Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 9 March 2014 By happy coincidence Eastern and Western Christian Churches share Lent and Holy Easter together this year. Perhaps this season should be a real time for learning a bit more about each other and to actively pray that one of the first barriers to be overcome may be finding a common date for Easter! The Eastern Churches began Lent on Monday , the West on Ash Wednesday, but together we journey with the Lord, through the fasting of our hearts and bodies, in works of prayer and love, towards that great feast of feasts. Read More ... Posted: Saturday, March 8, 2014 4:36 pm
Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has said that he views Pope Francis "with enormous enthusiasm".
"Pope Francis has an unerring – I nearly said infallible – eye for the appropriate gesture and symbol," said Dr Williams. "His task is to hold up some very simple and important symbols of what is important." Dr Williams applauded "the difference Pope Francis has made to the atmosphere". He made his comments as part of a wide-ranging address at St John’s College, Southsea, on Monday 3 March where he was a guest of the Politics Society.
Read More ... Dr Philip Crispin - Posted: Saturday, March 8, 2014 1:40 am
The words of Cardinal Basil Hume give guidance and purpose to the Cardinal Hume Centre in Westminster. His pragmatism and prayerfulness inspire their work and his Benedictine values, are what makes the Centre such a special place. This year the centre will publishing some of Cardinal Hume's Lenten Reflections on their website and have given permission to ICN to publish/link up with them also. Ian Fairhurst from the centre writes: "We take real strength from his words 'Each person matters. No human life is ever redundant'.
Women changing the face of support in Leeds This International Women’s Day, one Leeds charity is celebrating the amazing impact of the women working to support Leeds residents through help, hope and opportunity. St Vincent’s, on York Road in Leeds, have been providing support for 18 years. For the last 12 years the predominantly female senior management team has been led by Charlotte Walton, an incredible, proactive female leader who has guided the charity through difficult times to success. All of the work undertaken by Charlotte and her team is supported by over 50 volunteers. Read More ... Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014 4:01 pm
South African Churches call for prayers during Israeli Apartheid Week Following the conclusion of their Triennial Conference the South African Council of Churches (SACC) have issued a statement in which they express concern over the increasing violence and widening gap between the rich and the poor in South Africa. They also called for all parties concerned to work towards a just peace in Israel and Palestine and request churches to dedicate Sunday services on 16 March during Israeli Apartheid Week to reflect and pray for peace with justice in Palestine and Israel. Read More ... Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014 2:42 pm
On 13 March 2013, the Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope. Over the past 12 months, how has Pope Francis been influenced by Saint Francis of Assisi and by the founder of the Jesuit Order, St Ignatius of Loyola? What has been his impact on the Church’s evangelical mission, its option for the poor, its hopes for unity with the eastern churches and on global politics? What’s in a name? A conference to mark the anniversary of election of Pope Francis,
Catholic charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) has paid tribute to its women port chaplains and ship visiting volunteers on Women’s World Day of Prayer 2014 and ahead of International Women’s Day 2014. AoS says women have and will continue to play a significant role within the seafarers’ charity. It currently has women port chaplains in East Anglia, Plymouth and Hull, as well as many women ship visiting volunteers up and down the country. Their energy and fantastic work in helping meet seafarers’ spiritual and practical needs are an inspiration to many.
Seafarers’ charity assists Ukrainian crew as crisis unfolds Seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) is helping Ukrainian seafarers establish contact with their families back home following the crisis in Crimea. Some of the seafarers, who had been at sea for the past few weeks, only received news of the trouble when their ships came into port. AoS’ Immingham port chaplain Fr Colum Kelly met the Ukrainian crew of a coal bulker when it arrived at the port a few days ago. The 23 crew members had been at sea for over a month and only found out about the situation in Crimea after watching television. Read More ... Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014 9:36 am
Pope Francis: Is this a clergy that has lost its tears? On Thursday morning, Pope Francis met with the clergy of the diocese of Rome. The central theme of the meeting, inspired by the Gospel of St Matthew, was mercy. The Holy Father recalled how Jesus walked through towns and villages, feeling compassion for those he encountered; people who were “tired and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd”. “We are not here to perform a spiritual exercise for the beginning of Lent, but rather to listen to the voice of the Spirit that speaks to everyone in the Church in this, our time, which is indeed the time of mercy”. Read More ... Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 11:21 pm
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, joined by bishops on the border, will travel to Nogales, Arizona, March 30 - April 1 to tour the US-Mexico border and offer Mass for around 6,000 migrants who have died in the US desert since 1998. The purpose of the trip is to highlight the human suffering caused by a broken immigration system, an aspect of the national immigration debate which is often ignored .“What we fail to remember in this debate is the human aspect of immigration – that immigration is primarily about human beings, not economic
London friar admits downloading abuse images A priest based in London has admitted downloading more than 5,000 images of child abuse from the internet. Timothy Gardner, 41, is facing jail after he pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court on Monday to 10 counts of downloading the images. The collection was discovered when police searched his home at St Dominic’s Priory in Haverstock Hill and seized computers in August, after receiving information from the public. Gardner taught RE Read More ... Dan Bergin - Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 2:09 pm
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has ordained nine Jesuits as deacons. In one of the first major ceremonies since being made Cardinal by Pope Francis, he presided at the Ordination Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 1 March 2014. For the past three years, the new deacons have been studying at Heythrop College, University of London, which this year is celebrating the 400th anniversary of its foundation by the Jesuits in Louvain.
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has spoken to the three leaders – or ordinaries - of the personal ordinariates of the delicacy and importance of their task “in these first key years” in the ordinariates’ existence. Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller told the ordinaries that, because the unity of the Church was the ostensible reason for the establishment of the ordinariates, effective communion would be a principal measure against which ordinariate communities would be judged.
Less than two weeks from the anniversary of his election as bishop of Rome, Pope Francis describes himself as, “A man who laughs, cries, sleeps well and has friends like everyone else.” In a wide-ranging interview with the editor-in-chief of the Italian daily, Corriere della sera, Ferruccio De Bortoli, published yesterday, the Holy Father reflects on many themes - among them bioethics, Church governance, and his friendship with his predecessor, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI. Some of his most significant comments concern the role of women in the Church.
Elliot Heald, a 10-year old from St Elizabeth’s RC Primary School, Wythenshawe, has beaten over 6,000 budding young designers from across the country to win a nationwide sock design competition organised by CAFOD. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Fairtrade products sold in the UK, CAFOD – a founding member of the Fairtrade Foundation – teamed up with SockShop to launch the special competition for 7-11 year olds to design an exclusive Fairtrade-themed sock.
"There is the risk of passively accepting certain types of behaviour and of not marvelling at the sad realities that surround us. We grow accustomed to violence, as if it were a normal part of our daily news; we get used to seeing our brothers and sisters sleeping in the streets, as they have no roof to shelter them. We are used to refugees who search of freedom and dignity, but are not received as they should be. We get used to living in a society that claims to be able to do without God, in which parents do not teach
The first Sunday Masses were celebrated at Our Lady Woman of Valor Centre in south Tel Aviv over the weekend amidst great jubilation. This has been an exciting time for Catholic migrants in the district. They left tomporary premises they had used in Levanda Street for the past two and a half years. The bomb shelter had become home for hundreds of migrants who regularly attended prayers in the chapel there. A new home has been found and the hope is that the new premises will be permanent.
The beginning of Lent was marked with a number of actions and prayer vigils in England and Scotland. In London the Ministry of Defence building in London was marked with blessed ash during a liturgy of repentance for nuclear war preparations. For 32 years Christians have gathered at the MoD on Ash Wednesday to call on the government to repent and move away from nuclear war preparations. Members of Pax Christi the London Catholic Worker and Christian CND from around the country gathered to pray and take part in symbolic acts
Women from 170 countries and regions across the world, including the United Kingdom, will pray for Egypt on Women’s World Day of Prayer on 7 March. A number of women from the Coptic Orthodox Community in the United Kingdom will be speaking at church and community services across the country on the role of women in Egypt and their contribution to their societies. They will also comment on the challenges faced by women in light of the recent uprisings. Members of various denominations will gather across the world to show solidarity
There is a rare chance to hear writer Dawn Eden when she comes to speak at Newman House in Gower Street this Friday, 7 March at 7pm. Dawn is the author of 'My Peace I give you – Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints' and also 'The Thrill of the Chaste - finding fulfilment while keeping your clothes on'. An ex-rock journalist, she is a convert from Judaism and someone for whom sex abuse (from a janitor in a synagogue and from her mother’s friends) was a reality from which she recovered.
Lenten Message from Cardinal Vincent Nichols Each year, our journey through Lent reflects the journey Our Lord Jesus Christ took to Jerusalem to endure the pain and suffering of the Crucifixion. But the Christ’s death on the cross was not the end of the journey; it ended with the wonderful triumph of His resurrection. In a similar way our Lenten journey ends with the joy of Easter. Lent is a period during which we reflect on Jesus’ example of self-sacrifice, on his teaching and on his poignant farewell instruction to his disciples – and thus to all Christians – ‘Love one another, as I have loved you’. Read More ... Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 2:05 pm
Parishioners in the Archdiocese of Newark have expressed their concern over the lavish home improvements planned by their retiring Archbishop. The Star Ledger newspaper revealed that Archbishop John J Myers is building a 3,000-square-foot addition on the expansive home where he will spend his retirement, saying the work will cost the archdiocese far more than the $500,000 allotted for construction. At a time of high unemployment, when Catholic schools and services in the archdiocese are being reduced because of a shortage of funds,
Read More ... Dan Bergin - Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 1:40 pm
Thinking Faith: Thoughts for Ash Wednesday and resources for Lent Thinking Faith today offers three timely reflections: On Not Giving Up Too Easily: Thoughts for Ash Wednesday; Keeping the Lenten Fast – thoughts from a dialogue with Islam; and The Virtue of Asceticism... We all choose to mark Lent in different ways and more often than not focus on abstaining from something we enjoy, but is this always good for us? Nicholas Austin SJ explores how our attempts at an ascetic way of life for 40 days each year can go wrong if our motivations are not rooted in the wisdom of the Christian tradition.Read More ... Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 12:57 pm
Urgent! An independent songwriter is seeking and hoping to find a singer for a catchy world r&b song that is going to be used to raise funds for charity and is being recorded in London. She must have a good range with distinct, perhaps delcate/ husky, timbre (not belty Gospel/ 'Jessie J' please!). Character, faith and general air of joy essential! Lyrics are not Christian-specific but clearly pertain to the spiritual and person must be comfortable with Inter-Faith association.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Poverty of Jesus “frees us and enriches us”. Pope Francis wrote in his Lenten Message this year. His message concentrates on poverty, in particular on Christ's poverty. The Pope, in fact, begins by explaining that Jesus “became poor, so that by his poverty we might become rich”, as the theme of the message recalls, taken from the Second Letter to the Corinthians. Christ's choice for poverty, the Pontiff states, suggests a positive dimension the state of being poor. Yet, wonders the Holy Father, what is this poverty by which Jesus frees and enriches us?