June 17




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:




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




Nov 16:




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:


Nov 16:




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:


Oct 16:




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:




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 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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