Fr Peter Griffiths SJ, parish priest of St Aloysius in Glasgow, was among the celebrants at the Bellahouston Papal Mass. The event – and especially its organisation – made a deep impression on him.
This article appears on the website of the Jesuit Order in Britain.
One of the features of the organising of parish representatives to attend the Bellahouston Papal Mass was the need for faith, perhaps an appropriate virtue in the circumstances. Planning instructions were given, bit by bit, by the organising committee and these I carried out, hoping and praying that all would work out well. On the day, every need was met by an amazingly patient and efficient organising body here in Glasgow and no doubt beyond.
My own personal need for faith and trust came to a climax at the Communion part of the mass. Priests with ciboria, and I was one, were asked to file off the podium and descend in line to what, I didn’t know. At the foot of the podium was a line of young pupils from local Catholic schools. As each priest approached, he was met by a boy and girl carrying a yellow umbrella. When my turn came, without a word being spoken, and without any hesitation, these young people led me through the arena to a particular area in the compound and to a post with a number on it. There, I distributed communion and then, the task done, I returned to the podium led by the two efficient young people.
For me it was a feature of the mass from beginning to end. Perfect organisation for an event of amazing complexity for which relatively little preparation time was given, yet all conducted with a quiet and hidden efficiency so that even in the last detail, nothing went wrong. Why did I doubt, O me of little faith!
Perhaps I need to draw on that faith even more now as I ponder the words of Pope Benedict and take to heart his words and teaching which clearly came from his heart and which have made such an impression on all who have heard him.
I hope due regard will be taken for all those who laboured under very difficult conditions of security etc. to organise a wonderful and truly inspiring occasion.