Photographs and text by Stuart Maxwell
The congregation of Blessed John Duns Scotus Church in Gorbals shared their short pilgrimage to Bellahouston Park to celebrate Mass with Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday 16 September, with the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW. Here is a view of this historic visit.
The 50-strong congregation met at 12 noon outside Bridge Street underground where Father Edmund, Church Guardian, handed out information packs and the all-important wrist band allowing entry.
Each person has paid £20 for the privilege of taking part. Many in the congregation had been at Bellahouston in 1982 when Pope John Paul II visited.
Retired Labour Councillor, James Mutter, was one of them. He remembered: ‘ It was a great day, with almost 300,000 people crammed in. There’s going to be lot more room this time’. An estimated 100,000 were in Bellahouston Park this time. He added: ‘This brings back memories for I was with my sister the last time and she’s dead now.’
Alighting at Ibrox, the congregation started the two miles walk to the park with a local resident playing the flute to entertain them. Said James: ‘I’ll just about make this but might need a wheelchair back!’
Arriving at Bellahouston, there was a sea of flags blowing in the wind as people jostle to get to their allotted spaces. Blessed John Duns Scotus folk were in zone 26, to the left of the stage. They had plenty to keep them interested as they wait for the Popemobile to arrive from Edinburgh, where the Queen had formally welcomed His Holiness.
Children’s choirs from local schools and singers such as Susan Boyle and Michelle McManus led the praise throughout the day.
Despite a strong police presence, the atmosphere was relaxed and the happy anticipation felt by members of the congregation, seemed to be shared throughout the park.
St Helen’s Primary school chanted to the whole of Bellahouston Park: ‘Welcome to Scotland, Pope Benedict’.
Father Edmund commented: ‘Everyone here is united in their faith, including those of my congregation. Having the Pope visit us, gives us a feeling of great solidarity.’
A sea of yellow umbrellas went up to show where the priests were for those taking Holy Communion.
A large proportion of the people attending the event were young people and the Pope spoke to them directly: ‘You face many temptations – drugs, money, sex, pornography, alcohol. These things are destructive. The only thing that lasts is the love of Jesus Christ. Search for Him. Know Him. Love Him. He will set you free.’
Added the Pontif: ‘the Church belongs to you.’
Over 100,000 people in the Glasgow area have some degree of deafness or hearing loss. People with impaired hearing may have difficulty in following speech and identifying sounds even with hearing aids and listening devices.
Hard of hearing people often have difficulty following conversations, hearing telephones, TV and audio. They may lose confidence and feel anxious about the future.
Learn to lipread and interpret visual clues, learn more about deafness, services and equipment. Learn to cope with deafness and improve communication. Meet new people and learn new skills and have fun too!
Register for a class near your area.
Come along to Deaf Connections Lipreading Open Day to find out more. The address is Deaf Connections, Norfolk Street, Gorbals, Just across the road from Bridge Street Underground, opposite the Skills Academy. The day is Wednesday 9 June 2010 from 1.30 to 3.30 and from 6.00 to 8.00.
Partners, friends and family all welcome!
For more information, contact Carol Grice, Deaf Connections, 100 Norfolk Street, Glasgow G5 9EJ
Tel 0141 420 1759