Mgr Ken McCaffrey addressed pupils and teachers at the Annual Diocesan Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee, on Thursday 6th June, 2019.
The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Stephen Robson with priests and chaplains from across the diocese and hosted by pupils from Dundee’s St John’s High School.
Preaching during the Mass, Mgr Ken McCaffrey, said:
“Our annual Education Mass once again brings us together to this great Cathedral, the mother Church of our wonderful Diocese of Dunkeld, dedicated to St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. Here in this place, Bishop Stephen, our shepherd, has his cathedra, his seat, where he, appointed by Pope Francis, has been given authority to preach, to teach and to lead us forward in faith, to inspire us all, to strive to be the best we can be.”
“The Diocese of Dunkeld, stretching from Montrose and Brechin in the north, down through Dundee, west to Perth and Crieff, across through Fife, south to the ancient cathedral city of Dunblane and to the county of Clackmannanshire is the oldest in Scotland, and our patron, St Columba, came from Ireland to Iona, and was one of the first great preachers of the values of the gospel to the people of this land.”
“What are those values that inspire us, what are those gifts we have been given, and that we thank God for? Firstly, we thank God for the gift of life, which the Church has been speaking about much this week and last Friday, the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, we celebrated a Day for Life, where we learned that everyone must be valued for as long as they live.”
“Life is a very precious gift, give to us by God our Father and so we must treasure it; Our parents brought us in love into the world and so we thank them for giving us this great gift of life and we give thanks for all they do for us. Our teachers, each and every day, in school share their faith with us; they inspire us to follow the way of Jesus, give us good example, so that we can, with their help, realise our potential and be the best we can be. We know that God created us with our own abilities and capacities and with the potential to do well. We pray for that gift tonight, and every day.”
“Today, St John’s High School hosts our Mass on this feast of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers who made an important contribution to Education here in our Diocese, teaching in rooms under this very cathedral, just 20 years after St Marcell in died in 1840, the first Catholic school in our Diocese.”
“St Marcellin had a vision for education and that was to make Jesus known and loved. I know in all our schools throughout this diocese our teachers do just that – they share their faith with you, they love you and in the words of St Marcellin, they love you all equally.”
St Marcellin had special values that he shared with those in his care; we make that presence felt through how we treat one another.
Our goal in life is to reach heaven, by developing our God given talents and gifts for the good of the whole community.
We follow the example of Mary by saying ‘Yes’ when God calls us, ‘Yes’ to loving our neighbours, and ‘Yes’ to caring for those is need through all our charitable works.
We know that all, of us have been given special gifts from God and the greatest of all the gifts is the gift of love. Love, is a precious gift. We are called to Love, we are part of God’s Loving Plan for each of us and we are special, created by God, with unique talents. God wants only the best for us. We are loved by God and God’s plan for us is to love others as he loves us.
God has given us life, God delights in us; he made each one of us and has given us special gifts and talents that we have to put to good use, for ourselves and for all the people we will meet in the years ahead as we journey through school and through life.
As the school year, another year in our lives, draws to a close and we look forward to the holidays let us thank those who have inspired us this year, especially our teachers, for sharing their gifts with us.
Let us pray that we will use all the great gifts that God has given us to make our world a better place.
Launch of new school’s website serving Catholic teachers and promoting the value of Catholic Education
At the end of the Mass, St John’s headboy gave a vote of thanks to all who had prepared the liturgy and celebrated the Mass. It was also an opportunity for him to announce the launch of Dunkeld’s new school’s APP aimed at supporting Catholic Teachers in their work – connecting them with training and jobs.
Speaking earlier, Canon Tom Shields, Dunkeld’s Vicar Episcopal for Schools, had said,
“This is a site which will be dedicated to the promotion of Catholic Schools and Education across the Diocese and Scotland, to the recruitment and formation of Catholic teachers, and to providing news and useful information for those thinking about a career in teaching. It will link with the Scottish Catholic Education Service, St Andrew’s Foundation and our other partners in supporting all those involved in our schools.”