To mark the 400th anniversary of priestly formation the seminarians from the Pontifical Scots College in Rome will have a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican later today (Thursday 14 April)
They will be accompanied by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and Archbishop Leo Cushley and by the staff of the College the Rector, Fr. Daniel Fitzpatrick, the Vice Rector, Fr. Gerald Sharkey and the Spiritual Director, Fr. Mark Cassidy.
Archbishop Tartaglia said:
“I am very pleased to be participating along with Archbishop Leo Cushley at the Audience Pope Francis has kindly agreed to grant to our College in Rome to mark the 400th Anniversary of the Mission Oath following the Martyrdom of St John Ogilvie. This encounter with the Holy Father will be a huge encouragement to our young men who are preparing for the priesthood at the Scots College. I will be honoured to give the opening address of greeting to Pope Francis.”
Commenting on the visit, Fr. Daniel Fitzpatrick said:
“It is a great honour for the whole College as we celebrate 400 years of Priestly Formation in Rome to be able to spend time with Pope Francis. Moments like these remind the seminarians of the great tradition that they now are part of.”
The full text of Archbishop Tartaglia’s address can be found below.
Photographs of the seminarians with Pope Francis will be available here:
Notes to Editors
Together with my brother Archbishop, Leo Cushley, of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and in the name of the Rector and of the whole community of the Pontifical Scots College, I would like to thank your Holiness for receiving us today in this special audience.
We come before you, Holy Father, on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary of the swearing for the first time of the Mission Oath; that is, the solemn promise that the young men of the Scots College in Rome made in response to the prompting of Your Predecessor, Pope Paul V, to return to their native land in order to carry out the priestly service among the Catholic community in Scotland, in a period which was as full of dangers as it was of pastoral challenges.
The Martyrdom of the Scottish Jesuit priest, John Ogilvie one year earlier certainly inspired for the decision of the young students at that time resident in Rome.
Those events four centuries ago, the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie and the swearing of the Mission Oath, helped to settle the identity of the Pontifical Scots College as a seminary. From that time, our College has dedicated itself to the spiritual and theological formation of priests who will give service in the dioceses of the Catholic Church in Scotland.
And so, today’s community of the Pontifical Scots College comes before Your Holiness in this historic moment to confirm its dedication to Christ, to the Successor of Peter, and to the service of its brothers and sisters, and to assure your Holiness of our daily prayers for yourself. We ask Your Holiness for a fatherly word and implore your Apostolic Blessing on us and on all the faithful whom we will serve in our dear native land.
Archbishop of Glasgow
14 April 2016