The Diocese of Durant said in a statement: "We are terribly saddened to have to announce the murder of two sisters in our diocese. Police found two bodies in the home of Sister Paula Merrill, SCN, and Sister Margaret Held, OSF, in Durant, Mississippi, this morning. The pair had not showed up to the Lexington Medical Clinic, where they worked this morning so workers called police. The bodies have not been positively identified, but we have no reason to believe anyone else would have been in the house."
Prayers are being said around the world as rescue teams race against time to reach people buried under rubble following Wednesday's devastating earthquake in central Italy. Hundreds of volunteers have come from all over Italy to assist them. Pope Francis yesterday sent six members of the Vatican's fire service to help Italy's Civil Protection workers search for survivors and care for those already rescued. The death toll has now risen to 250 and there are fears it will rise further. Bishop Giovanni D'Ercole of Ascoli Piceno, one of two Italian dioceses
There is one day to go to the Greenbelt Festival, which takes place in the grounds of Boughton House, near Kettering, Northamptonshire. (26-29 August) This all-age inclusive friendly arts festival with its roots in the Christian faith offers a host of world music, international and home-grown acts from big names to new artists. Greenbelt is a place to learn, to experience, to be. As well as music the festival hosts a selection of varied talks, workshop and debates; exploring contemporary issues, faith, social justice, politics and more.
After a hotly contested campaign, after the elections, after the swearing in of councillors and in some cases the tense processes of forming coalitions in some cities, it is now time to come together. It is time to think beyond party ideologies and get on with the job of governance: in short, service delivery and infrastructural maintenance in great metros, small cities and provincial towns and villages of South Africa, must be the focus. A key aspect of Catholic Social Teaching, mirrored in all great religious ethical systems, and articulated in secular
Eight years after the anti-Christian massacres that shook the Indian state of Orissa, on this day on 2008, the victims have not yet obtained justice. John Dayal, former national president of the 'All India Catholic Union' said: "the recent death of Emeritus Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, pastor in Orissa, coincides with the days when we remember the biggest martyrdom of a group of Christians in India." The Indian Catholic Church last year established August 30 the 'Day of Martyrs' and intends to initiate the cause of beatification to recognize the martyrdom of the victims.
Pope Francis once again appealed for peace in Ukraine yesterday, urging all parties in the conflict, as well as international bodies, to "strengthen the initiatives to resolve the conflict, release the hostages, and respond to the humanitarian emergency." The Holy Father assured Ukrainians of his continued prayers for peace. The appeal came on Ukraine's Independence Day, this year marking the 25th anniversary of independence from the former Soviet Union.
To mark the 70 anniversary of an international post-war peace pilgrimage to Vezelay in France members of Pax Christi and Student Cross are taking part in a mini-pilgrimage from Auxerre to Vezelay. Pat Gaffney of Pax Christi is using this opportunity to raise funds for the Christian Peace Education Fund. Read here about the 60 anniversary and of the links with Fr Columban Ryan op who took part in the 1946 pilgrimage.
A peace deal has been agreed between the Colombian Government and the largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), bringing to an end the longest internal armed conflict in the western hemisphere. CAFOD's Head of Latin America, Clare Dixon, said: "This is a great day for Colombia. Together with our partners we are celebrating this deal as an important step towards achieving peace in the country."
The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Harare, Dr Chad Nicholas Gandiya, has urged Anglicans and the broader society to shun violence in its various forms. Speaking last Saturday, he raised three issues - domestic violence, early child marriages and human trafficking as the major causes that the Anglican Church has to seriously address. He urged all Church members to make these key issues their business so that the Church is seen to be playing its important role of spreading the message of hope and peace in society. "The Anglican Diocese of Harare
Creation Time will be celebrated in the Christian churches of the world from 1 September to 4 October. The theme this year is 'Followers of Jesus, Caring for Creation'. Eco-Congregation Ireland has prepared some resources for Irish churches to use in worship during Creation Time 2016. ECI is offering these suggestions but urge churches and faith communities to produce their own or adapt these to suit their tradition or context. Resources are available on the Eco-Congregation Ireland website here:
Asia Bibi, a 51-year-old Pakistani Christian women sentenced to death after drinking water meant for her Muslim colleagues, will have her appeal heard by Pakistan's Supreme Court in the second week of October. The date was confirmed to International Christian Concern and it is the final legal avenue available to avoid execution. Bibi was accused of blasphemy after the incident in June 2009. In November 2010 she was sentenced to death. There has been international pressure calling for the release of the mother of five.
A courageous article from Shanghai online news portal Sixth Tone describes the continued desperation of re-married women in Guangdong. Six months pregnant, Anxiang and her husband were forced to choose between aborting her pregnancy or losing their government jobs, because they had violated China's new Two-Child Policy. They had thought that they were allowed to have another child, but were caught in an omission regarding remarried women in Guangdong Province. At the end of July, they were told to abort,
New light has been shed on a centuries-old mystery surrounding the last resting place of thousands of Scottish soldiers who died after being captured and imprisoned in Durham Cathedral and Castle during the 17th Century civil wars. Archaeologists at Durham University carried out scientific analysis on skeletons discovered in two mass graves on Durham's UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. Combining this data with information from the excavation and historical records, the researchers concluded that 'the only plausible' explanation was that
As the death toll from the earthquake which struck central Italy early this morning continues to rise, Bishop Giovanni D'Ercole of Ascoli Piceno traveled the short 40 km to Pescara del Tronto to be with the hundreds of people affected by the disaster. Speaking to Vatican Radio this morning, Bishop D'Ercole said the scene was very distressing. "When I arrived at the break of day, I saw a destroyed village, screams, death... We are truly in a desperate situation and unfortunately this is not the only area affected, because others are
Pope Francis postponed his prepared address at the General Audience today and prayed for victims of the earthquake which struck central Italy at 3.36 in the morning local time leaving at least 37 people dead and 150 missing, as rescuers search for survivors. Many of the dead were in the village of Pescara del Tronto which was levelled to the ground and there were fears the number of casualties could rise. Much of the town of Amatrice has been reduced to rubble and a family of four are feared dead nearby in Accumoli.
The Bishops Conference of Poland has released the text of a letter sent by Pope Francis to thank the country for the reception he received last month during World Youth Day. In the letter, Pope Francis told the Church in Poland he was "deeply moved by your strong faith and the unwavering hope that you have kept in spite of difficulties and tragedies, and by your fervent love, which animates your human and Christian pilgrimage."
Lord Alfred Dubs writes: Terrified children are trapped in a refugee camp in Calais that a judge said was a "living hell" - but we have a chance to get 300 to Britain and safety in time for the new school term! I was a child refugee once, fleeing the Nazis, and Britain took me in and saved my life. So when I hear thousands of unaccompanied refugee children are going missing across Europe and our government is breaking its promise to bring them to the UK to reunite with their families, it's personal.
Holy Land: Rabbis obtain compensation for Palestinian farmer whose home was vandalised by Israeli army
A Palestinian farmer, whose house was seized, used an Israeli Defence Force outpost and vandalised, will receive compensation - thanks to the intervention of Rabbis For Human Rights. The vandalism included damage to property, defecation on furniture, and desecration of a copy of the Quran. Rabbis for Human Rights, with the aid of their investigator Zacharia Saada, reported on the incident to the IDF and, together with others, pressured the IDF to give compensation to the home owner who was victimized.
On Saturday 20 August, Bishop Liam MacDaid, Bishop of Clogher, delivered reflections on Irish Saints and on the Great Famine. Bishop MacDaid's introductory remarks were delivered at the Mass of the Irish Saints celebrated at the conclusion of the Clogher Annual Diocesan Day Pilgrimage to Saint Patrick's Purgatory, Lough Derg, Co Donegal. More than 400 people took part in the Clogher day pilgrimage this year. His reflection on the Great Famine and its consequences for our people was delivered at the blessing and opening of the Famine Memorial Garden
Directed by Aoife Kelleher, 'Strange Occurrences in a small Irish village' opens in Irish cinemas on Friday. The film's title is derived from the international press coverage at the time. The film develops a fascinating, vibrant portrait of the phenomenon by examining the vast patchwork of individuals and groups involved. It presents a balanced opportunity for believers to celebrate the phenomenon and those who facilitate its ongoing success, while for sceptics it allows a fascinating glance into the thriving world, and business, of Ireland's Marian Shrine.
For those seeking plays and performances which resonate with the faith or contain Catholic themes at this year's Edinburgh Fringe, you continue to be spoiled. A Man Standing has now left town but Doubting Thomas continues at Summerhall. Playing in the same venue is Camille, a superb performance created and performed by Kamila Klamut, who has trained with Poland's celebrated Grotowski Institute. Klamut plays out the life of Camille Claudel, the sculptress and former lover and muse of Rodin,
Racial inequality is getting worse in the United Kingdom, with young black people and ethnic minorities suffering 'institutional racism' and 'unfairness in education, employment and the criminal justice system, the EHRC says in its latest report. Entitled Healing a Divided Britain, the report finds life chances for young people from ethnic minorities have become 'the most challenging for generations.' You are more likely to experience a hate crime if you're an ethnic minority...There has been an 'unprecedented spike' in hate crimes since the Brexit vote.
A former Catholic priest accused of historic sex offences has been returned to the UK from Kosovo, after a five-year police hunt. Lawrence Soper, 72, was arrested on his arrival at Luton Airport on Sunday. He faces nine charges of sexual offences against five boys under 16, allegedly committed over a period from 1972 to 1986 at St Benedict's School in Ealing, west London, where he taught in the 1970s and 1980s. After teaching at St Benedict's, Soper served as abbot of Ealing Abbey from 1991 to 2000.
Write a hymn to a well know tune on the topic 'The God of Creation' and you could win £150 first prize or £100 second prize: in a competition organised by Settle Methodist Circuit in North Yorkshire. (Closing date 3 October) The winning hymn will be sung at the 17th Annual Hymn Festival of Settle Methodist Circuit 4-7 November 2016. The competition has been planned as part of the activities for 'Creation Time' which takes place from 1st September to 4th October. Dr Judith Allinson who is Green Christian's web editor is and also
...The choice of this place, inspired by the celebration of 1600 years of the Letter of Pope Innocent I to Decentius, Bishop of Gubbio (cf.. PL 20, 551-561), is particularly appropriate during the Holy Extraordinary Year of Mercy. In this document, in which the Roman Pontiff offered clarifying answers to questions posed by Pastor Eugubino, there is some interesting news about specific aspects and moments of the celebration of certain sacraments, at that precise moment in history. Among the many topics covered, one in particular is essential to our