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

FAQs

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 sranna.marie@staned.org.uk

Testimonials

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.

 

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 www.sistersofnazareth.com.

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.

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.

Catholic Church urges MSPs: 'Care don't kill'

Scottish politicians are being urged to care for the terminally ill instead of allowing them to be killed following moves at Holyrood to legalise assisted dying.

A proposed Members' Bill by Orkney MSP Liam McArthur would "enable competent adults who are terminally ill to be provided at their request with assistance to end their life".

Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office said: “Liam McArthur's final proposal for a bill on assisted suicide is frankly dangerous."

Burden

He added: "It 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.

"The current law is the safeguard. We should be caring for people, not killing them.”

“It is understandable that most people responding to the consultation supported the idea of a dignified death – we all do, but killing someone who is ill, is never dignified.

"The fact that a letter signed by 175 health care professionals from a variety of specialities has already outlined numerous concerns, highlights how dangerous this proposal is.

"The Catholic church would urge Scottish politicians to learn of the dangers that have already been seen abroad, particularly intolerable pressure on the vulnerable, disabled or elderly to end their lives prematurely.”

View the Proposed Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill here

Archbishop's homily - ordination of Fr Josh Moir

Here is the Homily of Archbishop Leo Cushley from the Priestly Ordination of Fr Josh Moir at Our Lady & St Andrew’s, Galashiels, 28 June.

Homily

My dear friends, a very warm welcome to our Archdiocese and to Galashiels, as we gather for the Ordination to the priesthood of your relative and friend, Josh.

For the second year in a row, I am very pleased to be able to celebrate a priestly ordination here, in Our Lady & St Andrew’s.  And I am again in debt to Fr Andrew Kingham, and to all in the parish who have prepared both the sacred and the social parts of our celebration this evening.

We also gather again around the Feast of the great Apostles of the Roman Church, Saints Peter and Paul.  In their different ways, Peter and Paul helped to found a church in Rome that held on through extremely difficult times with exemplary faith and courage.  And we here look with pride to what they achieved, because we too are sons and daughters of the Church of Rome.

Those first Roman Christians buried their dead in the now famous catacombs, and they occasionally had to hide there from the authorities when the state became intolerant of Christianity, and it became dangerous simply to hold the tenets of our faith.

To this day, the catacombs show us traces of the faith and love of our ancient brothers and sisters, in monuments, inscriptions and even frescoes that have survived.  And, among the images that have come down to us from those dark times is one of the Good Shepherd, seen as a beardless Roman youth, carrying a lamb on his shoulders.

For us, as a version of the Good Shepherd, it’s a little unusual, but it’s a beautiful, serene, confidence-inspiring image.

It’s also interesting to compare it, created by persecuted Christians, with the Psalm that inspires it.  In Psalm 22/23, we see, “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want… The Lord gives me repose; he leads me to green pastures, at restful waters, he gives me repose…[and] even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”.

These were surely words that those Christians clung to for dear life, as they were being tried and executed for simply believing what you and I believe quietly these days.

The Psalm concludes, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell forever and ever”. This Psalm, remembered in such a context, and the peaceful image of the Good Shepherd with the lamb safely over his shoulders, stands in such contrast to what was happening to them, that we are struck by their confidence in God’s mercy in the teeth of the world’s intolerance, aggression and cruelty.

Now, this image of the Good Shepherd, young, humble, brave, constant, is one that we continue look to, as another generation aspires to the priesthood.  Our seminarians are, for the most part, younger men, taken from among their kin and their peers, and set aside for sacred duties.

Our sacred ministers aren’t sacred in themselves; but they must wish, and strive, to be worthy of what they approach, and what will be their daily bread for the rest of their lives.  And we, in our turn, must support them and encourage them to be faithful to the things of God.

We are all of us able to love and respect what is sacred.  And I believe that what the young people today wish from the Church and from our example is a renewed and profound sense of the sacred. They live in the world; they are familiar with its glamour; and yet they are also drawn to what is holy.

They cannot escape living in this messy, complicated reality, but they are drawn to God’s presence; and so the solution is to propose a life that is close to people, while stepping aside from the world from time to time, to go to our private room, to be still before the Lord, to love being in His presence, and, from a store of faith and experience, draw others from the world and towards Christ.

This is something all Christians should do, but our sacred ministers do it with a consecration that sets them apart for it, not for their own sake, but on behalf of us all.

Priests are therefore set aside to intercede for us before God, especially in the Eucharist, by means of their configuration to Christ on the Cross, the great mediator between God and humanity, our High Priest, our Good Shepherd.

Josh, we hope and pray that you too will learn to imitate the Good Shepherd as you mature in the priesthood.  Be a good and simple pastor of souls, close to your people, willing to go the extra mile, gently bringing them back, and kindly looking out for them, in season and out of season.

You will be set apart from now on, but in a way that also means being approachable, open, and charitable.

Learn to be good with the Lord’s goodness, and patient with His patience.  Ask for the Lord’s grace, for yourself and for others.  And let Lord’s grace working in you be met by your own willingness, to strive always to be worthy of what is being entrusted to you today.

Be a good shepherd to all after the Lord’s own heart.  And may the Lord’s goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life.   Amen.

WATCH: Churches working together in West Lothian

Fr Jeremy Bath and Rev Hanneke Janse van Vuren discuss relations between their churches in West Lothian.

Fr Jeremy is a Catholic Priest at Ss John Cantius & Nicholas in Broxburn (linked with St Philomena in Winchburgh). Rev Hanneke is a Church of Scotland Minister at Strathbock Parish Church in Uphall.

Fr Jeremy is Vicar Episcopal for the Archdiocesan Commission for Ecumenism and Interfaith Dialogue. Meet the commission members here. Above footage: Tern TV.

EVENT: Join us for a Family Afternoon on 25 June

Families are invited to join us at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh for a special event focusing on The Eucharist: Source of Family Love.

The day takes place on Saturday 25 June, 2-5pm and you can register on our Eventbrite page here (free event).

The day includes:

  • Separate sessions for adults and children.
  • Family prayer time in St Margaret's Chapel onsite.
  • Games/workshops led by the Servidora Sisters from Fife.

The garden of the Gillis Centre, at 100 Strathearn Road, is large and perfect for children to play in, so we hope the sun will shine!

Families with children of all ages are welcome to attend and there is free parking onsite. This event coincides with the 10th World Meeting of Families taking place in Rome.

Family Afternoon, Saturday 25 June, 2-5pm, Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh. Details and registration at bit.ly/archfamilyday. Event organised by the Marriage & Families Commission.

Paul and Peter become Acolytes!

Congratulations to Paul Henderson and Peter Shankland who were instituted as Acolytes at the Beda College in Rome on Wednesday.

In this ministry they can assist the deacon and priest at the altar during Mass.

Both seminarians are parishioners from St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue studying for the priesthood.

Feel you may be called to the priesthood? Chat with our Vocations Director Fr Andrew Garden on 0131 663 4286 or at vocations@staned.org.uk. If you are interested in the Religious Life (male or female) contact Sr Mirjam Hugens FSO on 0131 623 8902 or at religiousvocations@staned.org.uk