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| | News Releases, Blogging
27 July
Jul 27
27th July 2017

“Mercy Bus” redefines “Mass” transit. Thursday 27 July 2017   A Scottish bishop will celebrate Mass on a double-decker bus, for the first time in the UK, in Paisley next week. The special bus will set off on its opening tour from the cenotaph at Paisley Cross at 1pm on Monday 31 July 2017.   The bus tour is the brainchild of the ‘Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland’, speaking ahead of the launch, organiser Helen Border said:   “Inspired by the call from Pope Francis to “Go out to the ­people and take the Church to them” we’ve decided to do just that, with a church on wheels, which between Monday July 31 to Saturday August 5 will be in a ­different town each day.”   “There will be priests hearing ­confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ and ­literature, tea and coffee available downstairs. Everyone is welcome, we hope passers-by will come on board, where they can say a prayer or just chat. Today, so many people are angry and upset, often because they’ve made the wrong choices and want to change. Stepping on board the bus, could be the first step in changing their lives for the better. We hope they’ll come aboard!”   The bus will visit: Paisley, Coatbridge, Greenock, Barrhead and Glasgow over the week-long tour. It will return to Paisley on Saturday 5 August, where Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, will celebrate Mass on board the bus at 2pm.   Commenting on the initiative, Bishop Keenan said:   “This is a fantastic initiative and a wonderful example of evangelisation, which takes the church out into the world. I wish the venture every success and hope it will be the first of many similar initiatives which offer people a route back to a relationship with God.”   The bus together with a driver, has been donated, for a week, by Sir Brian Souter. Commenting on the launch, Sir Brian said;   "This is an innovative idea to bring faith issues to the high street and I hope people will find help and meaning through this initiative."      ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org     Notes to Editors:   For further information, please contact Helen Border on 07786 097147 You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/ camera crew to Paisley Cross at 1pm on Monday 31 July 2017, when the bus will be blessed by Fr. Joe Burke and begin its journey. The bus is a Stagecoach Dennis Alexander Trident, fleet number 18369, of Ayr depot and is 55 registered. Sir Brian Souter has donated it for a week's use with a driver. It's been repainted and branded with the Mercy logo. Images of the bus can be downloaded here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/72157686691121086 DATES, TIMES AND VENUES Monday 31/7/2017 11am – 3pm Paisley Cenotaph, Paisley Cross Tuesday 1/8/2017 11am – 3pm Coatbridge Shopping Centre, Coatbridge Wednesday 2/8/2017 11am – 3pm Greenock Town Centre, near Council building Thursday 3/8/2017 11am – 3pm Asda, Main Street, Barrhead Friday 4/8/2017 11am – 3pm Buchanan Street, outside Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Saturday 5/8/2017 11am – 3pm Paisley Cenotaph, Paisley Cross with HOLY MASS celebrated by Bishop John Keenan and Fr Joe Burke on the Mercy bus at 2pm.    ...

| | News Releases, Blogging
18 July
Jul 18
18th July 2017

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has announced the appointment of Dr Alison Burke as Curator of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collection at Blairs Museum. Dr Burke was previously Creative Project Co-ordinator with Aberdeen City Council where she started in 2017 to build creative networks in Education in Aberdeen, working with arts based projects in the city’s schools.   She has also worked with the National Trust for Scotland as Manager of Drum Castle and Craigievar Castle and was awarded the George Waterson Award for Services in Conservation (2015) for conservation management of Drum’s collection and for project managing the creation of a bespoke gallery in partnership with Aberdeen Art Gallery to continue displaying AAG’s choice collection items during its refurbishment.   Dr Burke was also voted Pride of Aberdeen Business Personality of the Year (2016) for her work at Drum Castle which saw a dramatic rise in visitor numbers.   Making the announcement, Bishop Joseph Toal, President of the Heritage Commission of the Bishops’ Conference, said;   “I am delighted that we have secured the services of Dr Alison Burke a leading professional in her field. We welcome Alison to her new post as curator at Blairs Museum to promote and develop and care of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collection especially preparing and obtaining accreditation for the museum. This is a new era for the promotion of the Heritage of the Catholic Church in Scotland.”   Dr Burke said:   “I am looking forward to getting to know the Blairs Museum collection and working to bring the treasures it contains to a wider audience. The museum houses an internationally renowned collection of fine and decorative art from across Scotland and from the former Scots Colleges throughout Europe, which deserves to be known and seen by as many people as possible. I am excited by the possibilities which this role involves and grateful to the Bishops’ Conference for their support.”   Dr Burke added: “My first day in the job involved escorting the watch of Bonnie Prince Charlie to the National Museum of Scotland as a temporary loan for the Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jabobites exhibition. Holding Charles Edward Stuart’s watch was for me a career highlight. It leaves you speechless. I felt so privileged.  On the reverse of the watch is a picture of his daughter, so this very personal possession makes the historical figure more familiar and human – it brings you closer to him.  I have grown up with Bonnie Prince Charlie in music and history, in fact a much younger me once acted the part of the Bonnie Prince in a pantomime at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, so it was extra special for me to hold what he held.” The collection at Blairs Museum also features an outstanding portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie, as well as near contemporary paintings of Mary Queen of Scots.  In this Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the priority for Dr Burke will be to re-open Blairs Museum for the summer season. This will involve recruiting volunteers to help with interpreting the collection for visitors on weekend afternoons. ENDS Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Note to Editors: Dr. Burke began working at Blairs Museum week beginning 19 June 2017.    To find out more about volunteering at Blairs Museum email curator@blairsmuseum.org.uk   In 2015 Dr. Burke took Craigievar Castle and Drum Castle to 4 star rating receiving the City and Shire Innovation in tourism Award for Drum Castle (2016) and the  City and Shire Working in Partnership Award in collaboration with Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums.  Under Alison’s management, Drum Castle w...

| | News Releases, Blogging
28 June
Jun 28
28th June 2017

The Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan has sent a copy of the Catholic church’s anti bullying strategy to Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, after a controversial Tweet in which she suggested “inclusive education” was not supported in Catholic schools.   In a message to the Labour leader, Anthony Horan said; “Catholic schools challenge discrimination and bullying on any grounds. The Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) recently hosted a training day for teachers, which focused on anti-bullying and ensured all protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 were covered.”   Mr Horan added; “A meeting held in March of this year to brief Labour MSPs on the work being done to tackle bullying in Catholic schools, was sadly attended by only four of your colleagues. This despite an invite being sent to all MSPs in the Labour group.”   Mr Horan has also offered to meet Kezia Dugdale, together with Barbara Coupar, Director of the Catholic Education Service to discuss anti-bullying strategies being used in Catholic schools.   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Note to Editors: For further information, contact: Anthony Horan - 07903 952 985 The full text of Anthony Horan’s email to Kezia Dugdale is shown below: Dear Ms Dugdale One of your recent Twitter post about an incident at St Kentigern’s Academy in Blackburn, West Lothian, stated: “Proof that the fight for LGBTI equality isn’t over and it’s high time for inclusive education @tiecampaign”. As you will no doubt be aware West Lothian Council has publicly confirmed, that the school concerned has a policy prohibiting the wearing of all non-official school badges. This is why the pupil in question was asked to remove their badge. The same policy applies to any non-school badge regardless of the cause — social, political, sporting or commercial — being promoted. It is important to be aware that Catholic schools challenge discrimination and bullying on any grounds. The Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) recently hosted a training day for teachers, which focused on anti-bullying and ensured all protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 were covered. This also served as an opportunity for school representatives to review their own anti-bullying policies and make sure they are consistent with existing law, Government policy and best practice. A meeting held in March of this year to brief Labour MSPs on the work being done to tackle bullying in Catholic schools, was sadly attended by only four of your colleagues. This despite an invite being sent to all MSPs in the Labour group. As you may not be aware of the work being done by SCES to tackle bullying, in all its forms, across all 350 Catholic schools in Scotland, I attach a copy of a briefing paper which provides further detail and was published in March. If it would be of assistance my colleague Barbara Coupar (Director, SCES) and I would be delighted to meet with you to speak to the attached paper and to provide more information on anti-bullying initiatives in Catholic schools. Kind Regards   Anthony Horan   Director Catholic Parliamentary Office 5 South Gray’s Close 40 High Street Edinburgh EH1 1TQ Tel/fax: 0131 556 6771 Mobile: 07903 952 985 ...

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