Fear and anxiety are two of the most crippling emotions we can have. If we let them take hold of our lives things can become quite unbearable. In themselves they are not bad, a little bit of honest fear and a certain amount of reasonable anxiety is necessary at times. Often that slight edge to our anticipation of future events gives us the push to 'go for it' as does a healthy fear of things that need to be treated with caution. But the heavy destructive force of dark anxiety and the presence of
Today, the various international pilgrimages to Paris to lobby the UN Climate talks, converged on the city centre. The first I encountered was the 17 Westminster Laudato Si' cyclists. There they were in their yellow outfits, helmets and bicycles posing for photos outside Notre Dame Cathedral. It was early evening and a sharp wind blew around the piazza but, despite showing signs of feeling the cold, they were clearly uplifted by the experience of spending three days cycling from
Why do divisions, wars and deaths occur? Fanatism, and divisions among young people? Why is there that desire to destroy? In the first page of the Bible, after all those wonderful things that the Lord had done, a brother kills another brother. The spirit of evil takes us to destruction and the spirit of evil takes us to a lack of unity, it takes us to tribalism, corruption and drugs. It takes us to a destruction out of fanaticism.
Thousands of people from government, industry, intergovernmental organisations and civil society are expected to attend meetings and activities during the UN climate change conference, on 30 November-11 December 2015 in Paris. The Global Catholic Climate Movement has collected more than 800, 000 signatures on its Catholic Climate Petition, to be delivered on 28 November to world leaders attending COP21. The petition, inspired by Pope Francis in Laudato Si',
Following the debate in Parliament on 26 November 2015, it is likely that there will be a vote very soon, proposing military action in Syria, Pat Gaffney, general secretary of Pax Christi UK writes. Many Pax Christi members contacted their MPs in 2013 when a similar vote took place. We urge you to do the same again. Try to ensure that prayers are said in your parish community that nonviolent responses be pursued in facing crimes of terrorism and extremism.
A new festival to help connect homeless people with their local community through music is taking place on Saturday 28th November. The Homeless not Hopeless festival is being held at The Hive in Dalston and will see all profits from evening go to supporting East London homeless charity Caritas Anchor House. Festival goers will see performances from up-and-coming bands, DJs, acoustics acts and solo singers, and the event will also feature insightful talks and
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has welcomed the setting up of an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, led by Justice Lowell Goddard, and has set up a council to assist the inquiry in its deliberations. Baroness Nuala O'Loan will chair this council, which has representatives from both the Bishops' Conference and the Conference of Religious (for full membership of the council see below). This Council will support the numerous organisations that make up the Catholic Church
Pupils from Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School, St Albans, had a life-changing experience when they they visited Uganda during their half term, to see projects supported by KiSS (Kiddies Support Scheme) - a charity which promotes the self-sufficiency of children in Kasambya and Hoima, Uganda with education, healthcare and general living, Nicola Kelly writes. The student leadership team was accompanied by four members of dedicated staff, who spent eight days in
History was made on Wednesday, when a Catholic Confirmation Mass was celebrated at Worcester Anglican Cathedral. Bishop Robert Byrne, auxiliary of Birmingham was chief celebrant at the Mass. Nearly fifty children from two Catholic parishes - Our Lady Queen of Peace and St George's - were confirmed during the service. As the two parishes now share one parish priest, Father Brian McGinley, it was decided to hold a joint service but the churches weren't big enough,
Pope Francis spoke of the vital need to safeguard the environment and ensure a just distribution of the earth's wealth in his address to the UN team in Nairobi. On his way to the meeting, the Pope symbolically planted a tree, which he described as "an invitation to continue the battle against phenomena like deforestation and desertification" in order to safeguard the future of humanity. He also highlighted the importance of the upcoming international conference in Paris on climate change
A huge exuberant crowd of around a million people gathered on the campus of the University of Nairobi for Mass with Pope Francis on Thursday morning. Some had waited since 3 in the morning. A large choir sang and danced throughout the service. Pope Francis said: "The Lord tells us that in the desert He will pour forth water on the thirsty land; He will cause the children of His people to flourish like grass and luxuriant willows. We know that this prophecy was fulfilled
On his first morning in Africa, Pope Francis met Christian, Animist and Muslim faith leaders in the apostolic nunciature in Nairobi. Ecumenical and interreligious dialogue is not a luxury, but an "essential, something which our world, wounded by conflict and division, increasingly needs", Pope Francis said. "Religious beliefs and practice condition who we are and how we understand the world around us", he said. "They are for us a source of enlightenment, wisdom and solidarity, and thus enrich
Sunday, 29th November 2015, is the first day of Advent as well as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People initiated by the United Nations. Tragically in Palestine, this time of Advent is beginning at a very dark time. In Bethlehem, clashes erupt almost daily, Israeli forces have closed down Hebron completely and Palestinian Jerusalemites are facing another round of harsh discrimination and house demolitions. In fact, instead of preparing for Christmas,
Why are Columban priests and lay workers heading to Paris? First, they continue action on Climate Change which has been part of Columban mission work for more than three decades. Experience in Peru led our missionaries to know that care for the poor means care for the land - the twin cry of the suffering land and people. Experience in the Philippines led Columbans to lament the loss of the God-given diversity of species as the rainforest and coral reefs were
Since 2003 and especially since 2011 the exodus of Christians from the east increases. Some reports give only ten years for the page to turn concerning Christianity in the Middle East. This seems to be a pessimistic view, but observed experience shows an alarming and growing emigration. The subject of daily discussions is how to leave. Go anywhere and in any way, even if it means taking dangerous risks. A family just sent their twelve-year-old son away with a
Vivien Snow, formerly Perry, the first Chair of Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Wales and co-worker with Cardinal Suenens, died on 24 October 2015. Born in Hornsey as Vivien Christine Thomas, 3 July 1948 Viv grew up in Barnet where she attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. She read Geography at Southampton University, becoming a teacher of Geography and Religious Education, working in Ireland, and a noted author of school geography textbooks. She was raised Anglican but became a Catholic around 1972.
A group of Catholic charities has just doubled its membership so that it can give greater publicity to the life-changing work of charities at home and overseas, and to show Catholics how they can help build a better future. The group known as 'Your Catholic Legacy' (YCL) was formed in 2013 to raise awareness among Catholics of the importance of leaving gifts in their Wills to Catholic causes. The thirteen original charities found the two-year trial to be so beneficial that they opened the door to new
Witty, effervescent, enlightening, unique - Sarah de Nordwall is a very gifted young Catholic poet, singer, writer and storyteller. She will be performing some of her latest work - 'stand up poetry, song and sci fi' - this Saturday at Mount Street Jesuit Centre in Mayfair. See her if you have the chance. Beyond Your Wireless Dreams! takes place on Saturday 28 November 2015. Mulled wine at 7 - show at 7.30pm
Jewish, Muslim and Christian organisations will march together calling for action to address climate change this Sunday, November 29th, united by a shared concern for protection of the earth and all who live on it. The march, backed by more than 60 faith-based and secular organisations, will take place on the eve of the Paris climate change summit and call on the UK government for better investment in renewable energy, green infrastructure and new clean jobs.
His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, called for continued ecumenical and inter-religious collaboration in response to the complex crisis facing refugees and Christians in the Middle East. Bishop Angaelos said: "We are a united Body of Christ, there is no Church of the East and Church of the West; it is one Body and it suffers equally, and so we need to approach this matter collaboratively. These are, after all,
Commenting on today's Comprehensive Spending Review, released by Chancellor George Osborne today, Helen O'Brien, Chief Executive of CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network), said: "As CSAN found in 'Caritas Reports: The Impact of Welfare Changes', it is not the changes to individual aspects of the welfare system, but the multiplicity of the cuts which has made life more difficult for vulnerable families, young people and those earning less than the Living Wage.
..."Kenya has been blessed not only with immense beauty, in its mountains, rivers and lakes, its forests, savannahs and semi-deserts, but also by an abundance of natural resources. The Kenyan people have a strong appreciation of these God-given treasures and are known for a culture of conservation which does you honour. The grave environmental crisis facing our world demands an ever greater sensitivity to the relationship between human beings and nature..."
Pope Francis has arrived in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, at 4.30pm local time. He was welcomed by the nation's President, Uhuru Kenyatta, by local religious leaders and by huge crowds of singing, dancing well-wishers. After signing a visitor's book, the Pope met privately with the President at the airport for a few minutes before being taken by car to the State House for an official welcome ceremony. The Holy Father was busy on the flight. As his plane passed over
Church-goers in Hampshire have been supporting the upcoming United Nations talks on climate change in Paris in prayer and action. Churches Together in Fleet & Crookham held a multi-sensory prayer event at Our Lady's Church in Fleet on 1st November where a petition was launched calling on the government to show leadership nationally and internationally to secure fair and ambitious agreements on tackling climate change and poverty.
A group of CAFOD supporters took the Pope's message on climate change to the heart of government this week, when they handed in a petition signed by 40,000 Catholics calling on David Cameron to show leadership at the UN climate talks. The petition, which is part of a global campaign supported by over half a million Catholics worldwide, is inspired by Pope Francis' call in Laudato Si' to care for the Earth, our common home, and to protect all those