A primary school in Oldham, Greater Manchester, has recorded a Christmas single to continue the theme of Mercy as we enter the Advent period. Their Christmas single has now been shared thousands of times around the world with listeners as far and wide as America, Italy and Japan. The track - titled Christmas is Coming - was recorded by pupils at St Herbert's RC Primary School, Chadderton, in a bid to raise money for an ongoing appeal. The school caters for a high number of youngsters with additional needs and all money raised will help fund a sensory room with special lighting, music and objects,
Pope Francis encouraged Christians to give their "Yes" to God, which allows the Lord to create for us a "new story," as opposed to sin, which makes us "old inside." The Holy Father was speaking to pilgrims in St Peter's Square before the Angelus on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The day's readings were the account of the Fall of Adam and Eve [Gn 3:9-15, 20], and the Annunciation [Lk 1:26-38]. "The readings of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary are two crucial passages in the history of the relationship between man and God.
The Vatican has approved an association dedicated to its women employees. Donne in Vaticano (D.VA) or Women in the Vatican is open to lay and religious female employees and retirees of Vatican City State, the Holy See and its related institutions. Its establishment is unprecedented in the history of the small state. According to a press release issued by the Holy See Press office, the twelve founding members of the newly formed Association formally signed the Act of Constitution, approved by the competent authorities, on 1 September 2016 at Vatican City's Governorate.
World Council of Churches associate general secretary, Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, has been interrogated and refused entry to Israel. She was on her way to attend consultations with church leaders in Jerusalem, on the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). The programme brings people from around the world to the West Bank and East Jerusalem to serve for three months as human rights monitors, known as Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs). They bring eyewitness accounts to the world's attention, engage with local Palestinians and Israelis pursuing a just
The Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy has issued updated guidelines for the formation of priests. The document, entitled: 'Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis' or 'The Gift of Priestly Vocation', was promulgated today, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December and published in the Osservatore Romano. "The gift of the priestly vocation, placed by God in the hearts of some men, obliges the Church to propose to them a serious journey of formation," the opening line of the document reads.
Pax Christi International recently convened a team of 10 young people from all over the world, to train to become peace journalists and report about the lives of refugees and asylum seekers. The training and discussions took place exclusively online. Following their training, each team member interviewed a person in their hometown or area who had to flee their home country. Over the past few weeks through a series of webinars and exchange sessions, Pax Christi International equipped the group with the skills and knowledge to conduct interviews.
Elizabeth Davies is to join the national Catholic charity Marriage Care as Director of Volunteer Recruitment, Training and Formation in 2017. Elizabeth, who will begin working for the charity in January, has worked as Marriage & Family Life Project Officer for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales for more than 13 years, implementing the bishops' overarching strategy for the pastoral care of marriage and family life. This has included projects to develop family-sensitive parishes, to raise awareness of the holiness of the home and to support parents in passing on faith.
The Medaille Trust is looking to recruit Diocesan Representatives in Birmingham, Northampton, Clifton and Leeds. Minimum 16 hours per week with some weekend work . The Medaille Trust was founded in 2006 by a number of religious congregations in response to the plight of thousands of people who are being trafficked into the UK each year. The Trust was established as a charity and opened its first safe house in January 2007. A major part of the Trust's work is to raise awareness of the plight of those who are enslaved and exploited in the trafficking industry, and campaign
Pope Francis granted an interview to Tertio, a Catholic weekly newspaper in Belgium this week, on themes ranging from the fruits of the Jubilee of Mercy to his hopes for a synodal Church. In the wide-ranging interview, the Holy Father reflected on the openness to transcendence inherent in the human person, the scourge of religious fundamentalism, the price of war, the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and his desire for a synodal Church. The following is the full text of the interview the Holy Father granted to the Belgian Catholic weekly publication 'Tertio',
During his General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis began a new series of catecheses on 'Christian Hope'. In our times, which seem so dark, the Pope said we often feel "lost in the face of the wickedness and the violence that surround us." We may even feel "discouraged, because we feel powerless, and it seems the darkness might never end." But we should never give up hope, because God, with His love, journeys with us, He does not desert us, and the Lord Jesus has overcome evil, and opened up the path of life."
A person who does not know the tenderness of God, does not know the Christian doctrine, Pope Francis explained his homily at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Most of his homily focused largely on the story of Judas. Reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day which recounts the Parable of the lost sheep, Pope Francis spoke of how the Lord never stops looking for us. The Lord is like a caring judge, who does everything to save us. "He does not come to condemn, but to save" the Pope said,
The Calais camp has been demolished. Almost 2,000 refugee children are stuck in limbo in France, Citizens UK - which brings together faith and community and faith groups from across the country, are organising an action outside Parliament next Tuesday, 13 December from 6 to 7pm to ask the Home Secretary to bring across at least 600 of the remaining lone exiled children stuck in France to fulfil her target proposed earlier in the year to bring 'half' the Calais children here -- and to do so before Christmas.
The annual Pax Christi Advent Peace Service and Fair was held at St Aloysius Church in Euston last night. Coming at the end of a year which has seen an upsurge in conflicts around the world and a huge influx of refugees fleeing warzones, this popular service, with its clear focus on the peacemaking message of Advent, felt particularly poignant. The service was led by Pad Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi UK. The church was specially decorated with focal points for prayer around the church
The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, which was based in the crypt of Westminster Cathedral, will be enthroned in the Cathedral itself, at a special celebration in the chapel of St George and the English Martyrs, tomorrow, 8 December 2016, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The programme begins with prayers and the Rosary at 4pm. At 5pm there will be Vespers, followed by Mass at 5.30 celebrated by Bishop John Sherrington, a procession and blessing of the new shrine.
The achievements of over 250 students of the Maryvale Institute were celebrated at the annual graduation ceremony at Birmingham's St Chad's cathedral on 1st December. The students had successfully completed courses ranging from one-year catechetical certificates to undergraduate and postgraduate university degrees, through Maryvale's part-time distance-learning programmes. Because Maryvale attracts students from all parts of the world, only a small proportion were able to attend in person, but many had already received their awards in diocesan ceremonies in places as
On the feast of St Nicholas, patron saint of children, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] launched a new website to provide information on the Commission and its Mission. The website has resources divided into four categories: 'Healing and Care', 'Guidelines', 'Education', and the 'Day of Prayer for the Victims and Survivors of Sexual Abuse. It also provides news and information about the Commission in an easily accessible format.
London's church leaders have launched a new campaign in response to the ongoing refugee crisis, and following continued reports of intolerance and heightened tension in the wake of the EU Referendum. #LondonUnited encourages churches representing the capital's different Christian dominations to showcase their community work, particularly in response to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and destitute migrants. Throughout the run-up to Christmas, churches will be sharing their stories of community cohesion in London, using the hashtag #LondonUnited on social media.
The Vatican on Tuesday said the "logic of fear and mistrust that is epitomized by nuclear deterrence must be replaced with a new global ethic" during a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "The promotion of nuclear security - preventing, detecting and responding to criminal or intentional unauthorized acts involving, or directed at, nuclear material, other radioactive material, associated facilities or associated activities - is of significant importance to the Holy See, said Mgr Antoine Camilleri, Undersecretary for Relations with States.
Caritas Europa issues a new publication on 7 December entitled: 'Welcome - Migrants make Europe stronger' and casts the spotlight on 'barriers' that prevent millions of migrants from becoming full-fledged members of the European societies in which they live. These barriers are robbing migrants of their dignity and Europe of their potential contributions to further boost Europe's social, cultural and economic score. "Here it seems that documents/papers are more important than people. Without them I am not a human being. I work hard, my employer blackmails me,
It's December; we are in Advent, the season that reminds us that we are approaching Christmas. Some of our attention is turning towards children - the Christ-child of the well-loved Nativity and Infancy stories from Luke's Gospel and the children for whom Christmas is a special time, although not always for wholesome or sacred reasons. Advent evolved in the Catholic Christian imagination, not as another Lent but responding to a sense that reflective preparation is necessary, in a way similar to how Lent functions in our spiritual journey. We might hear a few statements, or even sermons, telling us
Sarah Teather, director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK (JRS UK) has expressed concern and sadness at the latest death in Colnbrook immigration detention centre near Heathrow. The police launched a murder investigation after a 64-year-old immigration detainee died following a fight there on Thursday.JRS UK runs an outreach service to the two detention centres at Heathrow: Colnbrook and Harmondsworth. A team of religious and lay volunteers visit and accompany detainees offering pastoral support and help.
The Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council has released a prayer of thanksgiving for families to mark the 2016 National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. The Aboriginal Council and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops have promoted the annual National Day of Prayer since 2002. It is celebrated on December 12, the memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whom Pope Pius XII proclaimed patroness of the Americas in 1946. The devotion dates to 1531 when Our Lady appeared as an Aztec princess to a humble Aboriginal peasant, Saint Juan Diego, at a place called the Hill of
A special service has been held to celebrate the support shown by Catholics towards refugees during the Year of Mercy. The 'Welcome the Stranger' service, held on Saturday 3 December at the Spiritan Centre in Salford, recognised the many acts of compassion undertaken by the members of the Catholic community. The service, organised by CAFOD and Caritas Social Action Network, was celebrated by the Rt Rev John Arnold, Bishop of Salford. Catholics across England and Wales marked the Pope's Jubilee Year with an outpouring of solidarity towards people who have fled their homes.
The Faith in Politics Internship Scheme is recruiting now. The Catholic Parliamentary and Public Affairs Internship Scheme, which began in 2003, provides up to eight recently graduated Catholics with intensive experience of political and social action in a spiritual context. Four interns will be placed with Christian MPs at Westminster, one in a parliamentary support role within the Secretariat, two in public policy and social action with CAFOD and CSAN, and one in a media internship with the Catholic Communications Network
The Casey Review, into integration and opportunity in isolated and deprived communities, published yesterday by the Department for Communities and Local Government , has found that segregation and social exclusion are at "worrying levels" in some areas of Britain. But Dame Louise Casey has praised the work of the Caritas Social Action Network as part of a "rich tradition of religion as a force for good in this country." In section 8.2 of the review, highlighting the contribution to society of faith-based work, Caritas Social Action Network is recognised along with two others