The 400th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St John Ogilvie was celebrated on 4th July with a National Pilgrimage to Keith in Banffshire
The commemorations took place at Kynoch Park, the home of Highland Football League side Keith FC, beginning at 12.00pm with entertainment for all ages. The overcast blustery conditions proved a challenge to the many stalls which showcased the Catholic Church in Scotland, who coped admirably and with unfailing humour.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation was available at St Thomas’ Roman Catholic Church.
Mass began at 3.00pm. The Principal Celebrant was The Most Reverend Leo Cushley, with The Right Reverend Hugh Gilbert O.S.B. concelebrating. Also present were Members of the Scottish Hierarchy, Abbot Anselm Atkinson and the Monks of Pluscarden Abbey, The Order of the Holy Sepulchre, the Order of Malta, the Order of St. Gregory, members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, and Concelebrant Priests and Religious from the Dioceses of Scotland.
The setting for the Mass was the ‘Missa De Angelis’ professionally led by the Aberdeen Diocesan Choir and the Monks of Pluscarden Abbey. Other hymns included For all the Saints who from their labours rest, We Plough the Fields and Scatter, Soul of my Saviour, Sweet Sacrament Divine, Salve Regina, and a St John Ogilvie hymn ‘On the Battlefields of Scotland’ written by Mother W. Long RSCJ, and sung to the tune Blaenwern.
Despite being surrounded by ominous clouds, the rain held off and as Bishop Hugh Gilbert began his Homily, the sun lit the Altar then the Park and remained for the rest of the afternoon.
After the mass ended many of the congregation lingered meeting old friends and making new, making the most of a wonderful pilgrimage and a very special commemoration.