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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

In Rome: the Red Gowns of St Andrews University


The Catholic students of St Andrews University recently made a pilgrimage to Rome, led by their chaplain, Fr Michael John Galbraith, a hard-working and devout young priest whom I have the privilege to know personally. Over the years I have made many visits to Canmore, the home of the Catholic Chaplaincy, to give talks to the Catholic Society which has remained impressively strong, providing a formative environment for many vocations to priesthood, the religious life, and to Catholic marriages.

While in Rome, the students were given a tour of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by one of the priest officials there, who is himself an alumnus of St Andrews. He too is a fine young priest (remember that I am getting older!) and works hard at what is sometimes a thankless task in the Curia (not a job I would want for all the tea in China) for the love of God "et pro felici statu sanctae Romanae ecclesiae."


The students were given a private audience with Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation. At the Facebook page of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, you can read the full text of his address. Here is just a snippet:
As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , my concern is predominantly with the doctrine of the Church and I would encourage you to read and to study the doctrines of the Church. In Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel, after Our Lord’s the discourse on the Bread of Life. St. Peter asks “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” We must treasure those words of our Lord, that is the intellectual content of our faith. We must be attentive to this dimension of our Faith. And, no doubt, at your University and in your chaplaincy there will be initiatives you can follow to nurture “the doctrine of the Faith.” But we also find implied in those words a sense of actively “going”, to the Lord.
I like the above photo of the Cardinal Prefect of the CDF giving a kindly but serious address to undergraduates from a Scottish University wearing their gowns, but here is also a more informal photo of the students with their chaplain and with His Eminence:


Photo credit: All photos from Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh Facebook page
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