Declan McConville with A Celtic State of Mind – Celebrating 132 years of the Grand Auld Team

It was another special evening in St Mary’s Calton last night as the Celtic support joined together to celebrate Brother Walfrid.
As many supporters were instead visiting Papa Francesco in the Eternal City last week, the mass was moved back to Monday, 11 November. This visit to Rome did stand the Hoops in good stead, however, as they triumphantly conquered Lazio in the Stadio Olimpico on a very special evening for Neil Lennon’s men. Coincidently this came exactly seven years on from beating Barcelona 2-1 on the club’s 125th birthday.

Listen to the latest episode of the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind

It is imperative for Celtic to keep this strong connection to its humble beginnings as the fabric of the club hasn’t changed much in 132 years. The raison d’etre to be inclusive and charitable is something which separates Celtic from the rest. This is still seen to this day with initiatives that the Celtic FC Foundation is carrying out, the Kano Foundation who welcomed their 10,000th young person to Celtic Park and the Green Brigade’s Foodbank collection. This weekend Celtic Park will also play host to the An Gorta Mor fundraising evening to celebrate the impact of the integrated Irish communities across the country in an attempt to build a statue to remember all those who made the formidable journey to Scotland.
The circular passed round the parishes in 1888 stated clearly the objective of the newly founded football club:

The main object is to supply the east end conferences of the St Vincent de Paul society, with funds for the maintenance of the ‘Dinner tables’ of our needy children in the missions of St Mary’s, Sacred Heart and St Michael’s. Many cases of sheer poverty are left unaided through lack of means. It is therefore with this principal object that we have set afloat the Celtic and we invite you as one of our ever ready friends to assist in putting our new Park in proper working order for the coming football season.”

During this mass, it was important to remember all those who have served the club who have gone before us. Especially this year, with the very sad passings of Celtic legends such as Harry Hood, Stevie Chalmers and Billy McNeill. The contribution which they all made to the club’s history is nothing short of remarkable, and as long as there is a Celtic they will never be forgotten. “They never die who live in the hearts they leave behind.”
From the dark, dingy days of Victorian Glasgow, an institution which is rich in history continues to grow and bring so much joy to so many people’s lives.
A football club will be formed…
Declan McConville

Listen to the latest episode of the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind

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