St Kentigern

Bishop of Strathclyde (Scotland) (entered heaven this day in 603)

Dear Ken,

Your article on “Pro-life Priorities” edified me tremendously (thanks for sending me a copy).  I would only add one point to your argument, stressing the importance of reaching out to women who – for any reason at all – are faced with an “unwanted” pregnancy.  Until we show God’s concern for them through our own actions, the pro-life cause will languish, at least, that’s my opinion. Today’s saint is a case in point.

His mother was of royal birth but was found pregnant before she was married, and no one knew who the father was.  As Scottish custom at the time required, she was condemned to death by being hurtled from the top of a cliff. Somehow, she escaped unharmed, and so they put her in a little skiff and sent her adrift in the sea.  She washed up on shore near the lonely retreat of St Serf, who had started a monastery in the area. He had compassion on her and her son (she had given birthright when she reached land) and saw to it that they were taken care of.  When Kentigern grew up, he received his education at the hands of the monks, and soon felt a call to join them in their life of prayer, sacrifice, and itinerant preaching. Before long he went off to pursue his vocation, gathering disciples and founding a monastery of his own near modern-day Glasgow.  His spiritual and temporal care for residents throughout the district brought peace and prosperity to all the families, and they soon arranged for him to be named their first bishop. It was the birth of a great center of Catholic faith and culture on the edge of European civilization.

Had it not been for St Serf’s Christian love of a woman ostracized by her own people for an “unwanted” pregnancy, this chapter of Church history would never have been written.  It illustrates my point well, I think, and I hope it inspires you to add a “chapter” to your article – and your activities.

Sincerely, Uncle Eddy

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