St John Ogilvie's
a Roman Catholic parish of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh

Welcome to St John Ogilvie's.
This Sunday we celebrate
the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

It's Back to Lockdown for Scotland's Churches

Because of the continuing and accellerating spread of the Coronanavirus, the Scottish Government has announcd new measures, among which is the closing of places of worship on mainland Scotland with effect from 5th January 2021.
So it's back to "Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives".

Unfortunately ......

The extended Tier 4 under the Covid-19 retrictions announced by the First Minister on 4th January 2021 means that all places of worship in the Tier 4 areas will have to close with effect from 5th January 2021.

Funerals can still take place in the parish with a maximum of 20 participants, including the priest. Post-funeral gatherings cannot take place. Face coverings do not need to be worn by the priest leading a funeral service.

Weddings can take place with a maximum of five participants, including the celebrant (six if translator required). Face coverings must be worn by those attending a wedding, except for the couple and the priest.

During these difficult times you may wish to join one of the many live streamed services from churches around the UK (and beyond).

We had previously identified a number of churches which live-stream Holy Mass. These are listed below. We are not, however, sure whether streamed Masses from those churches will still go ahead under the extended restrictions.

Please continue to view this website for futher information.

Church which Previously Streamed Mass

Our sister parish, St Mary's Star of the Sea streams their Masses on Facebook (12 noon weekdays and 10.30am Sundays). You can go to the Facebook page by clicking here. In the menu at the top click on "More" then click on "Live" or sometimes the Mass is on the opening Facebook page.

Or celebrate Mass with Archbishop Cushley which can be viewed from 9am on Sundays on YouTube - click here.

Masses from St Joseph's, Broomhouse are also live streamed from their Facebook page - Click here. In the menu at the left click on "Video".

Or you may wish to join Mass celebrated from St Joseph's Parish Community Leicester by Father John Daley, Catholic Men's Society National Chaplin, on YouTube - Click here

And those of you with an Irish connection might wish to join Mass from the Sacred Heart Church Cork - click here. or from St Mary's, Ballyhea, Cork - click here

Sunday Family Prayer Service

You may also wish to organise a Sunday family prayer service in your home. A suggested prayer service for families has been prepared by the Catechetics Commission. You may find this helpful - click here.

Hello Everyone!

Despite the church being closed Father Tony will continue to deliver his homily on this website. This week Father Tony will reflect on the First Reading about Jonah on this the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Find Fr Tony's written homily immediately below the readings panel.

And just in case you've forgotten what Fr Tony looks like, here is a picture of him.

We also carry a Gospel reflection by Brother Michael Moore, OMI. This can be found immediately following Father Tony's homily.

Jim Sneddon

It is with saddness that we report the death of Jim Sneddon who passed away earlier this week. Please pray for Jim's family, particularly his wife, Ann, one of our readers at the vigil Mass.

May he Rest in Peace

Offertory Collection

A number of parishioners have asked how they can support the parish at this time. Bank transfer is a simple and safe way to make a donation, either one-off or on a regular basis through standing order.

If you wish to use this method, here are the bank details:
Sort code: 80:02:27
Account: 00126337
Name: ST JOHN OGILVIES (use block capitals)
Bank: Bank of Scotland, Corstorphine.

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

Christian Unity

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes place from 18-25 January 2021. The Week of Prayer has been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family.

Today the community has fifty sisters, all women from different generations, Church traditions, countries and continents. In their diversity the sisters are a living parable of communion. They remain faithful to a life of prayer, life in community and the welcoming of guests. The sisters share the grace of their monastic life with visitors and volunteers who go to Grandchamp for a time of retreat, silence, healing or in search of meaning.

To learn more, please click here.

Marriage Preparation

Are you planning to marry this year? You should give you parish priest at least six months’ notice before the date of your wedding. Marriage preparation course dates are now available for the Archdiocese. Find them by clicking here or email

Sacramental Talks

Rediscover the power of the Sacraments in the final online talk of the Archdiocese’s Fire & Water series, covering confirmation and baptism. It takes place on Monday 25 Jan at 7:30pm on Zoom. Sign up by Sign up for your deanery area by emailing

Archbishop Cushley invites you to

Faith in the Time of Covid

Different Approaches to the Pandemic from Distinguised Voices

Archbishop Cushley invites you to join a series of Sunday talks from distinguished speakers who will offer their thoughts and approach to the pandemic. Each event is free on Zoom and lasts 30 minutes.

Registration links below.

Bishop Philip Egan

Philip Egan is the Bishop of Portsmouth Diocese and his talk is titled: The Role of Faith in Response to Covid.

31st January 2021,

To register click here.

Dr Mary Rice Hasson

Dr Mary Rice Hassan is Director of the Catholic Women's Forum at the Ethics & Public Policy Center.

7th February 2021,

To register click here.

Professor John Haldane

Professor John Haldane is Professor of Moral Philosophy Emeritus at the University of St Andrews. His talk is titled: Finding Faith, Hope and Charity in times of Desperation.

14th February 2021,

To register click here.

Rt Hon Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown is the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

21st February 2021,

To register click here.

Reflections on the Gospel According to Mark
An On-line Project lead by Father Tony

In 2021 we follow the Gospel according to Mark. This is the shortest of the four Gospels. If you are searching for something to do during Lockdown, this could be an opportunity to become more familiar with the New Testament. Each week on the Parish website we will carry an item on each of the headings listed below. You don’t have to register to take part. After we have received our vaccines, if there is sufficient interest I will provide opportunity for group reflection.

Throughout the project we will be using the NRSVCE (New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition)

The full text of the Mark’s Gospel from the NRSVCE version can be accessed from the project page

This week our "Mark's Gospel Project" examines the "family" of Jesus.

And for those of you who missed the earlier episodes, you can catch up here: -

Mass Readings for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
(24 January 2021)

1st Reading

Jonah 3:1-5,10 - The people of Nineveh renounce their evil behaviour.

2nd Reading

1 Corinthians 7:29-31 - The world as we know it is passing away.


Mark 1:14-20 - I will make you into fishers of men.

We cannot publish the readings here for copyright reasons but they can be found in full on Universalis.
Click button to go to Universalis. However, as we are presently running a project on Mark's Gospel, we can reproduce the verses for this week's gospel reading:

The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

Jesus Calls the First Disciples
16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

A Homily from Fr Tony
for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jonah 3:1-5,10

When they asked Jesus for a sign he replied “the only sign given to you is the sign of Jonah.”

Jonah is a Runaway Prophet. The prophetic book in the Old Testament is an Allegory - A story with a moral. As we begin a New Year, we may find it a useful guide as we reflect on the story of Jonah and prepare for 2021.

Jonah is a reluctant Prophet. He is sent by God to preach in Nineveh, present day Bagdad. Nineveh was North East of Gaza but Jonah sailed West. He refused the invitation.

He took a boat to Spain. He slept in the hold of the ship. The sailors discovered that he had refused God’s will and so when buffeted by rough seas, they, with seafarers’ superstitions, saw Jonah as the problem and so they threw him overboard to save their lives.

Despite his disobedience to God, Jonah found Liminal Space during 3 days in the belly of the Whale.

In the story, God repents when the people repent.

“That is why I fled. I knew that you were a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness and mercy, relenting from evil.” Jonah became depressed. He asks God to take his life – he had been put to shame – a failure. He sat in the mid-day sun looking to end it all. God provides shelter for him, from both the cool of the night and the heat of the midday sun and even for the sinners of Nineveh.   

The point of prophecy is not accuracy but repentance.

Belly of the Whale - Liminal Space.  If we want to pass onward, we must first pass INWARD.  Something in Jonah has to give, something has to die.

“We’d rather be ruined than changed;
We’d rather die in our dread, than climb the cliff of the present moment, and let our illusions die!”

Jonah has opportunity to repent. He is out of his depth. He must face himself.

Prays, reflects, remembers. And so comes a Second call.

Preaches in Nineveh
He argues with God “That is why I fled ….”
Depressed – “take my life, I have been put to shame” - failure.

Sits under the sun. God causes a tree to grow to shelter Jonah. The tree dies overnight, Jonah feels sorry for the tree. If Jonah feels sorry for the tree should God not feel sorry for Ninevites?
The question from God brings the story of Jonah to an end.

Jonah is obsessed with being right and is willing to see all people perish to be proved right. He has to learn that the point of prophecy is not accuracy but repentance.

True, Jonah has been made to look foolish; but his foolishness is of much less importance than people’s repentance. He has to learn that it is never too late to repent.

The story of Jonah holds out hope for us. In the story, everyone repents, Jonah, the Ninevites, even God.

No one is tied to a planned fate; no one is doomed to embrace disaster. Repentance is good news, because it means nothing is settled, nothing is sealed. Planned punishment can always be cancelled.

Things can change.  We can begin again, and again, and again.

That is gospel. Good news. Repentance is not a crusty, grouchy affair.

Jonah – repent - for Jesus it is that next step - good news.

At the core of life is good news, not bad news. If we believe that life is essentially bad news, then this conviction will shape all we do. The likelihood is that we will not be pleasant people to be around. If, however, we believe that at the heart of life is the life-giving and loving presence of a personal God who calls to me through his Son, then how I relate, how I behave, will be very different indeed. Today’s Readings bring us back to basics, and if we get the basics right the rest will follow.

And a Gospel Reflection from Brother Michael Moore, OMI
Mark 1:14-20

God is still calling us!

In last Sunday’s readings we heard how God called Samuel and how both John the Baptist and Andrew introduced others to Jesus. Today this theme and message continues in our readings. In the first reading we hear about Jonah. ‘The Lord said to Jonah, get up, go and proclaim the message that I tell you.’ So he set out and went according to the word of the Lord.’ Similar to last week when Samuel was called, God personally calls Jonah by his name and sends him out with a message for others. Jonah is called and he responds courageously. He carries out the mission that was given to him by God; he calls to the people to repent and change their ways.

This call to repentance is continued in the gospel. We read; ‘after John was arrested, Jesus came proclaiming the Good News of God, saying… repent and believe the Good News.’ The good news that Jesus proclaims is one that tells us that we created, loved and known personally and intimately by God. It is also a message of conversion and repentance. To be in relationship with God and others also requires that we are in right relations with ourselves, others and God. How we live our daily lives matters; how we speak to and treat others matters. It is not just about my relationship with God. My friendship with God, while it is personal, it is never private. It is not only during the season of Lent that we are called to change our ways; it is central to our friendship with God and others.

The gospel then changes and we are told how Jesus called his first followers. It seems as if Jesus is causally walking along by the seashore when he sees Simon, Andrew and John. They are fishing. But this is where they encounter and experience Jesus; in their ordinary daily lives. Maybe Jesus isn’t just walking by them. It maybe is that Jesus actually knows them or at least knows about them – who they are, what they do for a living and where to find them. Whatever the case, the important thing to notice is that it is Jesus who takes the initiative. He comes looking for them and calls them personally to follow him. They accept the invitation of being called and respond generously; they left their boats and nets and followed him.

Jesus continues to do the very same with each of us today; he continues to search for us and call us personally by our name. He waits, watches and comes to us however and wherever we are. He offers us the same invitation and challenge that he offered those by the sea; Come, follow me. It is through our ordinary lives that we encounter and experience the call and presence of Jesus. As Patrick Kavanagh wrote; God is in the bits and pieces of everyday. Jesus calls us through the bits and pieces of our ordinary daily lives – if we are attentive and have an open heart to his voice calling us.

Often we, well I do, look and listen for the voice and presence of God in the loud dramatic events of my life. Now I realise that more often than not, God comes to me disguised in the ordinary events of my daily life. God hasn’t stopped talking and speaking to us. Jesus hasn’t stopped calling to follow him. The invitation Come, follow me is always being offered.

This week, look out for and notice how and where God might calling you through the daily events of your working and family life.

"Buy a Bed" Campaign
A "Huge Thank You" from Bethany Christian Trust

Because of your outstanding generosity and support for our Buy a Bed campaign, we have raised £75,000 and over £12,000 in Gift Aid towards the Rapid Re-accommodation Welcome Centre and Bethany’s winter work!

Manager of the Welcome Centre, Ruth Longmuir adds:

    "A huge thank you to everyone that has contributed to the Buy a Bed appeal this winter! The response has been amazing and we’re so grateful for your support. Each person who bought a virtual voucher is a vital part of the Rapid Re-accommodation Welcome Centre service. So far this winter, with your help, we have supported 481 different people (across the 14 weeks of operation). The Welcome Centre is not just emergency accommodation for people who would otherwise be sleeping rough, it sees many different services and agencies come together to provide wraparound support to our guests and assist them to find more suitable accommodation."

To learn more about the project go to to Bethany's website by clicking here.


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.

Please continue 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.

Sacramental Programme

The Parish Sacramental Programme will start again early in 2021. Watch this space for details of starting dates and enrollment arrangements.

To learn more about the Sacramental Programme generally, click the button below.

Presents .....

"Light in the Datkness"

On the Feast of Candlemas, the Iona Community's

John Bell

Explores ways of coping with the Covid crisis.

Tuesday 2nd February 2021 at 7.30pm on Zoom.

For more information and for Zoom login information, please click here.

Fresh Start Warehouse Closes Again as Covid-19 Restictions are Extended

Fresh Start have made the decision to ask all volunteers to stay at home and stay safe as per Government guidelines, until at least the beginning of February when we hope we will receive another update.

This means that the warehouse will be closed to all donations and all volunteers. All the current warehouse volunteers who would have started their usual shifts this week and next, will not be able to come back until we know this lockdown has ended and we are given new instructions. As per the previous full lockdown, staff will be covering all the work as a skeleton crew on a rota.

We will let you know when the warehose reopens and donations can be made.

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