Our movement is inspired by the words and works of St. John Paul II. Our aim is to bring people closer to God, forming a deeper relationship with Christ through deeper knowledge of the Catholic faith and understanding of Scripture. Based in central Scotland, we aim to grow outward and reach as many people as possible. With full support from Bishop Stephen Robson of the Diocese of Dunkeld.
It is our aim to respond to the call for a New Evangelisation by helping to foster the Lay Faithful in discovering new depths of personal relationship with Christ through prayer, worship and the nurturing of a greater openness and response to the Holy Spirit.
We also recognise and support the need for the Lay Faithful to grow in confidence, conviction and knowledge of our faith and understanding of Scripture as well as its application to our lives, formed by mature teaching and Catholic education.
By so engaging in a more active approach to our faith where we can support, encourage and up-build one another we aim to provide opportunities to enable lives to be spiritually renewed so as to be transformed in Christ and therefore better prepare us to respond to the call of our Baptism to give witness and edify the Church.
Currently, we facilitate four ‘Schools of Prayer’ across the Dunkeld Diocese in Scotland. These groups aim to expand their knowledge of our faith and understanding of Scripture, as well as growing deeper in personal relationship with Christ.
The St John Paul II Prayer Movement meets at the St Joseph’s Convent, 24-28 Lawside Road, Dundee on Thursdays – between 7-9pm and also in St Columba’s, Kirkton, on Mondays; St Fillan’s, Crieff on Wednesdays and St James’, Kinross on Fridays
Contact – Chris McCrossan
To encourage, support, strengthen the lay faithful in our spiritual lives in order to build one another up and so edify the Church.
With the approval and full support of
Bishop Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld.
Under the spiritual direction of Fr Jim McManus CSsRPatron Saint – St John Paul II
This is the call to us today – to ‘Rebuild my church!’ Such is the demise of Christianity in this Nation of Scotland that we have become a faithless Nation.
There exists a great need for the restoration of faith, for a re-animated people to turn back to God and seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, both in terms of the Catholic Church and the wider church. To date the Catholic percentage of population in Scotland represents some 13% (around 667,000), though when you measure the percentage of active practising Catholics it is a sobering 3.5% (around 185,000) and falling.
During the Scottish Bishop’s Ad Limina visit in March 2003, Pope John Paul II remarked, ‘We may observe that in Scotland, as in many lands evangelised centuries ago and steeped in Christianity, there no longer exists the reality of a Christian society’. This was in fact an echo from his earlier historical visit to Scotland in 1982 when he added, ‘… that is a society which despite human weaknesses and failings takes the Gospel as the explicit measures of its life and values’.
True revival can only be realised through this turning back to God – Repentance. The Greek word for this, and one used often in the New Testament, is ‘metanoia’ – a changing of the heart and mind bringing about a spiritual conversion or awakening. It is in this spiritual renewing of the heart and mind that the church needs to see transformation and thus be rebuilt.
‘Whether they be exceptional and great or simple and ordinary, the charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit that have, directly or indirectly, a usefulness for the ecclesial community, ordered as they are to the building up of the Church, to the well-being of humanity and to the needs of the world’Pope St John Paul II (‘Christifideles Laici')
What is meant by this? To move forward prophetically requires us to know God’s will for us and to respond in obedience to it – to hear His voice and move in it. In order to know His will for us we need to be transformed inwardly.
St Paul puts it like this – ‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ Romans 12:2.
The Holy Spirit is dynamic, always looking to move us forward in Christ, so we will learn how to be more co-operative in our response. To pray, listen, hear His voice, discern what He is saying to us, also in terms of the wider church – ‘If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches’ (Rev 2 & 3), and then respond in obedience to Him.
This is the mandate of Christ and the mandate of the Church. Jesus expressed His great desire for this in His priestly prayer of John 17:21 ‘Father, that they may all be one…’
The Church has expressed her great desire for this many times with comments such as “Ecumenism is a mandate from our Lord. It is not an option; it is an obligation for the Church” 7 and “The commitment of the Catholic Church to the ecumenical movement solemnly proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council is irreversible”. 8 Pope John Paul II clearly saw Ecumenism at the heart of the church stating that, “It is a pastoral priority that the Church cannot give up”.
To engage ecumenically requires a change of heart in order to overcome the years of wrong attitudes, fears, misunderstandings and failings.
Pope John Paul II, makes this point in the document ‘Unitatis Redintegratio’, 10 the Church’s Decree on Ecumenism, and later restates in his Encyclical letter, ‘Ut Unum Sint’ that “There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without a change of heart”.
We will study Catholic teaching and direction on this subject matter as well as providing encouragement and support, both in terms of prayer and practical measures, to those individuals within the groups who wish to engage in the various ecumenical works and prayer initiatives that the Holy Spirit calls into being.
Deepening Our Roots
We recognise the importance of not only being deeply rooted in the Catholic Faith but in growing in stronger conviction of the Catholic Faith. That is to say, building confidence and inner belief about what it means to be Catholic, its significance in relation to other Christian denominations’ subsistence in the Catholic Church, the fullness of the Faith that we carry and the greater responsibilities we therefore own in the field of ecumenism and witness. Our main source of reference will be Scriptural study and Catholic teaching drawn from the vast array of Catholic resources available to us as well as drawing on Clerical input.
In order to mitigate the fears that exist in many of engaging ecumenically, whilst also instilling a greater awareness and confidence to proclaim and move in our Catholicism, our pursuit is to strengthen in conviction and deepen the roots and understanding of the tenets of our Catholic Faith. In so doing we seek to gain a greater sense of our Catholic identity and carry our Catholicism with confidence and inner security to the table of unity.