Reverend Michael Dooley and the Catholics of Calderbank, humbly prostrate before the feet of Your Holiness, beg the favour of the Apostolic Benediction on the occasion of the solemn opening of the Church of Corpus Christi by His Lordship, the Bishop of Motherwell.
September 7th, 1952
Ssimus Dominus benigne annuit precibus.
Datum Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die 22 Augusti, 1952.
+ D. VENINI,
HIS HOLINESS POPE PIUS XII
DIOCESE OF MOTHERWELL
5 MILL ROAD, BOTHWELL
The Rev. Michael J. Dooley, P.P.
1st September, 1952.
Dear Father Dooley,
It affords me great pleasure to convey to you and to your people my good wishes on the occasion of the opening of the new Church of Corpus Christi.
It is now four years since the parish was established, and it is a gratifying sign of progress that a new church should have been completed in such a short period.
I congratulate you and the Faithful of Calderbank on this achievement, not forgetting the labours of the Parish Priests and Curates of the Mother Parish of St. Aloysius', Chapelhall. We must also remember that all this territory was originally served from St. Margaret's, Airdrie, which was the first church in the Monklands after the Reformation. This Church of Corpus Christi is the latest addition in the golden chain of churches built in this area during the past century: a chain that has been gaining in strength with the years, showing that the Faith which was nurtured by our forebears is spreading and flourishing with the increase of their descendants.
I extend my gratitude to you and to all who have helped in the building of this church, and cordially impart to my dearly beloved children in Jesus Christ my paternal blessing.
Yours devotedly in Christ,
+ EDWARD DOUGLAS,
Bishop of Motherwell.
RIGHT REV. EDWARD DOUGLAS, D.D.,
Bishop of Motherwell
CORPUS CHRISTI CHURCH, CALDERBANK
Reproduced by courtesy of Airdrie Advertiser
Reproduced by courtesy of Airdrie Advertiser
REV. PETER A. MURIE
R. Exaudi Christe.
V. Summo Pontifici et universali Papae, vita.
R. Salvator mundi: Tu illum adjuva.
V. Sancta Maria: Tu illum adjuva.
R. Sancte Petri: Tu illum adjuva.
V. Sancte Paule: Tu illum adjuva.
R. Christus vincit; Christus regnat: Christus imperat.
V. Rex regum: Christus vincit.
R. Rex noster: Christus regnat.
V. Gloria nostra: Christus imperat.
R. Ipsi soli imperium gloria et potestas, per immortalia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
V. Christus vincit; Christus regnat; Christus imperat.
R. Graciously hear, O Christ.
V. Long life to the chief Bishop and Pope of the universal Church.
R. Saviour of the world: Assist him.
V. Holy Mary: Assist him.
R. Saint Peter: Assist him.
V. Saint Paul: Assist him.
R. Christ is victor: Christ is Lord: Christ is King.
V. King of Kings: Christ is victor.
R. King over us: Christ is Lord.
V. Our Glory: Christ is King.
R. To Him alone be Empire, Glory and Might for ever and ever. Amen.
V. Christ is victor; Christ is Lord; Christ is King.
REV. MICHAEL J. DOOLEY.
BODY OF CHRIST
The building of a new church, a sacred building set aside for the exclusive purpose of worshipping God in the most perfect manner possible, namely by offering the Sacrifice of the Mass, is a rare and glorious event in the life of any parish, irrespective of its size. The fact that from to-day onwards we will have such a church in Calderbank for the first time makes it an especially memorable, soul-stirring event. While we are the generation privileged by God to undertake and complete the building of this sacred edifice, we must not forget our forebears, whose fidelity to the faith in spite of both open and secret persecution made it possible for us to witness this happy day when our own revered bishop, one of the successors of the Apostles, comes to perform the Solemn Opening of this new house of God.
Our Church is dedicated to Corpus Christi, Body of Christ. The Feast of Corpus Christi was instituted by Pope Urban IV as a universal Feast in 1264. Its institution was furthered by the revelations made to a nun, Blessed Juliana of Liège, the famous miracle at Bolsena in which the Sacred Host empurpled the Corporal during Mass, and also by the pleas of the prince of theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas, a statue of whom has been fittingly erected beneath the symbol of our salvation, the cross on the Church. While this Church as a sacred building is
new, the Church as a divinely-established, divinely-guaranteed, indefectible society, is a venerable institution that will soon be celebrating her 2,000th birthday. During all these centuries, the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit has been teaching the same doctrines and we, the Catholics of this age, can shake hands across the Christian centuries with the Apostles, with the Fathers of the early Church, such as St. Justin, Martyr, St. Ignatius, St. Irenaeus, St. John Chrysostom, with St. Bernard, St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, and, coming nearer home, St. Patrick, St. Brigid, St. Ninian, St. Mungo, St. Columcille, St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland, St. David, King of Scotland, with St. Thomas More, St. John Fisher, Blessed Edmund Campion, English Martyrs, with that gallant Scottish Knight of Christ, Blessed John Ogilvie, and with Blessed Oliver Plunkett of Ireland, the last of the martyrs to be publicly hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. We believe what they believed. To make the additions which could be made to this list would be like rehearsing a catalogue of names and works." The Liturgies of the ancient Church unite in a grand soulful paean of praise and adoration to the God of the Eucharist. Nay, more, for upwards of 1,000 years no whisper of denial was heard and up to the revolt of the sixteenth century only a few passing clouds obscured the glorious light of faith. Virtually all Christians everywhere believed that "what Christ offered under the appearance of bread and wine was His Body and Blood, that as He commissioned His disciples to do the same in memory of Him there is effected by the Consecration the change of the whole substance of bread and wine into His Body and Blood and that in the Divine Sacrifice of the Mass the same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner Who once offered Himself a bleeding victim on the Altar of the Cross." It is for this purpose that Catholics build churches.
To have accomplished this great deed, the building of the first church in Calderbank and to see it dedicated to Corpus Christi, are a two-fold privilege and an honour of which the very angels might almost envy us the happiness. May it signal the initiation of greater devotion to the Blessed Eucharist, as a Sacrifice and as a Sacrament! May our Church of Corpus Christi fill our hearts with the love, humility and gratitude so well expressed by the peerless St. Thomas of Aquin, as he received the Blessed Eucharist for the last time, while, by his own command, he was laid on ashes in a Cistercian Abbey: I receive Thee, the price of my soul's redemption, I receive thee, Viaticum, Food of my journey. For love of Thee I have studied, taught, toiled and preached. I have written much and have often disputed on the mysteries of Thy law. O my God! Thou knowest that I have desired to teach nothing save what I have learned from Thee. If what I have written be true, accept it as a homage to Thine Infinite Majesty; if it be false, pardon Thou my ignorance, I consecrate all I have ever done to Thee and I submit all to the infallible judgment of Thy Holy Roman Church, in whose obedience I am now about to depart this life.'"
History of the Monklands
The name, Monklands, is among the many place-names in Scotland which remind all, who have eyes to see and ears to hear, of the centuries in which Scotland was a Catholic nation. As Calderbank is situated in the Monklands it will not be out of place here to give a brief sketch of the religious order from which came the name.
In 1098 Benedictine Monks founded the Abbey of Citeaux in France. Their purpose was to restore to its pristine purity the holy rule of St. Benedict. One of their first acts was to place themselves under the protection of Our Blessed Lady and in her honour they adopted a white habit, by reason of which, they, the Cistercians, are called the White Monks. Seeking their
spiritual perfection by means of contemplation and penance, they took little sleep, rose at midnight to chant the psalms and laboured to make atonement for the injury done to God by sin. Manual labour was one of their duties. They reclaimed and tilled the land, cleared forests, drained the marshes, built bridges and constructed roads. From the Monastery in Citeaux sprang another at Clairvaux, a member of which, Jocelyn, was to become Bishop of Glasgow. Another member of the Order, Stephen Langton, who had been educated in Scotland, brought about the foundation of the first Cistercian Abbey in England at Rievaulx in Yorkshire, later to become the Mother of the first abbey in Scotland, famed Melrose, after which came Newbattle Abbey.
King David I, worthy son of Margaret, Queen of Scotland, in conformity with his policy of introducing into Scotland civilising influences realised that the new Order of White Monks was best fitted by its spiritual ideals, its agricultural tradition and other qualifications to the task of organising his people on a higher level spiritually and materially. Accordingly he brought a colony of Monks from Yorkshire in 1136. So pleased was he with the results that within four years he proceeded to found another Abbey at Newbattle. His grandson, Malcolm V, granted to the Abbot of Newbattle and his successors the district known then as Drumpellier, but from the time of Robert Bruce, as Monklands. In view of what has been said of the first Cistercian Abbey it is not surprising that the Monks became the pioneers of scientific agriculture, rotation of crops, afforestation. the breeding of horses, cattle and sheep. They made such a success of the woollen industry that Monkland wool achieved fame in the markets of Europe. They were probably our first coal-miners and they also had several corn mills. The Monks continued to labour in the Monklands up to the time of the Reformation, which brought about the suppression of the monasteries and the seizure of their possessions. Newbattle Abbey was alienated into secular hands and the good work of the Monks was interrupted for centuries.
Before the Reformation there were thirteen dioceses in Scotland, all acknowledging the Authority of the Pope as successor to St. Peter. The Reformationists reounced this Authority and were responsible for the passing of Penal Laws, which banned the Mass and outlawed the priests. They made it a crime punishable by imprisonment or even death to be a priest in Scotland, and an offence punishable by heavy fines and confiscation of property to harbour a priest. Many churches and religious houses, including the Royal Abbey Church at Holyrood, were demolished. An edict was passed authorising officers to hunt and pursue priests with fire and sword, and to set fire to the houses in which they sought refuge. In 1640, the Reformationists boasted that not a single Catholic would remain or live in Scotland by the end of the year. But in spite of fire and sword, there never ceased to be an indomitable, though tiny, minority who proved true to the faith of their fathers. In his book, The Counter-Reformation in Scotland, Fr. Pollen writes. "It may be questioned whether so small a minority of Catholics in any other country maintained for so many years, through such insupportable storms, a corporate religious life, all their religious practices being banned, some under the pain of death." We may add, it is doubtful if any other country has ever produced a greater defender of the Faith than Blessed John Ogilvie, S. J., who in a hostile court declared that he wished every hair of his head were a priest to bring back Scotland to her ancient Faith, and added that when the Pope defined a doctrine in faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, he would not only sign it but seal it with his blood, if necessary. He kept his word and won the crown of martyrdom for the ancient Faith at Glasgow Cross in 1615.
In 1653 there were 14,000 Catholics left in the whole of Scotland, but by the end of the century there came the beginning of the increase which has been going on in varying degrees
ever since. From the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829 the rate of increase has been greatly accelerated, and to-day Scotland, "once the favoured daughter of the Holy See," now claims 748,000 Catholics.
A big factor in the increase has been the influx of Catholics from Ireland, a country where the overwhelming majority of the people had remained true to the Faith in spite of indescribable persecution by an external power. This influx was at first a tiny stream, but grew immensely in volume during the 19th century. As to the causes and occasions of the increased influx from Ireland, we cannot do better than quote Brother Clare, a recognised authority on Scots-Irish history. In his book, The Irish in Scotland, he writes: Poverty, famine and misgovernment made the Irish peasant a wanderer in many lands in modern times, but three circumstances combined to direct his footsteps to Scotland, (1) The Agricultural Revolution, (2) The rise of a Cross-Channel Steamboat Service, and (3) The Industrial Revolution." In the second half of the 19th century, Scotland, with its scanty population of two and a half millions, was unable to meet the demand made by the rapid expansion of the coal and iron industries, and so there was room for the native and the immigrant."
Airdrie and Calderbank were two Lanarkshire industrial areas affected. Calderbank's malleable ironworks commenced operations about 1840. These and three other iron and steel and subsidiary works in the vicinity expanded rapidly until, at the height of their prosperity, about 1860, they paid as much as £10,000 a fortnight in wages. Again we beg leave to quote Brother Clare: "To such industries drifted the Irish immigrants. Actuated by the motives that sent their ancestors to the "hedge-schools," the immigrants made commendable efforts to have their children instructed in the primary branches of knowledge. As soon as they had settled in sufficient numbers in industrial areas, they erected permanent chapels and schools. Often the school was built first and used as a chapel on Sunday. From Glasgow to Berwick and from Stranraer to Dundee, numerous Catholic churches arose to mark the track of the immigrant. On the manifest proofs of the work of the Irish in Scotland for the restoration of the faith it were idle to comment." Unlike their predecessors in the faith in pre-Reformation days who were able to attend a comparatively local chapel, probably that of St. Catherine's, at the foot of the hill on the road from Chapelhall to Gartness, the Catholics of the 19th century made the long journey to St. Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow, which was opened in 1816. The only exception was one Sunday every month, when a priest from Glasgow attended. However, better days were in sight. The Catholics of Airdrie, whose spiritual needs could not be satisfied by the use of the hall they had rented for Mass, proceeded to build a permanent church. It is interesting to note that the builder was Mr. Paterson, great-grandfather of Paterson Bros., Airdrie, the builders of our own Church of Corpus Christi. During the building operations a violent persecution of Airdrie Catholics broke out and the walls of the new church were burned down. An immigrant from Sligo named Hugh Sweeney, who was assisting at the building, was forced by this persecution to flee from the town of Airdric. He and his wife and two children had the distinction of becoming the first Catholic family to settle in Calderbank in post-Reformation times. Four children born later had to be carried all the way from Calderbank to St. Andrew's Cathedral to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. This couple, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Sweeney, were the great-grandparents of Francis and Hugh Gallagher, two of our parishioners, whose munificence towards the mother church, Chapelhall, and our infant church, has been beyond praise. St. Margaret's Church was finally completed and opened in 1839 as the first church in the Monklands since the Reformation.
Amongst the several daughter churches to spring from St. Margaret's was St. Aloysius', Chapelhall, which was opened on the 17th June, 1894, by Bishop McGuire. St. Margaret's, Airdrie, served Calderbank and Chapelhall until the Rev. J. Milne was appointed as the first resident priest in Chapelhall in 1859. In 1870 he transferred residence to Mossend, but continued to serve Chapelhall from there until 1872. Since then his successors as Pastors of Chapelhall and Calderbank were in the following order: Rev. P. Gorman, 1872-1876; Rev. W. Gallagher, 1876-1879; Rev. H. Stiphout, 879-1893; Rev. J. McDonald. 1893-1897; Rev. W. Carmichael, 1897-1909; Rev. D. McPherson, 1909-1932; Rev. T. Rourke, 1932-1941; Rev. P. Murie, 1941-1948, when Calderbank became a separate mission. Father Rourke, now Canon Rourke, of St. Ninian's, Glasgow, built the Presbytery and Fr. Murie, a priest of very artistic taste, made St. Aloysius' one of the most beautiful churches in the West of Scotland. But realising that it would be for the good of the Faith to provide for Mass in the outlying district of Calderbank, he set out to get the necessary permission and facilities. In this he overcame many difficulties and eventually succeeded in having the first Mass celebrated in the Miners Welfare Hall, Calderbank, in February, 1943. The celebrant was the Rev. Fr. Morris, Lochwinnoch, now Rector of Mill Hill, London.
With characteristic vision, Fr. Murie now made strong representations to the Archbishop of Glasgow, that Calderbank should have its own church and resident priest. Again he succeeded, and it is to him we owe the credit of the site on which the new church has been built. He rented a council house as a temporary residence for the priest and also opened a building fund for the future church.
On the 4th April, 1948. the Right Rev. Edward Douglas, Bishop Elect of Motherwell, appointed Rev. Michael Dooley, senior curate of St. Patrick's, Coatbridge, as priest in charge of the new mission of Corpus Christi, Calderbank. Backed by the enthusiasm and co-operation of his parishioners, Fr. Dooley took the necessary steps to speed the day when Calderbank would have a church of its own. Meanwhile, he organised a new parish, beginning with the establishment of our first Boys' Guild and Girls' Guild and St. Vincent de Paul Society. Thanks must be recorded here to a small group of parishioners who gave the use of their hut in which daily Mass has ever since been said and Confessions heard. When one considers the discomfort of kneeling on a cold stone floor reminiscent of the Penal Days, the attendance of the people has been an edifying testimony to their vivid faith and devotion. The Miners' Welfare Hall, which had previously been granted for Mass on Sundays and Holidays, was now granted for use at Christmas Midnight Mass, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The District Council has at all times been very considerate towards our needs and the caretaker unfailingly courteous and helpful. On the formation of our Boys' Guild and Girls' Guild youth clubs in 1948. the hall was granted for the youth classes which have proved to be a big factor in the building up of what is to-day the Parish of Corpus Christi. These classes have brightened the lives of our youth with healthy recreation, and in and through them our boys and girls are encouraged to set their hearts towards those fountains of supernatural life which are the Mass and the Sacraments.
Eventually in January, 1950, Fr. John Rooney sent the good tidings that a licence had been granted for the erection of a permanent church in Crowwood Crescent, Calderbank. Mr. Reginald Fairlie, R.S.A. LL.D., and Partners, Edinburgh, were chosen as architects. The work which has been carried out under the direction of Mr. Conlon, A.R.IL.A.S., of Messrs. Fairlie and Partners, however, was not allowed to begin until November. 1950, but so rapid was the progress that on the 23rd April, 1951, the foundation stone was laid by Bishop Douglas. His Lordship was assisted by Monsignor Rogers, V.G., Fr. O'Donnell, Fr. Peter Murie, Chapelhall, Fr. Michael Dooley, Calderbank, and the other priests of the Deanery. When the ceremony was completed, Bishop Douglas told the parishioners that it was a unique occasion. "This is the first parish in the diocese to be dedicated to Corpus Christi and it is the first time I myself have assisted at the laying of the foundation stone of a new church. You have reason to be grateful to many persons for this event; to Father Murie, who was instrumental in establishing this new parish as a separate unit so that the Bishop was able to give you your own priest. You have also to be grateful to your present, and first, parish priest, Fr. Dooley. There is no need for me to remind you of his zeal and of his great interest in your welfare. I am sure you will respond and give him every encouragement. There is a long way to go before you will have everything that you wish, but please God that
day will come in the not-too-distant future." His Lordship added that it gave him great pleasure to see even then that the good people of Calderbank were going to have one of the loveliest churches in the diocese.
Apart from occasional unavoidable delays, the building of the church went ahead, and to-day we have the joy of seeing our hopes and aspirations realised in our lovely new church, a credit to the architect and all others who have taken part in its erection. It is enhanced by its commanding position, the view south and west being expansive, and the countryside below, with pasture and woodland, pleasing to the eye. At our request, Mr. Conlon, the architect, has kindly given the following record and description of the church and site:-
"The first meeting that the Church had with the architect to discuss the new church was a cold wintry day on the Ist February, 1950. The Church representatives were the Rev. John Rooney, Diocesan Secretary, and the Rev. Michael Dooley, Parish Priest. Father Rooney, an experienced administrator, put the problem clearly before the architect, and warned Father Dooley of the heavy financial burden he was about to bear. Father Dooley quickly showed the ability of himself and his parish to shoulder the burden of debt, and in turn expected the architect to provide a building worthy of their hopes.
"The site, a rising knoll, awkwardly placed behind some council houses, with a long, narrow entrance at the end of Crowwood Crescent, did not present a favourable appearance for a church. There was, however, one important factor in the site's favour. This was a magnificently unobstructed view to the west, which was used by the architect to present the traditional east-west orientation of our mediaeval Catholic churches. The traditional orientation with the great west window and altar at the east end can be seen in the majority of churches built by our Catholic forefathers before the Reformation.
"The design and construction of Corpus Christi Church is largely a reflection of the austerity and scarcity which are a result of the Second World War. Materials are scarce, costs are high, and building is carried out under a rigid control of material and expenditure. On the 26th June, 1950, the Ministry of Works granted a £10.000 licence to build the church, and work started in November, 1950.
"The church is a traditional type of parish church with a white finish on brick walls, a traditionally steep Scottish roof covered with slates, and West Window and Door in local stone. The interior roof space is open and high to permit the majesty of our liturgical music. The main roof is supported on twelve piers reminiscent of the twelve Apostles. At the east end are three arches, the principal arch being the focal point of the church over the altar. The other two arches are at the Lady Chapel on the north side and at the Sacristy on the south side. The High Altar is a simple liturgical altar with antependium and is clearly seen from all parts of the church.
"The Lady Altar is constructed of oak, with a blue curtain and a picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on the wall at the back of the altar. The Sacristy is planned to gain the natural warmth from the early morning east sunlight. The floor of the Nave is covered with oak laid in basket pattern, and the mahogany seating is an excellent example of Irish craftsmanship. The seating capacity is for four hundred and twenty persons.
"The West Window is surmounted by a carved figure of St. Thomas Aquinas. who was commissioned by Pope Urban IV to draw up the Mass and Office for the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264. May St. Thomas, who is world-renowned for his learning and holiness, assist us to understand the doctrine he taught and to follow the example of holy living he gave.' "
Truly history is being made to-day when the Mass, which is to be celebrated with all the beautiful ceremonial of the Church, will be the first Mass ever said in Calderbank in a real church. The Celebrant will be the Rev. Thomas McCann, P.P. of St. Margaret's, Airdrie, the Mother church of St. Aloysius', Chapelhall, which in turn is the Mother church of Our new church of Corpus Christi. The Deacon and the Sub-Deacon will be the Rev. Clement McGowan, P.P. of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Largs, and the Rev. John Duffy, curate of St. Ninian’s, Knightswood. The former, as a curate in St. Aloysiuis’ served Calderbank long and well, and Calderbamk is not unmindful of the great priests of the past: Fr. Dufy is a native of what now is the parish of Corpus Christi. The special preachers will be the Verv Rev. Hugh Kerr. C.S.S.R.. of Dundalk, Ireland, at High Mass, and the Very Rev Joseph Canon Daniel, of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, at the evening service at 6.30 p.m. The Mass. in Gregorian chant, will be sung by our own Girls’ Guild Youth Club Choir, trained and taught by Miss A. Doherty, of St. Patrick’s, Coatbridge. The Mass itself is the Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament which, apart from the Sequence, is the same as that of Corpus Christi, was composed by St. Thomas Aquinas as was also the Divine Office of Corpus Christi which includes several soul-uplifting hymns, the Verbum Superunum and Pange Lingua - whose stanzas O Salutaris and Tantum Ergo are so well known to us from use at Benediction and - O Sacris Solemnis with its well-known stanza Panis Angelicus, and Lauda Sion which thrills all who are privileged to visit Our Lady’s Shrine at Lourdes. The arrangement of the Mass and Office, the product of the genius of St. Thomas Aquinas, is recognised as a masterpiece of liturgical excellence. The hymns expound in graceful verse the sublime dogma of the Holy Eucharist. At the Council of Trent his great theological works were given the signal honour of being placed on the table side bv side with the Sacred Scriptures as a constant source of reference. One of his treatises on the Blessed Eucharist received approval from heaven when Our Blessed Lord manifested Himself to St. Thomas and said, "Thomas, thou hast written well concerning the Sacrament of My Body." By happy coincidence, tomorrow, the Feast of the Birth of Our Blessed Lady, will be the anniversary of the Institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi as a universal Feast, 8th September, 1264.
It is a source of great joy to us that our beloved Bishop, the Right Rev. Dr. Douglas, who so promptly sent us our first resident priest and laid the foundation stone, the first laid in the new diocese of Motherwell, is coming to-day to preside at the solemn opening of the church. We welcome also His Grace, the Right Rev. Donald A. Campbell, D.D., Archbishop of Glasgow, and the Right Rev. James Black, D.D., Bishop of Paisley. To all who join in this great celebration we extend a welcome. But above and beyond all, we, with hearts overflowing with joy and gratitude, extend a royal welcome to our Divine King, cujus regni non erit finis.
His Lordship, Bishop Douglas, has shown A great regard for this parish from the beginning of his episcopate, and has given us every encouragement to go ahead and build and furnish a church worthy of its scared purpose. May God give him many more fruitful years as our chief pastor!
To Father P. Murie and his successor, Fr. John McCrory, who have given us every facility, and indeed, welcome, whenever required the use of the Mother church, we are deeply indebted. In this brochure we have already paid our tribute to the part played by Fr. Murie in preparing the way which has led us to this great day.
Our grateful thanks are due to all the priests of St. Margaret's, Airdrie, and to Fr. Michael Traynor, Lochwinnoch, who have been ever ready and willing to assist us. We wish God-speed to Fr. Traynor, who will soon be leaving for Kashmir,
India, to bring the light of the Gospel to those who sit in the darkness and shadow of death.
In times when so many restrictions make it extremely difficult to build a church worthy of its holy purpose, Mr. Conlon, our architect, has done magnificently in giving us a lovely church, which conforms, as far as is at present possible, with the "approved traditions of ecclesiastical architecture and the laws of sacred art." It must have been a great satisfaction to him on reading the recent allocution of our Holy Father the Pope on the building of churches, to find such confirmation of what he had done. His numerous long visits during the building and furnishing of the church testified to the fact that he put his heart and soul into this great work for the glory of God.
To Messrs. Paterson, builders, and Messrs. Aitken, joiners, and all the other contractors and sub-contractors, their foremen and other employees, and to Mr. Donald Cairns, Clerk of Works, we offer our sincere thanks.
Sacred music, which raises our thoughts to heaven, participates in the general scope of Liturgy, namely the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful. That we in this infant parish have a choir of our own to render to-day's Mass in the Church's own special chant (Gregorian) is entirely due to Miss A. Doherty, of St. Patrick's, Coatbridge.
The generosity of good friends outside the parish is deeply appreciated by us all.
It is pleasant to be able to record the goodwill of many of our non-Catholic neighbours, several of whom have been more than willing to assist us in every way within their power.
Lastly, but not least, to our own loyal parishioners who, like their forefathers, have made the necessary sacrifices and given so cheerfully when it was a question of building a House of God. Our young parish has been singularly blest with a host of voluntary, nay, eager, church-workers. We are confident that all will continue this loyal co-operation to help us to overcome the many difficulties, financial and otherwise, that lie ahead.
Finally, may the names of these and countless others who have assisted in any way, in making this our greatest day, be written in the Book of Life!
John S. Burns & Sons, Printers, 195 Buccleuch Street, Glasgow, C.3.