CELTIC Football Club, Celtic Graves Society and Celtic FC Foundation are delighted to announce a celebratory Mass at St Mary’s in the Calton on Friday, November 6, 2015 at 7pm to commemorate 128 years since the birth of Celtic Football Club.
The Mass, like the 2012 event, will be conducted by Father Tom White, Parish Priest and will be a celebration of our club’s history.
Following the Mass, congregation members will be invited back to Celtic Park to enjoy a simple meal in the Jock Stein Lounge where donations will be requested for Celtic FC Foundation’s Christmas Appeal 2015.
The appeal is an annual initiative where we aim to provide a proper Christmas meal to families who would otherwise go without and to support various charities who look after people who lead chaotic lives across the city.
The famous history of Celtic Football Club is one of unsurpassed faith, hope and vision. On Sunday, November 6, 1887 a group of local businessmen gathered in the church hall of St Mary´s parish, Calton, to discuss the setting up of a new football club in the East End of Glasgow. Led by an Irish Marist, Brother Walfrid, Celtic Football Club was formed for the maintenance of dinner tables for the children and the unemployed.
There is no doubt that Brother Walfrid and these men had a clear vision. It is not inconceivable that they would never quite have imagined the true impact that this colossal club would have on the local community, nor could they ever have imagined that 128 years on, poverty and hunger would still be an issue in many parts of the country.
It is their vision and purpose that drives this club and its supporters forward, and with charity and community at its absolute core. Their ethos continues to this day through the work of the club’s charitable arm, Celtic FC Foundation, whose key priority areas are: Improving Health, Promoting Equality, Encouraging Learning and Tackling Poverty.
Fr White said: “November is the month when we remember our dead, it’s known in the Church as the month of the Holy Souls. It is right and fitting that in this month of November and in this the hundredth anniversary year of Brother Walfrid’s death that those associated with Celtic and St Mary’s should remember and pray for Brother Walfrid.
“The last time St Mary’s formally welcomed the club was three years ago for the 125th Anniversary Mass on the eve of the Barcelona victory. I look forward to welcoming the club and its associations again. Here’s hoping this Mass is as beneficial for us all as the last time!”
Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “We are delighted to support the Celtic Graves Society in this Mass at St Mary’s, a place of course so close to the heart of Celtic.
“Throughout the year, the society carries out fantastic work in preserving the memory of so many great names of the club’s illustrious past and we are pleased to assist in these initiatives as we recently did when we remembered and honoured Jock Stein, one of the greatest names of all.
“We are sure the celebratory Mass in November will be a fitting commemoration to Brother Walfrid and our great club.”
Celtic FC Foundation CEO Tony Hamilton said: “The Mass at St Mary’s on November 6 to recognise the formation of the club is an important one. Our charitable roots are uppermost in my thoughts and I look forward to seeing as many people as possible return to Celtic Park after the service for some food and hopefully the opportunity to raise some money for Celtic FC Foundation’s Christmas Appeal.”
A Celtic Graves Society spokesman added: “The Celtic Graves Society are honoured to be working with Celtic Football Club, Celtic FC Foundation and Father Tom White from the parish of St Mary of the Assumption to mark the anniversary of the most important date in the club’s history.
“For it was in that ‘mean little hall’ at 67 East Rose St, situated through a lane, aptly named Irish Wynd which was rented by the League of the Cross from June 1886 to September 1893 where Celtic Football Club were born.
“Much has changed in the East End of Glasgow since our founding, but many of the issues alive in 1887 remain relevant today and the Celtic Graves Society are delighted that the club, one of the giants of the modern game, are keen to remember our humble beginnings and to give the Celtic support the opportunity to do so too on November 6.”