Sunday, 24 February 2008

Golden Jubilee.

Golden Jubilee.
1st March 2008
Abbot Raymond and Fr. Hugh will be celebrating Mass to mark the 50th Anniversary of their Ordination to the Priesthood.

Hugh (Michael John) Randolph

Born 27 May 1928

Entered Prinknash 18 Jan 1949
Temporary Profession Prinknash 13 Nov 1950

Entered Nunraw 5 Nov 1951
Temporary Profession 20 Dec 1953
Solemn Profession 20 Dec 1956

Ordained 1 March 1958

Raymond Jaconelli

Born 20 July 1933

Entered 15 Oct 1951
Temporary Profession 22 Nov 1953
Solemn Profession 22 November 1956

Ordained 1 March 1958


Homily, Abbot Raymond
3rd Sunday of Lent
Jn 4,5-42.

I would like to take this phrase which the Evangelist uses to describe Jesus as he sat wearily down by the well and look at some of the deeper implications of it.

Jesus was wearied by the journey, St Luke tells us. First and most obvious of all is the fact that it confirms the reality of his sacred humanity. A humanity which, like any of the rest of us had its limitations. Like the rest of us Jesus could only go so far at a time, then he had to rest. The whole of life is like that and that is why God has built into our nature the rhythm of day and night, of waking and sleeping. There is a great lesson in this to keep us humble. No matter how great, no matter how urgent the problems of life, we just have to go to sleep at night or we will only compound the problems.

I would like this morning to take this broad view of the weariness of Jesus in his public ministry. There was a word spoken by Jesus to his Apostles at the last supper which gives a rather dark picture, not often noticed, to his public life and what it cost him.

We read in St Luke’s account of the last Supper that Jesus said to his disciples: “You are they who have stood by me in my trials” Now, Jesus Passion had not yet begun and indeed he was going to say to them almost immediately, “You will all desert me”. So the trials he was referring to, the trials in which they had stood faithfully by him and for which he was so grateful to them were the trials they had been through together during his public ministry.

We tend to think of the public ministry of Jesus as a time of one great triumphant procession through the highways and byways of Palestine, scattering miracles and healings and wonders here there and everywhere with the adulation of the crowds following him everywhere.

But how many of those who crowded round him did so with real faith in him? How many were just curious like Herod? We can be surprise too to read that Jesus would not trust himself even to many of those who believed in him because he knew what was in man”.

We need only remember that it was the same crowd that shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” at the beginning of the week that shouted “Crucify Him” at the end of the week.

On top of all this was the opposition of his own family. They even thought he was mad and tried to drag him forcibly home. Then of course there was the growing opposition of the Religious Authorities which was to lead ultimately to his death.

So indeed, Jesus had good reason to look back on his public life and refer to it, not as a time of triumph, but as a time of constant stress and trial; a time during which he was supported by the faithfulness of his Apostles and for this he was so grateful.

Let us take a lesson from this then in facing up to the stresses and strains of our own daily lives and when we feel so "wearied of the journey" let us sit down by the well of God’s word and draw strength and refreshment from it.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Cardinal O'Brien on Br. Stephen

Cardinal K. P. O’Brien speaks at the end of the Funeral Mass for Br. Stephen.

Thank you, members of the community, and each and every one of you gathered here together. I am only too happy to say these few words today. And observing, as did the Abbot, I have to keep the Liturgical Rules. Having the Abbot on one side and the Prior behind me, I am also reminded by the promise of the buffet not to be too long. That is also basic to good Liturgy.

It is a privilege to be here, and I am wearing the one mitre and also the little zucchetto. The mitre is a reminder of my responsibilities as Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, and speaking on behalf of the Archdiocese and indeed the whole of Scotland, and of many from the North of England as well, I am thanking the Cistercian monks most sincerely for the valuable apostolate all during that period from shortly after the ending of the Second World War in 1946.

And wearing the little zucchetto, I notice that some of the monks are wearing tasteful little black woolly ones too. But speaking, so to speak, as an external brother of the Cistercian community at Nunraw I just want to thank them all, and to thank Br. Stephen, for all they have taught me as an individual and for all he and the brothers have taught so many in Scotland and from further afield - all that they have taught by their way of life.

I have now passed my Golden Jubilee, my Golden Jubilee of my association with Nunraw Abbey, coming here as a young student as many did then, availing of the hospitality of the monks at the Workcamp and learning something about the monastic life.

In those days there were what we would call the working monks in their brown habits and the praying monks in white. I know that is not a very good distinction. Each and every monk works, and each and every monk prays but the working monks were symbolized for us by people like Br. Kentigern, driving that lorry and going to the quarry day by day by day, bringing the stones from which these very walls were built. And you might say three Musketeers in those days were Fr. Felim and Br. Ninian (and Kentigern). They not only set an example of hard physical graft but ensured that we took part in that hard physical graft as well, along with other lay Musketeers such as Willie Tear, and Seamus Short and various ladies in the Workcamp as well.

We think of those monks, those brown habited monks who did so much to form me and so many others

And then the praying monks; they are Musketeers as well – we did not know much about what went on within the walls of the guesthouse, the old monastery then, and consequently, Raymond, we were delighted to get that little peak into what goes on here up to the present time. All now united in the one family, one habit, one desire as monks together getting closer to Jesus Christ. Prayer and work, working and praying and still giving that tremendous example to those of us not within the walls of this abbey here at Nunraw. Whether it is Br. Kentigern or Br. Stephen, whatever the particular vocation within the walls of this monastery of Sancta Maria Abbey

Brothers, it is a tremendous privilege still to have you here in our Archdiocese, in our country, within these islands, a great, a great privilege.

And for me and for so many of us coming to places like this, coming HOME to Nunraw we prepare to give one of our brothers, Br. Stephen, HOME to the Lord.

As Abbot Raymond reminded us so beautifully, his life was one long prayer of the Gospels, of the Bible, of the Holy Rule – one long prayer.

And although physically it must have been hard for him in this last year and indeed years, but, please God, spiritually easy to move from this form of life here in Nunraw to the eternal vision God for ever in heaven.

And for all of us, linked with Nunraw in whatever way, whether as Cardinal Archbishop, or former camp worker, or one of the neighbours, may Br. Stephen’s example, and the ongoing example of all the Musketeers at Nunraw help each and every one of us, on our own journeys, HOME on the same journey to that beatific vision.


Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Br. Stephen ocso

Br Stephen

(Resume of Homily at his funeral)

By Abbot Raymond

We welcome the family of Br. Stephen and his friends.
There are certain rules in the Liturgical celebration of the Mass, and with his Eminence behind me I must keep to those rules. One of those rules is that the Gospel Homily must be a Gospel Homily and not a panegyric on the good soul we are laying to rest.

However with Br. Stephen no such problem arises because Stephen’s own life was such a commentary on the Gospel that there is no contradiction between the two.. So that makes it quite easy for me to take the Gospel today. Jesus opening words, “All that the Father gives to me will come to me” (Jn. 6:37). ‘All that the Father gives me’, this is looking right into Br. Stephen’s mind-set of his whole life when he came to Nunraw. He knew that the vocation he had been given made him a gift to Christ, he belonged to Christ and Christ could be jealous of his possession of him. And he responded to that jealous claim of Christ of his life, responded absolutely.

Jesus says in this Gospel, ‘I came from not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me’. Stephen came from Glasgow to Nunraw not to do his own will but the will of the one who called him. That was his life. He had an incredible singleness of purpose in that aim in life. It was really outstanding.

Br Stephen was a man of most unusual singleness of purpose. He knew that by his vocation he was consecrated to Christ and lived that consecration utterly. He put on the mind of Christ in a life of praise of the heavenly father and of intercession for all the worlds needs and of thanksgiving for all God’s graces and benefits to his children.

Most monks have some kind of hobby or pastime; some kind of craft or interest consonant with their monastic life. Indeed they are encouraged to do so. “If the bow is always bent taught it will snap sooner or later”. After all, we are only human beings, not angels! However it was not so with Br Stephen, his bow was always bent and the arrow of his mind and heart always pointed towards his God. I never saw him with any other books than his Bible and the Rule of St Benedict.

In Community life he latterly played the role of the “senpectae” as St Benedict calls them. These were genial old monks whom the Abbot could nudge to go and speak with a brother who was in some kind of depression or trouble or at variance with the abbot himself. Br Stephen was a persona grata to everyone and could always approach or be approached by anyone. He always had a sure and simple word of encouragement and appeasement. Even the Abbot would go to him and tell him his troubles!

He did however have one “hobby”, if you like to call it that, and this was his concern for anyone in trouble or pain of any kind. Providence arranged that a constant procession of such people were led to visit him and seek his advice and comfort. Indeed so much did this mean to him that even in his last few weeks of life, while his physical and mental resources were at their lowest, all that was needed to bring him a new surge of energy and zest was for him to receive a visit from some person seeking his help.

Finally, I was privileged to get very close to him during his last months at Nunraw. His room was right next to mine, so it was I who answered his buzzer whenever he needed help. When we first got him the buzzer, I tied a ribbon onto it so that he could hang it round his neck and thus always have it by him in emergencies. However, the first time he buzzed me I went in and found him lying on the floor beside his bed. The floor was carpeted but he was badly bruised and in pain. Then I discovered that he had actually fallen in the hard tiled floor of the bathroom and had to crawl to his bedside to get the buzzer to call me.

I said to him “Brother, you’ve lived a life of perfect obedience and now you nearly died through one little act of disobedience!” But perhaps it was only forgetfulness. In any case, he certainly always wore the buzzer round his neck after that.

One last story about the buzzer: He would sometimes say to me in all simplicity: “Jesus came to me last night”, or sometimes it was Mary, or sometimes even the devil came and gave him a rough time. So I said to him: “Brother, if Jesus comes or Mary, would you give me a buzz. I would love to meet them; but if it’s the devil that comes you’re on your own!”

And finally this time, Stephen was one of the three Musketeers of the community, the old and the very old seniors of the community, Br. Stephen and Fr. Stephen and Fr. Luke and

Now each and every one of those three is a gem in our community. They are always peaceful, always with a smile, never any complaints. It is wonderful for us to have them. So now we have only the two Muskateers and I hope the third who has gone to heaven will keep them in his prayers and keep them in the same spirit to the very end of their days.

Br. Stephen, then, was all things to all men and all monks, and he is now, I am sure, all things he ought to be to his God. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Brothers: Kentigern and Stephen

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Br. Stephen RIP

Br. Stephen (88) was called home to the Lord
Wed 13 Feb 2008

Brother Stephen, Cistercian monk Nunraw

John Heenan was born the first of a large family of ten children, 5 boys, 5 girls, of Thomas and Helen Heenan, in Townhead, Glasgow. He was Baptised in the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew. Br. Stephen is survived by his sisters Betty and Julie and brothers Thomas (Br. Kentigern) and Charles, and nieces and nephews to the third generation.

His first school was the primary of St. Andrew, from where he went on to St. Mungo’s Academy. After school he joined his father’s business as Bookmaker. In later years his gestures would sometimes reveal his expertise as a boxer. In the first stages of the Second World War he joined the Army and served in the Artillery Defenses off the south coast of England, 1939-45.

In 1952 he decided to follow his younger brother in joining the monks at Nunraw. He made the contemplative monastic life his single minded aim. True to that calling his own character took shape and was moulded by the Lord as by the master potter. To begin with, his earnestness was almost his undoing. He learned quickly to such good effect that he was able to make his Solemn Profession 8 May 1958.

Many changes took place in the course of years in the monastery. With his gentle wisdom he quietly corresponded to the will of God in the times and needs of the community. Stephen’s vocation was, from start to finish, that of simple prayer and fidelity in ordinary things. In Glasgow they would call him an ‘ordinary punter’. That description was as true of him in the monastery as it had been in the streets, and as it was to be appreciated by the people whose counsel they came to seek in later years.

A major change took place in the 60s. He joined the community as one of the Brothers who wore a brown habit and had their own life style distinctive from the Choir monks. In the changing times, Br. Stephen took the option of the White Cowl and the liturgical office of the choir. No problem. For him it was a decision as simple and straightforward as his whole life. He came to be one of the monks to be counted on for regularity.

Of course, when he became Prior, the first time a non-priest became Prior, Br. Stephen did not change. He continued in the utter simplicity and dedication of his work and prayer. In 1983, it is on record, one monk commented to another about the elderly monk (Br. Stephen) regularly and frequently sweeping the cloister and washing the extensive windows, “What shall we do when he is gone?” Some 20 years later he was still lending a hand.

As Prior he could, with the same calm, preside at the Chapter Meetings of the community. When the Abbot was away at a General Chapter (1987), Stephen took the occasion to use some words from the Abbot General, “charity between brethren was the main import; there’s been a shift in the Cistercian life from an emphasis on fidelity to observance to fidelity in caring and charity towards one’s brethren, quite revolutionary, though tension between the two fidelities will never be resolved”.

An Email of condolence on the death of Br. Stephen echoes in many hearts

“My deepest heartfelt prayers for Br. Stephen. I will also pray for him to be welcomed into the arms of his Heavenly Father. He has touched so many lives and just when I needed to speak with someone, traveling alone, weary and persevering in my call, I met this beautiful brother. His character and vibrant life in the spirit will be a memory I shall never forget. I am truly blessed to have spent time with him and share in the life at the abbey with all the brothers and the faithful there. I always think of Nunraw Abbey as my home.
Abundant Blessings and I shall see you all again”.

Notes on his life by Donald

Brother Stephen, John Heenan (88)
Born 13 Nov 1919, Townhead, Glasgow.
Baptised St Andrew's Cathedral.
St. Andrew's Primary
St. Mungo's Academy
Army 1939-45
Temp. Profession 19 Mar 1955
Sol. Profession 8 May 1958
Prior 1976-93
Died 13 Feb 2008

Friday, 8 February 2008

Death of Absalom

In his Sunday Chapter-talk, Abbot Raymond was prompted by the thought of William on“David prefiguring the Messiah”, (previous weblog), to take the theme of:

the Death of Absalom.

Abbot Raymond said,
For the beginning of Lent, a time when we consider the passion of Christ in a particular way, here is an image of King David as a Type of Christ and of the spirit in which he died for us.

The story of the death of Absalom is one of the most poignant episodes in the life of King David and is also one of the most revealing in its portrayal of David as a Type and foreshadowing of Christ..

Absalom is perhaps the ultimate personification of the sinner. He was so devious and treacherous and ungrateful. Even after having been forgiven the murder of his eldest brother Amnon and restored to his father’s house he set about treacherously stirring up rebellion against him and proclaiming himself King.

David had to flee for his life, but when his forces defeated those of Absalom and Absalom was killed it was against the express wishes of his Father who ordered that he was not to be harmed. It was in this death of Absalom that the image of Christ shone most brightly in King David. David loved him to the end, and what a bitter end it was. There is no more poignant passage in the Old Testament than David’s lament for Absalom.

“O Absalom, my son, my son Absalom. O Absalom, my son. Would that I had died instead of thee. O Absalom, my son!”

On the lips of David these words are just an expression of hopeless grief, but on the lips of Christ they are truly prophetic because that is indeed just what he did. For him, to will was to accomplish. He did indeed die instead of us. He died that we might live. _____________________

David prefiguring Messiah

Just before Lent William kindly sent this reflection on the liturgical Readings 2 Sam 12, 15.

"David is like a prefiguring of the Messiah"

Dear Father Raymond,
I would just like to share with you the wonderful commentary today's reading on 2 Samuel 15 that is given in the Catholic Community Bible which you gave to me. It will not be a new "parallel" for you, but it is so well described that I think you will like it:
God wanted the Israelites of the period before Christ to have an image of him in the person of David, their first king. Those happy and glorious days of the young ruler, beloved by all, are followed by days of sorrow for the old king. During those years the countenance of Christ appears more clearly through King David.
Nathan has announced the consequence of David's adultery. In the trial, what emerges is only the humble loyalty of David who, without complaint, accepts Yahweh's will. The way David bears with the curses of Shimei astonishes us. How much more puzzling it was to people of those times who could only understand revenge. David knows that God will never leave him; his present misfortune is like an invitation from Yahweh to have greater trust. In order to attract Yahweh's mercy, he refuses to defend himself or to take revenge.
In chapters 15-17, what happens to David is like a prefiguring of the Messiah in his passion and resurrection.

Even the details suggest this:

15:12 - a traitor from David's council... who hangs himself 17:23.

15:23 - the crying, the river of Kidron.

15:30 - the Mount of Olives.

15:32 - the small group of followers on the hilltop.

16:9 - the general wants to defend his king with the sword; David forbids him to do so.

16:13 - the insults, the brief flight that ends with the death of the rebel.

I found this a very meaningful reflection.


Sunday, 3 February 2008

Vote for this site!

Dom Donald is too modest to do so himself, so I am taking the liberty of inviting you to vote for this excellent blog as Religious Blog of the Year by clicking on the picture below, then registering and recording your vote.

Liam Devlin

My site was nominated for Best Religion Blog!

4th Sunday

Abbot Raymond, Chapter Talk


(I Corinthians I: 26-31)

“God has chosen those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything.”

Notice that St Paul doesn’t say “…those who think they are everything” but those who actually “are everything” By this I think that he indicates that they are exactly, and only, what they claim to be, and no more. They glory in their gifts and talents without realising that they are truly Gifts indeed, and therefore they are destined never to become anything greater than what they are. They repel, rather than attract, the gifts of God.

But Paul assures us that “God has chosen those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything.” And who professed this nothingness more sincerely than the Blessed Virgin Mary? “He looked upon his servant in her nothingness” she proclaimed.

But there is, in human terms, a problem here. Nothingness has no attractiveness; it doesn’t call for love. Here we might consider that Grace itself , like Nature, abhors a vacuum. Where nature finds a vacuum it rushes to fill it in and so, where Grace finds a vacuum, it too rushes to fill it in. Love and nothingness are, of themselves, incompatible. Love considers the one it loves as anything but nothing. Love considers the one it loves as wonderful, as beautiful, as desireable.

But here the comparison between Divine Love and Human love breaks down. Divine Love actually creates the beauty within the one it loves. It enriches the one it loves; it raises up the one it loves to its own level. So, the difference is between the creature’s created love of that which is and the Creator’s Creative Love of what it wants to bring into being.

“It is God who first loved us”, as St John tells us,
and it is in that creative and enriching love that all our worth lies. ____

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Nunraw Candlemas

64th Anniversary of Foundation of Nunraw
February 2, 2008 .

Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (also known as Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin or the Meeting of the Lord).

Observed by Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans, Orthodox

At Nunraw the cloisters were in blackout this morning for the candle lit procession.

The candles were blessed, incensed and everyone had their candle in hand as we sang our way through the pre-dawn darkness.

It is wonderful how the simple ceremonial gave new significance to the change in the liturgical season regardless of manpower or performance.

The Intercessions highlighted the occasion as the anniversary of the first Mass offered at Nunraw on the Presentation 2nd Feb 1946.

The Liturgy of the Word received its crowning in the offering of the candles massed before the altar for the Eucharistic Prayer. Many communities make this the occasion for the renewal of their Vows – the apt expression of consecration.

On the previous evening Br. Patrick gave the Chapter Homily for the Solemnity. He concluded a well focused commentary on the mystery of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, leading in particular to the narrative from Lk 2, 28-40: There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

The role of the prophetess Anna reminded of hearing about the Bushkas, the elderly peasant women familiar in Russian Churches. He recounted the words of the Communist Guide who slightingly asked the visiting group, “When these Bushkas die off, where will your Church be?” Immediately one visitor replied, “There will be other Bushkas to take their place!” These old (and not so old) women, like Anna, (She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer), are a gift to the Church, sometimes praying for errant offspring, serving in the most mundane tasks, quietly evangelizing by their lives.

Later Br. Patrick added from his acquaintance with a priest in Glasgow who took groups of the Legion of Mary to Russia. During the Cold War time of persecution of the Church among the Russian Guides there was always at least one who asked to be received into the Church. Staying at the Hotel during one trip the priest noticed a heavily built cleaning lady moving in and out. Then one day, looking very severe, she stopped the priest and somehow communicated her question, “Are you a priest?” When he said he was, her face lit up, opened her arms and gave him the biggest of Russian hugs. She brought out a small Icon which, she said, her daughter had painted. And her message was, “Don’t you ever think that the Church in Russia is dead”.

“And so, as we stand in the temple and hold the Son of God and embrace him, let us pray to almighty God and to the child Jesus that we may be found worthy of discharge and departure to better things, for we long to speak with Jesus and embrace him. To him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen”. (From a homily by Origen). _________________________________________________________________


Dear Father Donald,
How I should have loved to have walked in candlelit procession through the cloisters in the pre-dawn darkness into the Church, and to have witnessed "the offering of the candles massed before the altar for the Eucharistic Prayer". Truly It is most often in "the simple ceremonial" that the deepest devotion is to be found.
. . .
Of the Bushkas in Br Patrick's Chapter Homily, everyone will be able to recall in their past an elderly "Anna" who was always 'there' at the back of the church. There was a Miss Day when I was a boy. Returning as an adult to observe a special centenary of the church as my brother was preaching, she welcomed me warmly, the errant son of the village who had become a Catholic. The church was called St Mary's, and my brother preached a truly protestant sermon that inwardly offended me - he hadn't known that I would attend. After the service, helping to put back the chairs and thus busy myself away from everyone, Miss Day came to me in the vestry and handed me Our Lady's banner, asking me to carry it back to St Mary's chapel. I am convinced that the wise old Bushka knew my hurt.

The anniversary of the first Mass offered at Nunraw on the Presentation 2nd Feb 1946. What a wonderful celebration that must have been! I have enjoyed reading on your blog of the pioneer builders of the 'new abbey'. Your testament to the "Bible Scholar Bernhard Anderson" was delightful, and I have noted the title of his work in the hope that I might..."stumble on a copy of the book" like the novice Cistercian monk in the Knockmealdown mountains of Ireland' . It was a fortunate Fr Aelred who attended the course by Fr Michael Casey - I remember his learned writing in the Exordium program in 1998, in celebration of the 9th centenary of the Order, which you shared with me. In my diary, I keep an entry for 26th Jan for The Holy Founders, Sts Robert, Alberic & Stephen which always brings that program to mind.

Fr Luke's anniversary is known to me, for when I gave him a calendar for the 'old prior's room', he told me that January 2009 was to be his 50th anniversary. I will have to find a very special calendar for next year for him!

Your blog is a continual delight! And shares your world far and wide, o'er hill and dale - as well as continents!
With my thanks always and my prayers,


Friday, 1 February 2008

Nunraw Voluntary Builders

Photo: Voluntary Workers’ Camp,

building Nunraw New Abbey 1950s

Photo from Maria Jordan, niece of the late Francis Ricardo

Real Lives’ Edinburgh Evening News Jan 29, 2008

Dedication of a larger than life character
Lourdes pilgrim Francis Ricardo has died aged 71

Frank Ricardo was born on October 5,1936 into a large family of Italian origin in Glasgow, where his father had an ice cream parlour.

The Ricardos moved to Fettes Row in Edinburgh when Frank was a child and he attended Holy Cross Academy in Leith.

After school he got a job as a marble terrazzo restorer for Toffolo Jackson along with his older brother Joe. One of the projects he was most proud of was the work he did on the floors of Nunraw Abbey near Garvald, East Lothian during the 1950s and 60s.
The Ricardos moved from Fettes Row to Trinity and kept a holiday home in the grounds of Nunraw Abbey, which Frank made his full-time base when the last of his 13 siblings passed away.
Poor health eventually caused him to change career and he spent the last few years before his retirement as a nursing assistant at Gogarburn Hospital.
Frank never married and the church played an important role in his life. He was a passkeeper at St Mary's RC Cathedral in Broughton Street, where he took up the collections at Mass and welcomed people at the door.
At his funeral in St Mary's Monsignor David Gemmell remarked that the Cathedral's 9.30am mass would never be the same without Franks’s ' loud; friendly and welcoming chatter.
He belonged to the Catholic associations, the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Men's Society.

Frank had been to the pilgrimage site of Lourdes, France, every year since the early 1990s and was a Brancardier, or helper of the sick, receiving the Edinburgh group silver medal for his frequent trips there.
He was one of a group of older helpers, who wore green caps with the nickname "Dad's Army" emblazoned across them.
One of his proudest moments was being part of a guard of honour in Rome when Cardinal Gordon Gray became Scotland's first resident cardinal since the Reformation.

Frank spent every weekend with his niece Maria Jordan at her home in lnverkeithing and it was there that he died suddenly on January 7.
Maria said: "He was larger than life and never had a wrong word to say about anyone and would do whatever he could to help people.
He had a very kind heart and was a gentle giant with a brilliant sense of humour. His life was dedicated to the church and his family."

Frank's funeral was held by six priests in St Mary's Cathedral and he was buried in Mount Vernon Cemetery.
He is survived by his nieces, Maria Jordan and Catherine Johnston and her husband George.
Abbot Raymond Jaconelli of Nunraw Abbey said: "Frank was a very outgoing man and he will be sadly missed."