St John Ogilvie's
A Roman Catholic Parish in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh

Holy Mass

Welcome to St John Ogilvie's.
This Sunday we celebrate
the 30th Sunday
in Ordinary Time, Year A

Mass is celebrated at St John Ogilvie's each weekend at 6.30pm on Saturday (Vigil Mass) and 10.00 am on Sunday. However, the need for social distancing means that only a limited number of "places" is available, and these have to be booked in advance.

To book a place for next weekend, 31st Octber and 1 November, please contact Father Tony by phone or email by Wednesday 28th October (Phone:0131 453 5035, Email: ).

Mass Readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(25th October 2020)

1st Reading

Exodus 22:20-26 - If you are harsh with the widow and orphan, my anger will flare against you.

2nd Reading

1 Thessalonians 1:5-10 - You broke with idolatry and became servants of God; you are now waiting for his Son.


Matthew 22:34-40 - The commandments of love.

We cannot publish the readings here for copyright reasons but they can be found in full on Universalis.
Click button to go to Universalis.

The 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A

A Homily from Fr Tony

Matthew 22:34-40

"The Golden Triangle"

Truth is at the heart of Good Religion.
Bad Religion puts Law before Love.
Bad Religion gives false news.
Bad Religion fights for partial truth. Just as do bad nationalism, bad psychology or a bad way of living.

There is always the risk that we can become victims of Bad Religion.

Today, I ask myself, if I was put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me?

The Gospel of today’s Mass outlines the criteria against which I can measure my Christian Values.

Instead of giving a direct answer to the question of the Pharisees “which is the greatest of the Commandments”, Jesus invites them to enter the “Love Triangle” of God, Neighbour and Self. The fully rounded and mature Christian will make provision for all three.

Only when we accept ourselves as fundamentally good, and begin to love ourselves, will we be able to love people as the Lord commanded. Here I speak of Self-acceptance NOT of being Self-centred. Self-centred is narcissism. In society today more and more teenagers, especially girls, learn to hate themselves.  They are bullied, often anonymously, through Twitter, Facebook and other social media. They don’t see themselves as PERFECT by the standards of society.

"The Perfect” can become the enemy of the good.

To love someone does not mean first of all to do things for that person. It means helping him or her to discover their own worth, beauty and uniqueness. And to help them to discover too the hidden light in their hearts and the meaning of life. We might receive assurance from a line in - Leonard Cohen’s lyric:

“Everything has a CRACK to let the LIGHT in.”

Aesop story:

An old man sitting at the City Gates is the first citizen to welcome strangers. He relates his day’s experience.

First stranger: -

Stranger: “What are the people in this town like?”

Old Man: “What were they like in your last town ?”

Stranger: “Kind, generous, and would do anything for you if you were in trouble.”

Old Man: “Well, I think you will find them much the same in this town.”

Second stranger: -

Approached the old man with the same question “What are the people in this town like?”

Old Man: “What were the people like in your last town?”

Stranger: “It was a terrible place, to tell you the truth. I was glad to get out of it. People were mean, unkind, and nobody would lift a finger to help you if you were in trouble.”

Old Man: “I’m afraid you will find them much the same in this town.”

The old man recognised that we see people not as they are but as we are. If we see people in a bad light, it is a sign we are ill at ease with ourselves. A man who is not at peace with himself spreads a contagion of conflict around him. Similar to a Coronavirus!

If we are filled with self-loathing and self-hatred, we will not be able to love others. We project those feelings on to others. We blame and castigate others for what we do not like in ourselves.

How many of us have, somewhere in our minds, memories of a parent, a teacher, authority or whoever whom we blame for how we are or for what we do. But if we pursue that way, we will never reach our potential. We can become steeped in the blame game. Our growth becomes stunted. We make ourselves into VICTIMS.

We need to know that unless we love ourselves, we cannot love others properly.

Self-accepting people are happy people.
Self- accepting people go out easily to others.
Self-accepting people are always open to being loved and complimented.
Self-accepting people are empowered to be their real self - authentic.
Self-accepting people accept themselves as they are right now. Not with nostalgia of past or fret of future but a gift for the present.  “Blossom where you are planted”.

Self- accepting people have the ability to recognise and to attend to their own needs - physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual.

Self- accepting people are people in good contact with reality. Not daydreaming. They laugh at themselves, often and easily.

And remember - We all have CRACKS to let the LIGHT IN.

I did intend to reflect on God, neighbour and Self today but I found it difficult to curtail it to 5 minutes, so next week we will move to the other two sides of the TRIANGLE - God and Neighbour.


We pray for all those in our country and throughout the world suffering from the Coronavirus. May its victims and their families be strengthened by the support of our community of faith and restored soon to full health. We also pray for our leaders and medical personnel who deal with the virus. May we keep calm and may we join together in solidarity with care and compassion to tackle this scare. This we ask in confidence though Christ our Lord.

And we are asked to pray The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known
that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Rosary Rally 2020

Archbishop Cushley is calling on Catholics across the Archdiocese to pray the Rosary at 1pm on Saturday 31 October.

It is part of the National Rosary Relay Rally which sees dioceses across Britain praying in unity for "faith, life and peace".

You are invited to join the Religious Sisters of Mercy (RSM) who will lead us in the Joyful Mysteries from St Margaret's Chapel, at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh, at 1pm. Watch on 31st October on YouTube, Facebook or the News & Events section of the Archdiocesan website.

Archbishop Cushley said: "I’m calling on Catholics across our Archdiocese to be united in prayer for the National Rosary Rally on Saturday 31 October. The Rosary is the spiritual weapon of our times and we place our prayers in the loving hands of Mary as we call on our Lord Jesus Christ for faith, life and peace."

For further information, please visit the Archdiocesan website.

A Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Cushley

Archbishop Cushley has sent a pastoral letter "to the faithful and clergy of St Andrews & Edinburgh" on the subject of Covid-19 and how it has affected our celebration of Mass and the Eucharist. The letter is available on the Archdiocesan website ( and it can also be downloaded from St John Ogilvie's website by clicking here. Please make a point of reading the Archbishop's letter.

Offertory Collection

The Offertory collection last weekend (17/18 October) came to £269 and September bank transfers to St John Ogilvie’s Parish account came to £365. Thank you for your generous support during these Pandemic Days, much appreciated and will ensure we will be still here when we exit Lockdown. (Tony Quinlan)

A number of parishioners who are not yet ready to join in gatherings of large numbers, have asked how they could support the parish coffers at this time. Bank transfer is a simple and safe way if you wish to avail of it.

Bank details are:
Sort code: 80:02:27
Account: 00126337
Name: St John Ogilvie’s Church
Bank: Bank of Scotland, Corstorphine.

Parishioners can set up details themselves whether it’s a one-off payment or a monthly standing order. The standing Order can be cancelled at any time.

"In God's Image"

The Bishops in Scotland want to hear from you if you wish to propose any changes to "In God’s Image", the safeguarding policy manual for the Catholic Church in Scotland. They say: “We want to hear from lay people, as well as from clergy and religious. Above all, we are keen to hear from survivors or victims of abuse so that the church can plan to ensure sensitive responses to all allegations and concerns. For more information, please visit the Archdiocesan website by clicking here.

Abortion consultation

The Scottish Government is carrying out a consultation regarding the extension of the abortion ‘pills by post’ scheme beyond the current pandemic. SPUC has created a simple guide to help you fill out the consultation so please visit and search ‘Scottish DIY’.Please pray for the unborn.

Bethany Christian Trust

Care Shelter upgraded to Rapid Re-accommodation Welcome Centre

Bethany Christian Trust has operated a Care Shelter in Edinburgh every winter since 1996, providing emergency shelter and care to people who would otherwise be sleeping rough. Spurred on by the success of operating the Care Shelter in a hotel during lockdown, and in recognition that for a number of years the provision has far outstripped the traditional shelter model, Bethany’s Care Shelter has been modified to become the new Rapid Re-Accommodation Welcome Centre from 5 October 2020 until 3 May 2021.

Click here for full story.

Please also see further down Bethany's "Buy a Bed" Appeal on behalf of rough sleepers.

Golden Jubilee

The Parish Council had planned to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Parish in October 2020. The present uncertainty due to the continued spikes and forecasts of a second outbreak of the Coronavirus plus church and government regulations necessitates a change of plans. The celebrations will be postponed until we get the all clear to allow for safe gatherings of large numbers of people.

Bonus Ball

St John Ogilvie's Bonus Ball suspended from 29th March. If you have paid in advance your credit will be carried forward in the Parish Account until the reinstatement of the Bonus Ball after Scotland has been declared free of coronavirus.

Grandparents: Zoom event on YOUR ministry

The Archdiocese has invited Catherine Wiley of the Catholic Grandparents Association to host Grandparents: Our Mission on Zoom to discuss this issue and more to give grandparents encouragement and clarity.

She will present a vision of their ministry and point the way towards organising grandparents in our Archdiocese to connect, support each other, share ideas and experience and build their sense of mission in today’s Church.

Grandparents form probably the largest and most active contingent serving the life of our parishes. They are our sacristans, passkeepers, readers, extraordinary ministers, catechists and more. Serving parishes like this is fulfilling, but what is often closest to the hearts of grandparents in the Church today is what they can do to keep their families connected to the Church and Catholic faith.

Grandparents: Our Mission with Catherine Wylie takes place on Zoom at 7pm on Wednesday 04 November. To register for this Zoom event, please click here.

"Buy a Bed"
An Appeal by Bethany Christian Trust

For the fourth year running, we are launching our Buy a Bed campaign where supporters have the opportunity to help provide one person, who would otherwise be sleeping rough this Christmas or winter, access to the support of the new Welcome Centre.

For every £21 you donate through this campaign, the Welcome Centre will provide a person with the following assistance:

  • A warm and safe place to sleep

  • Safety from the elements

  • Their own room with ensuite facilities

  • 24 hour care and support from professional staff

  • Three meals a day including a freshly prepared, hot two course meal in the evening

  • A range of professional on-site support services

  • Tailored support to help the individual to move rapidly out of the crisis of homelessness

To find out more and to make a donation, please go to to Bethany's website by clicking here.

Lauriston Jesuit Centre

On the Feast of St Andrew, the Lauriston Jesuit Centre will change its name to the Edinburgh Jesuit Centre. To mark this momentous occasion we have presented a farewell celebration cocktail of talks covering important topics such as the Amazon Synod, Black History Month, Climate Change and Pope Francis' Encyclical on fraternity and social friendship. Join us on on Zoom or Facebook Live for our final talk in the series on Tuesday 27th October, 7.30pm when Cardinal Peter Turkson will explore Pope Francis' Latest Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.

Cardinal Peter Turkson

"On Fraternity and Social friendship: Exploring Pope Francis' Latest Encyclical"

27th Ocober

Join us on Tuesday 27th October @ 7.30pm for the final talk of the series with Cardinal Peter Turkson.

Login using the link below: or Meeting ID: 236 509 2814

We will also be livestreaming to our Facebook page!

For more information
please contact
Andrew Cassidy at

Scottish Interfaith Week 2020

This year, because of the Covid-19 restrictions the Scottish Interfaith Week (08-15 November) will be an online festival hosted on Zoom. A full programme of events is planned, the details of which can be found on the Scottish Interfaith website at

We pray at this time for enlightened thinking
on how to build bridges and make connections
with people of other faiths
who share domicile in our own community.

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Some Good News from Fair Trade

Fair Trade Shop, Portobello - Yes, it's open again!: Some very good news from the people at Fair Trade - the Fair Trade shop at 52-54 Portobello High Street, Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 1DA is now open again. Opening hours are Monday - Friday between 10.00am and 12 noon and 2.00pm and 4.00pm. We are unable to have the Fair Trade stall at the church because of the Covid-19 restrictions but if you are in Portobello, why not vist the Fair Trade shop. When we choose to purchase Fair Trade products it means that the farmers who grow or produce the product benefit from the safety of the Fair Trade Minimum Price. By working together in co-operatives, small-scale farmers can help each other and grow better quality products. This in turn allows the farmers to provide better care and education for their families. You can make it happen - choose Fair Trade!

Some Good News from Fresh Start
Resuming accepting donations from members of the public

Fresh Start will be accepting donations again from members of the public on a ‘ring before you bring’ basis from week commencing Monday 26th October (0131 476 7741).

And from Monday 2 November you can volunteer to help Fresh Start with the preparation and distribution of Starter Packs (same phone number).

You can donate any of the following items for the Fresh Start Starter Packs and for the Fresh Start Pantry in Ferry Road:

  • Crockery – dinner plates, side plates, bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Tumblers
  • Mugs
  • Bed Linens – flat & fitted sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases (single and double)
  • Towels
  • Curtains
  • Toiletries – deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo
  • Cleaning products – anti bacterial spray, bleach, cloths, bin bags, sponges
  • Small electrical items such as lamps, toasters, irons, hand blenders, alarm clocks, hair dryers, sandwich makers

NO - Duvets, pillows or cushions (sorry!).

Food donations for Starter Packs and Fresh Start Pantry

  • Cereals such as Rice Krispies, Cheerios, Weetabix, Variety packs (children and families like these)
  • Children-friendly cereals such as Coco Pops, honey loops, etc
  • Cuppa soups
  • Pot noodles and cup noodles and super noodles
  • Cook in sauces such as bolognaise, pasta sauces, curry sauces
  • Cartons of fruit juices such as apple, orange
  • Diluting juices such as blackcurrant, orange, lemon, Vimto
  • Tins of puddings such as rice pudding and custard
  • Tins of meats such as hot dogs, spam, corned beef

  • Fray Bentos pies
  • Tins of fruit such as peaches, grapefruit, apricots
  • Tins of vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, green beans or mixed vegetables
  • Tins of fish such as Tuna, sardines, mackerel
  • Ketchup
  • Brown sauce
  • Cooking oil
  • Gravy granules
  • Dehydrated pasta packets such as ‘Kraft macaroni cheese’
  • Biscuits such as hob nobs, chocolate digestives
  • Tea
  • Instant coffee

NO – Tins of soup, tins of beans, tins of tomato, rice or pasta.

Please note that donations of approriate goods should NOT be brought to St John Ogilvie's. Please ring Fresh Start first on 0131 476 7741 then following any advice from Fresh Start, the goods should be taken to the Fresh Start warehouse at 22-24 Ferry Road Drive, Edinburgh EH4 4BR. Tell them you are from St John Ogilvie's

Special Prayers to use
when you cannot attend a funeral

These Special Prayers can dowloaded as a PDF document by - clicking here.

Please also visit the Archdiocesan website for up-to-date information from the Archbishop.

We support these organisations. You can help too.
Click the buttons to learn more.

Fairtrade Oblate Missions SCIAF Fresh Start