our own life. The service of Jesus, we say, is perfect freedom. Toiling in his vineyard, in the vineyard of his Kingdom, is reward in itself; in itself it’s sheer gift, and grace. Yes, sometimes it’s heavy work in all the heat. There is a penitential aspect to the Christian life. We have to renounce self, die to self, daily take up our Cross with Jesus. But we don’t resent that, or grumble about it, or merely endure it with passive Stoicism. On the contrary: we embrace it, give thanks for it, even rejoice in it, because it’s all a graced means for us towards ever deeper union with Jesus, towards a deeper participation in his mission, towards service of his Kingdom: and that for us is nothing but privilege and grace and happiness and blessing. And then, on top of that, as it were, comes the denarius: final union with Jesus in heaven; our eternal reward, when his Kingdom is forever and definitively established.

 

We could define our toil in the vineyard of Jesus as the life of prayer, of virtue, of self-giving generosity, of love. That labour can be taken up by anyone, even someone handicapped and house-bound. As for the idle, the non-workers: they represent those who live only for themselves, who have no real purpose in life, who are spiritually asleep, or even spiritually dead. For them to be called to this work is an escape from futility and pointlessness. Through, with and in Jesus they are now sent on a mission, sent to give of themselves to the end. And for them, once again, that is nothing but grace and blessing.

 

If with most commentators we take the denarius to represent Jesus himself, a question arises. Is Jesus enough for us? Or do we want something more, something in addition to him? Such a question really answers itself. To want more than Jesus is not to have understood who he is, or what it means for us to receive him.

 

Now once again, in this holy Eucharist, Jesus offers himself to us, in his totality, under sacramental signs. He is God Incarnate; crucified for us, given to us, risen and ascended for us, pouring out the Holy Spirit upon us. As wages, he infinitely exceeds all our possible deserving; he superabundantly fulfils all our needs, all our desires. Yes, we cry out, as we prepare to receive him: Lord, you are enough for us, and we ask for nothing more.

 

September 2017

 

North East Pilgrimage

 

On Sunday 24 September Archbishop Mario Conti visited the Monastery with a pilgrim group he is leading. The pilgrims represent the Scottish Lieutenancy of the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre. This is a Catholic Charity, founded by Bl. Pope Pius IX, especially for the support and relief of Christians in the Holy Land.
 
​The Archbishop presided at our Sunday Conventual Mass, singing it in Latin according to our custom. The Knights and Dames came into Choir for that, and afterwards gathered for a group photograph with members ​of the community.
 

June 17

 

SUPPORT FOR CHRISTIANS IN THE HOLY LAND

 

The pleasant setting of Auchterarder Golf Club, Perthshire was the location for a recent charity Golf Day organised by the Scottish Lieutenancy of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.   Their aim was to raise funds for the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows in the Palestinian town of Aboud some 25 miles northwest of Jerusalem, which the Lieutenancy assists, as part of its mission to support the Church in the Holy Land.   In an open competition fifty-one golfers from all over Scotland, plus our first female competitor Patricia Smith, teed off in light showers, which cleared up very soon to a bright sunny day of play for the 2017 Cardinal Winning Memorial Trophy.   This is the third annual occasion in succession the tournament has been held.

 

It was a very good-natured event, despite the increased competition, and over an excellent high tea friendships were made and renewed while exploits were discussed and analysed. The spirit of generosity extended to a charity auction held before the trophy presentations with two items one a 2 ball at Gleneagles realising £200 and a bottle of House of Lords 30 year old blended whisky fetched £120 demonstrating the generosity on show on the day.

 

After the judges had checked the scorecards the winner of the Cardinal Winning Memorial Trophy was declared to be Andy Canavan.   He has already indicated that he wishes to defend his title in 2018.  Scott Currie won the longest drive at hole 17, nearest the pin at hole 4 went to Eddie Loughton with the overall team winners comprising of Joe McEnaney. Fred Hamilton, Gordon McLaughlin and Hugh McMahon.

 

This was a day of high achievement, the greatest of which was to raise £4,676.20 for Aboud.  This money will go towards financing projects in the village improving the living environment and lift the morale of the people who live in very difficult circumstances. At the end of the day Bert Daly, one of the organisers, commented, “Again we were blessed with good weather, prayers do work. The golfers thoroughly enjoyed their day and with donations from our supporters another significant amount was raised to help keep the Christians in the Holy Land. A big thanks to all and bookings have already been taken for next year’s tournament.

 

 

Dec 16:

 

Order of the Holy SEpulchre in the HOly Land

 

The Scottish Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre has recently returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.   Such a pilgrimage is always a special event as pilgrims walk in the footsteps of the Lord and visit the Holy Places, as did the Scottish pilgrims.   However, for members of the Equestrian Order visiting the Holy Land is extra special.   This international papal Order is rooted in the Holy Land, that area of the Middle East formerly known as Palestine, now sadly divided between the political entities of Israel and Palestine.   Like the 30,000 Knights and Dames from 40 countries worldwide the 130 members of the Scottish Lieutenancy promise to supply moral and material support for the charitable works of the Church in the Holy Land in order to maintain the presence of Christians in the land of Christ’s birth.

 

The Scottish Lieutenancy supports in particular the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows in the village of Aboud, situated in the occupied West Bank area of Palestine some 25 miles north east of Jerusalem and home to some 2500 people.  Whenever the Lieutenancy goes to the Holy Land it visits the parish and meets the parishioners.   This time we attended the parish Sunday Mass after which we were able to talk with parishioners over coffee.   Fr Yousef Riziq, the parish priest, told us just how difficult life is for Christians in the Holy Land, particularly in the occupied area of the West Bank which, though legally part of the Palestinian Authority, is firmly under Israeli civilian and military control.   This has led to the village losing 40% of its land on which Israeli settlements have been built, and control of its own water, to the detriment of its olive groves which are the sole source of income for the village.   Restrictions on travel and land mean that work is not easy to find:  one 28 year-old we spoke to has not had a job for five years despite having a diploma and a university degree.   The aid which the Lieutenancy has provided over the past year has contributed to building repairs for the church, for helping with summer camps for the children, and for providing for families in need.  It was good to see the positive results that this help provides and to meet with those who benefit from it.

 

The pilgrims returned from the Holy Land spiritually renewed and re-invigorated in their commitment to work for the good of the Church in the Holy Land, having seen at first hand the effect of the work they do to support it.    Roseanne O’Keefe from Bothwell who had never been to the Holy Land before, commented "Going to the Holy Land on pilgrimage for the first time, walking in the land where Jesus lived and preached, was a deeply spiritual experience bringing the gospel to life for me.    There were many special moments on our week long pilgrimage,: a quiet moment of reflection on the Sea of Galilee, a beautiful view from Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration.   However two visits stand out;  elebrating Mass with the Parish of Aboud in the West Bank was so uplifting, seeing the church full to capacity and all the congregation singing was wonderful.   Also celebrating Mass in the church of Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept looking out over Jerusalem, and then walking in the Garden of Gethsemane just below the church."

 

 

Dec 16:

 

FUND RAISER FOR IMPROVING 'BABY WAREHOUSES' IN TEL AVIV AND JERUSALEM

 

Chev. Bart McGettrick writes:

 

Your Excellencies and Friends

 

As you may know I held a fund-raising event last Thursday to raise awareness and funds regarding the "baby warehouses" in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. You just may wish to see the message sent by Fr David Neuhaus SJ which was so warmly received in Glasgow. I attach the link and hope it works for you. 

 

It is so good that Fr David was able to produce this message for us. (Copy the link into your driver and I hope that you will see the video).

 

The event generated almost £4000 and a significant contribution came from the Knights of The Holy Sepulchre.

 

My sincere thanks to those who came last Thursday and to all the contributions made. I shall make sure that your intentions will be made known in Bethlehem this Christmas. 

 

Very best wishes

 

Bart 

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yzte4w3uirt94gr/Tel%20Aviv%201.mov?dl=0

 

Nov 16:

 

PILGRiMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND

 

The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Scottish Lieutenancy, undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy land during November 2016. Ten Knights and Dames received their Pilgrims Shell from the Apostolic Administrator during the pilgrimage.  Please cut and paste the link below to view the outstandingly beautiful photos:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/monachus1/sets/72157672760707004

 

Nov 16:

 

PILGRiMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND

 

The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Scottish Lieutenancy, undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy land during November 2016. Ten Knights and Dames received their Pilgrims Shell from the Apostolic Administrator during the pilgrimage.  Please cut and paste the link below to view the outstandingly beautiful photos:

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/monachus1/sets/72157672760707004

 

Oct 16:

 

LATEST RECRUIT CELEBRATES ANNUAL MASS FOR OUR LADY QUEEN OF PALESTINE

 

On 29th October the Scottish Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre celebrated the feast of Our Lady Queen of Palestine, the patroness of the Order, with a Mass in St Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley.   The Mass was celebrated by one of the Lieutenancy’s latest recruits, Bishop John Keenan.   He was invested as Knight of the Order in September and this was the first Mass that he had celebrated for the Lieutenancy as a member.   The feast of Our Lady Queen of Palestine, and a shrine to her in that name was established in the Judean village of Deir Rafat, in 1927, at a time when the term “Palestine” corresponded to “The Holy Land”, devoid of the political considerations between Israel and Palestine which are a later development.  Palestine in this context is an inclusive term, not a divisive one.

 

In the course of his thought-provoking homily Bishop Keenan evoked that historical dimension, as he reminded the large gathering of Knights and Dames of the importance of their commitment to the support of the Church in the Holy Land, quoting Psalm 137 “If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand wither”.   He highlighted that the population of Christians in the land of Our Lady’s birth has now diminished to a mere 1% of the overall population and that there was a need to act to redress this.   But he also pointed to the sense of confusion which can arise in people’s minds in the present situation over what they should do or the way they should follow.   As a means to overcome this Bishop Keenan emphasised the important role of Mary as intercessor for those living in the land of her birth and also for those who seek to help them   He therefore exhorted the Lieutenancy to remember Mary as the key intercessor and protector of the land in which both she and her son Christ Our Lord were born and lived.  And he reminded Knights and Dames that the earthly Jerusalem towards which many of their efforts are dedicated is an image which leads to the heavenly Jerusalem to which we all aspire.

 

The annual Mass for the feast of Our Lady Queen of Palestine is always an important event for the Lieutenancy but this year the Lieutenancy has a number of events dedicated to her intercession.   In April a life-size statue of her was blessed and erected in the grounds of the National Shrine at Carfin where many can be reminded of Mary’s role as intercessor for Palestine.   Furthermore, the week after the Mass in Paisley 29 members of the Order, their families, and friends will set out on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during which they will visit not only the Holy Sites of Christ’s life, and  the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows Aboud, for which the Scottish Lieutenancy has special care, but also the 1927 shrine of Our Lady Queen of Palestine at Deir Rafat,   There they will celebrate Mass and pray for peace in the troubled territory of the Holy Land, and for the protection of Mary for the land of her birth.

Sep 16:

 

TWO BISHOPS AMONG THOSE INVESTED INTO THE ORDER OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE OF JERUSALEM

 

The annual Investiture ceremonies of the Scottish Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre were unusual this year.   Though priests and bishops are admitted to this predominately lay Papal Order, given the small number of bishops in Scotland it is not common to see one being invested into the Order.   But this year no less than two members of the hierarchy were admitted to the Order’s ranks, Archbishop Cushley of St. Andrew’s and Edinburgh and Bishop Keenan of Paisley.   They were joined in the solemn clothing ceremony by three new lay Knights of the Holy Sepulchre:  Martin Gardner from Stonehaven, John McVey from Glasgow, and Michael Willis from Stirling.   Asked how he had come to join the Order Michael said: “I was always fascinated by the history and legacy of the various Chivalric Papal Orders. At a fund-raising Golf Day in Perthshire I met some of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre who explained their current mission within Palestine and promoted my application for membership.   So here I am today”   

 

In another departure from custom the ceremonies were held in Motherwell Cathedral for the first time, at the kind invitation of Bishop Toal, an episcopal member.   They were conducted by Archbishop Conti in his capacity as Grand Prior of the Scottish Lieutenancy and the Mass was enhanced by the singing of the Motherwell diocesan choir.

 

In the course of the ceremony Archbishop Conti clothed each bishop in a white mozzetta which bears the distinctive red cross of Jerusalem – a square cross with a smaller, similar cross in each quarter, the whole representing the five wounds of Christ.    He clothed each of the three new knights with a large white cloak, also bearing the Jerusalem cross.   The Grand Prior also placed around the neck of all five new members a red enamelled Jerusalem cross which members wear on ceremonial occasions.

 

In his homily Archbishop Conti addressed the question of what is expected of members of the Order in the world today.   Basing himself on the scriptural readings of the Investiture Mass he emphasised the importance of publically giving witness to one’s faith through action.   He gave practical illustrations of how an active and generous support of the work of the Order could help achieve this.   He instanced visiting the Holy Land on pilgrimage, working to help resolve the pressing problems of baby warehouses in Tel Aviv, and by demonstrating goodwill and charity towards others in raising funds for those in need.   These practices could enable members to outwardly express what they inwardly believed.

 

At a meeting held immediately after Mass the very large cohort of Scottish Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre heard of the realities of the Order’s work from Prof. Bart McGettrick, a member of the Lieutenancy and one of the three members of the Order’s Holy Land Commission who oversee the Order’s work on projects on behalf of the international Order’s ruling Council.  He gave an up-to-date account of the situation in the Holy Land based on his recent three week stay there.  Prof McGettrick emphasised the Order’s role in helping get rid of separation, division and conflicts between the different groups living there.  He highlighted the importance of working to resolve injustice wherever it is found in order to let hope grow in people’s hearts.

 

The meeting rounded off a weekend of reflective spirituality, practical enthusiasm, and great joy at welcoming five new members including the two bishops, to help further the Order’s work in the land of Our Lord’s birth, death, and resurrection.

 

Jul 16:

 

THE SCOTTISH LIEUTENANCY CHARITY GOLF DAY

 

The Scottish Lieutenancy held a charity Golf Day recently at Auchterarder Golf Club to raise funds for the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows in Aboud, a village in the West Bank in the Holy Land.   A magnificent total of £6625 was raised.   The Cardinal Winning Memorial Trophy was won by Stevie Dunn.

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