Pope Francis recently declared September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, as the Orthodox Church has done since 1989. According to Pope Francis: "The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world
Over the summer many of us have been able to get away to warmer climes. Some of you went to places like Italy and Greece. I went to Malta. The sun was shining, the sea was warm and inviting, the food was good and the people were hospitable. But all the time I was in Malta I was very aware of others who had made their way to that place too. The emigrants who had crossed over from Libya in small boats and dinghies. Hey were the lucky ones. Hundreds died in the attempt and were drowned in that same sea where I was enjoying swimming.
Speaking before the Angelus with pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on the days Gospel reading which recounts the questions certain Scribes and Pharisees put to Our Lord, regarding His and the disciples' observance of certain long-standing customs - or their lack of observance - specifically concerning practices associated with ritual purity. "The literal observance of precepts," explained Pope Francis, "will be fruitless if it does not change the heart and does not translate into concrete attitudes: opening oneself to encounter with God and His Word in
The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the current refugee crisis is a "global problem", and called on the international community to join forces. Cardinal Parolin was speaking on the side lines of a surprise visit to Rome's Gemelli Hospital - the institution which treated Pope St. John Paul II on several occasions. Cardinal Parolin acknowledged that "some people have invoked the United Nations," adding that he thinks it is "a global problem that needs a response from different levels," but that it should "involve everyone."
I was recently interviewed by BBC Wales in an interview by Roy Jenkins; the other speakers were Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at Oxford University and the Reverend Guto Prys Ap Gwynfor, chairperson of Cymdeithas Y Cymod or The Fellowship of Conciliation in Wales and last but not least, Bruce Kent the vice-president of CND. In the interview, I spoke about the fact that the hibakusha, as the survivors of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known are finally being heard - their stories of extreme suffering and witness were in fact all over
Aid to the Church in Need (UK) is providing £180,000 for a new convent for the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Erbil, the Kurdish capital. The Sisters distribute material help, provide counselling and give Christian education as part of their ministry to more than 100,000 faithful who fled to Kurdistan a year ago. Prompting their exodus was the summer 2014 invasion of Mosul and Nineveh by Islamist terror group Daesh/IS. The 22 Sisters and two novices needed a new, larger base in Erbil after their convent in Mosul was blown up by IS last November.
A crowd gathered outside Westminster Cathedral on Saturday morning, to see off fourteen cyclists, on the first leg of their trip to Paris to lobby the UN Climate talks. There was a short prayer service with music followed by a blessing from Cathedral Precentor, Fr Alexander Master. In a message Cardinal Vincent Nichols sent his best wishes, saying: "The witness of this event, in both teaching and action, highlights the importance of the forthcoming climate conference in the care of our common home. Travel safely and may God bless you all."
Too many people seem to know exactly what God thinks or Jesus taught. I wouldn't dare presume to claim I know this at all and it amazes me how often 'god people' use this type of argument to get at others, especially those with differing viewpoints. We seem to be getting a taste of this in the run up to the Synod of the Family, people writing to the Pope to ask him to affirm Church teaching on marriage and divorce and not allow the type of discussion that others actually want.
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event which aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug related deaths. Held every year on 31 August, this year's event falls on Bank Holiday Monday, and has the theme of prevention and remembrance, acknowledging the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of a drug overdose.
Forty-five emerging leaders from different religious and cultural backgrounds are coming together to create a change in communities across the UK. Over the coming year, students of different faiths and beliefs on 3FF's ParliaMentors leadership programme will work to deliver social action projects in their university cities, while being mentored by MPs. The students begin ParliaMentors on Monday 7 September with three days of training, visits to Parliament and meetings with key stakeholders, and high profile inspiring figures who have created social change.
The great Catholic architect Augustus Pugin, who lived in Ramsgate until his death in 1852, is to be celebrated with a week of events in September. Pugin Week begins on Thursday 10 September and ends with a concert on 15 September. All events are free, except the concert, though donations are encouraged.
"I am a graduate of Heythrop College. My course of study didn't just gain me a degree. It also changed the course of my life" .... .Hundreds of academics and students from around the world have appealed for the Governing Body of Heythrop College to reconsider their decision to close the 402 year old institution...At the end of June the governors announced that because of financial issues, "the College in its current form, as a constituent college of the University of London, will come to an end in 2018 - although its mission and work will not."
Oscar Romero: Prophet of Hope by Roberto Morozzo Della Rocca, published by Darton,Longman & Todd, is a comprehensive account of the martyred Archbishop of San Salvador's incredible journey of holiness and courageous witness in the face of cruel state oppression. Historian Roberto Morozzo Della Rocca draws directly on previously unpublished documents - some of which were used as evidence in the process leading to Romero's beatification in 2015 - to write the most authoritative biography of Romero to date.
On Monday, 24 August, 2015, in Jerusalem, the negotiating committee of Christian Schools, chaired by Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, met Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, with the Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, and a delegation from the Ministry, to discuss the crisis facing the Christian schools in Israel. President Rivlin opened the meeting by welcoming the role of the Christian schools in Israel. He highlighted the importance of the exceptional educational experience these schools provided for very many years.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has expressed his sadness at the death of a retired Westminster priest in South Africa. Upon hearing of the sudden death of Fr Raymond Legge on 25 August in South Africa, Cardinal Vincent has written to Cardinal Wilfred Napier to thank him for the pastoral care shown. At the same time he has sent a message of greeting and condolence to be read at the Requiem Mass for Fr Raymond, which takes place on Friday 28 August. In his message the Cardinal speaks of the ministry of Fr Raymond in his diocese, especially in Hemel Hempstead,
ISIS has again captured the world's attention, this time with the execution of 82 year old Khaled al-Asaad, who worked for 40 years as the head of antiquities in Palmyra, and the destruction and looting in Palmyra. The destruction of a world heritage site, of a site that offers us a glimpse into the beliefs and lives of people who lived centuries ago, and the savagery of an old man's execution, has stirred up a strong response of revulsion throughout the world. For us in South Africa this tragedy comes closely on the heels of the exposure of our notorious 'snake pastor'
More than 150,000 people have joined 36 aid, faith, development and human rights organisations in backing an unprecedented joint call urging world leaders to press the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza and remove the restrictions on basic building materials needed to reconstruct the coastal strip. With the number of people supporting the call increasing by the hour, this has quickly become the largest ever global public push to end the blockade on the Gaza Strip, with international organizations and the public petitioning world leaders to uphold promises made a year ago
On Tuesday, August 25, some 500 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers were released from a detention centre in Holot in the Negev Desert, where they had been confined in contravention of their fundamental rights. Now they need to settle back into society, find work and places to live. The Jerusalem African Community Centre NGO (JACC) has committed itself to help the refugees find work, and they are also looking for temporary lodging for them, for a week or two. Father David Neuhaus SJ, Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics said:
During his General Audience today Pope Francis continued his reflections on family life, focusing especially on the importance of finding time for prayer. Greeting visitors from many different countries in St Peter's Square, the Pope said families often experience difficult devoting time for prayer. But he said a heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or small gesture into a moment of prayer. Pope Francis noted that family life is complicated and time consuming: parents, he said, should win Nobel prizes for the way they manage to squeeze 48 hours' work
One year since a temporary ceasefire brought a halt to 50 days of conflict in Gaza, CAFOD is asking for an urgent review of the failed Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism. Last summer's attack destroyed 18,000 houses and drove more than half a million people from their homes, according to the UN...an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, was intended to facilitate the import of essential construction materials into the territory following the ceasefire. By July 2015, however, not a single destroyed house had been rebuilt and at least 100,000 people remain
Nearly 500 days have passed since Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 200 girls from their school in Nigeria. The President of the Ekklisiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has revealed that more than 176 of them are from families belonging to his denomination. Reverend Samuel Dali's revelation coincides with a Global Week of Action launched by local activists to mark the 500 days. Speaking to local media, Reverend Dali added that over 8,000 members of his church had lost their lives and 70 percent of church facilities in Adamawa,
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has sent a message of support to the Westminster J&P Peace Cycle which sets off from Westminster Cathedral on Saturday morning. Fifteen intrepid cyclists including two parish priests, students, pensioners and the not-so-old will set off on Phase 1 of the London-Paris Pilgrimage for the Climate at 10am on August 29th, heading for Newhaven, to spread awareness of the UN Paris Climate talks, COP 21, later in the year. Come and show your support! A keen cyclist himself, in 2004, when Cardinal Vincent was Archbishop of Birmingham he
Exactly one month from today, Pope Francis will address the UN General Assembly. His speech will mark the beginning of the momentous Post-2015 Summit, during which the new Sustainable Development Goals will be announced. Pope Francis' desire to speak at this event shows his commitment to addressing global inequality on a world stage, and is testament to how seriously he takes development issues. Progressio has written a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, urging the UK government to implement the new goals - will you join them?
Archbishop Samir Nassar, the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus has written a short letter concerning the bombardment he has lived through in Damascus in the past days. Many are dead, many are injured and his Cathedral was also bombed. Part of the war in Syria is to live under indiscriminate bombing, a kind of Russian roulette which is always unpredictable. This Sunday, August 23, 2015 a rain of mortars fell on the neighbourhood including two shells on the roof of the church. Since it is constructed with stone vaults it held despite the damage: cracks larger
Yesterday, Saint Patrick's College Maynooth welcomed 17 new seminarians who have commenced their formation for the priesthood at the National Seminary. At the conclusion of the Introductory Programme in mid-September, four of the new seminarians from Northern dioceses will continue their studies at Saint Malachy's College in Belfast. Welcoming the new candidates, their families and friends to Maynooth, the President of Saint College Maynooth, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, said: "Our thoughts and prayers accompany these 17 men who have taken the first step along the road