Although Christians in Pakistan are suffering frequent persecution, the 95 per cent country has seen a great increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life in recent years. Fr Inayat Bernard, Rector of the Santa Maria Minor Seminary in Lahore said the increase was "a sign of God's blessing" who is "always close to his people." Fr Bernard, who leads 26 young seminarians, said there were 23 priestly ordinations, including diocesan and religious priests, since the beginning of 2015 to date, and 15 new deacons who are preparing to be
Staff and pupils from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Manchester were delighted to welcome the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal to the school. The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal started their order 25 years ago in New York with the aim of being streetwise and relating to real people in their development and promotion of the Catholic faith. The brothers who visited the school were all British, had gone to New York to deepen their understanding of the order and then had returned to this country to dedicate
Hard to believe but Independent Catholic News is 16 today! Many thanks to everyone who has helped on this project and given us so much encouragement and support. The technology has certainly developed since the site was launched on 4 May 2000. At that time ICN was the only on-line Catholic news service in the UK and published just two updates a week. Now news is posted up every day round the clock where possible - with many links to different social media - some of which didn't even exist ten years ago,
Five members of Christian Climate Action blockaded the Ffos-y-fran open cast coal mine at 6.25 Tuesday morning, helping to close off the access road to the mine. They were among 400 people from Reclaim the Power camp who shut down the largest open cast coal mine in the UK for the day and called for the end of coal mining in the UK to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The activists were dressed in red to lay down the red line that fossil fuels, especially coal to stay in the ground.The UK government announced last year that
Two months after a rebel group burst into a care home in Aden, killing four Missionaries of Charity and 12 staff, there is still no certain news as to the whereabouts of the Salesian priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who is believed to have been kidnapped during the incident. Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia told Fides news service: "The last words, which are quite reassuring, I received indirectly about ten days ago. I was told that Father Tom is alive, and that his return to freedom could be imminent. But since
Many people are following Christianity in a confused way, forgetting that Jesus is the only true path, Pope Francis said in his morning homily during Mass at Casa Santa Marta. In the day's Gospel reading, Jesus tells the Apostles 'I am the way' - Pope Francis reflected on the need for Christians to consistently follow Jesus and not get waylaid or blocked on their journey of faith. He said there are many different types of Christians who are following Jesus in a confused manner like the mummified Christian, the vagabond Christian, the
Christian Aid campaigners from Witney in Oxfordshire gathered on Saturday in the Prime Minister's local constituency outside properties which are now owned in Jersey and the British Virgin Islands, to demand that David Cameron finally gets tough with the UK's secretive tax havens. "We're here in the Prime Minister's constituency to remind him that people around the world are suffering because he has failed to stop UK tax havens facilitating tax evasion and other serious crimes," said Christian Aid's Campaigns Strategy Lead Helen
Ninety seven faith groups and NGOs from around the world, including CAFOD, Christian Aid and Pax Christi, have written a letter to Presidents Obama and Putin urging them to use all influence they have to save the ceasefire in Syria. They write: "Violence across Syria has escalated alarmingly, reportedly claiming a life on average every 25 minutes in the past 48 hours. We cannot stand by in the face of this catastrophe". Global NGOs and faith groups demand that President Obama and President Putin immediately use their
Pope Francis' prayer intention for May is for the Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed. The Apostleship of Prayer has produced the Pope's Video on this prayer intention. The full text of the Pope's video is below.. The contribution of women in all areas of human activity is undeniable, beginning with the family. But only to recognize it...Is that enough?
History was made on Saturday when The Edge, the lead guitarist from Irish rock band U2, played in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. The first-ever rock concert in the historic chapel, was given for about 200 doctors researchers who had attended the conference at the Vatican on regenerative medicine. Wearing his signature black beanie, The Edge, whose real name is David Evans, played and sang Leonard Cohen's 'If it be your will' and U2 songs 'Yahweh' 'Ordinary love' and 'Walk on.'
More than 2,000 Catholic migrants living and working in London brought colour and international music to a special Mass for Migrants at Westminster Cathedral on Monday 2 May. The principal celebrant this year was Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. In his homily Cardinal Nichols deplored "reports of sadness, dismay, frustration, anger, rejection and humiliation from Iraq and Jordan, to Libya and Calais." He felt it was important to speak out when vulnerable children "are perishing at sea or at risk in hostile camps", and
Today we come together to pray. Prayer is our key activity. We pray for courage and compassion, especially for refugees fleeing for their lives and safety; and we pray for migrants, far from home, striving to make their way and play their part. The reading we have heard from the Acts of the Apostles has a remarkable resonance. We hear of Paul and his companions setting out from the port to Troas to make the 100 mile sea crossing to Neapolis. Troas is in northern Turkey. Neapolis is in Greece. This is a crossing of the same sea that
Pope Francis is to receive 6,000 homeless people from all over Europe, who will be making a pilgrimage to Rome from November 11th to 13th, at the close of the Year of Mercy. Organised by the FRATELLO Association - an initiative born in the wake of the 2014 pilgrimage of 150 people then living on the streets in France - the 2016 pilgrimage is one in which organizations throughout Europe aiding the poorest and most vulnerable brothers and sisters in society are invited to participate.
The Holy Spirit gives us strength, so that we may bear witness to the Lord in times of persecution - even to the point of sacrificing our lives - but also through the small persecutions such as gossip and criticism. This was theme of Pope Francis' homily during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Monday. As we near Pentecost, the readings increasingly focus on the Holy Spirit. The Acts of the Apostles tell us that the Lord opened the heart of a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatria who came to hear St Paul.
The Order of Preachers celebrated Dominican Vespers at Westminster Cathedral on Friday, officiated by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols as the key event in their 800th Jubilee year The celebration appropriately coincided with the Feast of the great Dominican mystic, St Catherine of Sienna, Co-Patron of Europe and Doctor of the Church. Fifty five Dominican friars and the present and former Masters of the Order, joined two cardinals, two archbishops, four bishops and three abbots on the Sanctuary.
A group of volunteers who visited a leprosy hospital in Nepal say the experienced has been 'life-changing'. They were all aware that it is one of the poorest countries in the world, nevertheless, they admit to being shocked by the extent of the poverty they witnessed. A volunteer speaker for The Leprosy Mission England and Wales Christine Sugden, from the Isle of Man said: "I knew I would see poverty, patients who have leprosy and the devastation caused by last April's earthquake. But, knowing it and seeing it are different:
Cardinal Vincent Nichols was principal celebrant at a special Mass in Ealing Abbey on Sunday, 1 May, to mark 1,050 anniversary of Christianity in Poland. During this year, the baptism of Mieszko I, the first ruler of the Polish State, in 966, is marked. In his homily Cardinal Vincent noted that 50 years ago 'would not have been a good time for such celebrations' and that 'they had caused considerable conflict'. He prayed that 'the Catholic faith may continue to inspire' Poland and that 'the strength, generosity and sense of sacrifice which springs from
Some younger Catholics may never have heard of Fr Daniel Berrigan who died on 30 April at the age of 94. This news will bring back a flood of memories especially for those who experienced the peace movement of the Vietnam era. Both he and his brother Philip were heroes to many, and well known worldwide as Catholic radicals. In Dan's case also as a university teacher, significant author and poet. From a family of six brothers, Dan joined the Jesuits and was ordained in 1952. Both he and Phil were vocal and radical opponents of American
Before the Regina Coeli with pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on the days' Gospel reading that describes the Last Supper and Jesus' promise to the Apostles. The Lord tells the apostles their mission is to take the Gospel message into the world and that they will not be alone. "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you: teach and remember."
Pope Francis sent greetings to the faithful of the Eastern Churches who began their Easter celebrations yesterday, according to the Julian calendar. In his address to pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square for the Regina Coeli prayer, he said: "May the Risen Lord bring to our brothers of the Eastern Churches all the gifts of His light and His peace. Christos anesti!" Earlier, in a message through his @Pontifex Twitter account, the Pope said "I address a cordial greeting to the faithful of the Eastern Churches who are celebrating Holy Pascha today.
Pope Francis addressed participants of an International Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine and its Cultural Impact on Friday. The Conference was sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Stem for Life Foundation, and the STOQ Foundation. The 2016 conference focused on children's cancers and rare diseases, as well as diseases that occur with aging. It featured talks and discussions with leading cell therapy scientists, physicians, patient advocates, ethicists, philanthropists, leaders of faith and government
The chief executives of 17 charities and campaign groups have written to the Prime Minister, urging him to stop UK tax havens from enabling corruption and tax dodging around the world. The letter, signed by the CEOs of organisations including CAFOD, Christian Aid, and Oxfam, comes less than two weeks before David Cameron's international Anti-Corruption Summit in London on 12 May. "The UK's reputation as a leader in the fight against corruption is on the line," the letter warns, following the latest revelations in the Panama Papers about the role
This weekend Holy Apostle's Church in Pimlico, central London, hosted two performances of Sing It! - a musical about the Ten Commandments performed and stage crewed by more than 70 parish children. The primary purpose of doing the play was to give the children an equal opportunity to learn performing arts and religious education. The secondary motive was to fundraise for their twin parish in Turkana and to start a fund for future similar dual purpose activities for the children.
Nominations are now open for the Celebrating Young People Awards, powered by Million Minutes and in partnership with St Mary's University, Twickenham. The annual awards ceremony honours the achievements of young people across the country who work to make our communities a better place. There are a total of eight award categories, which take their names from Catholic Social Teaching and recognising the enormous, often unseen, social action of young people.
The American Jesuit priest and poet Daniel Berrigan - famous for leading defiant protests against the Vietnam War - died on Saturday in New York aged 94. Father Berrigan emerged as a radical Catholic voice against the war in the 1960s and won fame when he and his younger brother Fr Philip Berrigan seized draft records of troops about to be deployed in Vietnam. Together with seven others they burned the files. The group were convicted of destroying government property and sentenced on 9 November 1968 to prison terms