Noel Donnelly on harp before Mass began

The annual ProLife Torchlight procession from George Square to St Andrew’s Cathedral took place on 18th October and concluded with Mass. It was a happy conjunction that the procession and Mass took place on the Feast of St. Luke whose Gospel has given us the Infancy narratives.  The rosary and procession had been led by Bishop Keenan who elected to be part of the congregation for the Mass and so the principal celebrant was Fr. Jim Dean who has been a Life Member of SPUC for very many years (from the days, as he pointed out in his welcome, when Life Membership cost a whole £5!).

The church was full for the service and the music of the Mass was led by the St.Mungo Singers under Dr. Noel Donnelly who also played harp. Members of the Knights of St. Columba were also present .

In his homily, Fr. Jim turned to the Gospel of the day, written by St. Luke, the only Gentile writer in the Bible. In the Gospel Jesus sends his disciples out like lambs among wolves. He sends them out into a hostile world and even worse, tells them to take nothing with them. That did not make for good PR for his mission! Following Jesus is not easy. He asks so much but also gives so much. In the second reading from St. Paul’s 2nd Letter to Timothy, we hear of how the demands of the mission were too much for Demas who left Paul in the lurch.

After 50 years perhaps it is difficult for many, he mused, to see the challenges and difficulties presented by the Abortion Act. But he remembered as a young boy being shocked by the shouted insults of pro-abortions supporters, and later as a social worker, he had faced the conflict of being a manager responsible for staff who counselled those seeking abortion.

Fr. Jim Dean speaks to the congregation

Politicians will say that you cannot win elections with a single issue campaign, said Fr. Jim. His answer was that you cannot campaign for other issues if you are not pro-life. If the life of an unborn child is not important then what life is.  It may feel like being sent out like lambs among wolves and we may feel like St Paul when he was deserted by Demas but we must continue our prayers, confident that God is with us.

The Mass had a beautiful prayerful feeling, enhanced by the music which included the old favourite for children Guardian Angel and the participation of all present. At the end of the service, John Deighan, CEO of SPUC, thanked everyone who had worked to organise the evening and everyone who had attended.