Friend's and staff of a leading Catholic charity's UK office are running the Fitbit Semi de Paris this March, joining European and Latin American colleagues, raising funds for persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Aid to the Church in Need's UK runners of the half-marathon on the 5th March will include Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director, John Pontifex, Head of Press and Information, Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, National Ecclesiastical Assistant and assistant priest at Farm Street Parish - as well as Sebastian Cichocki, Maintenance Manager at Farm Street.
Caritas Anchor House in Barking, was delighted to welcome the Rt Rev Alan Williams, the Bishop of Brentwood, on Friday, 17 February. During his visit Bishop Alan Williams, President of Caritas Anchor House, met with residents who shared their experiences of homelessness and how Caritas Anchor House was supporting them to rebuild their lives. Every year, Caritas Anchor House offers a home and support to up to 250 homeless people. By providing education, guidance and personal rehabilitation, the centre aims to empower all residents to identify their strengths, achieve
Pope Francis said today the challenges of migration and the promotion of peace cannot be tackled without development and integration. Speaking to participants of an International Forum on Migration and Peace taking place in Rome, whom he received in the Vatican, the Pope said the political community, civil society and the Church must offer a shared response to the complexities of the phenomenon of migration today. "Our shared response, he said, may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate."
Operation Noah is calling on local churches to commit to divesting from fossil fuels during a week-long Global Divestment Mobilisation in May. The Christian climate change charity is a faith partner in the initiative which is spearheaded by 350.org, the global divestment movement founded by American environmentalist and campaigner Bill McKibben. This year's Global Divestment Mobilisation takes place from 5-13 May and will focus on the impacts of climate change.
Bishop Abel Gabuza, chair person of the South African Bishops' Justice and Peace Commission, has called for calm and restraint amid fears that the planned march against foreign presence in Pretoria on Friday could spark xenophobic attacks. "The planned march against the foreigners in Pretoria is cause for serious concern. We call for calm and restraint." Mamelodi Concerned Residents spokesperson Makgoka Lekganyane said they organised the march because they were tired of being slaves in their own country.
Like elsewhere the phenomenon of deforestation raises a lot of concerns in Zambia, Fr Benjamin Itungabose, M.Afr writes. People cut down trees for various reasons. Due to the current electricity problems in cities people use charcoal as their source of energy more than ever before. Hence burning charcoal has become the main source of income for people in rural areas. Thousands of bags of charcoal are taken to Lusaka and Copperbelt day and night. Luapula province which used to be a land of vegetation is gradually losing its identity.
On Monday, UN agencies officially declared famine in parts of South Sudan. War and a collapsing economy have left 100,000 people facing starvation now. A further one million people have been classified as being on the brink of famine, according to the World Food Programme (WFP) and other UN bodies. Commenting on the news, CAFOD's Country Representative, Francis Flood, based in the capital Juba said: "The people of South Sudan are dealing with hunger and starvation and what is now a protracted conflict. Vulnerable families are struggling to take care of themselves, and many
A faith-based group in Manila is conducting trauma and stress-debriefing sessions for families of victims of drug-drug related killings in an attempt to "broaden the circle of those who will speak the truth." Carmelite priest Gilbert Billena of the group Rise Up said the family meetings aim to create a support group that will help them overcome trauma. The priest said his group condemns the proliferation of illegal drugs but is against the methods used by the government to go after suspected drug users and peddlers. "The very people who should be witnesses in cases against the suppliers are
A 'retreat with a difference' is just one description of Mariapolis 2017, taking place in the beautiful setting of Ampleforth College from 7-11th April. Alternatively, a temporary town built on the gospel, a unique kind of holiday and 'a challenge' would all fit. Mariapolis is an annual gathering organised by the Focolare Movement. This year's theme of 'Jesus crucified and forsaken, the God of our times', will be explored through input, shared reflection and dialogue. Held over the Palm Sunday weekend, Mariapolis 2017 will also offer opportunities for those
Marine Le Pen, France's far-right National Front leader and presidential candidate is currently on a 48-hour visit to the Lebanon. She has already been received by President Michel Aoun in the Presidential Palace in Babda. The agenda for her short trip includes meetings with Maronite Patriarch Boutros Bechara Rai, Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri and politician Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces. In her talk with President Aoun, Lebanese media report that Marine Le Pen said she saw the struggle against Islamic fundamentalism as a context for collaboration between Lebanon and France.
Pope Francis will make a historic visit to the Church of England chaplaincy of All Saints, Rome on Sunday February 26th, the first pontiff to set foot inside an Anglican church in his own diocese as the Bishop of Rome. During the afternoon encounter, the Holy Father will join the congregation for a short Choral Evensong service which includes the blessing of a specially commissioned icon and the twinning of All Saints with the Catholic parish of Ognissanti, a Rome church with strong ecumenical ties.
In a letter to the United States Secretary of State on Friday, chairmen of the US Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Committee on International Justice and Peace, along with Sean Callahan, President of Catholic Relief Services, urged the Administration to do everything they can to care for creation both domestically and globally. Building upon Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato si'. . . the letter emphasizes the importance of adaptation policies and specifically calls for continued US support of the Paris climate agreement as well as the Green Climate Fund,
Israeli military bulldozers destroyed a drinking water pipeline funded by the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the occupied West Bank on Monday. The drinking water pipeline was 8.5 kilometres long, and provided drinking water to 47 families. This was the second pipeline destroyed by the Israeli army this month. On the same day Israeli soldiers abducted at least 22 Palestinians In the West Bank in dawn raids and violently searched dozens of homes,
Are you undecided about what subjects to study or what career path to choose? How you want to live? Then a Signpost weekend might be a useful step. Signposts is running a weekend course in making good life choices on April 22nd - 23rd 2017, at Savio House in Cheshire in the foothills of the Peak District. This is skills based training in discernment that makes no assumptions about the participants with regard to faith. The weekend will offer a model of making decisions and leave participants with a tool kit for choice based on the broad spiritual and psychological wisdom of
On Sunday afternoon, Pope Francis visited the church of St Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus in Ponte di Nona in the east of Rome. During Mass, he stressed, that the path to holiness was forgiveness and prayer and that revenge and resentment has no place in the Christian life. After greeting parishioners and meeting a group of children, the Pope celebrated Mass telling the congregation present, never to go down the road of revenge or resentment. Instead, he said: "pray for those who want to do evil: this prevents wars and brings peace." It is also the Christian path to holiness,
The spread of violent jihadist fundamentalism is exposing a chasm between Christians in Africa and the West. Christians under attack in Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and elsewhere are bewildered that their co-religionists in the relatively prosperous and safe world are not more engaged on their behalf. They also point to deeper doctrinal divisions making them feel isolated, despite the financial generosity of many congregations in Europe and North America. The Reverend Canon Hassan John, director of media of the Anglican Diocese of Jos, Nigeria, and Vicar of St Christopher's Anglican Church,
On Saturday, 18 February, on the occasion of the visit of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, in the centenary year of the apparitions, to Westminster Cathedral, His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols consecrated England and Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the Act of Consecration, a modified version of the one used by Cardinal Griffin in the Abbey grounds in Walsingham on 16 July 1948, he said: 'To your Immaculate Heart, in this centenary year of the apparitions at Fatima, we re-consecrate ourselves in union not only with the Church, the Mystical Body of your Son, but also with
Sunday's Gospel is one of the Biblical passages that best expresses the Christian "revolution," Pope Francis told pilgrims gathered for the Angelus in St Peter's Square today. In the reading from Matthew's Gospel, describing part of the Sermon on the Mount, he said: "Christ shows the path of true justice, through the law of love that overcomes that of retaliation, that is, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'." Jesus does not ask His disciples simply to bear evils patiently, but to return good for evil: "Only in this way can the chains of evil be broken, and things can truly change."
In the great Jubilee Year 2000, a crowd of well over half a million people gathered in Fatima. It was 13th May, and they were there for the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Among them were children who had dressed up in honour of these newly beatified shepherd-children who had, in 1917, been privileged to receive the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. In the homily, Pope Saint John Paul II had this to say: 'Dear boys and girls, I see so many of you dressed like Francisco and Jacinta. You look very nice! But in a little while or tomorrow you will take these clothes off and ... the little shepherds will
The Conference of Major Superiors of Men and Pax Christi International are among 15 major Christian organisations of different denominations that sent a briefing paper to all members of Congress and to the Trump Administration this morning, calling for US policies that promote peace, justice, and equality between Israelis and Palestinians. The paper states: "2017 marks 50 years since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza and 24 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Over the last 50 years, but particularly since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, there have been
...Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, who is vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops told the US Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements at the Central Catholic High School in Modesto Northern California: "If one wants to understand the impact of the raids that US border guards have carried out in more than 60 communities across the country since the beginning of February alone, let us listen to the children: They do not want to go school, because they think that their parents are going to be taken away, while they are not there."
The ongoing conflict in Yemen was singled out by Pope Francis during his speech to Vatican diplomats at the beginning of the year. Speaking of the need for dialogue and calling for courageous gestures, he urged international leaders to foster reconciliation in Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries which continues to be devastated by a war between forces loyal to the internationally-recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.
The Diocese of Chimoio in Mozambique celebrated its 25th anniversary last Sunday with a special Mass and blessing of the newly built cathedral. The Bishops of Beira, Maputo and Quelimane together with thousands of Christians who came to give thanks to God and express their gratitude to Bishop João Francisco Silota, the first Bishop of Chimoio Diocese who is retiring soon. In his homily, Bishop Silota presented a financial report of local and foreign contributions for the construction of the cathedral.
I've always loved that silly little quote by Charles Bowen:
"The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust hath the just's umbrella."
The Catholic Church of Thailand has offered to cooperate with Buddhists and believers of other religions to "build peace and stability in the nation" through "dialogue, as brothers and sisters". In a message to the new Supreme Patriarch of Theravada Buddhism on the occasion of his investiture on 12 February, Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovidhavanij, Archbishop of Bangkok and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand (CBCT) noted that the ultimate goal is "peaceful coexistence" so that Thailand can be "a model for other nations."