Friday 6 August 2010
Cardinal Keith O Brien celebrates Silver Jubilee as a Bishop
Cardinal Keith Patrick O Brien, the UK s most senior Churchman, celebrates
the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop this week.
The Cardinal became Archbishop of St. Andrews & Edinburgh on 5 August 1985.
Reflecting back on his 1985 Episcopal Ordination - which took place at
Edinburgh s St Mary s Cathedral, Cardinal O Brien said: Life became even
more hectic for me after that “ although I realized that I had to be a ˜still point
of prayer and calm in a busy Church in an even more busy world. Fittingly the
then new Archbishop O Brien chose as his motto for his ordination words from
Psalm 99: Serve the Lord with Gladness.
Looking back over the last 25 years, Cardinal O Brien said: During these
years as a pastoral bishop, I enjoyed my Ad Limina visits to Pope John Paul
II in Rome. As well as the formal reports there was also the opportunity of
four meetings with the Pope: on a one-to-one basis; along with my brother
bishops from Scotland; concelebrating an early morning Mass with the Pope in
his private-chapel; and an evening meal with the Pope in his private
On his role as a member of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, Cardinal O Brien
stated that he is constantly amazed at the workload undertaken by my brother
bishops. adding, "I have increasingly had to address national issues after the
death of Cardinal Winning in 2001 and my subsequent election as President
of the Bishops Conference of Scotland.
Saying that his life changed rather abruptly on Friday 26 September 2003
when he received a call from Archbishop Pablo Puente, then Apostolic Nuncio,
saying that the Holy Father had chosen him to be a Cardinal, Cardinal O'Brien
reflected: I have had a very fulfilling life so far “ from my first
faltering steps in the priesthood to my present position as Cardinal
Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh ¦Celebrating these various
anniversaries at this present time, I would now hope that my pace of life
will be decreasing somewhat “ giving me more time for prayer, recollection
and reading “ thanking God all the time for the wonderful call which he has
given to me to serve as a priest and as a Bishop.
On the publication of the celebration booklet, Cardinal Keith concluded: I
would like to think that my words and the photographs in this booklet might
encourage others to think and pray about their vocation in life “ and as to
whether or not God might be calling them also to be a priest.
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Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien was born St Patrick s Day, 1938, Ballycastle
in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
After Second World War moved with family to Scotland.
Attended St Patrick s High School, Dumbarton and then moved to Edinburgh
with completion of secondary school at Holy Cross Academy.
45 years since ordination as a priest in 1965.
Trained as a teacher at Moray House College of Education at the University
of Edinburgh and went on to teach at St Bride s, Cowdenbeath.
Appointed as Spiritual Director of St Andrew s College, Drygane and later
appointed as Rector of St Mary s College, Blairs.
25 years since ordination as a bishop in 1985.
Appointed a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2003