WATCH: Mass with Archbishop Cushley on BBC Scotland

Holy Mass with Archbishop Cushley was broadcast on national TV today (Sunday 06 Sep) and is now available to view online on the BBC iPlayer.

Click here or the below image to watch it.




Sunday Mass with Archbishop Cushley on BBC Scotland

Holy Mass with Archbishop Cushley will be broadcast on national TV this Sunday.

You can watch it on The Service on the BBC Scotland channel, at 12 noon. It's a multi-faith programme covering different religious services each week.

BBC Scotland commissioned a second series in response to high levels of audience appreciation and as part of its ongoing response to COVID-19 restrictions.

Gareth Hydes, commissioning editor at BBC Scotland, said: “We know our audiences appreciated this series during the early months of lockdown and we hope they will continue to do so as restrictions start to ease.

"We are committed to representing all faiths as part of our public service offer and connecting those who cannot visit their place of worship during these challenging times.”

The first series of The Service saw Mass broadcast from St Augustine's in Coatbridge, back in June.

Matt Meade, the Archdiocese's Director of Communications, said: "Having another Mass on national television is great news for Catholics who have responded enthusiatically to recent BBC programmes such as Priest School and My First Communion."

Holy Mass with Archbishop Cushley, this Sunday 12 noon on the BBC Scotland channel. Available after on the iPlayer.


BBC inundated with positive feedback for Priest School

People across Scotland have inundated the BBC with positive feedback about Priest School - leading the channel to extend the programme's  availability on iPlayer.

The documentary, which follows the lives of seminarians at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome, drew a TV audience of 80,000 people. That was an eight per cent share on BBC Scotland on Sunday night – the highest audience for any digital channel in Scotland.

To put that in context, when BBC Scotland's flagship drama River City had its first airing on the BBC Scotland digital channel, it got a maximum of 30,000 viewers, which was considered a good showing.[0]=68.ARAqD_6EeoCcpuT3NsJ8lxnaUvSZ2s0ZwTXRczimZ5jwOqMg4NxzhR-ZSVKvXO5bX4fsdbJijkIRa08FNTZfZkThMycexmJ3rI1woIDemArxTb8UiE6YgmqhuZghjjZsTedVHQ1ufk2lgvu7Md4wXMwxmVsaIdSTC617fwQavhqVvaWCyMZKTOqxb3AaY-NIJu7SwARqMszsartb66sgwtgFXF5JbX29GhDzNGK2hWPetreFNU0gCrj7yI1ENOHOobm_D83URtQ9MUp7peqBKQnxY3sTALbND700ytnwGVt4k4zaeCzd5nfSZxthObwYJ6coeyKuVu97E6qFx8N3-gfxQL2L9HYF3wI&__tn__=-R

A spokesperson for the Scottish Catholic Media Office said: "This is an incredible result for early figures.

"I'm told BBC Scotland has been inundated with positive feedback and the programme will be on the iPlayer for 11 months rather than the usual 30 days from now."

He added: "Priest School will pick up more figures and statistics on the BBC iPlayer, so please encourage people to watch it again on catch up via the BBC iplayer which will improve the viewing record further.

Watch Priest School here. Submit your positive feedback to the BBC about the programme here.

There is growing support for Sunday Mass to be broadcast live on BBC Scotland during the Coronavirus lockdown. If you back this please contact the BBC directly.  Email

WATCH: Archbishop's Easter message on BBC Scotland

Archbishop Leo Cushley gave an Easter message of hope when he appeared on BBC1 Scotland's Reflections at the Quay on Sunday. He was joined by the Right Rev Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

You can watch the full programme here.

Archbishop Cushley also appeared on 'Sunday Morning' on BBC Radio Scotland at 10am. You can listen to the programme here.[0]=68.ARA5AUFieItmCoLaPbJDOFcwXPBlZMtjNZRLieXR9LBmyAo_C4eAW6ZVYkztZx1VgEfHEPGpo_3h0RmYNuLw71inb6Mvwj037lA7PE3VowZaXXXYpydOdNSsgkeHeAIyEiXgf6F1-CyPppVxOijetGgCt7h7C_iGKLDJMilDIVl3aabGOe8AEYiNefwccnnGY3h4QNyO9ryttE_NOfP9TcjK2ZNhn717eWUOECFGEqrCXWaBsQa_9c2IOWmvtdMpgQyPmHMI-ZhYIBw95UyZadoPk91fL80MJlVMXATw_i2K6WE_SoX62U4O68Lc96xQP0fTndQO-aiWEwg9ed3Ri7t9-jabZo7ZzJE&__tn__=-R


AUDIO: Prayers for Italy, a country in lockdown

Fr Jamie McMorrin, assistant priest at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, highlighted the impact of the coronavirus in Rome on Thought for The Day on BBC Radio Scotland this morning.

Last week, the Pontifical Scots College in Rome, where young men from this country are trained for the Catholic priesthood, closed its doors for only the third time in its four hundred and twenty year history. Napoleon’s invasion at the end of the eighteenth century and the Nazi occupation of Rome during the second World War both prompted the students to seek refuge elsewhere.

The latest invasion force, of course, isn’t from a foreign army, but the Corona virus. It’s borne, not by heavy cavalry charges and aerial bombardment, but by sneezing, coughing and even by the innocent – and so typically Italian – peck on the cheek greeting.

The Scottish students heading for the airports over the weekend are, of course, the least of those affected: the whole country has gone into lockdown, with all but essential travel suspended and schools, gyms, museums and nightclubs all closed. Throughout the country, all church services have been suspended until the 3 April and Pope Francis – himself seen looking a bit under the weather last week – has cancelled all public events and will communicate via video link from within the walls of the Apostolic Palace.

All of this quite apart from the death-toll already, not to mention the millions whose livelihoods depend on the tourist industry. When I was a student there, I occasionally used to grumble about having to elbow my way through crowds of selfie-stick wielding, ice-cream eating tourists on my way to university: those crowds are nowhere to be seen on Rome’s deserted streets right now.

I’ll be glad to welcome our students home and I’m glad that they’re safe. But I’ll be sparing a thought and a prayer for the wonderful people of Italy who are left behind, and all of the government officials and medical professionals – both here in Scotland and across the world – who are facing difficult decisions in the coming weeks, and who are doing everything they can to keep people safe.

I don’t know how many Italians tune in to Good Morning Scotland, but if they’re listening: coraggio, cari amici! Your friends in Scotland are praying for you.

AUDIO: Archbishop Cushley on Thought for the Day

Archbishop Leo Cushley spoke this morning on BBC Radio Scotland to give his Thought for the Day, discussing the importance of feeling peace in our heart and safety in our places of worship.

"You know, we’re a security conscious lot. Most of us lock up our homes and vehicles and use passwords to protect our phones and computers. We want to feel safe. We want to feel secure.

"However, the latest terror incident in London on Sunday highlighted again that few places are ever completely safe.Not even our places of worship.

"The Scottish Government recently announced funding to protect such places. The scheme makes half-a-million pounds available to churches, temples and mosques to install security measures to protect them against hate crime. 

"It’s a move meant to reassure us that no-one should fear violence, and that’s surely to be commended. But security gates and CCTV, while practically important, will never be 100 per cent effective.

"That got me thinking about what creates the conditions to make us feel secure. So, where’s your safe place?

"Well, families and close relationships ought to be places where we feel secure and loved.

"Our communities are also places where we should feel secure if we know neighbours are looking out for us. Feeling connected, cared for and comforted gives us a certain peace of mind. 

"When the disciples were feeling vulnerable, Jesus told them to trust God, saying: ‘Let not your heart be troubled’. He knew that the heart is our safe place and that it must be protected above all things.

"Why? Because when your heart is troubled, it robs you of all your peace (if you’ve been broken-hearted, you’ll know what I mean). But when our heart is safe and serene, well, that’s a different story.  It lifts our whole being.

"Knowing this, gives us the empathy required to help others with spiritual and practical support. And when our heart is in the right place, we all benefit and our communities become safer places for everyone. 

"I hope all places of worship will be treated as sanctuaries of prayer and safety; and I hope your heart and your home are a haven of peace today."

Broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, on Thursday 05 January.

AUDIO: Father Jamie McMorrin on Thought for the Day

Fr Jamie McMorrin, of St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, spoke this morning on BBC Radio Scotland to give his Thought for the Day, discussing an exciting new project that aims to improve dialogue between religion and science.

"When I was a student in Rome, I was once given a tour of the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo. A friend of mine, who is both a priest and an astrophysicist, showed me the telescopes, with the Latin enscription around their roof: 'Venite Adoremus Deum Creatorem': 'Come, let us worship God the Creator.'

"The work of the observatory stands in a long tradition of dialogue between science and religion, combining a spirit of enquiry into the workings of the natural world with a sincere faith in God.  My friend, and many other scientists with him, believe in a God who, in the words of Stephen Hawking, is responsible for "breathing fire into their equations and making a universe for them to describe."

"My own scientific education, I'm afraid, ended - and not especially gloriously - with Standard Grade chemistry. Although I've tried to make up for it since, when it comes to the finer details of scientific discovery, I confess to feeling slightly out of my depth.

"Thankfully, my counterparts in the Church of England will, in future, be somewhat better equipped than me to engage with some of the most important debates of our time here in the United Kingdom.

"Thanks to a grant from the Templeton Fund, the universities of Durham and York have recently launched a multi-million pound project called 'Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science'.

"Grants will be given to theological colleges and to individual trainee priests interested in science.  The aim is to fund research into everything from dinosaurs to DNA, and help religious leaders to better understand the world of science - and vice versa!

"St John Paul II, the Pope who led the Catholic Church into the third millenium, said that "faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth."

"Hopefully, this project will go some way towards promoting a vision of human progress among both scientists and people of faith. It could be a positive way to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the beautiful complexity of our world and the human spirit which strives to understand its deepest truths."

Fr Jamie McMorrin is assistant priest at St Mary's Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh.

AUDIO: Archbishop Cushley reflects on a happy Thanksgiving memory

Archbishop Leo Cushley, recalls a happy memory of Thanksgiving during his time in the US. Broadcast this morning (28 November) on BBC Radio Scotland's Thought for the Day.

"After about one o’clock this afternoon, I’ll start getting emails and e-cards from various pals of mine in America, wishing me – that’s right – a Happy Thanksgiving!

"I enjoy receiving these greetings because I happened to have the great good fortune to have lived in the States for three years.

"I worked in New York, and as my first Thanksgiving approached, I was looking forward to couple of days off. Then out of the blue I received an invitation from a family I barely knew to come and join them for thanksgiving.  I accepted the kind invitation and – in spite of being almost a stranger to them – they made me very welcome.

"In fact, for all three years I was in the States, they invited me over, without fail, for Thanksgiving, and they have since become firm friends of mine.

"Thanksgiving is said to have started when early English settlers wanted to give gratitude to God for the safe arrival of their boats to America. A competing claim is that pilgrims, grateful for a good harvest, celebrated with Native Americans who had helped them through a time of scarcity.

"In any case, what I saw was a moment for giving thanks for many good things received throughout the year.  And the second thing I found was that it was the moment for many families to get together - for some even more important than Christmas is to us - and in a country the size of the United States, a family gathering like that, even once a year, can be a major undertaking.

"These are lessons that have stayed with me.  That our cousins in America find time to cross their huge country to get together as families remains a very happy memory for me.  And that they do so to return thanks for their blessings is also something that I won’t forget.

"Everything that really matters to us usually comes from somewhere else: like life, love and happiness, and it’s only right that we should give thanks for them.

"So, Happy Thanksgiving!"

Seminarians to appear in BBC documentary

Seminarians from the Archdiocese are expected to hit our screens early next year in a new documentary.

Production company Solas filmed students at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome (main picture) late last year after being commissioned by the BBC. The finishing touches are now being put on to the programme, which will show what life is like for those studying for the priesthood.

The Rector of the college, Father Dan Fitzpatrick (front, fourth from left) reported to the Bishop's Conference of Scotland last week on a larger than usual intake of students in the past year.

There are currently 21 seminarians studying at the college. Fr Dan commended the “atmosphere of dedication and study” within the college. In anticipation of the UK’s departure from the EU all the students have been registered as residents in Italy to protect their rights to remain post-Brexit.

Before being accepted to train for the priesthood, many men attend the Roal Scots College in Salamanca, as part of a six-month formation course.

Rector, Fr Tom Kilbride (front, fourth from right) reported that ten students attended the propaedeutic course in 2019. Of this number, eight entered major seminary, afterwards. The college expects around eight students to begin the course in January 2020. The college also continues to liaise with authorities in Spain regarding residency requirements post-Brexit.

The Bishops’ Conference held its November meeting at the Schoenstatt retreat centre, near Milton of Campsie, last week, with all eight of Scotland’s bishops attending. The meeting was chaired by Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Conference. A round-up of the meeting can be found here.

If you think you may be called to the priesthood, have a chat with our vocations director Fr Andrew Garden on 0131 663 4286, To discuss vocations to a religious order contact Sister Mirjam Hugens on 0131 623 8902,