Cardinal asks Canadian students to "seriously consider" living in Scotland
Speaking at the graduation ceremony at the University of St. Francis Xavier
in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada yesterday (Sunday 2 May) where he was
receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, Cardinal Keith O'Brien called
on the students present to consider a move to Scotland.
Reminding his audience of the centuries old links between Scotland and
Canada while pointing out the severe challenges Scotland faced dealing with
population decline and falling birth rates, the Cardinal suggested;
"appreciating all that Scotland has given to Canada especially over the last
two hundred years, perhaps it is time for young people of Canada to think of
returning to Scotland to help rebuild that Scotland to occupy a leading role
in the world of today."
Cardinal O'Brien explained that Scotland's First Minister had recently
launched an initiative aimed at encouraging migration to Scotland from
elsewhere in Europe to tackle falling population and felt sure a growth in
migrants from "new Scotland" back to "auld Scotland" would also be welcomed.
Speaking at the previous day's graduation Mass (Sat 1 May), the Cardinal had
trailed the possibility of return migration, encouraging graduates to
"A home in Scotland, a career in Scotland, raising your family in Scotland,
a lifetime in Scotland, the home of your ancestors - I leave that
possibility with you for your consideration as you consider your future now
that you are graduating."
The theme was expanded upon in the graduation address yesterday (2 May).
Cardinal O'Brien who travelled to Canada on Saturday morning and returned on
Sunday night also presented the University with a bound volume of manuscript
sources relating to Scotland and Canada's shared Catholic heritage. Among
the documents copied in the volume are; correspondence from Father James
MacDonald dating from 1776 detailing the state of the Scottish emigrants who
had crossed the Atlantic and another from The Bishop of London, Canada West,
dated 5th January 1857, where he writes:
We have here ¦ a considerable number of your good people of the High Lands,
speaking only the Gaelic and consequently deprived of almost all the
succours and consolations of our Holy Religion."
The full volume was left as a gift to the University.
Note to Editors:
The full text of Cardinal O'Brien's address is shown below
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