The Scots College in Rome has emptied of students for the summer holidays with all the exams completed, so, here we reflect on the momentous academic year.
The cliché goes Time flies when you are having fun, and it could be used as a headline for a consideration of this year at the Scots College.
2016 marked 400 years since the Scots College was established as a seminary dedicated to training men for the priesthood in Scotland. The highlight of the celebrations came in April, when the community was invited to the Sala del Concistoro on the second loggia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. Pope Francis met with the seminarians, staff and sisters of the college as well as their Graces, Archbishops Tartaglia and Cushley. The audience made a deep and lasting impression upon who well present.
The Papal audience hasn’t been the only celebration of this special anniversary. The academic year began at the same time as the Synod on Marriage and the Family and as it came to its conclusion, Archbishop Tartaglia hosted some of the Synod Fathers at the college for an evening reception. These events don’t happen often, and this special occasion was a unique chance to meet Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops involved in a historic moment of the Church history.
St. Andrew’s Day is always celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm at the college. Some priests from Scotland who were celebrating jubilees of their Ordination joined us, 8 in total who collectively were celebrating 415 years spent witnessing to Christ and his Gospel and spent in service to his people. The ministry of such priests and their presence as they celebrate such important milestones serves as an inspiration to those currently undergoing their formation on the journey towards ordination.
At the start of December, the Jubilee Year of Mercy began and since then the community has passed through two of the Holy Doors, at St Paul’s and St Peter’s, and celebrated Mass in the Basilicas. We will complete our own pilgrimage of the Papal basilicas before the end of the Jubilee Year. We have also hosted some of the many pilgrim groups from Scotland who are visiting Rome. These pilgrims have celebrated Mass in the College Chapel and have been given tours of the college.
Of course, the college year has a social element too, and this year, as well as the traditional Burns Night in January, the community has hosted the choir of Glasgow’s St. Aloysius College for a concert and reception. 2016 also saw the first ever charity quiz night, with the April event raising more than €1500 for Mary’s Meals.
Following a ‘fallow’ year for ordinations, the community join in celebration with the families and friends, with the priests and people of their Dioceses as two of our students are ordained this month. Jamie McMorrin from the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh was ordained alongside a student of the Beda College, Anthony Lappin, on the evening of the 24th June in St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh. On the 30th June, Matthew Carlin from the Diocese of Paisley, will be ordained to the priesthood in his home parish of St John’s Barrhead.
Please keep them, and the community of the Scots College in your prayers during the summer months.