Holy Doors Challenge Success!

11 Students at the School of Education at the University of Glasgow recently took time away from their exam preparation to heed Pope Francis’ call to undertake a pilgrimage to a Holy Door. Not content with one door, they visited all 8 Scottish cathedral Holy Doors in under 24 hours, on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th April. Accompanied by staff from the School of Education, they travelled only by train and foot, whilst raising money forClassrooms for Malawi. Their selfies at each cathedral were posted live on the School of Education Facebook page, and followed by hundreds of fellow students and family members.


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The first stop was St Columba’s Cathedral in Oban.

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After a beautiful train journey, the pilgrims celebrated Mass in the Cathedral, a highlight of the pilgrimage.

Then it was off to have a fish supper, before returning to the Cathedral to pray and pass through the Holy Door at 2.20 p.m., before dashing off to the train station. Their patience was rewarded, as they reached St Mary’s Cathedral in Aberdeen, the last on the list, at 2.10 p.m. the following day, within the 24-hour target.

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The pilgrims were delighted to discover that, by the time they had returned to Glasgow on the Saturday evening, they had raised over £1,400 for Classrooms for Malawi. The team hope to complete many more pilgrimages and challenges in the years ahead as they undertake their formation as Catholic teachers.

Fr Stephen Reilly, Co-ordinator of Spiritual and Pastoral Formation, said, “The students showed great enthusiasm in embracing the Pope’s call. As the first major event run by our newly-formed Student Pastoral Planning Team, I was delighted that it was so successful.”

Callum Timms, a second-year RE student, said, “We enjoyed the variety of cathedrals and Holy Doors, each of which was presented differently. The welcome from priests and locals at each cathedral was also special. Mass in the Cathedral in Oban was a particular highlight.”