This year, we have celebrated another unique service in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, this time in Our Lady of Good Counsel church. The service was a Mass of Commissioning for Catechists for service in the Archdiocese. A group of 17 candidates, all ladies, were presented for commissioning, having successfully completed two years of study under the new Catechesis course run jointly by the Archdiocese and the University of Glasgow.
The candidates come from a wide spread of parishes:-
Mary Teresa Bell Nancy Longster St. Patrick’s. Dumbarton
Grace Buckley St. Leo the Great, Dumbreck
Ann Marie Clark Isabella Montgomery Our Lady of Good Counsel, Dennistoun
Mary Fyvie St. Mary’s Duntocher
Jennifer Gallagher St. Joseph’s, Helensburgh
Elizabeth Kelly Mary Michie Immaculate Conception, Maryhill
Jackie P S Mackay St. Stephen’s, Dalmuir
Eleanor Magennis Aileen O’Gorman St. Dominic’s, Bishopbriggs
Helen Mills St. Roch’s, Royston
Sr. Ann-Marie Nicholas Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
Margaret Savage St. Gregory Barbarigo, Wyndford
Yasmin Trenner St. Kessog’s, Balloch
Katrina Vezza St. Thomas the Apostle, Riddrie
They were accompanied by family and friends, and many of the parishioners of Good Counsel parish joined them for the celebration. The principal celebrant was Archbishop Conti, who was joined by Fr. Tom Kilbride (who, as Director of the Religious Education Department had overseen the running of the course) and a number of the parish priests from the candidates’ parishes. The readings (Joel 3:1-5; 1Corinthians: 3-7,12-13 and Mark4:1-9) and hymns (Hear I am, Lord; Take me, Lord; The Servant King and Christ be our Light) of the liturgy had been chosen with clear reference to the work for which the candidates were to be commissioned.
In his homily Archbishop Conti suggested that the principal requirement of a catechist was not so much knowledge as wisdom in being sensitive to the needs of those they encountered and choosing the most appropriate way to approach their catechesis.
After the homily, the candidates came to the front of the church to confirm their willingness to exercise the ministry of catechesis and were presented with their certificates by the Archbishop.
At the end of the Mass, Fr. Kilbride thanked all who had helped the catechists reach their goal – tutors, family and friends, and clergy- before all present enjoyed the warm hospitality of the parish and a chance to catch up on each other’s news. The catechists will receive their Course Award from the University of Glasgow later this year.
In the short time since this Mass took place, Mary Michie (shown above in the wheelchair) has died. She was diagnosed with cancer during the course and dealt with her illness with great courage. She will be missed.