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Choir visit to Malta

If it’s 2008, it must be time for the next St. Mungo Singers Pilgrimage! And where else in the Year of St.Paul but somewhere which would allow the choir to walk in some of his footsteps. The unanimous choice was Malta, which would combine warmth, scenery and history, and so a total of 56 choir members and friends set off on 6 October to St. Paul’s Bay. (Photos by Gerald Barry. Click on images to enlarge.) In fixing the choir programme for the pilgrimage, contact had been made with a number of churches regarding the possibility of holding services in them. One of these was the Cathedral in Mdina and as a result, the St. Mungo Singers were invited to participate in the Mass commemorating the Dedication of the Cathedral which would be presided over by the Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Mercieca. So our first port of call on arrival was Mgr. Daguerra, the Dean of the Chapter, to confirm the arrangements for the Mass. It was only when we were leaving his house in Mgarr that we discovered that Mgarr has no taxis and only a half-hourly bus service to the nearest town. How much we take for granted! Tuesday started with a gloriously sunny morning and we took ship for a sail to the Grand Harbour at Valletta on a boat which turned out to be a Calmac...

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The 2nd Millennium of St Paul

The celebrations marking the 2nd Millennium of St Paul began on June 29th throughout the world. Here in the Archdiocese there were discussions on how to celebrate the year, and plans so far included an ecumenical Vespers of St Paul at St Kessog’s, Balloch, at 3 pm on Sunday June 29th to launch the Year. Fr. Sean Fitzgerald will welcome the St Mungo Singers and instrumentalists along with representatives of other churches. A booklet and CD with some of the ‘Canticles’ or hymns which are quoted in the Letters of St Paul will be available in September, and next year there will be a ‘St Paul’ Cantata for schools. Amongst others, Dr Noel S Donnelly, Brother Stephen E Smyth and Mgr Gerry Fitzpatrick have been working on and using the Pauline Canticles for some time. Isn’t it remarkable that Christians in the middle of the 1st century A.D. could express their faith and hope in the words of the hymn – or Canticle – quoted here: We bless the God and Father Words © Stephen Smyth taken from Ephesians 1: 3-10 (Tune; Bunessan (as in Christ be beside me) here is also a new tune by Gerry Fitzpatrick available from St Mungo Music.) We bless the God and Father of Jesus for he has blessed us freely in Christ. He chose to lavish spiritual blessings from highest heaven. all...

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Argyll & the Isles May Music Weekend

The May Music weekend was declared the best ever by those who attended – and who are we to argue? A total of 45 came to Kinnoull and enjoyed the well-tested mix of new and old music, liturgy, talks and socialising. As well as revisiting pieces learned at the previous Music Weekend in September 2007, the participants learned some new choral pieces including Liam Lawton’s setting of psalm 95, the Taize setting of Psalm 102, Fr. Gerry’s Psalm 117 (d), Martie Haugen’s Evening Hymn (from the Holden Evening Prayer) and a setting of the Sanctus, also by Lawton. Mgr. Jamie MacNeil spoke at the Friday evening session on the importance of the Eucharist for preaching salvation in the modern world. There is much still to do to realise the Council’s view of liturgy which involved the renewed concept of the common priesthood of the faithful and the awareness of “being church”. The Sunday Mass of the Kinnoull parish community again provided the opportunity to put what we had learned in terms of music and liturgy into practice, and the warm response of the parishioners was very...

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Cantata: Scotus

More than 20 schools celebrated the 7th centenary of the death of Blessed John Duns Scotus with a Cantata (text by Fr. Sean Fitzgerald; music by Fr. Gerry Fitzpatrick) on Wednesday 2nd April in St Mary’s, Calton. Song and dance, pageantry and prayer, humour and piety were the materials out of which the children built their celebration and learned about their very distinguished countryman – famed not only for his wisdom and knowledge, but for the holiness of his life. In the cantata the children became pilgrims, exploring the journey of TheWise Men, and making their way across Europe in the footsteps of Duns Scotus, from Haddington to North Uist, Oxford, Paris and Cologne.Duns Scotus lived in the 13th century, at the time of Wallace and Bruce.Born in Duns, he was educated at Haddington, then at the Temple at Carinish in North Uist in the OuterHebrides, before going on to Oxford, Paris and Cologne – first as student and then as a scholarrenowned throughout Europe. The children were prepared in their own schools, and the teachers were assisted by a CD recorded by Carissa Bovil – it all worked very smoothly and the singing whether together, or by smaller school groups, or soloists such as Brother Joseph, Philip the Fair,the Emperor, the page, and Scotus himself, was outstanding. The beautiful banners,dancers from St Catherine’s,the scenery provided by St Roch’s...

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Lourdes Hospitalite

In February we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Lourdes Hospitalité in the Archdiocese which gave us another reason to celebrate Lourdes this year. The Hospitalité is a charitable organisation committed to assisting the sick and handicapped of the Annual Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. They welcome new members and, as Elizabeth McQuade of the Hospitalité told us, membership is open to anyone over 18 who is willing to undertake the objectives of the Hospitalité which are: Commitment to promote the message Our Lady entrusted to Bernadette. In Lourdes, to care for the sick and handicapped of the pilgrimage and to do tasks required by the Hospitalité de Notre Dame de Lourdes. Strengthen the sense of community amongst its members, support them in their Christian life, their responsibility within the Church and their devotion to Mary the Mother of God. The important aspects of membership (whether as a Doctor, Nurse, Brancardier or Helper) are service, friendship, celebration and commitment. The celebration of their 60th Anniversary took the form of a Vespers of Our Lady of Lourdes in St. Joseph’s, Tollcross. The music of the service reflected the Marian theme, opening with “Alma Redemptoris” by Palestrina, followed by the modern hymn “Mary Full of Grace” to the tune of O Sanctissima. After Psalms 121 and 126, the Magnificat was sung to the tune of Amazing Grace and the...

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