This year, the Marist Community’s Mass in honour of their founder, St. Marcellin Champagnat, was celebrated on Friday 5 June, the vigil of his feast, at St. Mungo’s, Townhead. The weather may have been a little uncertain but the welcome from the Passionist Fathers was warm. Fr. Dermot, the Rector of St. Mungo’s was the principal celebrant and was joined by Mgr. Henry Docherty, Fr. Willie Monaghan and Fr. Nicholas Monaghan.

The Concelebrants at the Champagnat Mass

The Concelebrants at the Champagnat Mass

In his opening remarks, Br. Colin Chalmers of the Marists, reflected that we were meeting to celebrate the life of a man who had been told he wasn’t clever enough to study for the priesthood. This comment was taken up by Fr. Dermot in his homily. He had been educated at St. Mungo’s Boys’ School by the Marists and, when asked to give the homily, found that old habits die hard. There was still fear and trembling at the thought of saying “no” to a Marist Brother, yet, if it had not been for the Marists, he would not have been standing there as a priest. In the same way, if it had not been for the determination of St. Marcellin to become a priest, there would have been no Marist Brothers. He invited the congregation to reflect on the Gospel which had been read (Matthew 18:1-7;10) with its instruction to us all to become like little children and respond in simplicity to God our Father, and he asked “Where is your God right now, and where are you in relation to him?”

The music of the Mass was lead by the St. Mungo Singers. The Marist devotion to Our Lady was reflected in the music before Mass, which included “Mary the Dawn” and the new Lourdes Hymn by Br. Stephen Smyth. Dr. Noel Donnelly had written a new setting of Psalm 97 for the Mass with a rousing refrain “The Lord will come with justice and fairness” which he encouraged the congregation to sing with enjoyment. At the end, the Newman blessing was sung and the Marist hymn to St. Marcellin, before everyone headed for the church hall to enjoy the hospitality provided, and a chance to chat.