An introduction to an Introduction to The Catholic Life
As people of the youth demographic of the Church in western society, we are often subject to a culture which has rather brazenly told God that he is no longer needed. According to most of the things we see, hear, and read, the most important person in your world is not God, but is in fact you: you are the highest good and the highest power in the universe. No pressure. On behalf of all us at ICL, I can say that this new way of looking at the world didn’t sit all that well and so we thought we’d do our part in trying to change it.
Staying Catholic in this culture is difficult and, if a lone effort, near impossible. Practicing your Catholic faith is not typically supposed to be a lonely endeavour. In fact, when we think about heaven being that place where all the faithful are united with God, practicing our faith with others makes all-the-more sense. This has spiritual benefits of course, but also many practical ones: most notably, I think, the encouragement we give one another.
I remember once visiting a church in the centre of Rome and shortly after I sat down in the pew. I found myself slightly bored. After a few moments of looking around appreciating the art and architecture on a purely surface level I stood up to walk out, and just before I did I caught a glimpse of a group of young people in a side chapel at the front of the church- their foreheads were touching the pew in front of them and they were all motionless, in prayer. I looked at them, sat back down, and got my rosary beads out.
We all need that encouragement in the faith every now and again- and this is, in part, our motivation behind releasing our new podcast: to inform, encourage, and hopefully to give a few laughs to an online community of Catholics who strive to live The Catholic Life.
James Farrell, born on the feast of St Augustine, is a young Scottish Catholic and is the 7th of 8 siblings. James currently works at the Scottish Catholic Observer. His first written piece was described as ‘fake media gone into overdrive’ by one Scottish Seminarian (who will remain nameless). When James’ ear is not on the ground he is out and about, meeting people and building bridges – James has a degree in Civil Engineering. James has many interests, including football and the NFL – he supports the San Francisco 49ers. James’ main area of focus in the Podcast is the opportunity to spend more time abusing and harassing Ruairidh MacLennan.
Conor is 25 years old and is currently studying at the University of Glasgow to become a Catholic Religious Education teacher. Conor is a newly married man, having gotten married July 2017, and he and his wife are expecting their first child this coming May. Consequently, Conor is ICL’s resident father figure and pastor, particularly looking after James (for whom Conor has been referred to as his ‘Named Person’). In his spare time Conor likes reading about the Church’s Liturgical theology and tradition, for which he is ruthlessly, and wrongly, referred to as ‘rigid’ by Ruairidh. He is currently President of the Glasgow University Catholic Association, which he says gives him great joy and fulfilment.
“Sean Joseph Deighan? With a name like that I’m charging you double”- attributed to a kind bartender in Glasgow. At the age of now 23, Sean has completed a physics degree from Strathclyde and according to him accumulated the perfect team on Fifa Ultimate Team… He now works for the Youth Office of the Archdiocese of Glasgow where he has spent the last two years speaking to hundreds of young people about the Church, about the truth of Christ and doing his very best not to get into arguments. With a mind for physics and philosophy, he loves thinking about existence, pondering the world’s problems, and long walks on sandy beaches.
A figure of strength and stability in an otherwise chaotic podcast line-up, Ruairidh MacLennan is a rumoured Clan Chief and Jedi Master, though he has never commented publicly on such speculation. A keen traveller and culture-vulture, Ruairidh has also amassed a large collection of stats and pieces of random information, many of which can be heard (humoured) during his long speeches. Graduating from a Masters programme at the University of Glasgow in 2016, Ruairidh specialised in the writings of Saint Augustine of Hippo and Pope Benedict XVI – with a particular interest in the interplay of faith and reason. He now works as a researcher with an independent media company, and is also a frequent radio, television and online contributor. Ruairidh is proficient in several languages, much to the frustration of James, who is barely understandable in English. As a patron of the arts, Ruairidh is often found enjoying and discussing the best and worst of literature, cinema, media and culture.