Called to be One Day in Scotland

On the Scottish Ordinariate website we can read the following:

On Saturday Saturday 6th September 2014 members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham celebrated an event simultaneously in around 50 Ordinariate groups throughout the UK for which Pope Francis sent his greetings and the assurance that he was praying for its success. The event, Called To Be One, marked three years since Pope Benedict XVI created the structure to bring groups of former Episcopalians and Anglicans with their pastors into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

In Scotland, Called To Be One began for some of the group early on Saturday morning with a 150 mile drive from the Highlands to Falkland Palace in Fife where they joined Ordinariate members from other parts of Scotland in the Chapel Royal in the South Range of the Palace which was the setting of the focus of the event in Scotland.

Falkland Palace was built between 1450 and 1541 by Kings James IV and James V and was the country residence of the Royal court while they hunted in the surrounding forests. The Chapel Royal is believed to be dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury just as the old chapel in the medieval Falkland Castle had been before it. Today it is home to the local Catholic Parish where the Parish Priest, Fr Gerard Hand, was most welcoming, having met Mgr Keith Newton (now the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate) while he was at Pluscarden Abbey near Inverness on his pre-ordination retreat in 2011.

King James V restored the Chapel and when he died his body lay in the Chapel from 14th December 1542 until 7th January 1543 and the Chapel was draped in black. In 1561, Mary Queen of Scots washed the feet of nineteen virgins in the Chapel – one for each year of her reign. Her son, James VI, added the royal pew, which was a gift from the people of Denmark on the occasion of his marriage to Anne of Denmark in 1589.

The Called To Be One event began with a Votive Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham in the Chapel Royal, soaking up the wonderful historic atmosphere of this unique Catholic chapel. After lunch members of the Ordinariate in Scotland welcomed others to an Open Meeting in the old Town Hall opposite the Palace. Built in 1801 with views across to the Palace it offered the perfect setting to watch Mgr Keith Newton being interviewed about the Ordinariate, something that was much appreciated by Ordinariate members and visitors alike, as were the comments on the video from other members of the Ordinariate. The fact that the Torbay group were planning to have their own church gave some of the group in Scotland the idea that they should investigate the same possibility.

Monsignor Newton spoke about the future of the Ordinariate being very much in God’s hands and that if it is a vehicle for evangelism and if it is a vehicle to bring Anglican patrimony into the universal church then it will survive and grow. “When Pope Benedict spoke about the Ordinariate being a prophetic gesture,” he explained, “he was saying something that was profoundly ecumenical about the Ordinariate. It showed other Christians that you could have a Church that was united, but had varieties of expressions of the faith which all contribute to, and which enrich the whole, showing to people outside the Catholic Church what may be possible in the future”.

ctb1 2014 -scotland-1The ‘Called To Be One’ day ended with Evensong and Benediction sung by the Schola Cantorum of St Patrick, a 15-strong choir from Edinburgh who describe themselves as “championing access to ‘a treasure of inestimable value'”. It was sung to a traditional plainsong setting and was a memorable conclusion to a wonderful day. A few eyebrows were raised in the pews during the 2nd lesson appointed for the day in which St Paul, writing to Timothy, warns him that “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings”.

Another part of the same reading also became appropriate, where St Paul tells Timothy ‘to bring with him the cloak he left at Troas as well as the books and parchments’. Later, Fr Len Black, Parish Priest to the Ordinariate in Scotland, realised he had left several things behind at the Chapel Royal. However he does not expect Geraldine Clark the Head Guide at the Palace and who is also the Secretary of the local Catholic Parish to bring them north to Inverness but will send a padded envelope instead for their return.

Ordinariate members with the "Schola Cantorum"

Ordinariate members with the “Schola Cantorum”

The ‘Called To Be One’ exploration day was also celebrated in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis where Fr Stanley Bennie, the other Ordinariate priest in Scotland, invited several people to his home which is close to Our Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, to hear the presentation by Mgr Newton. The event in Stornoway also concluded with Evensong and Benediction, although without the choir, Schola Cantorum of St Patrick.

For members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Scotland and their guests it was an excellent way to celebrate and share with others the great joy they felt at having been ‘Called To Be One’ within the Catholic Church.

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