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 First Sunday of Advent

And this Sunday we welcome back the Parish Newsletter.

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 25th November 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.

St Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland

On Tuesday 30th November we celebrate the Feast of St Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland. Mass at 9.00am.

The National Shrine of Saint Andrew is in St Mary's Cathedral, York Place, Edinburgh, and is well worth a visit. You can read about the life and death of St Andrew on the Cathedral website by clicking here.

Mass Readings for 1st Sunday of Advent
(28 November 2021)

1st Reading

Jeremiah 33:14-16 - I will make a virtuous Branch grow for David.

2nd Reading

1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2 - May you be blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.


Luke 21:25-28,34-36 - That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap.

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 1st Sunday of Advent

The word Advent means “coming”.

In these 4 weeks of Advent we are not involved in a charade as though the Saviour has not yet come. No, history is intact.
So we keep Advent not by way of acting but to help us discoverHow did I arrive at this place in life?.

The Universe was already in existence for 13 billion years before the coming of Christ. Historically, these were turbulent times. Social divisions were everywhere. The poor were exploited by the occupying forces and let down by their so-called leaders (religious and civil). Annihilation seemed imminent Peoples’ spirits and hopes had been coarsened by the brutality of life about them.  Racism was rampant with its consequent disrespect for the preciousness of life of each individual person as a unique child of God.  It was in such an atmosphere that Jesus came preaching by word and example, a gospel of hope, justice, generosity, care and love. It was a daunting message then, as it is now.

There is more than one Advent. This is our Advent. In our life it is good from time to time to recall our own childhood experiences especially happy memories. So with our Faith it is good to revisit the crib,  the infancy of Jesus.  

Christ came. Christ will come again to complete the work of salvation he began. The first Advent Preface which we read at Mass today highlights two aspects of the season: watching and hoping. The kingdom of God is already present and the kingdom is yet to come. In the Gospel Jesus invites us to stay awake and to watch (see first Sunday of Advent gospel). We are to remain alert so that we do not miss whatever God wants to say to us. God speaks to us in countless ways. But we are not to be anxious about it. We are not watching in fear. In fact, Advent is simply bubbling with hope. We know our Saviour is near. So we look forward to his final coming in glory not with fear in our hearts but alive with hope.

That is why Advent is important. Put simply, it is futile that Jesus was born so long ago in Bethlehem unless he is born again today in my heart. To be a Christian is about a living relationship with Christ and each other. So Advent is not only a time for looking back to the first Christmas or looking forward to the end of time and completion of salvation history but it is a time of searching for the footprints of Jesus in human lives and in world history.

We need to have eyes and ears open for signs. John’s gospel tells us that “He came to his own, and his own people did not accept him” (John 1:11). It happened then and it happens now – he is all around us to be welcomed, to be fed to be clothed, cared for and protected.  We can be appalled by the sufferings of Christ all those years ago in a foreign country and remain unmoved by the manifold suffering of our own twenty-first century neighbours. Poverty in our cities; discrimination against the weak and minorities. We need to ask ourselves where Christ is born today. Who are the unwanted, uncared for, unloved, discriminated against in today’s society?

Christ comes to us now. In life we look back to the past; we prepare for the future and we live the present moment. Advent reminds us too that Christ is with us now as he said he would be: “I am with you always.” He comes to us through people and events in our lives. He speaks to us when we listen to his Word, and he is present in the sacraments.

Crossing the English Channel last Wednesday 17 men, 7 women and 3 children seeking liberation became victims of the sea and of society as there was no room at the Inn.

Advent means waiting

It can take time, indeed years very often, before we get the message.
Carlo Carretto, the renowned spiritual writer, spent many years living alone as a hermit in the Sahara Desert. He wrote a number of books from that place of solitude, including one entitled, “Letters from the Desert”. In that book, he has a message for those of us who live busy lives in the world. “What is God trying to say to us in our busy lives?” He suggests this: Be patient! Learn to wait – for each other, for love, for happiness, for God!”

Learn to wait! That’s not something we do easily and many of our problems flow from that. We often don’t wait properly for things.

Annie Dillard shares this story about proper waiting. She had been watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon and was fascinated by the process until she grew impatient with how long it was taking and, to speed things up, she took a candle and heated the cocoon, albeit very gently.

The experiment worked, but it was a mistake in the long run. The butterfly emerged more quickly; however, because adding heat violated something within the natural process, the butterfly was born with wings too weak to fly. Haste and prematurity had stunted and deformed a natural process. Some things can’t be rushed.

Dillard understood immediately what had gone wrong. The Christmas gift had been opened too early. There hadn’t been enough advent!

The prayer after the Our Father in Mass -  “As we wait in Blessed Hope for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ”.

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 30th November - A time to Listen

  • 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.

From Eco-Congregation Scotland

On this first day of Advent 2021, two weeks after the COP26 climate conference concluded in Glasgow, Eco-Congregation Scotland opens our alternative, ecumenical, international and environmental Advent Calendar.

We all need help to look at where we are in this time of climate crisis. What do we do after COP26 and who should we be? Advent answers that.

The huge emotional impact of COP on campaigners, especially those within churches, requires a lot of pondering. Our contributors will use Advent readings to take us, with the Wise Magi, “Home by another way”.

Today we open with "The Branch of Justice: Jeremiah 33:14" from Rev James Bhagwan of Fiji, the Pacific Conference of Churches general secretary, representing the World Council of Churches and addressing the climate conference on behalf of faith-based organisations.

This can be viewed on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. We are also adding to our new Vimeo webpage where videos can be downloaded directly for your own use any time. A video will be published each day of Advent: averaging about one and a half minutes in length. All posts will appear daily and remain as a collection on our website.

Our diverse daily contributors include representatives from All We Can Methodist relief and development, Tearfund, the Scottish Episcopal Church, Trinity College Glasgow, the Church of Scotland's Faith Impact Forum, the Iona Community and local eco-congregations.

We look forward to you joining us "Home by another way" on our Advent journey.

To see more from Eco-Congregation Scotland and to acces the videos, please click here
This will take you to the Eco-Congregation Scotland Newsletter

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 -

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 launch of the 40 Hours’ Devotion is at St Mary’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, on Sunday 28 November from 1pm. 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 first takes place on Monday 29 November 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. Begins this Tuesday (30 November) at 7:45pm and includes a reflection from Fr Kevin Douglas. This event is on Zoom. To register click here.

Getting married? You should be in touch with the parish priest at least six months before getting married. A Marriage Preparation Course is a requirement for those wishing to get married in the Catholic Church. Courses fill up fast so please register by clicking here.

Nativity Blessing/Carol Service: Archbishop Cushley will bless the Nativity Scene at the Nativity Blessing and Carol Service, which takes place in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh at 3pm on Sunday 28 November. All welcome to attend and sing carols with St Columba’s Choir and the Salvation Army Brass Band.

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