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Cardinal Keith O’Brien celebrates Silver Jubilee as a bishop

Cardinal O'Brien

Cardinal O'Brien

Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, the UK’s most senior Churchman, celebrates the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop this week. The Cardinal became Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh on 5 August 1985.

Reflecting back on his 1985 Episcopal Ordination - which took place at Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Cathedral, Cardinal O’Brien said: “Life became even more hectic for me after that – although I realized that I had to be a ‘still point’ of prayer and calm in a busy Church in an even more busy world.” Fittingly the then new Archbishop O’Brien chose as his motto for his ordination words from Psalm 99: “Serve the Lord with Gladness.”
Looking back over the last 25 years, Cardinal O’Brien said: “During these years as a pastoral bishop, I enjoyed my Ad Limina visits to Pope John Paul II in Rome. As well as the formal reports there was also the opportunity of four meetings with the Pope: on a one-to-one basis; along with my brother bishops from Scotland; concelebrating an early morning Mass with the Pope in his private-chapel; and an evening meal with the Pope in his private apartments.”
On his role as a member of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Cardinal O’Brien stated that he is “constantly amazed at the workload undertaken by my brother bishops.” adding, "I have increasingly had to address national issues after the death of Cardinal Winning in 2001 and my subsequent election as President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.”
Saying that his “life changed rather abruptly on Friday 26 September 2003” when he received a call from Archbishop Pablo Puente, then Apostolic Nuncio, saying that the Holy Father had chosen him to be a Cardinal, Cardinal O'Brien reflected: “I have had a very fulfilling life so far – from my first faltering steps in the priesthood to my present position as Cardinal Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh…Celebrating these various anniversaries at this present time, I would now hope that my pace of life will be decreasing somewhat – giving me more time for prayer, recollection and reading – thanking God all the time for the wonderful call which he has given to me to serve as a priest and as a Bishop.”
On the publication of the celebration booklet, Cardinal Keith concluded: “I would like to think that my words and the photographs in this booklet might encourage others to think and pray about their vocation in life – and as to whether or not God might be calling them also to be a priest.”

Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien was born St Patrick’s Day, 1938, Ballycastle in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. After Second World War his family moved to Scotland where he attended St Patrick’s High School, Dumbarton and then moved to Edinburgh, completing his secondary school education at Holy Cross Academy. He was ordained a priest in 1965. After training as a teacher at Moray House College of Education at the University of Edinburgh he went on to teach at St Bride’s, Cowdenbeath.
Fr O'Brien was appointed as Spiritual Director of St Andrew’s College, Drygane and later appointed as Rector of St Mary’s College, Blairs. He was ordained bishop in 1985, and appointed a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

Source: SCMO


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