Birds: What’s in a Name? By Fr Peter Barry


This entertaining and informative guide explains the meanings of bird names, many of which have fascinating origins and stories behind them. The universal system of ‘scientific’ names, based largely on Greek and Latin, is used in all good bird books and assists birdwatchers around the world in figuring out exactly what they are looking at. While some of the names are fairly self-explanatory – such as Troglodytes for wren, meaning ‘cave – dweller’ – others are mysterious – Caprimulgus for nightjar, for example, meaning ‘goat-sucker’. Continue reading

French Mass


A monthly Mass in the French Language is held at St Joseph’s, Woodside (Aberdeen) at 18:00, usually celebrated by Bishop Hugh Gilbert, OSB.

The next dates for the French mass are:

  • Saturday 2 February
  • Saturday 16 March
  • Saturday 27 April
  • Saturday 18 May
  • Saturday 01 June

Homily for the Three Cathedrals Service


“Jesus went on his way …journeying to Jerusalem.” Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem is the backbone, the spinal cord of the Gospel of Luke. He turns his face towards Jerusalem. He goes there consciously and deliberately, knowing he must fulfil his destiny there. He goes, we learn from the Gospel of John, to be lifted up and gazed upon. He goes there “to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (Jn 11:52). Jerusalem means “the vision of peace”. Continue reading

St Magnus Way Website Launch


The website for the St Magnus Way has launched;, in advance of the opening of the pilgrimage route on Sunday 16th at 2pm at Gurness. Like the walk itself, the site aims to be a restful place of exploration, combining stunning imagery of the pilgrimage route with information about walking the route and resources to download.

The St Magnus Way is a long distance pilgrimage route through Mainland Orkney, following the story of St Magnus and giving time and space for reflection on the journey.


A facial reconstruction of St Magnus


Using computer software, a facial reconstruction has been made of Orkney’s St Magnus to help mark the 900th anniversary of his death. Forensic artist Hew Morrison’s, a graduate of the University of Dundee, used photographs taken in the 1920s of what is believed to be the skull of the 12th Century Norse earl, after it was discovered in a wooden box in one of the pillars of St Magnus Cathedral.

The full article can be read at: