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National Mass opens ˜Year of Faith in Scotland  
YEAR OF FAITH : 2012 - 2013

Speaking to a congregation at Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral in Motherwell today, Cardinal Keith O'Brien launched a year of initiatives in Scotland to mark the Catholic Church's "Year of Faith" full details of the programme of events can be viewed here:

http://www.yearoffaithscotland.com/

The full text of Cardinal O'Brien's statement is shown below

ENDS
Peter Kearney
Director
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
Glasgow
G1 2DH
0141 221 1168
07968 122291
pk@scmo.org
www.scmo.org



MESSAGE FROM CARDINAL O BRIEN
OUR LADY OF GOOD AID, MOTHERWELL CATHEDRAL
SUNDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 2012


It is indeed a pleasure being with you all at this National Mass marking the opening of the ˜Year of Faith following on the recent celebrations in Rome itself, with Pope Benedict XVI.   I thank Bishop Devine for leading us in this celebration in his magnificent cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of Good Aid, here in Motherwell.   I thank our Bishops Committee for the ˜Year of Faith who have organised this event under the leadership of Archbishop Tartaglia, along with Bishop Toal and Bishop Gilbert.   And of course I thank Archbishop Tartaglia for his wise words in his homily, following on his representing us at the recently concluded Synod of Bishops in Rome.     And of course on your behalf I join in thanking Pope Benedict XVI, for the opportunity of celebrating this particular ˜Year of Faith : and we thank most sincerely Archbishop Mennini, the Pope s representative in our country, for again joining us in a major event in the history of our Church in Scotland.

I see this Year of Faith as a time of renewed enthusiasm for us all in our on-going practice and love of the faith and of increasing our own personal love of Jesus Christ Himself.   It is a time when, as in the words on the prayer card which you all have, we take to heart those words of Pope Benedict XVI, when he says: ˜ There is nothing more beautiful than to know Christ and to speak to others of our friendship with Him .   These words apply to us all “ whatever our age or spiritual journeys, our faults and failings, known or unknown!   That meeting with Christ is what is all important in a special way throughout this year and indeed day by day.

Here in Scotland, with regard to this Year of Faith and our commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the Second Vatican Council, we have our ˜Vatican II Children .     Perhaps about half of us grew up with the developments of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council forming us in our spiritual growth.   This also applies to approximately half of our present Bishops who are Vatican II Children and like myself are already retired or thinking of retirement! Then we have our ˜Vatican II Grandchildren “ again about perhaps half of our Catholic population who have benefited from the insights of Vatican II, but perhaps have not really studied those original documents as they should have done, but are being given now a further opportunity. Thankfully we also have that new generation of Bishops, ˜Vatican II Grandchildren , who have been appointed more recently by Pope Benedict XVI and are more than ready, willing and enthusiastic in their desire to lead our Church ever more strongly in the years which lie ahead.

Our Christian community in Scotland has been ˜surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ for over 1,600 years now, since St Ninian brought that Gospel to our land around 397, followed by St Columba some 200 years later.   It is that Gospel of the love of all peoples that we still hand on today “ a love of male and female, a love of black and white, a love of life in the womb and life on the death bed, a love of people of whatever sexual orientation.   But in sharing the love of Christ we also share the responsibility of learning and handing on the teaching of Christ, a teaching that is so often sadly neglected at this present time.

May our meeting with Jesus Christ Himself continue to help and inspire us throughout this year and for the years which lie ahead, enabling us to live out that New Pentecost, of which Blessed John XXIII spoke fifty years ago.   Then hopefully we will be inspired by that same Holy Spirit, and Mary, Star of the New Evangelisation, helping us to be on-going lights in a troubled world

May God indeed bless us all in our valued apostolate together.

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