Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

Would you like to become Catholic?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) will begin at the Cathedral on 18th September. The group meets every Tuesday from 7.00pm to 8:30pm to learn about the teachings of the Church and to deepen our faith through Biblical studies and prayer. If you would like to sign up or just to receive more information about RCIA, please contact Christine Burns via the Parish Office on


2018 Annual Pilgrimage for the Beatification of Venerable Margaret Sinclair

The 2018 Annual Pilgrimage for the Beatification of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair will take place on Sunday 9 September from 2.00 to 6.00pm at St Patrick’s Church, Cowgate, Edinburgh. 2pm – Opening; 3 pm – Film: The Story of Margaret Sinclair, Servant of God; 4.30 pm – Holy Mass.


Message from Fr. Binu

My dear friends thank you very much for your support and prayers for me last one year. It was a great year for me to come to Edinburgh to study and I feel privileged to have minister here at the Cathedral and Ravelston. I thank you all, and in very special way Msgr. Patrick Burke, for your fraternal love and care. Many of you asked me to give you may contact details: Once again thank you all and please keep me in your valuable prayers. Fr. Binu Palakapally IC.

God bless you all,

Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie, Deacon Peter and Sister Mary Simone. 

Read the newsletter for Sunday 19th of August (.doc)

Read the newsletter for Sunday 19th of August (.pdf)

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

Solemnity of the Assumption

This Wednesday is the feast of the Assumption. It is a holyday of obligation – which means that all Catholics are obliged to attend Mass on Wednesday. To celebrate this Solemnity and also our Patronal Feast there will be a special Organ Recital “In Praise of Mary” with our new organist Simon Leach immediately after the evening Mass at 7.45pm. The Recital will last 30 minutes and will be followed by a Champagne (!) reception in the Cathedral Hall. Please come along to celebrate with your fellow parishioners and also to meet Simon.

Day for Children’s Liturgy Leaders – 15th September

In order to improve and enrich our Children’s Liturgy across the Archdiocese and in order to share good practice, the Catechetics Commission has organized a Day for Children’s Liturgy Leaders on the 15th of September 2018, at the Gillis Centre (110 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1BB) from 11am – 3pm. If you would like to attend, please email and reserve a place.

Farewell to Fr Binu

Finally, today we have to – very sadly – say good bye to Fr. Binu. It is difficult to believe that he has been with us for a whole year and we will very much miss him. I would like to thank him for all he has done here in the parish over the last 12 months and also for being such a good companion. We wish him well as he moves to his new appointment in India. We hope he takes happy memories of Edinburgh with him and we assure him of our prayers and of a warm welcome here in the parish whenever he should return.

God bless you all,

Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie, Sister Mary Simone and Deacon Peter.

Read the newsletter for Sunday 12th of August (.doc)

Read the newsletter for Sunday 12th of August (.pdf)

Eighteenth Sunday of the Year - Year B

Dates for your Diaries

Just to note that, in addition to our Patronal Feast day (the Assumption of Our Lady) on 15th August, on Friday 17th August there will be a Chapter Mass in the Cathedral at 12.45pm and on Sunday 19th August we have our Festival Mass at 12noon with the Lord Provost, City Counsellors and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

Cathedral Football Team

Following on from our most successful season finishing 3rd in the league with a record points total and a cup semi-final, we are once again looking for new players. We usually train on Wednesday evenings and our games are played on Saturday morning usually with a 10am kick off. Please contact if you'd like to join the team or if you would be interested in sponsoring the team, for which we would be very grateful.

God bless you all,

Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie and Deacon Peter.

Read the newsletter for Sunday 5th of August (.doc)

Read the newsletter for Sunday 5th of August (.pdf)

Seventeenth Sunday of the Year - Year B

Altar Servers!

The Archbishop has asked to meet all the altar servers of the Archdiocese at a special day for Altar Servers at the Gillis Center on the 1st of September, 11am-3pm. As the mother church of the diocese, it would be wonderful if the Cathedral were well-represented on this day! This also seems like a good opportunity to try to recruit some new servers and offer some training. To this end, Fr Jamie will be holding training sessions for new (and also more experienced!) servers during the month of August- watch this space! 

Parish Bible Study – Mondays in September

In September, we will be launching a new Bible study based at St Andrew’s, Ravelston, focused on the readings for Sunday Mass. This will take place on Monday evenings, from 7pm – 8.30pm. The group will launch with four introductory talks from invited, expert guest speakers. Refreshments will also be provided. The first talk will take place on Monday 10th September. Save the dates & invite your friends!

God bless you all,

Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie and Deacon Peter.

Read the newsletter for Sunday 29th of July (.doc)

Read the newsletter for Sunday 29th of July (.pdf)

Sixteenth Sunday of the Year - Year B


To Sister Mary Simone who has arrived from the USA to take over from Sister Mary Cora as Parish Secretary. Sister Mary Simone is a native of Sweeden. She studied philosophy and theology in Rome and has just completed her Novitiate Year. She will start working in the Parish Office at the beginning of August. Welcome also to Lucas LaRoche, a seminarian from the North American College in Rome, who is spending part of his summer here in Edinburgh. I know that you will make them both welcome.

Many thanks…

To Fr. Jamie and the other helpers from the parish who accompanied our young people to Ampleforth Abbey last week. The week went extremely well, the weather was fantastic, and the young people had a marvelous time. Thanks also to a number of very generous parishioner who helped to sponsor the event and to the SVDP who subsidized a number of youngsters.

God bless you all, Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie and Deacon Peter.

Read the newsletter for Sunday 22nd July 2018 (doc)

Read the newsletter for Sunday 22nd July 2018 (pdf)

Fifteenth Sunday of the Year - Year B

The Feast of the Assumption – Wednesday 15th August

The Assumption is our Patronal Feast here at the Cathedral. We will celebrate the feast as usual with a Pontifical Mass (i.e. with the Archbishop) at 12.45pm, but this year we will also celebrate with a short organ Recital by our new Organist Simon Leach after the 7pm evening Mass. The Recital will be entitled “In Praise of Mary” and will feature music dedicated to Our Lady over the centuries. It will be followed by a Champagne Reception (sic!) in the Café and the opportunity to meet Simon personally. Put the date in your diary and do come along.

Seeking Experts

Thanks to all those who responded to this appeal last week, but we are still looking for parishioners who might have specific expertise and who might be willing to help the parish by donating their time and talents! Specifically, we are looking for people who might have expertise in Event Management, grant applications and heritage and museums. If you have experience or expertise in these fields and if you might be willing to lend a hand could you please speak to one of the priests after Mass, or alternatively to Nicola McDonagh (St Mary’s) or Rosemary Milligan (St Andrew’s).

L'Arche: Edinburgh

“We human beings are all fundamentally the same. We all belong to a common, broken humanity. We all have wounded, vulnerable hearts. Each one of us needs to feel appreciated and understood.” ― Jean Vanier.

L'Arche Edinburgh is a community for people with and without disabilities. They are currently looking for people who are interested in community life to get in touch. They have many ways to be involved, from living in the community, working full-time or part-time, casual relief work, as well as a variety of volunteering opportunities. If you think you might be interested and would like to find out more, please look at the L'Arche Edinburgh website or get in touch

God bless you all, Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie and Deacon Peter

Read the newsletter for Sunday, 15th July 2018 (doc)

Read the newsletter for Sunday 15th July 2018 (pdf)

Fourteenth Sunday of the Year - Year B

Cathedral Welcomers During the Festival, 1 -31 August

We need new “welcomers” after the great success of our Welcoming Initiative during the Festival last year. If you think you could possibly help please give your name at the end of Mass, speak to one of the priests, or contact the parish office. In addition, there will be a short meeting for all those involved on Saturday 28th July at 12 noon. This was a great undertaking last year – please do help again this year if you can.

Simon Leach - Our New Organist

As most of you will now know, our search for a new organist for the Cathedral concluded with the appointment of Mr Simon Leach. He is a prize-winning graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and a Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians. He is a wonderful talent and we are very excited about what he will bring to our liturgies with his music. He also offers tuition in piano, organ and harpsichord for students of all levels and abilities. If you would like to enquire about lessons, please contact him here.

Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie, and Deacon Peter

Read the newsletter for 8 July 2018 (doc)

Read the newsletter for 8 July 2018 (pdf)

Thirteenth Sunday of the Year – Year B

Cathedral Hall

I was recently approached by representatives of Laing O’Rourke - the construction firm working on the new St. James’ Centre – asking if we would consider renting the Parish Hall to them for the remainder of the construction period because they are desperately short of space. Their proposal was forwarded to the Parish Council, the Finance and Hall Committees and the Archdiocesan Trustees, and after some intense negotiations, it was decided to accept. The Hall will, therefore, be rented to Laing O’Rourke for the next 30 months. The café-space and the toilets will remain exclusively for the use of the Cathedral, and the Cathedral will have use of kitchen on Sundays for teas and coffees. In addition to this the Cathedral will have use of the Hall for all our major events: SVDP events, Parish Socials, School events, and events like ordinations, the Red Mass and the Festival Mass. The deal will allow the Cathedral to invest in much needed fabric work on Cathedral properties, we still get to use the Hall, and importantly it buys us a period of time while we consider how best to use this extremely valuable space once the new St. James’ Centre is open. In addition, they will not use the hall on Saturday afternoon or Sundays, so that to all intents and purposes most parishioners will hardly notice the change. Laing O’Rourke will move in next week. To the extent that you are aware of them, I hope you will make them very welcome.

A huge “Thank You” to those who organise Teas and Coffees

Teas and coffees after Mass are now suspended for the summer. I would like to say a huge thank you to the small group of volunteers who have nobly given up their time to provide this wonderful service and who have kept things going through thick and thin. We wish them a good rest and look forward to teas and coffees after Mass again after the summer.

Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie, and Deacon Peter

Download the newsletter for 1 July 2018 (doc)

Download the newsletter for 1 July 2018 (pdf)

Solemnity Of The Nativity Of St John The Baptist – Year B

Solemnity of Saints. Peter and Paul

Please note that Friday is the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. It is a Holy Day of Obligation which means that all Catholics are obliged to attend Mass on Friday.

Teas and Coffees after Sunday Morning Masses

The opportunity to meet and mix with fellow parishioners after Sunday morning Mass is something valued by many people. However, we have a chronic shortage of volunteers to help with this! As always with these things, if enough people volunteer it is possible to make up a rota which means that each group are on once a month or once every three weeks. So, once again, we are appealing for volunteers. If you think you might be able to help on an occasional basis – can you please speak to one of the volunteers in the café ion Sunday. Please think about it and please be generous – remembering our time is our most valuable asset.

On Going Fabric Issues in the Cathedral

 We have put in an application to the Trustees of the Archdiocese for permission to move ahead with four major fabric projects. The first is the renewal of the third boiler in the Cathedral, the second is the re-alignment of the ventilation system for the boiler room, the third is to repair the lift in Cathedral House and the fourth is to renew the CCTV system throughout the complex. All of these items have been reported to us as needing to be done and so I think we will just have to bite the bullet and get on with them.

God bless you all, Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie and Deacon Peter

Newsletter for 24 June 2018 (doc)
Newsletter for 24 June 2018 (pdf)

Eleventh Sunday of the Year – Year B

Ordination of Patrick Harrigan

A group of nearly 30 parishioners travelled to Rome last week with Deacon Peter and myself for the Ordination of Patrick Harrigan. We had a great trip and I am happy to be able to inform you that Patrick was duly (and validly!) ordained to the Diaconate on Wednesday. We then had a very happy celebration on Wednesday evening and were able to present Patrick with a very generous gift on behalf of the parish. Patrick asked me to thank you all not only for your very kind gift but for all the prayers and spiritual support given to him over the years by the parish. We look forward to his ordination to the priesthood next year.

Farewell to Sr. Mary Cora

After only a year here in Scotland Sr. Mary Cora has, as you know, sadly been recalled to America. Sister has been a wonderful presence here over the last year and we will miss her very much – but we wish her well and promise her our prayers and good wishes in the next chapter of her service to the Church. Sister is flying back to the Sates on Monday morning and will be replaced by Sr. Mary Simone in mid-July. We will be making a presentation to Sister Mary Cora at Ravelston on Sunday morning.

Amalgamation of the Parishes of St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Andrews, Ravelston

Last week I forwarded to the Archbishop the opinions of the parishioners who attended both parish meetings called to discuss his proposals for the future of the parishes. Having considered these opinions and having consulted now with both the Deanery and the Council of Priests, the Archbishop has decided to amalgamate the Cathedral Parish of St. Mary’s and the Parish of St. Andrew’s in Ravelston. He has issued a Decree to this effect, which has been posted on the noticeboard in the porch. Both Churches will remain open, both Churches will retain their dedication, and the assets and debts of both parishes will be maintained separately. This is a moderate and sensible decision made after years of patient consultation and consideration and I am happy to accept this decision of the Archbishop and to proceed accordingly.

St Vincent de Paul Society Summer Outing

Many thanks to all those who organised the SSVP summer outing yesterday. It was a great success and was enjoyed by all those who attended.

Rosary Beads Wanted

The Apostleship of the Sea, the Church's maritime welfare agency, is often asked for Rosary beads by the sailors they meet. Do you have a spare set of beads? Please will you consider donating them to the sailors. You can donate them after Masses on Sunday 17th June (including Vigil Mass). Why not look out those many sets of Rosary beads you have at home and donate them to a worthy cause?

Read the newsletter for Sunday, 17th June 2018 (doc)