30th anniversary of Blessed John Paul II's Papal Mass in Scotland/Caritas Award

Today is the 30th anniversary of Blessed John Paul II’s Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, Scotland. Where you there? See today’s Scottish Catholic Observer centre spread feature (link below) for Polish community’s reaction.

Tomorrow, 450 Scottish schoolchildren with receive the inaugural Pope Benedict XVI Caritas Award and hear a message from the Holy Father, part of the legacy of the 2010 Papal Visit to Scotland and approved by the Vatican. Two posthumous awards will be presented to the families of Reamonn Gormley a pupil at John Ogilvie High School, Hamilton who died in February 2011, the victim of a violent crime, and Joseph Wilson, a pupil of Taylor High School in Motherwell, who died unexpectedly in December 2011.

We can see why In 1188 Clement III declared ‘the church of Scotland to be the daughter of Rome.’

Read 30th anniversary story at sconews.co.uk/feature/19247/papal%E2%80%88visit-in-1982-was-poles-apart/

Read Caritas Award reports at; sconews.co.uk/news/19297/great-excitement-ahead-of-caritas-award-ceremony/

The inaugral CARITAS awards were a great success.

Up to 3,000 people came to see the school kids get their awards (3,000 was the capacity of the modern auditorium used as the venue and it looked pretty full to me).

I was asked to help out as a Steward at the event (via the Knights of St Columba). It was an honour to go along to witness things and help out.

Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop Conti and Bishop Devine were all there, as were many Scottish politicians, TV personalities, Business leaders, Academics and Leaders from other religions. So, it was quite a high profile event, but - unsurprisingly - I did not see any coverage in the secular press (how very miserable, eh?).

The large number of kids who chose to take part had really surprised the organisers - that was a good sign and bodes well for the future.

As many muslim, sikh and other non-Catholic kids attend Catholic schools in Scotland, (prefering Catholic morality to the “anything goes” of secularism), many of them were among the pupils being awarded. It was good to see the diversity of Catholic schools and the strength of contemporary inter-religious friendships.

All in, it was a special day and I hope those who got the award felt it suitably rewarding for their efforts - well done to all concerned - and heres hoping the CARITAS awards go from strength to strength.