Inaugural Mass of New Archbishop of Glasgow

Friday 7 September 2012

Inaugural Mass of New Archbishop of Glasgow
 
 
The Inaugural Mass at which Bishop Philip Tartaglia formally takes over
as Archbishop of Glasgow will take place at St Andrew s Cathedral, Clyde
St, Glasgow on Saturday 8 September at 11.30am.
 
The ceremony begins with   the new Archbishop being greeted at the door
of the Cathedral where he will reverence a crucifix and then bless the
congregation with holy water. He will then process to the Blessed
Sacrament Chapel of the Cathedral for a period of quiet prayer.  
 
The Mass of Inauguration will follow at which Archbishop Mario Conti
will lead his successor to the Cathedra or Bishop s Chair which
symbolises the authority of the office. Then he will present his
successor with the Crozier of St Mungo (the bishop s shepherd s
crook-like staff) and the letter of Pope Benedict XVI will be read aloud
which formally appoints the new Archbishop.  
 
Next the new Archbishop will be greeted by representatives of the
clergy and the laity of the Archdiocese and leaders of other Christian
churches and the Provosts of the local authorities whose territories lie
within the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
 
Following the scripture readings the new Archbishop will preach his
first homily as Archbishop of Glasgow. The text of the homily is
reproduced below. This homily is STRICTLY EMBARGOED until 12 noon
Saturday September 8.

 
The Mass will be attended by over600 people, including the Bishops of
Scotland, representatives of the other Christian denominations, over 150 priests from all over Scotland and some from Italy and lay people representing each of the nearly 100 parishes in the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
 
You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/film crew to cover the
ceremonies.
 
ENDS
 
Notes for Editors:

Media inquiries to Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications,
Archdiocese of Glasgow 0141 226 5898 or 07735224789 or ronnie.convery@rcag.org.uk  
 
Archbishop Tartaglia is the 8th post-reformation Archbishop of Glasgow.
He was born in Glasgow on Jan 11 1951, and raised in the city s
Dennistoun area and ordained a priest for the Archdiocese in 1975. He
has been Bishop of Paisley since 2005.  
 
 
Archbishop Tartaglia s Homily - STRICTLY EMBARGOED until 12 noon
Saturday September 8

My dear brothers and sisters, I want first of all to associate myself
most closely with Archbishop Conti s welcome to everyone here at the
beginning of this solemn liturgy and to thank you all warmly for being
here today.

 I have said how much of an honour it is for me to be appointed
Archbishop of Glasgow in my home city and my home diocese. I sense the
honour all the more keenly when I remember that this is a truly historic
See whose origins go back to St. Mungo the founder of the Church here
and the patron of the city in the sixth century. To be the Successor of
Mungo brings me to my knees in humble prayer and calls me anew to faith
and to holiness.

 A visible and tangible reminder of the history of this diocese is
provided today by the principal chalice being used at the altar for the
liturgy of the Eucharist. It was gifted by Pope Pius IX in 1859 to
Bishop Alexander Smith who was Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of the Western
District. It has been provided for this Mass today by the Franciscans of
the Immaculate Conception, a congregation of religious women founded
here in Glasgow, to whom Bishop Smith gave the chalice. And even though
Bishop Smith never succeeded to the office of Vicar Apostolic, his
chalice is a reminder of the times when the Catholic Church in Scotland
did not have a Hierarchy, it having been extinguished in 1603 with the
death in Paris of James Beaton, the exiled Archbishop of Glasgow. The
Archdiocese of Glasgow was then vacant until the Restoration of the
Hierarchy in 1878 and the accession of Archbishop Charles Eyre, who was
the first of the modern Archbishops of Glasgow. To offer the precious
blood of Christ in Bishop Alexander Smith s chalice, given to him by
Pope Pius IX, is to acknowledge that Jesus is the same heri, hodie et
semper, yesterday, today and forever, the Lord of history and Lord of
his Church. And it is a reminder that apostolic succession through
history is not about an empty fascination with the past nor about
boastful claims to legitimacy, but rather about faithfulness to Jesus
Christ and the transmission of the fullness of faith in him, a faith
which projects us through time to the challenges of today and tomorrow,
and the new evangelisation, which will be my primary focus as the next
Archbishop of Glasgow.

 Today is the Feast of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For me
this is a most suitable day to take office as Archbishop of Glasgow. I
believe that my lovely Mum, Annita, dedicated me to Mary not long after
I was born and in my life I have always been keenly aware of the
maternal love and protection of the Blessed Virgin. In fact, it was on
this day, Our Lady s birthday in the year 2005, while I was Rector of
the Scots College in Rome, that it was communicated to me by Cardinal
Giovanni Battista Re, who was then Prefect of the Congregation for
Bishops, that the Pope Benedict XVI had appointed me Bishop of Paisley.
And, as I have recounted elsewhere, I received the news from our own
Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, represented here today by
the Chargé d Affaires, Mgr Brian Udaigwe, that Pope Benedict XVI had
appointed me to be Archbishop of Glasgow as I was leaving the Marian
sanctuary of Lourdes, after a diocesan pilgrimage. And so today again, I
happily and thankfully place myself and this Archdiocese under the
maternal protection and patronage of Mary, the Mother of the Lord.

 In today s Gospel, we hear how Mary received the news that she was to
become the Mother of Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, a proposal to
which Mary generously consented. But for all that this Gospel passage
recounts what we call the Annunication to Mary, it is much more about
Mary s child. The passage begins, This is how Jesus Christ came to be
born . And in the passage, Mary s child is said to be conceived by the
Holy Spirit. He was to be called Jesus because he is the one who is to
save people from their sins. In fulfilment of the prophecy, the Virgin
Mary conceived and gave birth to a son, who would be called the
Emmanuel, God-with-us. And this is what the apostolic succession of one
bishop to the next is really all about: faithfully and fully according
to the apostolic tradition, in communion with the See of Peter,
everywhere and always, in season and out, proclaiming, explaining,
defending, elucidating and constantly bringing to peoples lives the
mystery of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ who came into the world, suffered,
died and rose again so that we would have life and have it to the full,
now and in the world to come.  

 So I think it is very important to stress that the proposal the Church
makes to the world today is not an idea, or a plan or a policy, but a
person. That person is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of Mary. I
personally believe that that this proposal remains exciting and
endlessly relevant for the world in which we live and when that proposal
is made persuasively and well to people of good will, they often find
that their minds are drawn to the truth of God and their hearts are
touched by the love of God. That is why we must never lack in trust, in
commitment and in enthusiasm for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 I want the whole Archdiocesan community, my priests and religious,
parents and teachers, to be filled with that commitment and that
enthusiasm for Jesus and for his Gospel and to radiate the joy which
comes with the inestimable treasure of knowing Our Lord Jesus Christ. I
want our young people and children to sense and grasp the beauty and the
wonder of Jesus Christ; to discover with eagerness and joy thetruthe faith, the
sanctifying and transforming potential of the sacraments,
the teaching and maternal care of the Church, mater et magistra. I want
us all to embrace the new evangelisation as the special challenge of our
lifetime; to witness to each other and to the wider community the saving
message of the love and mercy of God in Jesus Christ in all its
fullness. We must make it clear that the messages we communicate to the
world about the common good, about the spiritual health of our land,
about the sacredness of human life, about marriage and the family, about
the alleviation of poverty and the pursuit of justice, about care for
the marginalised in our society “ all these have but one source, and He
is Jesus Christ, born of Mary, who has come to us from the Father. In a
time when circumstances have forced us to reflect upon religious
freedom, today s Gospel is a timely reminder that Jesus Christ is our
freedom, and the Church will be truly free to the extent that she
depends, not on alliances with earthly powers, but solely on Jesus
Christ and his Gospel.

 And, as I begin my ministry as Archbishop of Glasgow, I put my trust
unconditionally and only in Jesus Christ our Lord, born of Mary, and I
ask the people of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, and you, our fellow
Christians who are our honoured guests here today to do the same. I ask
people of other faiths to drink deeply of the compassionate wellsprings
of their religious traditions for the sake of us all. And to all people
of goodwill, I ask you to respond to the profoundest stirrings of your
heart where there moves a spirit of love and goodness and truth. And may
Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord, whom today we honour on her
birthday, protect and help us always.   Amen.

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