A new interactive story, The tiger, the fisherman, his wife and our future, created by Christian Aid, explores how Royal Bengal tigers in the Indian Sundarbans are helping to protect millions of people in Kolkata and south Bengal from the devastating impacts of climate change. The Sundarban tigers, with a fearsome reputation for human attacks, protect the world's largest mangrove forest from deforestation. The 4,000 square miles of mangrove, which spans India and Bangladesh, acts as a vital carbon sink and natural buffer against increasingly intense cyclones and storm surges.
Patient numbers at The Leprosy Mission's Anandaban hospital, 12km south of Kathmandu, have doubled since Saturday's devastating earthquake. While the hospital is still standing, it is feared the building may not survive the aftershocks and, therefore, all patients have been moved outside into tents. The Nepal Army is helping to bring patients who have fractures and others injuries to Anandaban hospital, the only hospital with the necessary equipment in the area including a blood bank. Five doctors and a surgeon are working around the clock to treat patients with fractures and injuries and are providing emergency surgery.
A group of Sixth Form students from Downside School in Bath received a lesson with a difference this week - they got the chance to discover about the lives of seafarers and the world of shipping. The students were captivated to learn about the jobs that seafarers do and Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) provides welfare and pastoral care for them. AoS development director John Green, who presented a talk to 100 pupils last Wednesday (April 22) said: "We rely on seafarers to bring us up to 95% of the goods we use or consume in the UK."
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum of the World Council of Churches invites member churches, faith-based communities and civil society organizations around the world to join together in 2015 for a week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. Congregations, individuals and groups concerned for justice are called to act to achieve justice through demonstrating commitment to create a common international public witness & to do so through nonviolence & dialogue.
Bishop Denis Brennan's Homily for Vocations Sunday Mass was televised and broadcast by RTÉ from its Donnybrook studios in Dublin yesterday. I heard a story on radio during the week. A lady rang into a 'talk-programme'. Her story was a very familiar one. She had been raised a Catholic, but she doesn't attend Church anymore. She went on to explain why she had moved away from the Church and made it plain that she had no intention of going back. However, all was not well with her.
In October 2014 bishops and other delegates from around the world met with Pope Francis in Rome for a special Synod gathering. The theme for discussion was the Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelisation. A further Synod will take place in October 2015 and the focus then will be on the theme of The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World. In this time between these two Synods, our Holy Father has asked us to spend time reflecting on these themes with "true spiritual discernment." To read the reflection document of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales, see:
CAFOD has committed an immediate £50,000 and launched an emergency appeal after Nepal was hit by a devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake. Matthew Carter, Head of CAFOD's Humanitarian Department, said: "This is the worst earthquake to hit Nepal for 80 years, and it will take some time before the full extent of the destruction is known. With power supplies down, there's still virtually no news from remote villages near the epicentre, but the damage is likely to be extreme.
An inter-faith funeral service was held in Malta on Thursday for 24 of the hundreds of refugees lost at sea earlier in the week. The service was led by Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo alongside local imam Mohammed El Sadi. The bishop's reflection follows: We are in the presence of 24 unidentified dead human bodies but we know that many more, hundreds, lay in the great graveyard that the Mare Nostrum has become. We know not their names, their lives - we just know that they were escaping from a desperate situation trying to find freedom and a better life.
A comparison of what the UK's big four High Street banks reveal about their operations around the world shows that HSBC is currently by far the most secretive, Christian Aid says. Barclays emerges as clearly the most transparent of the four while RBS takes second place and Lloyds comes third. The news came before HSBC and Barclays' Annual General Meetings this week. Christian Aid's comparison of the big four banks is based on their country-by-country reports - legally required publications about their activities in each country in which they operate.
The word 'solidarity' maintains its 'prophetic force' today, even though some people may have thought the term had seen its day, said Pope Francis on Saturday, during his message to members of the John Paul II Foundation. The foundation was established by papal decree in 1981 during the time of the 'Solidarity' movement in Poland. Based at the Vatican, it carries out charitable work in the fields of education, science, culture and religion around the world. In his message, Pope Francis said the canonization of the late pontiff gave the foundation's mission "a new impulse,"
Pope Francis is praying for victims of the massive earthquake which struck Nepal yesterday. The quake, which measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale, shook Nepal just before noon on Saturday, causing major damage to the densely-populated Kathmandu Valley. The death toll has already exceeded 1,000 and emergency services are struggling to reach victims as most roads are blocked and electricity is down. Caritas Nepal director Fr Pius Perumana SJ is in Kathmandu. He said: "It was the worst earthquake I have ever experienced in my life. The after shocks are still strong. Lots of houses have fallen down and there are
Where I live, ten miles outside Oxford, the fields are full of lambs and sheep, you can hear the bleating of the little ones seeking out their mothers and the reassuring answers. It's always been part of my conscious life and goes with bluebells and apple blossom, yellow rape seed and the greening of hedgerow and tree. There are still deer, rabbits and hares to be seen in the Blenheim Estate fields, red kites hovering over carrion and the cawing of the full rookeries. The Cycle of our spring time new life is well on its way. We used to have proper ancient style shepherds, but because of the way our sheep are
"Women are not spared any of the brutal consequences of war, and are additionally subject to uniquely degrading and traumatising attacks and long-term consequences", said the prelate. "It is only just and reasonable that their voice should be present and influential in the work of preventing and resolving violence and war. It is well documented that sexual violence of many kinds accompanies modern warfare. We all know the awful litany: women are raped and trafficked, forced into prostitution to earn a living, and terrorised individually and in their roles as protectors
Cuban church leaders have welcomed the news that Pope Francis plans to visit the island later this year. The Assistant Secretary of the Bishops Conference of Cuba, Mgr José Félix García told a press conference in Havana: "The Catholic Church in Cuba has received the news of the Pope's visit in September with great joy, in the new era of rapprochement with the United States, a process in which the Vatican acted as mediator." The spokesman of the Archdiocese of Havana, Orlando Marquez, said that "the Pope's visit will support the Cuban Church
The Holy See's Permanent Observer to the Holy See, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, has participated in a United Nations Security Council Open Debate on The role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace' looking at the role of social media plays in the life of young people. "Young people around the world can use the internet and social media to enter into contact, make friends and learn about the great cultures and traditions of other people in every corner of the world," said Archbishop Auza.
Jesus never forgets the day we encountered Him for the first time ans we should ask God for the "grace of memory" so that we can always remember it, Pope Francis said during his homily this morning at Mass in Casa Santa Marta chapel. Jesus uses encounter to change lives, the Pope said. A good example of this is Paul of Tarsus, the anti-Christian persecutor who, by the time he reached Damascus, had already become an Apostle. Pope Francis spoke about this episode in the first reading of the day's liturgy, and related it to the many encounters that appear in the Gospel narratives.
The number of asylum applications in Italy increased by 143 percent in 2014, reaching a new record of 64,886, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Italy annual report. While great strides have been made to accommodate refugees and asylum seekers, more needs to be done by the Italian and European authorities to welcome and integrate the newcomers. During the presentation of the report in Rome yesterday, JRS called for a cultural shift in Europe towards hospitality and solidarity. In light of the capsizing of two boats crossing the Mediterranean last week
On Wednesday, Fr Shay Cullen testified before the US Congress to the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. The purpose of the hearing is to provide input to the US State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons Report. Fr Shay gave a verbal presentation, illustrated with photographs. He has 46 years experience in the Philippines working for the dignity and rights of Filipino women and children and he focused on the trafficking and abuse of children in brothels, on the street and the jailing of street kids used by criminal begging syndicates and drug pushers.
The collective 'mission' of a large group of imams linked to al Azhar - the biggest theological centre of Sunni Islam - and Coptic priests began yesterday in the Egyptian province of Minya. The imams and priests are visiting schools together throughout the province. They are meeting students and organising conferences and debates, with the intention of building a culture of encounter and peace as the basis of peaceful social and religious coexistence. The initiative, supported by the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmad al-Tayyeb and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II,
After holding services in a school and other venues for over 20 years, the Roman Catholic parish of St Thérèse of Lisieux in Ingleby Barwick is to get its own church at last. The distinctive design includes a large number of windows, creating a bright area for worship. There will also be a space for parish celebrations and areas for meetings and children's liturgy. Parish priest Father Pat Hartnett spoke of his delight after the plans were given the go ahead.
'Climate Changes Everything: A vigil of hope & solidarity' will be held at Maria Assumpta Chapel and Milleret House Library in Kensington Square, Kensington, on 1 May - 6-8pm. The vigil is organised by the Religious of the Assumption, Pax Christi and the Columban Missionaries. Pray and Fast for the Climate is an international initiative to mobilise Christians to fast, pray or hold a vigil on the first day of every month for a meaningful and just global climate agreement. It is hoped this will be agreed in December 2015 at the Paris climate summit.
One of the only two remaining cast members of the classic series Dad's Army, is to reveal some of the secrets behind one of the most popular TV successes of all time in his latest stage presentation which is visiting theatre venues and church venues this summer. The originators of the series, David Croft and Jimmy Perry, chose Frank Williams, now 84, to create the role of the wonderfully eccentric vicar who was always slightly tetchy as he tried to come to terms with the elderly platoon's invasion of his beloved church hall. "It's been simply wonderful to be part of something so special," said Frank.
On 22 April, at the beginning of the second day of a two-day High-Level Thematic Debate on 'Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation, Fostering Peaceful, Inclusive Societies and Countering Violent Extremism.' UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened with an urgent request to the religious leaders present: "I'm troubled by an empathy gap in the world today, and am worried that numbness is setting in as people witness atrocity after atrocity." Time and again, religious leaders answer with certainty: religion is not the cause of war.
Pope Francis will visit Cuba ahead of his visit to the United States in September 2015, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, director of the Holy See Press Office has confirmed. In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Father Lombardi said: "I am able to confirm that the Holy Father Francis, having received and accepted the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of Cuba, has decided to pay a visit to the island before his arrival in the United States for the trip announced some time ago."
This year sees the 750th anniversary of the death of St Simon Stock, an important figure in the history of the Carmelite Order who is strongly connected to the brown scapular tradition. Aylesford Priory is celebrating this important anniversary and the Prior, Fr Damian Cassidy, O.Carm. has written the following article about the brown scapular worn by mllions of Catholics around the world...Mary's Habit, Carmel's Way.. I wonder what you were thinking when you dressed this morning. Had you already laid out your clothes for the day? Did certain expectations dictate your choices?