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Language: English / Gàidhlig


Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2018

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Urgent Question, Best Start Grant (Implementation), Digital Industries, Business Motion, Committee Announcement, Decision Time, Offshore Wind Week 2018


Time for Reflection

Good afternoon. Our first item of business is time for reflection, for which our leader is Father John Morrison of St Fergus Catholic church in Paisley.

Presiding Officer and members of the Scottish Parliament, I thank you for allowing me to lead time for reflection. It is a great honour to be here.

I have been a Catholic priest since 2001 and, since then, I have had the enormous privilege and responsibility of working with young people throughout the west of Scotland. Presently, I find myself ministering in two remarkable learning communities—St James’ and St Fergus’ primary schools in Paisley.

Over the years, I have been blessed to witness the generosity of spirit that is so evident in our young people. I have seen them bring comfort to the sick and the dying, bring solace to the dispossessed and bring hope to those who live on the peripheries. Young people are often selfless and dedicated in their service of their communities. They pursue excellence in many and varied fields not as an end in itself but so that its many fruits may be shared.

More than 40 years ago, the American businessman, writer and futurist Alvin Toffler lamented the fact that society secretly communicates to young people that they are not needed and that society will get by until they can—at some distant point in the future—take over the reins. He said that the fact is, however, that society is not running itself nicely. Right here and right now, the rest of us need the energy, intelligence and imagination that young people have in abundance. If we are to attempt to solve the many problems that we as a species face, the full engagement of even very young people is not simply desirable but of the utmost necessity.

Can there be any nobler and more fruitful labour than seeking to fully engage young people in the life of our country, our Parliament and our communities? I sincerely doubt it. Whether it be in the public square, in the realm of politics, in our neighbourhoods or even in our faith communities, let us always have the determination and courage to entrust our young people with the sacred tasks of solving the problems of today and grasping the possibilities of tomorrow.