Called & Gifted Workshop

God is calling you to a unique purpose in life, a work of love that only you can do.
This workshop will help you identify your charisms (spiritual gifts) and begin to discern God’s call through the Called and Gifted Workshop.
You have received gifts in Baptism and Confirmation through which God intends His love to reach others.
You will learn:
• The five steps of discerning the charisms that God has given you, and how they can change your life.
• How discerning your charisms can change the world and help spread the Gospel.
• How discerning and using our charisms together can help transform and renew our parishes.
The workshop will also look at the fascinating ancient teachings of the Church on how the charisms of the Holy Spirit work in your life and in the life of your parish community. We will delve into the signs and characteristics of the most common charisms of the Holy Spirit.
Come and discover these charisms in you!
The event is on from 9:00am to 3:30pm with lunch included from midday to 1:00pm. The cost is £25 and includes materials, online access, and lunch (midday to 1pm).
This event is hosted by the Archdiocesan Catechetics Commission in collaboration with the Catherine of Siena Institute. Free parking onsite.
Queries? Email

Church objects to Midlothian primary school closure

Catholic Church leaders have raised concerns over plans to close a second Catholic primary school in Midlothian in a year as part of budget cuts, writes Marie Sharp in the Southern Reporter.

Midlothian Council has published a wide range of proposals to help it bridge a £14million budget gap for the coming year including closing St Matthews Primary School, in Rosewell, which has 51 pupils.

Anne-Theresa Lawrie appeared on behalf of the Archdiocese and quoted the late South African leader Nelson Mandela as a reminder to councillors about the importance of education.

On behalf of the Archdiocese we oppose this closure and the impact it would have on the community and the education for young people

She said: “Nelson Mandela said education is the most powerful weapon with which we can change the world. It has an impact on the lives of vulnerable young people and affects their life chances.”

Urging councillors to reconsider the inclusion of the school in the savings plan, she said: “We are very concerned this proposal is on the table. The Catholic estate has been reviewed and as a result of that St Margarets Primary School, in Loanhead, was closed.

“We are very concerned that it is another denominational school which is on the agenda for possible closure.

“On behalf of the Archdiocese we oppose this closure and the impact it would have on the community and the education for young people.”

St Margarets Primary School was told it was closing last February after education chiefs said it did not have a single pupil on its rolls.

They denied claims from some parents that they were discouraged from registering their children at the school or told they could not in a bid to “run down” the school.


At the meeting Conservative group leader Councillor Peter Smaill described the inclusion of the school in the savings proposals as “problematic” as he questioned the legality of such a move.

He told the committee: “It is by law the case that schools cannot be closed on financial grounds and I will be pursuing that in the weeks ahead.”

The savings plan says of the proposed closure “The proposal is to seek council approval to undertake a statutory consultation on the closure of St Matthew’s RC PS.

“There is currently 51 children over three classes attending the school.”

It adds as well as a saving of £290,000 over the next two years “there may be further benefits in terms of educational outcomes as pupils would be able to experience a broader range of learning experiences, in which they could interact with a larger group of peers at their age and stage.”

The savings proposals have been put out for public consultation before decisions are made.

Register now for the Diploma in Catechetics 2023!

Register now for our Diploma in Catechetics which begins in January!

It's a great way to explore the richness and depth of the Catholic spiritual tradition with course leader Sr Anna Marie.

She and a range of guest speakers bring you weekly lectures, with guided reading, conversations, retreats, and supplementary courses available.

Need to know


Do I have to sit an exam? No. Each module concludes with a one-to-one session with one of the course leaders. In the meeting, you’ll have a chance to talk about what you’ve learnt and ask any questions that weren’t answered in the lecture.

Do I need to buy course material? No. We do recommend you have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is available free online.

Do I need to be Catholic to take part? No, all are welcome to explore the Catholic faith in this course.

Is the course difficult? Like any course, some elements will be challenging. That's why we have gathered a range of speakers who are experienced in simplifying difficult concepts in an engaging way with. Plus, each session has a Q&A session where you can ask the speaker to to clarify anything you might still have questions about.

Can I take part if I'm not in the Archdiocese? Everyone is welcome to take part regardless of where you are based.

What if I miss a session? No problem, each session is recorded and available online the following day allowing you to catch up.

How do I log in to sessions? Sr Anna Marie will send you a link by email each week that you simply click to enter the session.

I've never used Zoom! Don't worry, we can help set you up. It's a simple process.

How do I register? Register on Eventbrite here.

I have more questions! Please get in touch for a chat. Email


Here's what previous students have said about the course:

“A life changer, I learnt so much and it really deepened my faith. I can’t recommend it enough.” - Margo Saliba, Edinburgh

“The diploma in catechetics is invaluable, there is no one who I wouldn't recommend this course to!” - Sarah Schuler, Edinburgh

“I recommend this course to anyone who will listen; it has given me a thirst for knowledge and, hopefully, has made me a better person.” - Peter McCaffery, Cowdenbeath

“Our faith explored. Go deeper with this highly enjoyable course.” - Janice Mary Evans, Falkirk.

“The Diploma in Catechetics really stirred up my faith and has given me a thirst to delve even deeper into the riches of our beautiful catechism.” - Brenda Drumm, Ireland

“Inspirational. You won’t want to miss a session. Please give it a go - it’s a course for everyone.” - Liz Brown, Edinburgh

“As a ‘cradle Catholic,’ this diploma helped to enable me to develop my Faith and deepen my understanding of scripture.” - Gwen Gemmell, Dunfermline

“So interesting that I wish there was a 2nd year of study. I can’t thank the presenters enough for their sessions. I urge all interested Catholics to give this a go.” - Ian Neilson, Glasgow

“Really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone. The classes are made very welcoming and inspiring, (even on zoom) by the wonderful speakers. The family of God has a whole new meaning now. Thank you to all involved.” - Anne Collins, Kilsyth

"The speakers' commitment, knowledge and delivery of the Catholic faith has been illuminating and transformative throughout a period that has challenged many of us. Sincere thanks." - Anne Marie Docherty, Linlithgow.

Register for the Diploma in Catechetics 2022 here.


WATCH: School Christmas Gallery

Schools across the Archdiocese have put on nativity plays to retell the birth of Jesus as part of the celebration of our Catholic Faith.
We thank them for keeping Christ in Christmas, and for their festive charity initiatives to help those in need. We wish pupils, teachers, support staff & volunteers a happy, holy Christmas! Watch the video below or on YouTube.

Valentine's Retreat

Valentine’s Day is a special opportunity to celebrate our married life, to open our hearts to each other, to respond with affection and joy.

Mid-February is a cold time of year, when we need to spread warmth. Our half-day retreat offers us a perfect opportunity to rekindle the embers of our romance and affection for each other and will look at how couples may respond warmly to each other, to God and to their community, with joy each day.

During the afternoon we will pray, we will listen, we will talk as couples, and try some couple discussion exercises in private.

We will have the opportunity to take home a particular question to consider at home in the evening, along with a recommended format. So, keep the evening free!

The retreat will be led by Annette and Paul O’Beirne, who will share some of the stories and tools that they have gathered over their 42 years together. They met in Aberdeen and now live on the south coast of England.

They have international responsibility in an organisation - Equipes Notre-Dame or Teams of Our Lady– which supports married couples and priests in their vocations. Register at

Fond farewell to Sisters of Nazareth

Friends and residents of Nazareth House in Bonnyrigg said a fond farewell to three Religious sisters last night.

Sr Gabriel Joseph, Sr Teresa of Avila and Sr Margaret Mary (main pic, above) were joined by sisters from across the UK for Mass celebrated by Archbishop Cushley at the care home's chapel.

Sisters of Nazareth with Archbishop Cushley after the farewell Mass.

Sr Doreen Cunningham, Regional Superior for the UK, said: "It is now their time to move on and I'd like to thank Sisters Gabriel, Teresa and Margaret for all the work they have done in Bonnyrigg over the years and for accepting this move as God's will for them at this time."

"We thank the residents for the many blessings they have showered on this house through all their prayers over the years.

The Mass was a chance to say thanks and farewell to the Sisters of Nazareth.

"The sisters will continue to try and visit residents and staff from time to time and we will keep you very much in our prayers. Please God, one day the sisters will return to Bonnyrigg."

Spiritual care

The Sisters of Nazareth have been based in Bonnyrigg since 1931, providing spiritual and physical care for residents at Nazareth House.

Archbishop Cushley was joined at the Mass by Fr Allan Ocdenaria and Abbot Mark Caira of Nunraw Abbey in Haddington.

Archbishop Cushley said the Sisters of Nazareth had provided faithful and loving service in Bonnyrigg since 1931.

Archbishop Cushley said: "We are sad about their departure and will reflect on their love, affection, hard work, patience and dedication to others, most if it unseen by the rest of the world.

"They have provided faithful and loving service to the Lord through their work here."

Heather Fraser said: "I worked here for a few years, and every one of the sisters have been like angels.

"My father was here the year before he died and they took excellent care of him. They will be missed."

Find out more about the Sisters of Nazareth at

Watch: New bookshop opens this weekend

St Pauls Bookshop opens at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh (beside John Lewis) this Saturday afternoon.

Fr Baji, Fr Shinto and Bookshop Manager Emma look forward to welcoming you! Watch the video below or on YouTube. Read more here.

CANCELLED: Family Talks

Family life has its ups and downs; from fall-outs and failures to success and celebrations. How do we make sense of it all and ensure we have a confident, Christian outlook on our contribution to life at home and beyond?

Let Professor Stephan Kampowski get to the heart of the issues of family life that affect YOU in these two special talks on Saturday 5 November at the Gillis Centre, Edinburgh. Register for these FREE talks here.

Talk 1: To Promise & To Forgive: Establishing and Healing the Bond between Persons

Promising and forgiving are acts that are crucial to human relationships. But what are they really about? Let Professor Kampowski explain in simple terms how these acts can strengthen bonds within your family and beyond.

Talk 2: Family Relationships and Personal Identity

How do you relate to those in your family? Those relationships can be improved and strengthened by being confortable with the truth of who you are - that is, how you identify yourself. Professor Kampowski take a fresh look at kinship, closeness, how we guard the origin of who we are and how we can postively influence our destiny and that of our family.


Dr Stephan Kampowski is professor of philosophical anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences in Rome. He is the author of The Fruitfulness of a Life and Embracing Our Finitude.

EVENT: Archdiocesan Music Day Sat 22 Oct!

Join fellow musicians and singers from across the Archdiocese for our Music Day on Saturday 22 October.

It's for anyone interested or involved in music in the liturgy and it will help inspire a fresh outlook on liturgical music making for your parish. Register here

There will be workshops on choir singing & organ/keyboard, sessions on planning music in your parish and a panel where you can ask your questions of the experts.

The day will end with rehearsals to play for Holy Mass at 3pm in St Margaret's Chapel (onsite), celebrated by Fr Jamie McMorrin.

The Music Day is led by:

We hope to encourage a wider culture of musicians in the Archdiocese to play and sing wonderful music that lifts the liturgy.

You don't have to be an expert to take part - even if you just enjoy singing from the pews you are warmly welcome!

Light lunch provided. Free parking onsite. Check-in from 10am on the day. Bring your instrument or arrive in good voice! Day organised by the Catechetics Commission of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh. Register here.

Catholics urged to help prevent assisted suicide in Scotland

Catholics are being urged to sign a national petition to stop plans to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.

Care Not Killing (CNK), supported by the Catholic Parliamentary Office, has launched the petition to show how strong the level of resistance is in Scotland against Liam McArthur MSP's proposed assisted suicide Bill.

The bill risks undermining the provision of palliative care and undermining efforts to prevent suicide.

It will make the most vulnerable people, including the elderly and disabled, feel like a burden and its safeguards will prove futile.

Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said: “As Catholics we must reject assisted suicide and encourage rather the enhanced provision of palliative care for the elderly, the disabled, and the vulnerable who are such a precious part of our society."

Not safe

Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, said: “There is no such thing as a ‘safe’ law which allows assisted suicide. So-called ‘safeguards’ will be stripped away, and the law expanded to include an increasing number of vulnerable people.

"Evidence from other countries shows us that those who suffer from mental ill health, the disabled, and even children, are not safe. The current law is the safeguard. We should be caring for people, not killing them.”

Parishes are invited to hold a Petition Day on a Sunday during October to promote the petition and gather as many signatures as possible.