By John Newton
SCOTLAND’S Catholics are showing their support for the suffering people of Syria with two key events organised by a Catholic charity helping the Middle East’s oppressed Christians.
Aid to the Church in Need will be holding a Mass for the country’s beleaguered faithful and putting on a concert by Christian singer Marilla Ness to raise money for Church help for displaced people and refugees from Syria who have had to flee their homes because of the conflict.
Support from the charity for the country’s Christians has included an urgent aid package of more than £130,000 to provide food, blankets and medicine for people struggling in below-freezing temperatures.
Lorraine McMahon, ACN Head of Operations in Scotland, described how the plight of Syria’s suffering faithful was of great concern to many Catholics in Scotland.
She said: “There are people within our local community who have come from Syria, and the desperate situation in the country is affecting their families.
“The presence of Syrian refugees in Scotland, who are our friends and neighbours, makes the tragedy present within our community.”
The Marilla Ness concert will be held on Thursday, 9th May at 7.30pm at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Carfin.
All profits will go to support Aid to the Church in Need’s work for Syria.
Lorraine McMahon said: “We are delighted that renowned Catholic singer Marilla Ness will again be staging an evening of prayerful music and reflections in support of our suffering brothers and sisters in the Middle East.
“She is an inspirational singer and those who come along to hear her will be inspired as we come together in solidarity.”
Described as the UK’s number one Christian recording artist, Irish-born Marilla Ness will perform songs from her more than 20 CDs.
The concert will be followed on Monday, 13th May by Mass for Syria at St Paul’s Church, Ayr. It will be celebrated at 7.30pm by the parish priest, Fr Gerald Donnelly.
Taking part will be Syrian Christians now living in Scotland, who will bring up the offertory gifts of bread and wine.
Pupils from St John’s Primary School and Queen Margaret Academy will also be involved in reading the bidding prayers, with older pupils serving and reading as well.
Lorraine McMahon said: “In praying and raising funds for Syria’s Christians we will not only be showing our solidarity with them in their suffering, but raising aid to help those who have been forced to flee their homes.”
? Christian singer Marilla Ness will perform at a fund-raising concert for Aid to the Church in Need’s work for Syria at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Taylor Avenue, Carfin, Motherwell ML1 5AJ, on Thursday, 9th May 2013 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 each. For information, visit: www.acnuk.org/concerts
? A Mass for Syria will take place at St Paul’s Church, Peggieshill Road, Belmont, Ayr KA7, on Monday, 13th May 2013 at 7.30pm.