—- Update 9 June (3 messages) —-
A message from Canon Michael
My dear parishioners,
Following the lifting of a recent embargo, I am now able to share the special announcement I made to our parishioners able to attend Mass last weekend, and now wish to communicate to all our parishioners still unable to join us for Mass in the parish church.
Due primarily to personal health issues, Archbishop Leo has accepted my request to retire from the active ministry within the Archdiocese and from my appointment as parish priest of St. Mark’s and my place in the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter at the end of the summer. In accordance with Canon Law, I had to offer an official letter of resignation to Archbishop Leo, and in a reply dated 27 May, the Archbishop stated: “I hereby accept your resignation with immediate effect and appoint you administrator of St. Mark’s until the moment your successor’s appointment takes effect.”
My successor has been appointed. He is Fr. Sean Bradley, IVE, which is a Religious Institute founded in Argentina in 1984. He is an Irishman, in his fifties, ordained priest in 2016, and is currently serving as assistant priest in St. Francis Xavier’s Parish, Falkirk. He will take up the post of Administrator of St. Mark’s, and assistant chaplain to the Royal Infirmary, on the first weekend of September.
I have served St. Mark’s for eleven years, very happy years among a lovely group of parishioners. It’s going to be a difficult time for me in these next two or three months, before I move out sometime in August. I want to thank you all for the warm welcome you extended to me on my arrival at St. Mark’s and for these past years that we have lived, worked and prayed together. But let’s hold our heads high, place our trust in God, and remain happy and faithful in our following of the Lord Jesus.
A message from the Parish SCIAF Group:
The SCIAF Group would like to thank all those who handed in their “Lenten Wee Boxes” for their very generous donations. The total amounted to £927.00, and we have added an extra amount from our SCIAF bank account. We were thus able to send a cheque to SCIAF for £1300.00. Our sincere thanks.
Message regarding re-scheduled FIRST HOLY COMMUNION MASS:
Having spoken to the Head Teacher of St. Mark’s Primary School, Mrs McFarlane, and hoping that all will be well with the children of P4 when they come out of self-isolation, we have agreed to go ahead with the First Holy Communion Mass, postponed from last Saturday due to one child in the group testing positive with the Covid virus.
All going well, the First Holy Communion Mass will now take place on SATURDAY, 19 JUNE, AT 10.00 am. I have sent an email to all the parents concerned, but this is for the general information of all our parishioners. Please remember to pray for these children and for those receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on Saturday, 12 June.
—- Update 30 May —-
New parish email address
The parish now has a new email address, which is:
—- Update 9 May —-
Solemnity of the Ascension
Thursday 13th May
A Vigil Mass will be held
at 7pm on Wednesday 12th May and
a Day Mass will be held
at 10am on Thursday 13th May
to celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension.
As we are not expecting large numbers, there is no need to book for either of these Masses, however, the names and contact telephone numbers of those attending will be recorded for track and trace purposes.
—- Update 22 April —-
New postgraduate educational opportunities
coming to the Gillis Centre
This September, St Mary’s University in Twickenham, a leading Catholic university in the UK, will open a campus at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh in conjunction with the Archdiocese.
There will be a range of part-time postgraduate MA courses in Theology and Education available, giving you the flexibility to study in the evening and at weekends.
This is great news for the provision of Catholic Education in Scotland. Archbishop Cushley has written a pastoral letter about this exciting initiative which is available to read online at bit.ly/PastoralLetter240421.
Find out more about the courses and register at www.stmarys.ac.uk/edinburgh
—- Update 19 March —-
Bookings for the Vigil Mass for Palm Sunday open at 5pm on Saturday 20th March.
Bookings for the Palm Sunday Mass open at 10am on Sunday 21st March.
The booking system has changed slightly. For instructions on how to use it, please click here.
—- Update 14 March —-
MASSES FOR HOLY WEEK AND EASTER WEEK 2021
AT ST. MARK’S
Saturday Vigil-Mass of Palm Sunday: 5.00 pm (booking required)
Sunday Mass of Palm Sunday: 10.00 am (booking required)
Mass for Tuesday of Holy Week: 10.00 am (no booking required)
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7.00 pm (booking required)
Good Friday (Fasting and Abstinence)
Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion: 3.00 pm (booking required)
Easter Vigil in the Holy Night: 8.30 pm (booking required)
Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection: 10.00 am (booking required)
Mass for Tuesday of Easter Week: 10.00 am (no booking required)
Mass for Thursday of Easter Week (no booking required)
—- Update 9 March —-
A MESSAGE FROM CANON MICHAEL
“I rejoiced when I heard them say:
‘Let us go to God’s house.’
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.”
(Psalm 121 )
My dear parishioners,
With the announcement today from the First Minister that our churches can re-open for divine worship from Friday, 26 March, even with a restricted number of 50 in the congregation, we can share the joy of the pilgrim in the Book of Psalms, responding to the invitation: “Let us go to God’s house.”
That invitation is now addressed to all of us once again, and it becomes all the more treasured as we realise that the scheduled re-opening of our parish church coincides with the start of the celebration of Holy Week. Somehow for me the absence of our parishioners has been harder to bear in this second lock-down. Perhaps because of the harsh latter part of our winter this year.
So, I can’t tell you enough how much I look forward to seeing you all again and celebrating Mass with you.
No doubt we shall be returning to the system of booking places for Mass and Andrew Wood, the Chairman of our Parish Pastoral Council, will post the necessary details on our parish website when it is convenient to do so.
In the meantime, “rejoice”, parishioners of St. Mark’s, that soon, and for the celebration of Our Lord’s passion, death and resurrection, “our feet will be standing within the gates of our parish church.”
Another point, for your information: due to what our Archbishop described only a few days ago as “the continuing uncertainty surrounding when and how our churches will re-open this spring and about how many people will be allowed to attend ceremonies”, he has decided not to confirm our children of Primary 7 as planned, nor to visit various churches to do this, but has delegated his parish priests to confirm the children in their own parishes. He has also postponed the Chrism Mass, celebrated on the Tuesday evening of Holy Week, until sometime in June.
And because of his decision, I have also taken the decision to postpone the planned celebration we were to hold marking the 60th Anniversary of the founding of our parish, with the Archbishop as the principal celebrant, to a much later date in the year, when hopefully Covid-19 restrictions have been greatly reduced, or even cancelled altogether.
I wish you all every blessing from the Lord who travels with us on our Lenten journey. Stay safe. Be responsible.
—- Update 4 January —-
Due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions,
we are unable to hold public Masses
until February at the earliest.
—- Update 20 December —-
NEW LIMIT ON NUMBERS ATTENDING MASS FROM BOXING DAY
Starting from Boxing Day, the maximum number of people permitted to attend Mass will be 20.
This will continue to be the case for as long as Edinburgh is in Tier 4.
Unfortunately, if you arrive at Mass and have not booked a place, we will not be allowed to let you in. This is a situation that we very much regret, but it is beyond our control.
Please spread the word to any parishioners you may know who do not have access to the Internet.
—- Update 15 December —-
CHRISTMAS AT ST. MARK’S (2020-2021)
SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD
Thursday, 24 December: Night Mass of Christmas at 8.00 pm
Friday, 25 December: Day Mass of Christmas at 10.00 am
Saturday, 26 December: Feast of St. Stephen, Protomartyr: Mass at 10.00 am
FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Saturday, 26 December: Vigil-Mass at 5.00 pm
Sunday, 27 December: Day-Mass at 10.00 am
Tuesday, 29 December (Within the Christmas Octave): Mass at 10.00 am
OCTAVE DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
(New Year’s Day and World Day of Prayer for Peace)
Friday, 1 January: Mass at 10.00 am
SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
(Today: Special Collection for the Work of Justice and Peace)
Saturday, 2 January: Vigil Mass at 5.00 pm
Sunday, 3 January: Day Mass at 10.00 am
From today: return to normal weekday Masses on Tuesday and Thursday at 10.00 am
—- Update 22 November —-
DIPLOMA IN CATECHETICS
The Archdiocese of St Andrew & Edinburgh are launching a Diploma in
Catechetics course. It is open to anyone who wants to learn more about
their faith and deepen their understanding of Catholic theology, but would
prove very useful to those involved in some form of catechetical work of the
Church (children’s liturgists, RCIA team members, teachers, youth group
leaders, parishioners involved in sacramental preparation, etc).
Lectures will be delivered each Thursday evening at 7.30 pm in a 45-
minute Zoom session.
The 12-month course for a Diploma in Catechetics begins on 14 January
2021 and ends on 9 December 2021. There will be 6 modules of 6 classes.
An assessment will be made by an oral interview on Zoom at the end of
The course is run by the Catechetics Commission of the Archdiocese. Sr.
Anna-Marie McGuan, the Archdiocesan Catechetics advisor, is leading the
course. Lectures will be delivered by religious and diocesan priests, lay
people and religious sisters.
The course costs £100, but can be paid by the parish for any parish
catechists. Financial assistance is available for anyone in financial
The 6 modules cover the following:
- The Role of the Laity in the Church Today
- The Sacraments
- Introduction to Scripture and Old Testament Study and Introduction
- Scripture and Old Testament Study (continued)
- Christology and New Testament Study
- Systematic Theology – What Do We Believe about God and Why?
- Principles of Moral Theology
You can register now by e-mailing email@example.com
A 30-minute Zoom introductory session for those interested in finding out
more about the Diploma course takes place at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, 24
November, 2020. No registration is required for this session
—- Update 31 October —-
The following message is from the head of St. Mark’s School:
Dear Parents and Carers
If your child is now in their pre-school year it is time to register them for school.
This year school registration for August 2021 takes place on the Council website.
How parents/carers should enrol/register their child
- birth certificate,
- council tax form (or 2 proofs of address if they are not eligible to pay council tax) and
- baptismal certificate for RC schools
- You must click SUBMIT when you have completed the form and uploaded the information.
- The deadline for enrolling/registering is Friday 13thNovember. All parents should register their child by that date.
- Late applications after 13th November: the form will remain live and parents should complete as soon as possible.
NB: this is NOT the same form as for mid-year or other year group out-of-catchment requests
- Non catchment applications for P1 must be made by 24thDecember
Further information can be found on the school website https://stmarksrcedin.wordpress.com/
and on our YouTube channel, where you will see this year’s Primary 1 staff show you around their classroom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7b7uyT4rUI
Please call the school if you have any questions.
Due to current infection control measures we are unable to welcome parents in for a tour of the school.
Thank you for your attention
Mrs Margaret McFarlane
St. Mark’s R.C. Primary
63, Firrhill Crescent, Edinburgh. EH139EE.
0131 441 2948
Pastoral Letter on Covid-19 Crisis
The Archbishop has asked that the following pastoral letter be shared with the people of the parish (please click the following link to open the letter): Pastoral Letter on Covid-19
Message from CANON MICHAEL
"How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord, God of hosts.
My soul is longing and yearning.
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy
to God, the living God.
The sparrow herself finds a home
and the swallow a nest for her brood;
she lays her young by your altars,
Lord of hosts, my king and my God.
They are happy, who dwell in your house
for ever singing your praise….
One day within your courts
is better than a thousand elsewhere."
(Psalm 83 )
These selected verses from Psalm 83 are described as a “pilgrimage song”, a “song of Zion praising God as host in his Temple, dispensing happiness and forgiveness to pilgrims and to all who serve in his sanctuary”. They come readily to my mind as the doors of our parish church, our spiritual home as children of God, are opened once again, not only for private prayer, but also for our re-union around the Lord’s altar to celebrate the Eucharist “in memory of the Lord Jesus”. After separation from our public worship for four months now, and experiencing hunger for the Bread of life, our hearts and souls will truly “ring out their joy”.
Sunday Mass will resume on Saturday, 1 August (Vigil-Mass at 5.00 pm) and Sunday, 2 August (Day-Mass at 10.00 am). Following the guidelines of the Scottish Government and of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, the Mass will be shorter than what we are used to in order that the time we spend together in an enclosed space does not become an aid to the spread of the virus. The number of worshippers will be limited to 38 who will be guided by the parish volunteers managing the assembly. A place at Mass needs to be booked in advance through the website “Eventbrite”. Please follow the instructions posted on our website.
Over the three weeks that we have opened the church for private prayer before the exposed Blessed Sacrament I have sensed the deep satisfaction of parishioners who were able to attend. At this stage I can only imagine what it will feel like both for me and for you to return to church for Mass. I look forward to it and seeing you once again, when God, our “host in his Temple”, will once again answer the request that is in all our hearts: “Lord, give us that bread always” (John 6:34).
Welcome back! See you soon, and God bless you all.
Friday 24th July 2020
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
If you are willing and able to act as a steward for mass, please contact us.
The intention is that three stewards cover each mass, helping worshipers follow social distancing guidelines and cleaning the pews after mass.