On Friday evening, the Mass of St. Mungo was celebrated in St. Mungo’s Townead. Archbishop Tartaglia concelebrated with the priests of the Passionist community there (PP Fr Francis Keevins and Fr. Gareth Thomas), Archbishop Emeritus Conti and priests of the Diocese. They were joined by members of the parish, representatives of the Knights of St. Columba and St. Mungo’s Academy, and the St. Mungo Singers.
In his homily, the Archbishop welcome everyone to the feast of the patron saint of the Diocese and had a special welcome for Frs. Francis and Gareth who had just recently come to the parish, and were evidence of the Passionists’ ongoing commitment to Glasgow.
Archbishop Tartaglia described this Mass as the centrepiece of the Festival of St. Mungo which was a joint venture of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Churches Together and Mediaeval Glasgow. He noted that on the following day, there would be an event in the Mitchell Library where there would be a reading from the Life of St. Mungo which would cover his work of evangelisation.
The readings of this Mass, he said, were so appropriate: St. Paul’s letter to Timothy, urging him to preach the Gospel, welcome or unwelcome, and the verses from St. Luke’s Gospel in which Jesus tells Peter to put out into the deep. St. Mungo had done both of these things in his evangelising, and the words of the reading from Isaiah were fulfilled by him – “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of one who brings good news”.
As Archbishop in succession to St. Mungo, he tries to follow his example and he asked for the help of the congregation – their faith, prayers and service. Archbishop Tartaglia finished with a personal story. That morning he had received a text that wished him Happy Feastday and included a music clip from Hue & Cry singing “Mother Glasgow”.
The music of the Mass did not include Hue & Cry but it did have Noel Donnelly’s setting of Psalm 88 – appropriate for a Bishop – music in the Celtic idiom (St. Patrick’s Breastplate and the Hymn of Columba) and Lord, You have come to the Seashore. There was also a lovely poem by Glasgow’s Poet Laureate, Jim Carruth, called A Flourishing – Song of St. Mungo. The final hymn of the Mass was the Glasgow anthem Let Glasgow Flourish.
At the end of the Mass, Fr. Francis invited everyone to sample St.
Mungo’s hospitality and expressed his own pleasure at being back in the parish.