Jesuit prayers for early risers

 Early morning listeners to BBC Radio 4 will be starting their day with prayers from the Director of the newly established Institute of Religion, Ethics and Public Life at Heythrop College in London during February. Fr James Hanvey SJ will be presenting the daily Prayer for the Day at 5.43am for the week beginning Saturday, 14 February 2004 (excluding Sunday the 15th). Starting on St Valentine's Day, Fr Hanvey's theme for the week will be relationships. "The biggest challenge is to convey a prayerful message in just two minutes!" he said. "But the theme lends itself to development as the week progresses, and I'll be offering my thoughts on several different kinds of relationships, not just marriage but also things like parenthood and being separated from people we love." The audience at this time of day is calculated to be over half a million, and according to BBC Producer, Mark O'Brien, Prayer for the Day provides a valuable service: "Listeners are getting up and starting their day when Prayer for the Day is broadcast. They are loyal and varied, but we know that they greatly appreciate this spiritual contribution from the radio as they prepare for the day ahead." James Hanvey, a Jesuit, is Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Heythrop College, from where he led the Morning Service on Radio 4 in October 2003.

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