A Christian convert working with the White Fathers was killed earlier this month by Boko Haram when they stormed Bosso, a town in the eastern part of the Republic of Niger. At least 30 soldiers from the army were killed and military equipment set ablaze as the terrorists advanced on 3 and 4 June. Armaments and food was stolen. According to the United Nations, at least 50,000 people have been displaced. Seminarian Tomas Seunda Jallet who is based in the capital Niarney, 1,200kim away, writes: The tiny Christian community in Bosso, is served by the White Fathers who live in
The directors of ten organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers have written an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for a 'national discussion on migration' and protection for refugees. Now that the UK has voted for Brexit we need a national discussion on immigration that is human and honest, not based on fear or misinformation. The government has said it will publish a new UK asylum strategy. We believe it should stand for three core principles. First, help more refugees find safety in the UK without having to risk their lives
This timely book from Timmon Milne Wallis, a former Director of the National Peace Council, provides a comprehensive demolition of most arguments for the UK to continue to hold Trident nuclear weapons. Wallis argues in a methodical style outlining the various arguments for and against these weapons systems. He then dismantles the claims of those who favour renewal, providing a comprehensive case for the UK to give up its nuclear weapons arsenal and set an example for the rest of the world to follow.
On Saturday 25 June, six men were ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Vincent at Westminster Cathedral. Concelebrating were Bishops John Sherrington, Nicholas Hudson and Mark Jabale, along with several priests of the diocese. The new priests are: Fr Christian de Lisle, Fr Tom Montgomery, Fr Damian Ryan, Fr John Scott, Fr Tony Thomas and Fr Chinedu Udo. During the homily which preceded the Ordination Rite, Cardinal Vincent, echoing the words of St Paul, enjoined the men to 'lead a life worthy of your vocation'.
A Catholic historian in Colchester, with a particular interest in the medieval Abbey of St John, has made yet another exciting discovery about its history. In 2014 Jennie Guthrie-Stevens found a copy of a long-forgotten report made when the Abbey's Gatehouse was refurbished in the 1840s, which gave detailed information about the restoration and the original building. Now Guthrie-Stevens, who is part of the Colchester Catholic Heritage Group, has made another breakthrough in the story of the Benedictine Abbey itself.
Pope Francis left Yerevan, on Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of his three day pastoral visit to the Armenia. The Alitalia plane carrying the Pope and his entourage back to Rome took off following a farewell ceremony on the airport runway with President Serzh Sargsyan, alongside Patriarch Karekin II, head of the Armenian Apostolic Church and leaders of the small Catholic community there. During the visit the Pope met church and state leaders, visited the genocide memorial museum, took part in an ecumenical prayer vigil for peace, travelled to the northern
Pope Francis has urged young people in Armenia to be active peacemakers in a world suffering from persecutions and conflict. Speaking at an open air ecumenical prayer vigil in Yerevan on Saturday, attended by leaders of all the Churches in Armenia, the Pope called on people of faith to abandon "rigid opinions and personal interests", showing instead humility and generosity on the path towards full Christian unity. During the prayer service for peace in Yerevan's central Republic Square, the leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Catholicos Karekin II spoke about
The UK must remain an outward-looking country and an international leader against poverty and global threats following voters' historic decision to leave the European Union, Christian Aid said on Friday. "After a bruising campaign which has split the country down the middle it is now vital that we come together as a nation and recognise we are all part of a global human family," said Loretta Minghella, Christian Aid's Chief Executive.
Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the city of Gyumri on the second day of his apostolic visit to Armenia. At the start of the Liturgy, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of all Armenians welcomed the pontiff by thanking the Catholic Church which "gave a helping hand of brotherly love to the victims" of the devastating 1988 Armenian earthquake which killed 25,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The Catholicos said: "Gyumri is one of those historical towns of Armenia where centuries-old Armenican Christian values have flourished" and
Pax Christi, will join with an alliance of people from different religious traditions are taking action against nuclear weapons at the factory where they are made, on Monday, 27th June 2016. During the day there will be times of prayer, readings and actions that aim to stop the normal work of the factory. Pax Christi will lead prayers and a reading of the 'Trident Dialogue' drama at 1pm. Opposition to nuclear weapons transcends borders, race, creed and religion. During the Month of Action at Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Berkshire,
Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM has been elevated to Archbishop and appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem upon retirement of Patriarch Fouad Twal. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem who reached the age of 75 for retirement last October. The Pope has elevated to Archbishop Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, former Custos of the Holy Land for twelve years, and appointed him as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Latin
Pope Francis on Friday met with Armenia's political, diplomatic and civil society representatives,at the presidential palace in Yerevan. During his address he recalled both the genocide suffered by the nation a century ago and the suffering of Christians around the world today. As he greeted the Armenian president, Serzh Sargsyan, and the nation's political leaders, Pope Francis spoke of the rich history and natural beauty of Armenia, believed by some to be the location of the biblical garden of Eden.
Pope Francis arrived in Armenia's capital Yerevan at 12.55 pm Rome time on Friday 24th June to begin his 14th apostolic journey abroad. Before his visit he paid a private visit to the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome to pray, leaving a bouquet of flowers, in the colours of the Armenian flag, before the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as 'Salus Populi Romani'. The Holy Father was warmly welcomed by the President of the nation's Republic Serzh Sargsyn and the Catholicos of All Armenia Karekin II. Also present were the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Armenia
Given that those of us in the UK have been part of a seismic shift in the political direction of our country, how do these words of Jesus, quoted by Luke, seem to you? Jesus said: "No one who sets a hand to the plough and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God." I guess some of you reading this will feel that the earth you know and understand has shifted its axis, some will be fearful, some resentful, others hopeful, the uncertain waters ahead cannot be fathomed as of yet!
Pope Francis commented on Britain's decision to leave the European Union today, saying it must be followed by "guarantees" for the good of both Britain and countries on the continent. Speaking to journalists aboard the Papal plane during his journey to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, the Pope said the referendum result must be respected because it was wanted by the people. "It was the will expressed by the people and this requires a great responsibility on the part of all of us to guarantee the good of the people of the United Kingdom,
The new Anglican Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Ipgrave, has paid a visit to St Chad's Catholic Cathedral in Birmingham, to pray and to venerate the relic of St Chad prior to his installation in September. Welcoming him, Archbishop Bernard Longley described it as an opportunity to give thanks for all that Anglicans and Catholics share in faith. They prayed together in silence in front of the relic which was placed on the Altar; Archbishop Longley led a prayer for Bishop Ipgrave's ministry as well as Lichfield Cathedral and its parishioners.
Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop John Sentamu have issued this joint statement today after the UK voted to leave the European Union: On Thursday, millions of people from across the United Kingdom voted in the referendum, and a majority expressed a desire that Britain's future is to be outside the European Union The outcome of this referendum has been determined by the people of this country. It is now the responsibility of the Government, with the support of Parliament, to take full account of the outcome of the referendum, and, in the light of this,
Over this past week, the United Kingdom has experienced a series of significant, challenging and sometimes painful milestones. With the long-awaited results of the EU referendum, and the tragic death of Jo Cox MP in the lead-up, emotions are high and there is potential for hostility and divisiveness to flourish. There is however the more positive outcome that these events serve as a catalyst for a greater unity and collective stance for the good of all. While Jo's tragic and wasteful death was unequivocally horrific and heart-breaking, it also gave rise to
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales: "A great tradition of the United Kingdom is to respect the will of the people, expressed at the ballot box. Today we set out on a new course that will be demanding on all. Our prayer is that all will work in this task with respect and civility, despite deep differences of opinion. We pray that in this process the most vulnerable will be supported and protected, especially those who are easy targets for unscrupulous employees and human traffickers.
The Festival Day of Saint Oliver Plunkett will be celebrated in Saint Peter's Church, Drogheda, this Sunday 3 July. This year the organisers are pleased to welcome as homilist Father Sean Henry PP Trim, Diocese of Meath. The 2016 procession, culminating in the celebration of the Festival Mass, will commemorate the 96th anniversary of the beatification of Saint Oliver Plunkett by Pope Benedict XV on 23 May 1920, as well as the 41st anniversary of his canonisation as a martyr by Blessed Pope Paul VI on 12 October 1975.
The Diocese of Clifton, in the west of England, will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme with a night of prayer and reflection in Clifton Cathedral in Bristol, on Thursday, 30 June. The World War One battle was one of the bloodiest in history, taking place in northern France between 1 July and 18 November 1916, and tragically saw over one million men wounded or killed. The vigil starts with a multi-faith service at 8.30pm and ends the following morning with Mass at 7.30am.
It is good to be able to welcome you here on this day when we celebrate the eve of the birthday of Saint John the Baptist - who suffered for speaking the uncomfortable truth to powerful people - and are aware of the UK poll on membership of the European Union. As people of faith from across our continent, you represent diverse languages and cultures which do not have one currency but do share one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and which espouse a European homeland that breathes with two lungs. We welcome you as representing the Church incarnate in your
Israel stands accused of using 'water as a weapon' as water supplies to the West Bank have been drastically cut, and some West Bank homes have gone without water for a week, news services and aid agencies report. The crisis began on the first day of Ramadan, when water supplies were cut completely for 24 hours. While summer temperatures are well over 30 degrees centigrade and rising, families across the West Bank now have barely enough to drink, let alone wash. Agriculture is particularly under stress and dairy farmers face the prospect of
An amazing 3,400 years of marriage were represented by 80 couples who received certificates from Bishop Alan Hopes at the annual Marriage and Family Celebration Mass at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich on Saturday. "This Mass is offered in thanksgiving and celebration of the goodness of marriage and family, and as an affirmation of the life-long commitment husbands and wives make to each other," said Kerry Urdzik, Marriage and Family Life Co-ordinator.
Francis has sent a video message to the people of Armenia, ahead of his visit to the country this weekend. In the message, delivered in Italian, the Holy Father said: "It is as a servant of the Gospel and a messenger of peace that I desire to come among you, to support your every effort towards peace - and I would share our steps on the pathway of reconciliation, which generates hope." ... I invite you to pray for this Apostolic journey. With the help of God, I come among you to fulfil, as the motto of the trip says, a "visit to the first Christian country".