Holy Ghost Fathers celebrate 300 years

 Congratulations to the Holy Ghost (Spiritan) Fathers, who are celebrating the 300th anniversary of their foundation today. Started in 1703, by Claude Foullart des Places, to help train poor students for the priesthood, working in deprived areas of France, the congregation developed into a missionary family that now works in every continent. A number of celebrations have already taken place marking important dates in the congregation's history - including the bicentenary last year of the birthday of Frances Lieberman, who brought the order to England, (February 2 1802). On February 2 this year there was a special Mass at St Mary's Blackhill, Co Durham. Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor presided at Mass in New Barnet during Holy Week. The work of the Holy Ghost Fathers includes: running parishes, evangelisation and development projects - particularly in countries destabilised by civil war; youth work, (including Kairos and Just Youth); pastoral and humanitarian work with refugees and migrants; dialogue with Islam and other religions and missionary training. They also have an active lay Associate membership. For more information visit: www.spiritans.co.uk