Friday 5 March 2004  

Cardinal O'Brien hosts reception for Scot's Rugby fans in Rome.  

Cardinal Keith O'Brien will host a reception for Scot's Rugby fans at the Scots College in Rome on Friday 5 March at 481 Via Cassia from 5.30-7.30 pm.  

He will attend the Scotland - Italy Rugby match on Saturday 6 March in Rome's Stadio Flaminio. Kick-off: 1330 GMT  

On Sunday 7 March he will celebrate Mass for Scots travellers in central Rome. (There will also be a service at 11am at the Church of Scotland's "Scot's Kirk" in Rome led by Rev. Willie McCulloch).  
Then at 11.30am he will join many other Scottish fans and the Massed Pipes and Drums in St Peter s Square for the Pope s Sunday Message and Blessing at which, Pope John Paul II will include Scotland and Marie Curie Cancer Care in his Blessing.  

The gathering of pipers and drummers has been organised by both the SRU and Marie Curie Scotland. Later in the week Cardinal 0 Brien is formally presenting Pope John Paul with a Marie Curie Tartan Rug on behalf of Marie Curie Scotland. The link being that Marie Curie herself was Polish, and that in 1996 Marie Curie Scotland and the St Lazarus Hospice in Krakow worked together on a substantial project. They shared management skills and introduced from the Scottish end, the use of the daffodil as a fundraising tool in Poland which has successfully been used there since. Pope John Paul was latterly Archbishop of Krakow.  

Speaking before the reception in the Scot's College Cardinal O'Brien said;  
"I am delighted to be able to host this event and look forward to meeting Scottish fans in Rome for this weekend's Rugby match. Many of those attending are well know to me through my longstanding links with Marie Curie Cancer Care."  

He added  

"I am greatly looking forward to what I hope will be victory celebrations in Rome on Saturday followed by the opportunity to join Scots fans in St. Peter's Square on Sunday. I'm sure we will all be joined in national pride when Pope John Paul II gives us his blessing. I also look forward to presenting the Pope with a Marie Curie Tartan Rug on behalf of Marie Curie Scotland on Friday 12 March."  

Sarah Grotrian, Secretary for Scotland of Marie Curie Cancer Care said;  

Coming to Rome accompanied by so many friends, pipers and rugby supporters will be an exhilarating experience for us all at Marie Curie Cancer Care “ the presentation of our Marie Curie Tartan rug to His Holiness (latterly Archbishop of Krakow) brings us full circle after our collaboration with the St Lazarus Hospicium in Krakow. The life of Polish born Marie Curie is continually an inspiration to us as we deliver our care for those people with cancer throughout Scotland.  


Notes to Editors;  

Cardinal O'Brien will be in Rome until Friday 12 March where he will attend a plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications of which he is a member.  

Photographs of all the above events are available in JPEG format from Paul McSherry who is travelling with Cardinal O'Brien - 07770 393960  

Marie Curie Cancer Care is a secular organisation caring for people of any/no religious beliefs.  

Peter Kearney  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  

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