A Burns night of song and gratitude


The 2019 annual St Aloysius parish volunteers’ thanksgiving party fell on Burns night last week.

This was a great excuse for the Glasgow Jesuit community and parishioners to consume the traditional haggis and neeps along with a tot of whisky; and also gave extra energy to the generous talent sharing in music, song and dance by those assembled in good fellowship.

The party coincided with the annual visitation to Scotland of the provincial of the Jesuits in Britain Fr Damian Howard SJ.  Fr Provincial visits each community in Britain every year for individual meetings with Jesuits as well as sharing aspects of community life over a few days.

Frs Joe, Damian, and DermotAnother guest was Fr Joe Simmons SJ from Milwaukee Wisconsin, who is in Britain to study for a DPhil in Theology and Literature at Campion Hall in Oxford and was passing through Glasgow en route to Dunoon for a parish supply.

Chair of the parish council Kenny McKee gave a vote of thanks for the service of so many volunteers who ensure the smooth running of the parish – ministers, readers, musicians, and those who help with accounting, flowers and cleaning, collecting for the Glasgow food bank, keeping the book shop open, as well as the amazing team of fifty retired teachers who give their time to support the parish’s pioneering English language programme for refugees.

The parish team is also very grateful to all those who have helped through raffles and coffee mornings to raise £100,000 for the church’s landmark 150 ft campanile, now in urgent need of renovation.

“We are lucky at St Aloysius to have the willing help of so many wonderful people who are so generous in sharing their time and talents”, commented parish priest Fr Dermot Preston SJ.

Some of these talents were displayed in fine performances, ranging from community singing of Scots and Irish ballads and Kenny leading a couple of songs in Scottish Gaelic, to Fr Joe and Gina in a duet of 'Take me home, country roads...’, and Fr David Birchall SJ, Director of the Ignatian Spirituality Centre, in a fine rendition of the Skye Boat Song.