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

Welcome to St John Ogilvie's.

This Sunday we celebrate
the Second Sunday of Advent

The Parish Newsletter now has its own page!

A wee reminder: Masses next weekend are on Saturday at 6.30pm and Sunday at 10.00am. Booking is still necessary and bookings should be made by Thursday 9th December 2021. Booking requests should be sent to .

Weekday Mass, Monday to Friday, is at 9.00am. Booking is not necessary for weekday Mass.

A number of parishioners have asked about making their contribution to the parish via bank transfer. Here then are the bank details:

Sort code: 80:02:27
Account: 00126337
Name: ST JOHN OGILVIES (use block capitals)
Bank: Bank of Scotland, Corstorphine.
Mark your offertory, pledge, donation or whatever.

Mass Readings for 2nd Sunday of Advent
(5 December 2021)

1st Reading

Baruch 5:1-9 - God means to show your splendour to every nation.

2nd Reading

Philippians 1:4-6,8-11 - May you become pure and blameless in preparation for the day of Christ.


Luke 3:1-6 - The call of John the Baptist.

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

A reflection from Father Tony for
the 2nd Sunday of Advent

Today we read from Luke. He wrote 2 books - Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Not only did he write about Jesus but he also told how Christianity spread from Jerusalem to Rome. For him it was one massive work (Gospel and Acts). It starts with the annunciation to Zachary in Temple in Jerusalem (Gospel) and it ends in Rome (Acts). It begins with Judaism and ends with it being received in the then known world, signified by Rome. He sees this as one story. He puts Jesus on the world scene. It affects the whole known world (The Roman Empire). The beginnings of a world religion. So notice at the beginning of today’s Gospel he places the whole context within the world scene of his time, because what is happening is a world event. We will have the same experience when we hear of the birth of Jesus.

"In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee. . ." and so on. Luke uses this solemn introduction about Tiberius Caesar, and Pontius Pilate, and these other historical figures, not to fix the date of the birth of Jesus or his public life, but rather to make it clear that what is taking place is the coming of God into world history.

Luke is writing the story of the coming of God into world history. He wants us to know that this is the turning point of history, and so he talks of Caesar the emperor, and Pilate the governor, and Herod and Philip the tetrarchs, and Annas and Caiphas the high priests. Luke has a clear purpose: To ground Jesus in the human affairs of this world.

God entered into the history of this planet earth, of this whole universe. God set about transforming it into a place of peace, love and justice. The building of the reign of God begins here. Advent means a "coming" and it is about the coming of God into history.

It is in Luke's Gospel that Jesus speaks in unflattering terms of the priest and Levite who went to the other side of the road to avoid the victim lying by the roadside, and he praises the Samaritan who went to the victim's aid. That parable is a picture of what Jesus came to do, a picture of what we who follow Jesus must be about. Work to transform the conditions of this world is an essential part of the Church's mission.

The passage we just heard from the prophet Baruch is filled with hope, despite the fact that the people he is speaking to seem to be in hopeless exile: “Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendour of glory from God forever . . . For God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low, and that the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground.”

Two Options
In the face of all that we see wrong with our world, we have two options.

One option is to see all the problems around us as fatal flaws. The world is doomed to be forever unjust and tragic and we should simply do our best to get the most we can for ourselves out of the situation, and let the world die its death.

The other option is to see all of creation as the recipient of the overwhelming power of God's compassion and transforming love. When we see it this way, we believe that every struggle for peace and justice, however small, ultimately has an effect, and whatever energy we spend to relieve suffering is worth the effort.

What it comes down to is our trust in the "advent" of God into history 2,000 years ago, and the "advent" of God at the end of time to gather all the efforts we have made along the way, and with the same creative power that began he universe, to bring it to its destiny.

During Advent, especially during Advent, we pray, and we trust, that God, who has begun this good work in us, in history, will bring it to its completion.

During Advent, especially during Advent, we take to heart those words of Isaiah that Luke quotes in today's Gospel:

“Every valley shall be filled 
and every mountain and hill shall be made low. 
The winding roads shall be made straight, 
and the rough ways made smooth, 
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Everything we do can prepare the way for God. For God makes his home among us, and Jesus is born to dwell within each of us.

In love and in friendship, there is the meeting place of God and people,
as in the love and the promise of Mary there was the space for God to become one of us.

In our human love we prepare the way for the love of God.

In our human forgiveness we prepare the way for the forgiveness of God.

In our human compassion we prepare the way for the compassion of God.

Our human work for the betterment of people prepares the way for the justice of God, and our human way of reconciliation for the grace of reconciliation of God and his people.

In love, forgiveness and compassion we are sharing in the very life of God.

Without our cooperation there can be no reconciliation of God,
no speaking of the word of God.

For without our voice the word of God is silent.

Advent invites us to choose love, to commit our lives to prepare the way for God.
It is through our faith that the Lord is born each year in the desire of his people to live within the love of God and share this love in life.

Today, when the ruling powers, whether political figures or multinational corporations, seem as impervious to the Gospel as Luke’s monarchs, the season of expectation can still be a season of prayer that God’s word will again raise up prophets who, with a deep hope, cry “prepare the way”.

Pope Francis:

I encourage you, then, my brothers and sisters, to confront the challenging issues of our time. Ever present within each of them is life as gift and responsibility. The future freedom and dignity of our societies depends on how we face these challenges.  The innocent victim of abortion, children who die of hunger or from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow, the elderly or the sick who are considered a burden, the victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking, the environment devastated by our [man’s] predatory relationship with nature—at stake in all of this is the gift of God, of which we are noble stewards but not masters.

Advent Evening Retreats:
"Advent, the Synod and the Whole Church"

You are invited to participate in a weekly evening retreat each Tuesday in Advent from 7-8pm. This event is hosted by Fr Ray Warren OMI, director of DeMazenod House, Oblate Retreat and Spirituality Centre in Tower Hill, in the heart of London. Each week will feature a different speaker and we will have time for sharing, discussion, commentary, questions and prayer. We hope you can join us in these weeks of preparation and waiting for the season of Christmas on the theme of the Advent and the Synod of the Whole Church: Communion - Participation - Mission. The meetings will take place using Zoom.

  • Tuesday 7th December - A time to Dream

  • Tuesday 14th December - A time to Journey

  • Tuesday 21st December - A time to Witness

Registration for the event is by email. Please click the button below.

A Message from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)

A public consultation has been launched on a bill proposed by Liam McArthur MSP to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.

It is important that as many people as possible respond to this consultation. We must send a strong message to Mr. McArthur, MSPs and the Scottish Government that assisted suicide is a dangerous and unethical practice that must never be legalised in Scotland or any other part of the UK. The consultation is running until Wednesday 22 December 2021. Please complete the questionnaire which you will find here as soon as you can and encourage others to do the same. You can find resources on the SPUC website to help you do this - click here.

From Fresh Start

With the festive season now upon us, we launch this year's Cookers for Christmas appeal.

As we move out of the pandemic and into happier times, many people are still experiencing the challenges that come with the journey out of homelessness and into their new tenancy.

At Fresh Start, we want to ease these burdens and ensure everyone can have a joyful festive season this year. By providing essential white goods, we hope that we can help turn a house into a home and give people the means to be able to host their very first Christmas dinner in their new home.

To donate to our Cookers for Christmas campaign please click here.

From Bethany Christian Trust

Looking for a present with purpose? Consider Buying a Bed this Christmas.

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

For every £21 you donate through this campaign, the Welcome Centre will provide a person with a warm bed, hot food and individualised support to move on into more permanent accommodation.

In return, you will receive your choice of a physical or e-card that you can gift to your friends or family members as an ethical Christmas present or as a keepsake for yourself.

This year we’ve created a new gift card for you to personalise with your own message, and we also have colouring-in activity to include if this gift is for a child.

Your gift could mean the difference between someone having to sleep rough and sleeping overnight in a warm and safe space.

Thank you sincerely for your generous support.

Best wishes,
The Bethany Team

Edinburgh Churches Together
Winter 2021-22

This issue of ECT's Newsletter includes:

  • Edinburgh’s Christmas
  • ECT’s service for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • The Saint Andrew Declaration
  • Looking forward to Edinburgh’s Easter Play
  • And much more……

A PDF version of the Newsletter can be found here.

From the Archdiocese

Archbishop Cushley launches synod with Mass at Cathedral

Archbishop Cushley marked the beginning of the Synod process in our Archdiocese with Holy Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on 17 October 2021.

In his homily he explained the three themes of the Synod - communion, participation and mission. (Click here to read the Archbishop's homily.)

And on 26th October Archbishop Cushley sent a pastoral letter to all parishioners in the Archdiocese. You can read or download the Archbisop's letter by clicking here.

Find out more about the Synod process in this Archdiocesan video -

[The Synod at St John Ogilvie's]

[A meeting of parishioners is being arranged for the New Year. In the meantime parishioners are being invited now to join the conversation - see the attached PDF: click here.]

Restoration of Sunday Obligation: The Bishops of Scotland have decided that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy days of Obligation will be reinstated from Sunday 2 January 2022.

(The Pastoral letter which conveys this information can be found by clicking here.)

40 Hours’ Devotion: The 40 Hours’ Devotion continues this weekend in the churches of St Serf’s Parish in Kirkcaldy and St Mary’s, Haddington/St Gabriel’s, Prestonpans., on Sunday 5th December. For full details click here.

Advent talks - Faith, Hope and Love: Find out more about the season of Advent and the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love in a series of online talks held each Monday in Advent. Hosted by the Archdiocese, the second talk is on Monday 6 December 7:30pm-8:00pm, led by Canon Hugh White. No registration required, simply click here each week to join or in Zoon check into webinar ID: 891 8951 4801.

Advent - Rosary for Life: Join parishioners and clergy from across the Archdiocese each Tuesday throughout Advent to pray for unborn children, their mothers and all Pro-Life intentions. It continues this Tuesday (7 December) at 7:45pm and includes a reflection from Fr Bobby Taylor who is based in Rome.. This event is on Zoom. To register click here.

Mass for Vocations: The monthly Mass for Vocations is a time for people in the Archdiocese to pray that more young people will listen and respond to God’s call to the priesthood or religious life. It takes place at 7pm on Monday 6 December at St Francis Xavier’s in Falkirk. All welcome.

The Archdiocese is recruiting: The Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh is looking to recruit a full-time Religious Education Adviser (Primary Schools). For further details please click here.

From the Ignatian Spirituality Centre

Advent Prayer Online

Begins the first Sunday of Advent on 28 November.

Another series of prayer from the ISC with daily Scripture, pictures, music and reflections to help your prayer.

Suitable for individuals or for groups.

Click here to learn more.

Free Debt Help in Scotland - Christians Against Poverty (CAP)

For over 20 years, CAP has been providing free debt help in Scotland. CAP Scotland helps hundreds of people get out of debt every year, equipping them to withstand whatever storms may come their way in the future.

All CAP services are run through local churches. Our local CAP centre is based at Holy Trinity Church in Wester Hailes serving the west side of Edinburgh, including our parish area.

CAP also run a Job Club service. The Job Club is a friendly place where clients can get practical help as they seek employment. It's a relaxed environment with the chance to meet other jobseekers, get support and gain the tools they need to find work.

For more information visit


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.

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