We all have our favourite prayers, being somebody whose ability to remember word perfectly is very limited I prefer short prayers and perhaps the one that really engages me more than any other is that simple phrase, Lord have mercy, Kyrie eleison. A few years ago I took part in a BBC Radio 4 Programme that looked at the musical setting of the Kyrie in Faure's Requiem. My task was to look at what those words actually meant. I really enjoyed being part of that broadcast and found that what I researched has made a far deeper impact on me because it changed my perception of
During today's Jubilee of Mercy audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis extended a special greeting to the Polish pilgrims present, remembering the 1050th anniversary of the baptism of their nation, and the feast day the Polish-born pontiff, St John Paul II. In remembrance of the feast day of St John Paul II, Pope Francis recalled these words delivered by his predecessor during his first Mass as the Roman pontiff on October 22, 1978: "Exactly 38 years ago, at about this time, in this square, there resounded these words to men and women throughout the world: 'Do not be afraid. Open wide
This academic year (2016-17) we celebrate 50 years since the Catholic Chaplaincy moved from St Patrick's Soho Square to its present location at Newman House on Gower Street. It is a time to thank God for the work of university chaplaincy and to ensure that the work can continue and develop further over the next 50 years. The celebration includes a series of public lectures - the first is this Monday - and a special anniversary weekend. All are welcome.
A new decorative scheme commemorating forty English Catholic martyrs has recently been completed in the Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs in Westminster Cathedral. The chapel will be dedicated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols on 28 October. The chapel contains the cathedral's war memorial and its completion marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. The new design by Tom Phillips CBE RA links this event with another chapter in the nation's suffering, that of the English martyrs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Pope Francis stressed the importance of promoting and supporting young people in his address to members of the John Paul II Foundation celebrating its 35th anniversary. "Providing formation for young people is an investment for the future: young people must never be robbed of their hope for tomorrow" he said. Pope Francis said the anniversary was a good moment to look back and draw up a balance of the work done in the past years, but also a time to look to the future with new goals and objectives.
Humility, gentleness and magnanimity are the three key attitudes to build unity within the Church, Pope Francis said during his homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta today. He urged Christians to reject envy, jealousy and conflicts. Reflecting on the greeting at Mass: 'peace be with you', the Pope focused his homily on what is required to nurture peace and unity and avoid war and conflicts. He said our Lord's greeting "creates a bond" of peace and unites us to create a unity of spirit and warned that if there's no peace and if we aren't able to greet each other in the widest sense of the word,
Police chiefs, bishops, religious sisters and representatives from civil society, who make up the Santa Marta Group, are joining together next week (26-27 October) in the Vatican to share and encourage best practice in the struggle against human trafficking. Santa Marta Group delegates will report back to Pope Francis the progress that has been made since signing the SMG commitment two years ago, where each of the 24 police chiefs present committed to developing partnerships with the
South Africa is in the middle of one of the worst droughts in living history. Or if, like me, you were born in the 90s, the worst drought in living memory. Our increasingly hot and dry summers, as well as the El Nino phenomenon - which has resulted in little rainfall over the last year or two - have left water levels in our dams at worrying levels. The drought may well not be the worst the country has ever experienced. However, the change in circumstances between now and the last El Nino event of similar severity (1982/3) means, the impact of the drought may well be more pronounced.
With a heartfelt appeal to the international community for an end to the conflict in Ukraine and a reminder about persecuted Christians especially in the Middle East, the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, this afternoon in the Portuguese capital opened the meeting of the Bishops of the Catholic Eastern Rite Churches in Europe. In the Rua dos Jerónimos parish church hall, in the presence of a large delegation of bishops from Ukraine, led by His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Patriarch Clemente recalled the forgotten conflict in the Doneck region, inviting the international
The catechism on its own is not sufficient to truly know Jesus, we need prayer, worship and to recognize ourselves as sinners, Pope Francis said during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today. The Holy Father was reflecting on St Paul's letter to the Ephesians where the Apostle prayed that they may be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit and that Christ may dwell in their hearts. Noting that Paul spoke of plunging into the immense sea that is the person of Christ, Pope Francis asked: "how can we know Christ, How can we understand His love that is beyond all
A farmer and a Franciscan affected by the tailings dam breach which killed 20 and polluted 280 miles of river in November 2015, were joined by affected communities from Colombia and Indonesia today, to protest at the world's biggest mining company's London AGM. While some campaigners attended the BHP Billiton AGM, outside the meeting, others held a street theatre re-enactment of the destruction of the Doce River in Minas Gerais, Brazil, accompanied by testimonials from frontline visitors affected by the company's operations in Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia.
Rutilio, Romero and Pope Francis is the title of this year's Romero lecture - to be given by guest speaker Fr Rodolfo Cardenal SJ. Fr Cardenal is a Central American Jesuit and Director of the Monseñor Romero Centre at the UCA, the Jesuit University in El Salvador. He is a surviving colleague of the six Jesuit martyrs killed on the UCA campus in 1989 at the height of El Salvador's civil war. Fr Cardenal is a historian and has written the biography of his Jesuit confrére, Fr Rutilio Grande, assassinated in March 1977
Hundreds of CAFOD supporters have met MPs in constituencies across the country as part of a 'week of action' on climate change and energy. Parishioners and pupils around the country organised 35 events, ranging from constituency meetings to tea parties, and met with MPs including Prime Minister Theresa May, Chancellor Philip Hammond and former Culture Secretary Andy Burnham. The CAFOD supporters were amongst nearly 4,000 people who took part in The Climate Coalition's 'Speak Up' week of action between 8-16 October.
Appalled by the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Syria, Quakers have joined other faith bodies in demanding an end to the bombardment of Aleppo. Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain said: "Quakers see the light of God in all people, wherever they live and whatever they believe. Every life lost through bombardment is a tragedy which can and must be avoided. Peace is built when people meet each other in love. Quakers call for an end to the bombardment and an investment in the processes which will be needed to bring peace to Syria."
Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, stated: "With all her experience as former Secretary of State, it is untrue and deeply disappointing for Hillary Clinton to put the Chinese government's practice of forced abortion in the past. If she thinks that China no longer forces women to abort babies, she should explain that to a couple, surnamed Zhong, who in August of this year were forced to choose between an abortion at eight months or the loss of both of their government jobs. Or she should inform He Liping, who was forced either to pay an impossible
Sir Sigmund Sternberg, philanthropist, renowned interfaith campaigner and co-founder of 3FF, has died. He was 95. A true giant of the interfaith movement, Sir Sigmund spent most of his life building better relations between people of different faiths and beliefs. He founded 3FF, the Three Faiths Forum, together with Revd Dr Marcus Braybrooke and the late Sheikh Dr Zaki Badawi in 1997. The founding of 3FF was only one of his many achievements in the field, which include strengthening the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), helping to form the International CCJ (ICCJ), and working
This Disney film tells the true story of Phiona Mutesa, a young girl from Kampala, Uganda who is now a world chess champion. Directed by Mira Nair, whose work includes Salaam Bombay and Monsoon Wedding, the film was made on location in the sprawling Katwe slum. In the opening scenes we see Phiona (played by Madina Nalwanga) living with her widowed mother, Harriet (Lupita Nyong'o) brothers and sisters in a rickety shack. They have no electricity and water is collected from a stand pipe in the street. None of the kids go to school. They eke out a living selling vegetables
Pope Francis said on Wednesday, access to food and water is a basic human right, and called on believers and people of good will everywhere to take personal responsibility for the needs of their neighbours. The appeal came during the Holy Father's weekly General Audience with pilgrims in St Peter's Square. The Pope focused on feeding the hungry, the first of the Corporal Works of Mercy, during his catechesis.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has called for a financial system and a global economy that respects the human person. Speaking on the first day of the 3rd European Microfinance Forum (3rd EMF) taking place in Rome, Cardinal Turkson quoted from Pope Francis' encyclicals and messages that denounce the current culture of waste and speak of an anthropological crisis that has placed wealth at the summit of a scale of values.
Heythrop College has welcomed a record number of Masters students this year. For the academic year which began in September, Heythrop has 63 full-time first year Masters students who have completed enrolment and a further another 24 who are in the process of enrolling. This marks a significant increase on last year - up by over 100% from 31 enrolled students in 2015/16 - and the largest number ever at the College as the Heythrop receives it final intake of students as a college of the University of London.
Heavily-armed Fulani herders attacked the Godogodo Chiefdom in Sanga Local Government Area (LGA), southern Kaduna State, from Saturday 15 October until the afternoon of Sunday 16 October, killing over 40 people and destroying almost every home. According to reports obtained by Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria (CSW-N), the herders entered the area at around 6pm, shooting wildly. Youth and adult men ran into the bush while women and children hid inside their homes.
A Catholic secondary school in Kent has apologised after sending a transgender pupil home for wearing the wrong uniform and preventing her from using the girls' toilets and changing rooms. Lily Madigan, 18, was born male, but came out as female last year. When she turned up for the first time at St Simon Stock Catholic School in Maidstone dressed in girls' attire she was sent home. More than 200 people signed a petition calling on the school to change its approach to transgender students.
MPs today paint a damning picture of how British companies and tax havens are helping the corrupt to steal vast sums from poor countries and so undermining UK aid, in a new report welcomed by Christian Aid. "It is clear from the evidence we received that companies and individuals in the UK, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories play a major role in facilitating global corruption," says the report by the cross-party International Development Committee. Simon Kirkland, UK Parliamentary and Political Adviser at Christian Aid, said:
Yesterday I was with faith and community leaders at St Michael's Church in Croydon, waiting to welcome a handful of children from the Jungle Camp in Calais. As the children walked off the coach we all felt joy that our campaign had made a difference. Every child rescued is a victory we should celebrate. But there are hundreds left, and every child left unprotected in the Jungle Camp in Calais is one too many. The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has promised that 'more' will be arriving in the coming days. But how many? And when?
Those of us connected with Oxford, both Town and Gown will now that October 19th is the feast of our patron saint. Being one who is quite devoted to the cult of this saint, I am asked if there is anything much that we can factually verify about her life. There are two main Latin lives (A and B) written about her, but appear several centuries after her death. Life A c. 1100-30, according to the scholar John Blair, shows evidence based on earlier sources. Latin Life B is a revised and more elaborate version, probably composed by the prior of St Frideswides (now Christ Church Cathedral),