Jesuit parishes through Britain will be celebrating the Feast of the founder of the Society of Jesus this weekend. St Ignatius Loyola - with his early Companions - founded the Order, with the blessing of Pope Paul III, in 1540.
In Edinburgh, Cardinal Keith O'Brien will celebrate the St Ignatius Day Mass with the British Jesuit Provincial, Fr Michael Holman SJ, and other celebrants, to mark the end of Sacred Heart Church's sesquicentenary year. It is the 150th anniversary of the first Mass celebrated in the new church in Lauriston Place.
"It brings to an end a great year of celebrations and activities which has included liturgies, concerts, outings, exhibitions, a commemorative book and a parish dinner," said Fr Chris Boles SJ. "We are delighted that the Cardinal and the Provincial are with us to mark the end of this year of celebration, and the start of our next 150 years!"
The Mass will start at 6.30pm on Saturday; the Provincial will preach; and the celebration will be followed by a reception in the parish hall.
In central London, the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Farm Street will be welcoming former students of Jesuit schools and colleges to the 6pm Mass on Friday - the eve of the Feast of St Ignatius. The choir will be singing Haydn's Mass No. 6 in G major, the Missa Sancti Nicolai, and the celebration will be followed by a reception in Mount Street Gardens.
"This is not only our parish celebration of the founder of the Jesuit Order and father of a great spiritual tradition, but also a special occasion for alumni/alumnae of Jesuit schools worldwide," said Fr William Pearsall SJ, the parish priest of Farm Street Church. "We invite all who were at a Jesuit educational institution to join us on the evening of 30 July to meet old friends, to make new ones and to deepen the call to be followers of Christ together."
Meanwhile, at St Ignatius Church in Stamford Hill, the celebrations will be centred on the closest Sunday to St Ignatius' feastday, which, this year, is 1 August. The 11.30am sung Mass will be followed by a multi-cultural fiesta in the adjacent school playground.
Assistant priest, Fr Jim Conway SJ, describes the event as "the parish's way of celebrating its diversity and richness. The church is decorated with national flags. All of the parish choirs have a chance to contribute to the music and bidding prayers are said in various languages."
All will be very welcome to any of these events - and indeed to any of the Jesuit parishes in England and Scotland which will be marking the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola For more information see: www.jesuit.org.uk/parishmap.htm
Source: Jesuit Media Office