SUNDAY: Join us for Corpus Christi Procession in Falkirk

Join Archbishop Leo Cushley, clergy and Catholics from across the Archdiocese for a Corpus Christi procession in Falkirk this Sunday (11 June).

It takes place on the Feast of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ this Sunday and begins at 2:30pm at the Bandstand in High Street.

Archbishop Cushley said: "This is an opportunity for Catholics across the Archdiocese to come together on the Feast of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ.

"I invite you to join me to be a public witness to the Eucharistic Christ as we celebrate the presence of the living Lord in the Sunday Eucharist and in the Blessed Sacrament."

Where/When to meet
Gather at the bandstand in Falkirk High Street from 2:00pm. We begin at 2:30pm. Google Map here.

We will walk down the High Street before turning right onto Hope Street where St Francis Xavier's Church is based. This is expected to take around 15-20 minutes.

What happens en route?
Archbishop Leo Cushley will carry the Blessed Sacrament under a canopy. Eucharistic hymns will be sung and a booklet of hymns will be provided. Stewards will be on hand to guide us along the route.

Will bystanders know what's happening?
Probably not, so event volunteers will be equipped with a simple leaflet which explains to bystanders what we're doing and why we're doing it.

What happens at the Church?
Once we arrive at St Francis Xavier's there will be a period of adoration and a simple Benediction service. This will take around 15 mins.

Yes, served in the church hall after Benediction.

Where can I park?
Parking is free in Falkirk town centre on Sundays and there are plenty of public parking options. Parking spaces at the church are limited. There is an Asda across the road from the church with free parking (a 10 min walk to the Bandstand where the procession begins).

Notes for parents
If your child is an altar server please encourage them to wear their cassock. If your child recently made their First Holy Communion please dress them in what they wore on that day.


Becoming a Deacon: Paul Henderson's story

The Cathedral is my spiritual home. Without the Cathedral, and its parish community, I might not be a Catholic, never mind training to be a priest.

It was through the Cathedral’s RCIA group that I was introduced fully to the faith and, on Easter Sunday at the Cathedral in 2016, received into the Catholic Church.

Being part of the RCIA programme was a profound experience.

Paul (left) with friend and fellow seminarian Peter Shankland. Both will be ordained in Rome on 14 June 2023.

I felt the truth of Jesus Christ growing in me, in the depth of my being, and was continually moved by the piety of the volunteers.

They would be there, always smiling, to welcome us enquirers, despite some of them having come straight from work (and surely exhausted) yet still willing to do this Christian service.

I remember how one evening a young priest from Africa explained his clerical garments and their ritual significance, before vesting and saying Mass.

I was struck as much by the beauty of his faith as by anything.

I remember asking him “how long did your training as a priest take?”

When I said this, one of the RCIA volunteers said to me “It’s not too late to get your application in, Paul!”

That really stuck in my mind, even though, at fifty-one, I presumed I must be too old to train to be a priest.

Beauty of the Mass

When I started RCIA, I thought I should acclimatise myself better to the liturgy, so started attending the twelve-noon Mass.

It wasn’t long before my eyes would fill with tears as I sang the Latin Creed joyously with the others: “Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum…!”

Peter and Paul at the Beda College in Rome where they are studying for the priesthood.

I was so moved at the aching beauty of the Mass and can honestly say that the Cathedral choir was thus part of my conversion, as was the devotion of the congregation, and whoever was responsible for the incredible flowers that appeared each week.

I remember Masses when Fr Patrick Burke was celebrating without a Deacon.

I can’t quite explain why, but the image of him on those occasions burnt itself in my memory, an isolated Catholic Priest acting in persona Christi.

I loved the multicultural congregation as well, the myriad of Europeans and “ethnic minorities”, so different from the very white Anglican church I was used to.


My eventual Confirmation in 2016 left me feeling so content.

There were drinks with the archbishop, clergy, and others, after that Easter Vigil, for those who had been baptised and confirmed at the cathedral that evening, and I had the strongest feeling that I had come “home”, by joining a truly global Catholic Church.

Just over two months later, on 23 June as it happened: I went to see Fr Patrick with a strong feeling I wished to serve the Church in a deeper way.

I’ll never forget the leap of joy in my heart when he asked if I’d considered the priesthood.

I will not forget the date, partly because it was the day of the Referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union!

I asked him if there was any possibility I could look into the Permanent Diaconate.

I’ll never forget the leap of joy in my heart when he asked if I’d considered the priesthood.

At the meeting, he continued to say that, at my age, I would probably be sent to the Beda College in Rome. Strange though it is, I immediately knew I was going to this college I’d never heard of in Rome.

Following the call

The next day I called people close to me and told them that I was offering myself as a Catholic priest.

I can honestly say I felt something of the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit pushing me forward.

That said, it took me considerable effort to extricate myself from my career and life in Edinburgh in order to follow the call.

In case this doesn’t sound all too rosy-tinted, I must add that before starting RCIA at this wonderful Cathedral, at the recommendation of a friend, I had approached two Catholic priests asking for advice on becoming a Roman Catholic.

In both cases, I had the strong impression that they were almost bemused at the idea, as if they could not understand why anyone might want to join.

It really was through Fr Patrick that I finally glimpsed the heights and the depth and the incomparable grandeur of the Catholic Church and understood that (as the Magisterium puts it) the Body of Christ ‘subsists’ in the Catholic Church, mystically and physically embodied in the institutional Church we see with our eyes, in our congregations, in its liturgy and its social action around the world.

I was also struck by Fr Patrick’s ability to reveal the depth of the Scriptures in his sermons.

Cathedral community

I’ve had such good connections formed with the Cathedral community that in many ways it has become like a family.

It gives me joy that my sister Rowena followed me, joining a later Cathedral RCIA programme and being confirmed in the Cathedral.

Also, my good friends Diana and her children Catherine-Charlotte and Iain, were likewise confirmed into the Cathedral in 2021.

The Cathedral has as well, for the time being anyway, literally become my home. When I left for the preparatory seminary in Salamanca at the start of 2020, Covid hit, and I had to return to Scotland.

Fr Patrick very kindly let me stay at the Cathedral, as I no longer had a place of my own.

This kind offer has extended to the present and I’ve stayed at the Cathedral during breaks from here at the Pontifical Beda College in southwest Rome.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge that I would never be here if Archbishop Leo had not approved it. I am extremely grateful for all the support he has given me.

Indeed, I am indebted to the whole Cathedral community who have been so supportive of my journey. Thank you.

Paul Henderson will be ordained a Deacon by Archbishop Leo Cushley at the Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome on Wednesday 14 June 2023. He will be ordained alongside Peter Shanklans, who is also a parishioner of the Cathedral. Read his story here. This article first appeared in Crux, the magazine of the Friends of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, Spring 2023 edition.

Becoming a Deacon: Peter Shankland's story

Despite being brought up as a Catholic, when I came to Edinburgh to study in 1992, I was more attracted by the bright lights of the city than by going to Mass!

In 2000 however, having by then settled in Edinburgh, I decided to start attending church again.

I went first to the Vigil Mass at St Mary's Cathedral, where the late Monsignor David Gemmel welcomed me back with open arms.

He told me that he hoped I was doing this for myself and not for my family.

I think he was making an important point.

Soon he encouraged me to become more involved in the life of the Cathedral parish, first as a passkeeper and then as a reader.

While I was training to work as a teacher, he offered me the chance to help with the children’s liturgy.

More than a building

Msgr David’s untimely death was a shock to all of us, and this was the moment I realised that I really belonged to a community in this Cathedral.

It was far more than just a building.

Peter (left) with friend and fellow seminarian Paul Henderson. Both will be ordained in Rome on 14 June 2023.

I became an Extraordinary Eucharistic minister at the invitation of Msgr Mike Reagan, another very wise priest from whom I would learn a lot.

Others who had an influence on me were Msgr Patrick Burke and Fr.Nick Welsh.

For me, they were both shepherds at a time when I could have become lost.

In 2018, I went on pilgrimage to Rome for the Diaconate Ordination of Fr Patrick Harrigan who attended the Beda College (where I currently study) and who is also an ex-parishioner of the Cathedral.

I was very moved by this ceremony, and it was the following day that I realised how much it had touched me.

While visiting the Vatican Museum, one of the great thunderstorms - for which Rome is famous - blew up. Once it had passed, I went for a walk in the gardens.

It was then that I dared to think that God might be calling me to be a priest. It is a moment I recall every time I read the story of Elijah’s encounter with the still small voice of God.

Happy memories

Many memories and impressions of the Cathedral stay with me as happy memories.

I think of the ark at the front of the sanctuary, and the times in front of the blessed sacrament when I felt as though I was raising my heart and mind to heaven when I looked across at it.

I think of being involved in the Chrism Mass and the Easter Triduum and the occasion when, in my nervousness at the former, I nearly dropped the processional cross.

Peter and Paul at the Beda College in Rome where they are studying for the priesthood.

I remember vividly assisting with the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, and how moving I found the solemnity on each face that came forward.

The people’s participation at the Vigil Mass was also achingly beautiful, and I felt I was a part of a giant family as we moved together into the body of the Church.

When I revealed to people that I had been accepted to study for the priesthood, I was overwhelmed by expressions of love and joy.

One parishioner said she had made a list of people she thought would answer God’s call, and I had been one of them.

Taking action

The movement from thought to action had come about one Saturday morning in the Cathedral, after confession with Fr Binhu, when he asked me to wait and speak to him outside the confessional.

He sensed I was torn about something. That was when I told him that I thought I had a vocation, and he was very encouraging and helpful.

I then met with Msgr. Burke, who said he thought I would make a good candidate, and with Fr Jamie McMorrin, the new curate, who was also supportive.

Fr Jamie encouraged me to attend his ‘young’ adult group for some pastoral and personal experience.

This gave me more confidence in talking about and understanding my faith.

Although I was receiving a lot of support from the clergy, I didn’t at first tell anyone in the parish that I was applying for the Priesthood.

That said I always found my conversations with parishioners encouraging during this time of waiting.

I would encourage anyone who feels they have a vocation to consider it carefully.

Even though they did not know my plans, I felt we were part of the same praying community, and that they were praying for me (as I was for them) regardless of what I was doing.

I found the Cathedral was a place of unparalleled calm that allowed me to spend time in silence.

As, God willing, I approach ordination as a Deacon this month, I haven’t for a moment regretted the resolution that was formed in that silence, and I feel every day that the Lord is affirming that He has called me into this wonderful vocation.

I would encourage anyone who feels they have a vocation to consider it carefully.

Rome has of course been a special place to study, but the Cathedral will always be the place where I came back to practising my faith and I will always be so grateful for the love, support, and prayers I received there.

In fact, and in a way I can’t express, I shall always be grateful to the Cathedral community.

Peter Shankland will be ordained a Deacon by Archbishop Leo Cushley at the Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome on Wednesday 14 June 2023. He will be ordained alongside Paul Henerson, who is also a parishioner of the Cathedral. Read his story here. This article first appeared in Crux, the magazine of the Friends of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, Spring 2023 edition.

GALLERY: Couples celebrate marriage at St Mary's Cathedral

Couples from across the Archdiocese got together at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh last night for a celebration of marriage.

Archbishop Cushley was the principal celebrant at Mass and gave a blessing to married couples and to engaged couples.

He said: "It is always a lovely, happy occasion when we thank God for the many blessings received through the great gift of marriage.

"It warms my heart to see so many people here to celebrate that and to pray for God's blessing upon their lives."

After the Mass a reception was held in Coffee Saints cafe.

The longest married couple at the event were Margaret & Bill Mawdsley (below).

They are parishioners at St John the Baptist Church in Corstorphine and have been married for 68 years.

They were wed at St Mary's, Star of the Sea, Leith, in 1955, and have three daughters and five grandchildren.

They cut the celebration cake alongside the most recent married couple, Eilish & Callum Lloyd (below left), who have been married for just a few months.

The annual event was organised by Fr Jeremy Milne and the Archdiocesan commission for Marriage & Family Life.

Some members of the Archdiocesan Commission for Marriage & Family Life. From left: Louise & Deacon John, Andrew Milligan, Paul Atkin, Anna & Janusz Nieciecki.


Archbishop's Engagements for June

Here is a list of Archbishop Leo Cushley's engagements for June 2023.

Thursday 1 June, 7:00pm
Confirmations, St Matthew's Church, Rosewell.

Friday 2 June, 7:00pm
Confirmations, St Mary's Church, Haddington.

Saturday 3 June, 3:00pm
Confirmations, St Joseph's Church, Peebles.

Saturday 3 June, 6:00pm
Confirmations, St David's Church, Dalkeith.

Sunday 4 June, 11:00am
Confirmations, St James' Church, St Andrews.

Monday 5 June, 7:00pm
Confirmations (I), St Andrew's Church, Livingston.

Tuesday 6 June, 10:00am
Scottish National War Memorial Service, Edinburgh Castle.

Wednesday 7 June, 7:00pm
Confirmations (II), St Andrew's Church, Livingston.

Thursday 8 June, 7:00pm
Confirmations (III), St Andrew's Church, Livingston.

Friday 9 June, 2:00pm
Confirmations, St Ninian's Church, Edinburgh.

Sunday 11 June, 2:15pm
Corpus Christi Procession, Falkirk High Street.

Sunday 11 June, 5:00pm
Confirmations, Our Lady of Lourdes, Dunfermline.

Monday 12 - Thursday 15 June, Rome
Diaconate ordinations of Paul Henderson and Peter Shankland, Rome.

Thursday 15 June, Rome
Audience with the Holy Father.

Friday 16 June, 11:15am
100th anniversary Mass, St Columba's High School, Dunfermline.

Friday 16 June, 7:00pm
Dedication of Altar, St Margaret's Church, South Queensferry.

Sunday 18 June, from 12:30pm
St Margaret's Pilgrimage, Dunfermline.

Tuesday 20 June, 12:30pm
Retired Priests' Lunch, St Bennet's Edinburgh.

Tuesday 20 June, 7:00pm
Confirmations, Our Lady, Star of the Sea Church, North Berwick.

Wednesday 21 June, 12:00pm
Mass at Scottish Parliament for MSPs and Parliament Staff.

Wednesday 21 June, 7:00pm
Confirmations, St Mary's, West Calder.

Thursday 22 June, 7:00pm
Confirmations, St Joseph's, Whitburn.

Saturday 24 June, 12:00pm
Mass with Dominicans, St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Saturday 24 June, 6:00pm
60th anniversary Mass, St Teresa of Lisieux Church, Craigmillar.

Sunday 25 June, 3:00pm
150th anniversary Mass, St John the Baptist, Fauldhouse.

Wednesday 28 June, 11:00am
College of Bishops & Bishops' Conference of Scotland Meeting, Edinburgh.

Supporting the Church in Catholic Legacy Week

This week is Catholic Legacy Week. Wills and legacies are an important way to fund the work of the Church throughout the world.

Having just celebrated Pentecost, when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, this year Catholics are being asked: What will be your gift to the world?

Visit  and see how you a legacy can support a charity of your choice. You will also find a will-writing guide there.

Could you help?

Perhaps you would like to help fund the education of a seminarian in our Archdiocese? It takes seven years to train a priest.

Or maybe you want to support our retired priests? After a lifetime of service to the Church, they should benefit from a safe & warm home, or have support if they are suffering from ill health.

You may decide to support your own parish; many church buildings need to adapt to a world of rising energy costs amd invest in heating, lighting and making buildings watertight and energy efficient.

In coming weeks we will be sharing information about legacies and wills on the Archdiocesan website.

If you would like to receive an information pack about legacies when it is produced please email

St Margaret's Pilgrimage returns on Sunday 18 June!

The St Margaret's Pilgrimage 2023 will take place in Dunfermline on Sunday 18 June.

The day features:

Archbishop Cushley said: "The pilgrimage is a chance to give thanks to God for the wonderful example of St Margaret, whose life of faith, charity and leadership continues to inspire people today.

Holy Mass at St Margaret's Church in East Port will be at 2:30pm (image from 2019 pilgrimage).

"It's always special for us to gather together where she lived and did the works of piety that have become renowned across the centuries. I hope to see many of you in Dunfermline on Sunday 18 June for its return."

The pilgrimage has a rich history in Dunfermline and returns after a break of three years due to the Covid pandemic.

There will be an opportunity to receive a blessing with a first class relic of St Margaret after the Mass at St Margaret's in East Port.

Guests include the Provost of Fife Jim Leishman and The Right Rev Dr Rev Iain Greenshields, the current Moderator of the Church of Scotland who is minister at St Margaret's Church in Touch, Dunfemline.

Also attending is László Kálmán, the Consul General of Hungary and representatives of the Knights of St Columba, the Knights of Malta and St Margaret's Guild.

Pupils from Holy Name Primary (Oakley), St Margaret's Primary and St Columba's Secondary (both Dunfermline) will contribute to the Mass.

*Please note, there is no street procession this year.

Accessibility and Seating

The Mass is at 2:30pm, please be seated by 2:15pm. Wheelchair seating is at the back left of Church. Stewards will be in attendance to help.


The Mass will be streamed from the church's website here.

Getting there

Car: There is a free car park in Leys Park Road near St Margaret's Church (see below map). The church car park is available only for dropping off those with mobility issues. Council car parks are free until 1pm on Sunday.

Train: Dunfermline Town Train Station is a five to ten minute walk from St Margaret's Church and Dunfermline Abbey.

Bus: Dunfermline Bus Station is a five to ten minute walk from St Margaret's Church and a five minute walk from Dunfermline Abbey.


Hungarian politicians celebrate St Margaret in Dunfermline

St Margaret was celebrated in Dunfermline on Sunday by senior political figures from Hungary.
A gift was presented to the church from the community of her birthplace of Mecseknádasd and they laid a wreath in the Lady Chapel at the church.

From left: Katalin Szili, Dr László Kálmán and Árpád János Potápi laid a wreath at the Lady Chapel at St Margaret's Church in Dunfermline.

The visitors were:

▪ Árpád János Potápi, State Secretary for Hungarian communities abroad.
▪ Katalin Szili, Chief Adviser to the Hungarian Prime Minister.
▪ Dr László Kálmán, Consul General of Hungary in Edinburgh.

Mr Potapi said: "St Margaret is a person who links Scotland and Hungary, as she was born near Mecseknádasd in 1047.

"Known as the Pearl of Scotland, she was the saint who won the Scots to Catholicism, and her work is very similar to that of her grandfather, St Stephen of Hungary."

The group also visited Dunfermline Abbey where they were welcomed by Rev MaryAnn Rennie before heading to St Margaret's Chapel at Edinburgh Castle.

The Hungarian delegation were on a tour of Scotland to visit Hungarian communities in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Lochgelly on Saturday and Sunday.

Dr László Kálmán and Peter Paloczy, Depute Hungarian Ambassador in the UK, will be in Dunfermline on Sunday 16 June for St Margaret's Pilgrimage. Please join us! More here.

OSCR Response to Trustees on Aged & Infirm Clergy Fund

In recent months, issues were raised with the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) regarding the Aged & Infirm Clergy Fund (AICF) of the Archdiocese.

The Trustees have repeatedly confirmed their willingness to cooperate in addressing any such concerns and have done so.

As a result, OSCR has now formally confirmed that the Trustees have acted appropriately and have commended the Trustees for their work in seeking to "dispel various misunderstandings" about the AICF.

In the course of its letter of 11 May 2023, closing the case, OSCR stated: "We recognise that the charity trustees have gone to significant effort to communicate both the need for the AICF and to dispel various misunderstandings about the fund itself and the charity’s finances in general."

They added: "It is our view that the charity trustees have acted in line with the charity trustee duties as set out in the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005."

The AICF was established in 1933 to ensure adequate financial provision was made for retired and infirm clergy. Following extensive review, involving external professional advice, the Trustees concluded it was necessary to supplement those arrangements.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese said: "The Trustees are pleased to receive the assurance and endorsement of the Regulator. The Archdiocese has specific obligations to retired clergy and the Trustees recognised that, regrettably, the historical funding arrangements were insufficient to meet those obligations.

“The Trustees have exercised necessary and prudent financial management to address that deficiency. They have acted equitably, transparently and in line with Scots charity law and the Code of Canon Law.

“They have, moreover, gone to exceptional lengths to listen to concerns and to respond to questions in detail. We are pleased that these efforts have been acknowledged by OSCR."

The Archdiocese held meetings for each deanery in March 2023 to update them on the AICF fund. You can read the Q&A pack here.

GALLERY: Charity's benefit from Order of Malta's fundraising ball

People came together for a fundraising ball in Edinburgh on Saturday to help charitable causes in Scotland and Ukraine.

The events was hosted by the Order of Malta at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh and was attended by over 230 guests.

The money raised from the event will:

Archbishop Leo Cushley attended the event, along with the Chancellor of the Order of Malta, the Delegate and prior delegate of the Order in Scotland and several clergy.

It is the 20th occasion that the Order of Malta has hosted an annual charity fundraising ball in Edinburgh, which raises funds for its charitable projects in Scotland and overseas.

The Sovereign Order of Malta is the world's oldest Christian charity. Founded in the eleventh century in Jerusalem, today it numbers 150,000 medical and paramedical personnel and volunteers operating in over 120 countries.

It has diplomatic relations with over 100 states and the European Union, and permanent observer status at the United Nations. It is neutral, impartial and apolitical.