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
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

A wee reminder: Masses next week are on Saturday at 6.30pm and Sunday at 10.00am. Booking is still necessary and bookings should be made by Thursday 23rd September 2021. Booking requests to .

Mass Readings for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(19 September 2021)

1st Reading

Wisdom 2:12,17-20 - The wicked prepare to ambush the just man.

2nd Reading

James 3:16-4:3 - The wisdom that comes from above makes for peace.


Mark 9:30-37 - Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me.

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 on today's Readings from Father Tony:

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Ambition is the central theme in our three readings today.  It is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:

The eager or inordinate desire for honour or preferment; A desire that has got out of hand”.

Shakespeare, though he never quoted the Bible, returned to this topic in many his plays. Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Merchant of Venice etc.

Caesar was a Roman general but began to show signs of looking for an Emperor’s crown, the emperors crown would have made him into a god for life, and end to the Republic. The Roman senators drew their daggers on the floor of the senate and plunged them into Caesar claiming he was ambitious., to Brutus his friend with a dying breath he uttered, “Et tu Brute

In our own immediate history Hitler, Stalin, Amin and many others were dictators, they had inordinate desires for honour, preferment and control. They are only remembered for the evil they perpetrated on humanity.

In Church: The present Pope deplored “Episcopal careerism. He said he was shocked by bishops seeking promotion from smaller to larger dioceses.  Shocked that men claiming to follow Jesus, sought power rather than service. Jesus says “I am among you as one who serves.” 

If such naked ambition is to be found among bishops we shouldn’t be surprised when it raises its ugly head in political, commercial, church and indeed academic life.

There is of course good ambition. Over the summer months we witnessed the Olympic and para Olympic games. It was life-giving to witness disabled people overcome their disability and mount the rostrum to collect a gold medal.

It is good to have goals, but we must be careful what we are sacrificing in the pursuit of our goals. We may be sacrificing family life, justice, kindness, even life itself. Drive and ambition can cause a person to treat others in a cruel or unjust way. What good will it do us if we gain the whole world but lose ourselves? 

In the Gospel we see the apostles fighting over who would be the first in Jesus’ kingdom. Not an edifying scene. They are driven by selfishness and false ambition. It shows how little they have learned from Jesus. Neither his deeds nor his words had touched their hearts. He washed their feet, he welcomed the outcasts.

Jesus did not abolish ambition.  Rather, he redefined it. For the ambition to rule others he substituted the ambition to serve others. For the ambition to have others do things for us he substituted the ambition to do things for others. So, it is not ambition itself that is being condemned, but false ambition.

False ambition is very damaging to the unity of community. It springs from jealousy and selfishness. And it can result in all kinds of ugly behaviour. So much of the violence and evil in our society results from greed and selfishness. Self-interest creates conflict and often results in painful divisions even within families. 

Jesus showed the apostles where true greatness was to be found. It is not to be found in being the masters of others, but rather in being the servants of others, especially the weaker members of the community. The real test is serving the least, those from whom we cannot expect rewards. Jesus says, “Whoever welcomes one such child, welcomes me.” Welcome means loving service. And, “child” stands for the weakest members of the community, those who are the most in need. Service rendered to the least is best of all. “As long as you did it to one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it to me.

Jesus set the example himself. Though he had authority from God, he never used that authority to dominate others. And his service was directed towards the poor, the sick, the maimed and the outcast.

The really great people, those who are fondly remembered, are not those who sought to further themselves and their own interests, but rather they are those who devoted themselves to furthering the interests of the community.

Sacramental Programme 2021/2022

The Sacramental Programme will resume at St John Ogilvie's in November this year and is primarily for children who attend a non-Catholic school.

There are three separate classes in the Programmes for 2021/22: -

  • - Reconciliation – Primary 3 and above;

  • - First Holy Communion – Primary 4 and above; and

  • - Confirmation – Primary 7 and above.

If you wish your child to be enrolled for any of the classes then please send an email to Fr Tony Quinlan at by 15th October 2021.

Please include the following information: -

  • - Child’s name, date of birth, school and class; and

  • - Parent/Guardian’s names, address and contact telephone number.

Also, if you or any other families in the parish have a child preparing for these Sacraments in a Catholic school and intending to receive the Sacraments with their class, please inform Fr Tony so we can include these children in our prayers.

From the Archdiocese

Courses at Gillis Centre: Applications are about to close for courses run by St Mary’s University at the Gillis Centre Campus in Edinburgh. Why not improve your knowledge of the Catholic Faith with an MA in Theology? Teachers are invited to register now for MA Education courses as part of their continuing professional development. These are: Catholic School Leadership; Leading Innovation and Change; Pedagogy; Religious Education. Watch testimonies from students on the Archdiocesan YouTube channel by clicking here. And for more information about the courses please click here.

Dementia: Hope on a Difficult Journey: An event for those supporting friends or family with dementia will be held at the Gillis Centre, Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, from 2-4pm on Saturday 6 November. A talk will be led by Dr Adrian Treloar, and there will be a chance to share experiences before a time of prayer in St Margaret’s Chapel, onsite. Light refreshments will be served. The event is organised by the Archdiocesan Marriage and Families Commission. To register please click here

Safeguarding webinar: To learn more about "In God’s Image" v2, clergy, religious, church employees and volunteers across Scotland are being encouraged to take part in a national safeguarding webinar at 11am on Saturday 2 October. The Bishops of Scotland hope to use this opportunity to convey key messages about the document and to encourage everyone to reflect upon its implications for their own safeguarding role in the Church.

To read and/or download a PDF version of In God’s Image" v2, please click here.

To register for the webinar, please click here.


Fresh Start are now open again following lockdown and have a number of volunteer vacancies in Edinburgh across the range of their services in the Pantry/Thrift shop, Warehouse, Cookery Classes, Growing Spaces and Hit Squad. If you can lend a hand for even 1 day per month please phone 0131 476 7741 for further details.

To learn more about Fresh Start visit their website by clicking here.

Eco-Congregation Scotland

You will find some very interesting articles in Eco-Congregation's latest newsletter if you click here.

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



Pope Francis has called for a ‘Synodal Church’ that listens, learns and shares mission. Synodality is a word that we may not have encountered too often but it simply means ‘to walk together’ and this was a vital component of the early Church. The Catholic Church in Scotland is scheduled to begin the Synodal process in October; so why not join us at the Edinburgh Jesuit Centre this September to get a view of how this might look at grass-root level in different parts of the world.

A View from Rome
Sr Nathalie Becquart
(Under Secretary to the Vatican Synod of Bishops)

Tuesday 21st September, 7.30pm
Zoom & Facebook Live

A View from Liverpool
Fr Philip Inch
(Synod Moderator for the 2020 Synod in Liverpool)

Tuesday 28th September, 7.30pm
Zoom & Facebook Live

Zoom Login Information or Meeting ID: 236 509 2814
Or join live on Facebook by clicking here.

For more information contact


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.

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