The Jesse Tree and Me, an Advent art retreat led by JudyAnn Masters takes place at DeMazenod House, the new Oblate Spirituality Centre byTower Hill, next Saturday, 10 December 10.30 for 11am start - 4pm. We will use the model of the Jesse Tree for exploring your own family tree and how it has shaped your perspective of self and your relationship with God. The aim of the day is to connect with God creatively and intuitively. The day will include prayer, scripture, poetry, prose, music, meditation and contemplation.
In 1014 Byzantine Emperor Basil II defeated the Bulgarian army and captured 15,000 prisoners. He could have killed them but he had a different idea - he wanted to weaken his opponents for decades to come. He ordered 99 out of every 100 prisoners to be blinded while the 100th was spared one eye in order to guide the others back home forcing their communities to care for them for the rest of their lives. Today humans are subject to an attack just as cynical as the Emperor's by a group of super villains known as Neglected Tropical Diseases
Yesterday, 1 December, Caritas Westminster launched Love in Action, a programme aimed at introducing the principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) to parishes and schools. Designed to be used with a variety of groups, the resources offer a programme to educate, inspire and help parishes to discern the needs of their local area, and to focus on how to put love into action. The launch at Our Lady of Victories in Kensington, gave participants a chance to look at the resources as well as interact with them through a series of activities.
I set off to drive to Dover on the last day of November to make my first visit to Calais since the destruction of the 'Jungle' camp. The temperature was permanently below zero as I headed East along the A2 and M2, with the blinding morning sun ahead of me. I had already packed goods from a variety donors into the car and met up with Ben and his son to add an even larger quantity principally collected by the people of St Aidan's church in Coulsdon. Ben also handed over a large amount of cash which had been raised in recent weeks to support the continuing work in Calais.
The Pax Christi Advent Peace Service and Fair takes place next Tuesday 6 December at 7pm in St Aloysius Church, Phoenix Road, Euston. This popular service, with its clear focus on the peacemaking message of Advent, will include prayers and readings for refugees, the people of Palestine and Israel and for women peacemakers. The service is followed by an alternative Christmas market and social with mulled wine and mince pies. The market will feature goods from the Philippines, the Jesuit Refugee Service, Traidcraft, Zaytoun products (Palestinian olive oil, soap etc),
Redemptorist Publications are looking for a creative and motivated Marketing Assistant to join their team. Your responsibilities will range from preparing book information sheets, creating artwork for leaflets, adverts and catalogues, and assisting with events and market research. You will be promoting a portfolio of Catholic books and educational resources; working with supportive, friendly colleagues. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a talent for creating eye catching marketing materials for print, digital and online campaigns.
Pope Francis' prayer intention for December is for the End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
The Apostleship of Prayer has produced the Pope's Video on this prayer intention.... In this world, which has developed the most sophisticated technologies, weapons are sold that end up in the hands of child soldiers.
Peng Ming, a long-term political prisoner, has died in prison in Hubei, China, but doubts have been cast over the lack of official information concerning his death. In other news, Jiang Tianyong, another human rights defender, remains missing and may be at risk of torture. Peng Ming died in prison on 29 November while serving a life sentence for engaging in 'terrorist activities'. However, in November 2005, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had adopted an Opinion that Peng's detention was arbitrary. In the 1980s and 1990s Peng, a Christian, established organisations and publications
Catholic church leaders, senior Police force officers and ethnic chaplains have met the UK's Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to discuss solutions to tackling human trafficking taking place within East Anglia. The meeting, organised in collaboration with the Santa Marta Group and the Catholic Diocese of East Anglia, was held at Sacred Heart & St Oswald in Peterborough on Tuesday November 29. The regional meeting echoes the international initiative of the Santa Marta Group - an alliance of international police chiefs and bishops from around the world working together with
Representatives from Father Hudson's Care, the Columban Missionaries, Caritas, the Archdiocese of Birmingham and a local parish welcomed guests to celebrate the official opening of Fatima House on Sunday. Fatima House is a new partnership project that offers short-term shelter to female asylum seekers who are destitute and in the process of a renewed asylum claim. Just a few short months after the first referral for support was made, it is almost full with eight women staying there who would otherwise be homeless.
The Global Day of Action 'No Dakota Access Pipeline' on 1 December was marked in London by a peaceful early morning vigil outside a banking institution in the City of London which is a funder of the oil pipeline. Around 100 people - carrying placards with the messages '#NoDAPL', 'Defund DAPL', 'Water is Life' and 'Standing with Standing Rock'- stood outside the Royal Bank of Scotland Office in Bishopsgate as city workers arrived at their offices. Among them was Josephine Siedlecka of Independent Catholic News and Ellen Teague of Columban JPIC. It was very cold, but
The Centre for Eastern Christianity at Heythrop College is holding a special guest lecture this week by His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East of Alexandria and of Jerusalem on `The Melkite Church and the Situation of Christianity in Syria Today'. Patriarch Gregorios is the most senior Catholic leader in Syria and President of the Assembly of the Catholic Bishops in that country. He has been in Dublin for the last few days with other Syrian Religious leaders meeting members of the Dail-Irish parliament, the Irish Foreign Ministry and holding a joint-service at Trinity College,
The year 2017 will mark 100 years since the Balfour declaration that made public British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, 70 years since UN resolution 181 calling for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, and 50 years since Israel began its occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the annexation of East Jerusalem. Pax Christi International believes that this is the moment for a renewed commitment to end the violence and to reach a just and sustainable solution guaranteeing the fundamental rights of both Israelis and Palestinians
The National Justice and Peace Network and CAFOD have welcomed both the Paris Climate Agreement of a year ago coming into force and the UK's ratification of the agreement. And global faith leaders have urged governments meeting in Morocco for climate talks to divest from fossil fuels and invest in the green economy. Both are stories in the December NJPN North-West J&P bulletin. Another story focuses on peace groups voicing concern that that the British army continues to recruit under-age soldiers.
Pope Francis has appealed to all persons to act in a responsible manner to prevent the spread of HIV-Aids. Speaking during the weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope recalled that on Thursday, 1st December, we mark World Aids Day which is promoted by the United Nations. "Millions of people live with this illness and only half of them have access to life-saving therapies" he said. The Pope invited all to pray for them and for their families and promote solidarity so that "also the poor can benefit from adequate diagnosis and treatment.
Pope Francis said yesterday that true Christian humility is the virtue of the childlike and is never a 'theatrical humility'. His words came during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Reflecting on the day's readings in his homily, Pope Francis said God reveals himself to the humble and childlike rather than the wise and learned as recounted in the gospel of Luke. He noted that the first reading from the book of Isaiah is also full of references to little things such as the small shoot that "shall sprout from the stump of Jesse" rather than an army that will bring about liberation.
More than 15,000 Native Americans and their supporters are currently camped in sub-zero temperatures in a peaceful effort to stop the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline, cutting through their ancestral homes and burial grounds, protected by treaty, and threatening to pollute the Missouri River which supplies water to 17 million people. Tomorrow prayer vigils will be taking around the world to appeal to the US government to stop this. We have just been sent this eyewitness report from a family from Wisconsin who joined the vigil.
Actor Andrew Garfield has been speaking about his experience of undertaking a seven-day silent retreat at St Beuno's spirituality and retreat centre in North Wales, in preparation for his role in the Martin Scorsese film Silence, which is due to be released in the UK in the New Year - the Jesuit News Service reports. Scorsese has been passionate about making the film since he read Shūsaku Endō's novel of the same name back in 1989; and it is due to receive its premiere in the Vatican within the next few weeks. The novel tells the story of Fr Sebastian Sebastião Rodrigues SJ (played by Garfield),
Pope Francis has added his condolences to the Jesuits and their co-workers in Britain and beyond who have been paying tribute to Fr Peter-Hans Kolvenbach SJ, the 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, who died on Saturday. Elected at the 33rd General Congregation in 1983, Fr Kolvenbach had been a Jesuit for 68 years and served as General for almost a quarter of a century. He was 87 years old. Born on 30 November 1928 in Druten in Holland, Fr Kolvenbach entered the Society of Jesus at the age of 19 and was missioned while still a scholastic (a Jesuit in formation) to Lebanon.
One year since Sierra Leone was declared officially Ebola free by World Health Organisation, UK aid agency CAFOD are honouring the community faith leaders who played a vital role in tackling the deadly outbreak which claimed almost 4,000 lives. CAFOD worked across several parts of Sierra Leone, including the northern town of Kambia, alongside its local partner, Caritas Makeni, to ensure victims' bodies were buried safely and with dignity. However at the time burying the dead caused anger amongst villagers, who were upset loved ones were denied proper funerals, traditional burial
The Government has announced that it will review the fees charged for Immigration and Asylum appeals and will not, for the moment, go ahead with proposals to increase tribunal fees by 500% in order to achieve full cost recovery. Any applicants who have paid the new, higher fees will be reimbursed the difference. Cathy Corcoran, Chief Executive of the Cardinal Hume Centre, said: "This unexpected announcement is very welcome news indeed. We at Cardinal Hume Centre are greatly relieved that, for the moment at least, any of our clients making immigration and asylum appeals
Christian faith is not a theory or a philosophy - it is the encounter with Jesus. That was the message of Pope Francis at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Monday morning. The Pope emphasized that in order to truly encounter Jesus we undertake the journey with three attitudes: to be vigilant in prayer, industrious in charity, exultant in praise. Pope Francis based the homily on the theme of the encounter with the Lord. He noted first that in this period of the year, the Liturgy shows us many encounters with Jesus: with His Mother in the womb, with Saint John the Baptist, with
A special Mass for World AIDS Day will take place at Farm Street Jesuit Church at 6pm this Thursday, to pray for and show solidarity with the 37 million women, children, and men living with HIV and AIDS - including the 100,000 here in the UK. Music will be provided by the Beacon Music Group. The celebrant will be Monsignor Keith Barltrop. The Mass will be followed by refreshments in the Parish Hall and a retiring collection will be taken for the Mildmay Hospital.
Church Action on Poverty has responded to the government's Autumn Statement by highlighting how the incomes of the poorest are hardest hit - by far - whilst the wealthy escape scot free. The Statement announced further years of pain ahead, as the economy adjusts to the likely impact of Brexit. An economic policy grounded in social justice might have sought to place the greatest burden on those most able to bear it. But, yet again, it is the poorest who are being called on to shoulder the greatest pain.
Bishops and Clergy of the Archdiocese of Birmingham gathered at St Mary's College, Oscott, gathered on Monday for the annual Mass for Deceased Clergy. The Principal Celebrant was the The Most Rev Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham and he was joined by his Auxiliary bishops, William Kenney, David McGough, Robert Byrne and Emeritus-bishop Philip Pargeter. Bishop Robert Byrne began his homily in a light-hearted way by sharing a past anecdote where an Anglican bishop visiting a convent of nuns asked, 'Mother, how many nuns are in your community?' "126", she replied, "100 in