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The arrival of the Holy Father in Scotland, ON THE FEAST OF SAINT NINIAN, was a special joy for our parish, as for all the parishes in Scotland dedicated to Saint Ninian.

The queen greets the pope at Holyrood Palace

The Queen welcomes the pope to Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, at the beginning of his State Visit to our country.

A Special Invitation for our School
The Bishops of Scotland made a special invitation to the children of all Primary Schools called Saint Ninian's, of which ours is most happily one! Consequently, special preparation was made, and great excitement generated in our school as the children looked forward to welcoming the Pope.
On the Great Day, they set off early in the morning (7.00 a.m.) to travel to Edinburgh to welcome the Holy Father to our country, and to take part in the wonderful Saint Ninian's Day parade along Edinburgh's high street, Princes Street, along with hundreds of other children from primary schools called Saint Ninian's from other Scottish towns, including Dumfries, Motherwell, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

St.Ninian's School bannerA beautiful banner had been prepared for the parade by Mrs June Ross, the wife of our former MP Ernie Ross, representing all the nationalities who attend Saint Ninian's, which were incorporated into a Celtic cross made up of colours of all the national flags. One of the school's Janitors carried the banner, and it was a proud moment for him too.

Above: The Banner is blessed by Canon McBride

The Children receive their Papal tartan scarves and set off for the Parade

The children were thrilled to see the Pope and to receive his blessing, as he passed along Princes Street in his famous Pope Mobile. It was a wonderful day for them, and amazing for us who are older to see the energy and enthusiasm the little ones maintained on what must have been a long and tiring day for them. Clearly, "they that wait upon the Lord renew their strength!"

Left: crowds line Princes Street in Edinburgh

Off to Glasgow!
After his visit to Edinburgh, the Holy Father travelled to Glasgow to celebrate Mass in Bellahouston Park, as 25 years ago his predecessor John Paul II had done before him. TheBellahouston Park, Glasgow media had stirred up an air of doubt about whether Pope Benedict would be welcomed as Pope John Paul had been, or whether the Catholics in Scotland had grown somewhat indifferent to the idea of a visit from their Pope. It became clear from the outset, however, that such doubts and cynicism were completely misplaced.

All along the route into Glasgow people gathered in their hundreds to welcome the Holy Father, and in Bellahouston Park itself 80,000 pilgrims waited - many of them for long hours - to welcome with great joy and deep affection the spiritual head of the Church, to share in the sacrifice of Holy Mass with him, and to receive his Papal blessing for themselves and their children. (Many babies were blessed along the route and in the Park itself, as the Pope Mobile slowed to a standstill and mothers held up their children for a blessing!)

Our Parish priest Canon McBride, and a group of around 30 adults from our parish made the pilgrimage to Ballahouston Park. It was a great experience for them all, and we await with anticipation their personal stories of the day, which will appear on this page as soon as we have them... to be continued!!
Left: The Pope on the sanctuary during Mass at Bellahouston Park.

The following was received from
Kate Hill -Thomson:
"It was a magical day, culminating when the Holy FAther passed within 15 yards of where we were standing. The Pope looked so serene in his Popemobile. It is a day I sahll never forget. A big Thank you to Canon McBride for his magnanimous gesture in sending the St Ninians parishioners for free, what a gift!" - Thanks Kate!

Cardinal Newman and the theme of the visitJohn Henry Newman
The theme for Pope Benedict XVI’s 2010 visit to the UK was Cor ad cor loquitorHeart speaks unto heart. Cardinal John Henry Newman chose the words as the motto to go on his coat of arms. Heart speaks unto heart was a fitting choice for this papal visit as, on the final day of his Apostolic Journey, the Holy Father beatified Cardinal Newman, who is now the Blessed John Henry Newman. The Pope encouraged us, at every public engagement, to learn more about the life of this holy, dedicated servant of God, and to try to follow his example. We are also encouraged to seek his intercession in our greatest need.. miracles have already been claimed and approved by the Church through his prayers.
You can read more about him by clicking the link, NEWMAN

For the future..
Parish prayer groups may continue to reflect on the Papal encyclical Caritas in Veritate, for which guidance materials for Holy Hours, Eucharistic Devotions and a Novena to be used personally or publicly are available at the official Bishops of Scotland website:

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