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Friday, January 20, 2017
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East Anglia: New Catholic schools champions needed
East Anglia: New Catholic schools champions needed

The Diocese of East Anglia is looking for 'local champions' in areas where it wants to open new Catholic schools. The Diocese's Schools Team is looking for parents, education professionals and parishioners who are keen to support the move by the Diocese to open new Catholic schools in Norwich, Peterborough, Thetford and Cambridgeshire. East Anglia has some of the most severe shortage of places in Catholic schools in the country due to the demographic changes that have taken place in the region over the past decade.

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Conference: The Future of Catholic Theological Ethics
Conference: The Future of Catholic Theological Ethics

The Future of Catholic Theological Ethics, an International Day Conference, takes place at Heythrop College, University of London, Kensington Square, London W8 5HN on Friday, 20th January. In his ground-breaking new publication, Reframing Catholic Theological Ethics (OUP 2016), Joseph Selling offers an ethical method that reorients Catholic understandings of theological ethics. Catholic moral theology, he says, has been based on an approach which over-emphasises the role of normative ethics, thus confining moral responsibility to questions about whether a person is following or disobeying moral rules.

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Ireland: Laudato Si' is theme for Catholic Schools Week 2017
Ireland: Laudato Si' is theme for Catholic Schools Week 2017

On Sunday 29 January Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, will be the chief celebrant and preacher at Mass to mark the opening of Catholic Schools Week 2017. This Mass will be broadcast by RTÉ on radio and television from the Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Portlaoise, which has a capacity for 1,800 people. This year's theme, 'Catholic schools: Learning with Pope Francis to care for our common home' has been informed by Laudato Si', the 2015 encyclical by Pope Francis on care for our common home.

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Manchester: St Paul's students inspired by supersonic BLOODHOUND project
Manchester: St Paul's students inspired by supersonic BLOODHOUND project

Students from Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Manchester, recently attended an inspirational lecture delivered by the Bloodhound project team and organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). The BLOODHOUND Project is a global Engineering Adventure, using a 1000mph world land speed record attempt to inspire the next generation to enjoy, explore and get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Cardinal Sarah becomes a patron of London Oratory Schola
Cardinal Sarah becomes a patron of London Oratory Schola

The London Oratory Schola begins the new year with a new patron. In a message they say: "We are delighted and honoured to be able to announce that Robert Cardinal Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has graciously accepted our invitation to become a Patron of the Schola. "He attended the Schola's concert for Sacra Liturgia in July 2016. He joins Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent and composer Sir James MacMillan CBE who are existing patrons.

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London: Public lecture on 'Science vs Faith'
London: Public lecture on 'Science vs Faith'

Is it rational to believe? Is it rational to be an atheist? Does science disprove faith? Can you be a good scientist and a believing Christian at the same time? How can science and faith speak to each other in a constructive way?' Dr Andrew Pinsent, Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at Oxford University, will be exploring these questions in a public lecture entitled 'Science vs Faith?' on 23 January.

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Course: A biblical journey through the Mass
Course: A biblical journey through the Mass

The Mass is the centre of our faith. We celebrate it every day. We know all the responses. We know all the gestures. But do we know what it all means? In this short course/Study Day with Fr Brian Purfield SJ, at Mount Street Jesuit Centre, participants will take a tour of the liturgy and explore the biblical roots of the words and gestures we experience in the liturgy and reflect on their profound significance. This short course looks at the origin and development of the Roman Rite of the Eucharistic Liturgy with a particular interest in the biblical texts that underlie the various prayers used in the liturgy.

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Bristol: Catholic school to take part in university scholarship pilot
Bristol: Catholic school to take part in university scholarship pilot

St Bede's Catholic College in Bristol has been chosen to take part in a revolutionary new scheme that could see many of the UK's brightest young people make it to the country's top universities. The Bristol Scholars Scheme was launched on Thursday 15th December, at St Bede's by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bristol, Hugh Brady. The College is just one of eleven schools selected to take part in this pilot.

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Manchester school hosts Christmas party for pensioners
Manchester school hosts Christmas party for pensioners

Students spread the spirit of Christmas and brought seasonal smiles to pensioners' faces when Saint Paul's Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester extended their Christmas cheer to the elderly of the parish by inviting them to join with the school's students and staff in celebrating Christmas. The Tea and Tinsel event provides a valuable link with the older generation in the community The school has a culture of teaching its students respect in a happy environment and the Christmas party is the perfect way to combine those two really important elements of the

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 Diocese of East Anglia to lead the way in opening new Catholic schools
Diocese of East Anglia to lead the way in opening new Catholic schools

The Catholic Diocese of East Anglia is to be among the first to open new Catholic schools after the proposed removal of the 50% faith admissions cap, with plans for up to eight in the pipeline. East Anglia has some of the most severe shortage of places in Catholic schools in the country due to the demographic changes that have taken place in the region over the past decade. Since Prime Minister Theresa May announced the proposed removal of the 50% cap on faith admissions, the Diocese has been progressing with a number of bids.

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Oldham: St Herbert's Primary releases Christmas single
Oldham: St Herbert's Primary releases Christmas single

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,

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Birmingham: Maryvale graduation ceremony at St Chad's Cathedral
Birmingham: Maryvale graduation ceremony at St Chad's Cathedral

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

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Diocese of Westminster Education Commission launches academy strategy
Diocese of Westminster Education Commission launches academy strategy

The Diocese of Westminster Education Commission launched its academy strategy at a meeting with headteachers and governors from most of the schools of the diocese last Thursday. Following various government proposals over the last few years to encourage most schools to become academies, the Education Service has engaged in an extensive consultation with schools, colleges, and existing academies and Academy Trusts in the diocese to propose a way forward that would ensure schools in the diocese can continue to provide an exceptional education that keeps the well-being every child at

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Study finds Catholic schools most ethnically diverse in country
Study finds Catholic schools most ethnically diverse in country

More than one in five black children now attend a Catholic school in England and Wales. That's according to the latest research which shows the Catholic Church to be the most ethnically diverse provider of education in the countries. With roughly 10% of schools, the Catholic Church is the second largest provider of education. However, this tenth of provision now educates more than fifth of all black pupils in England and Wales. The figures, which are part of the annual Catholic Education Service's Schools Census,

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Augustinian Sisters, Boarbank Hall, Cumbria: 2017 programme
Augustinian Sisters, Boarbank Hall, Cumbria: 2017 programme

The 2017 programme of events at Boarbank Hall in Cumbria is now out. Two Wings and a Prayer (in May) is a completely new event, a birdwatching retreat, for both beginners and enthusiasts. Our popular Autumn Break continues with 'Reformation, Counter-Reformation and Arts'. Our other regular residential events, include Health & Salvation (January, for healthcare professionals) on the theme of Time, Thinking Faith (July) for Catholics in their 20s-40s on 'Change and Conversion', Time to Reflect (March) Lenten weekend for lecturers ('Friendship') and the pre-Christmas retreat weekend for those

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Francis Campbell speaks out for Catholic education
Francis Campbell speaks out for Catholic education

The Church risks the loss of state-funded religious schools unless it vigorously upholds the right to teach the Catholic faith even when it clashes with the ideology of the state, a former top-ranking diplomat has told educators. Francis Campbell, the former UK Ambassador to the Holy See, now vice-chancellor of St Mary's University in London, warned staff and students of the School of the Annunciation at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, that there was no guarantee that governments would continue to support Catholic education.

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Derbyshire: Spinkhill primary school Brightens Up the world for CAFOD
Derbyshire: Spinkhill primary school Brightens Up the world for CAFOD

Pupils from Immaculate Conception in Spinkhill, Derbyshire, dressed in their brightest clothing to raise awareness of communities across the world who cannot grow enough food this Harvest. The school held a non-school uniform day to Brighten Up the lives of children and young people across the world as part of a Harvest fundraising campaign for CAFOD. The children were asked to dress in their brightest and boldest clothes before joining parents and teachers for a walk around the village to raise awareness of the appeal.

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London: Conference on the Life and Thought of Louis Massignon
London: Conference on the Life and Thought of Louis Massignon

A two-day International Conference on The Life and Thought of Louis Massignon within a wider Ecumenical and Dialogical Perspective, will take place at Heythrop College on Tuesday 22 - Wednesday 23 November. The event has been organised by The Centre for Eastern Christianity In association with Centre for Christianity and Interreligious Dialogue, Heythrop College, University of London. Louis Massignon was a Melkite Greek Catholic Priest, a Catholic scholar of Islam and a well-known religious and political figure in the relationship between France, Europe and the Middle East.

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Former hostage John McCarthy visits Stonyhurst
Former hostage John McCarthy visits Stonyhurst

Last Thursday, journalist John McCarthy, who was held hostage in the Lebanon from 1986-1991, visited Stonyhurst College, where he shared stories of the physical and mental torture endured at the hands of his captors. John spoke about his moments of reflection, his coping strategies during the darkest moments in captivity, as well as the physical and mental torture he endured with the Sixth Form pupils of the college. During the first few months, he was kept in solitary confinement in a cramped, damp cell no larger than six foot by four.

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Northumberland primary school holds Bright Socks Day for CAFOD
Northumberland primary school holds Bright Socks Day for CAFOD

Pupils from St Benet's in Biscop, Bedlington, Northumberland, held a 'Bright Socks' day to Brighten Up the lives of children and young people across the world as part of a Harvest fundraising campaign by the Catholic aid agency CAFOD. Marie Wright, LRC Manager, said: "Our CAFOD Young Leaders did a great job at 'brightening up harvest' by encouraging staff and students to wear their brightest socks to represent their donations of 20p. They were able to draw attention to the needs of our neighbours in developing countries whilst creating an atmosphere of thanksgiving for our own blessings."

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Edinburgh: Teilhard conference on Theology of Evolution
Edinburgh: Teilhard conference on Theology of Evolution

The British Teilhard Association is sponsoring a FREE one day academic conference: Theology of Evolution--Convergent, Contingent or Directed? on 13 December. The conference will explore new trends in the theology of evolution and is aimed at students, specialists, and the general public. Speakers: Prof Simon Conway Morris (Cambridge); Dr Michael Burdett (Oxford); Dr Conor Cunningham (Nottingham); Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker (Newman); Dr Bethany Sollereder (Oxford)

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Nine in ten London Catholic schools pay London Living Wage
Nine in ten London Catholic schools pay London Living Wage

Nine in ten of the Capital's Catholic schools pay the London Living Wage, according to a poll of the Capital's 330 Catholic schools. The London Living Wage is different from the national minimum wage and has this week been updated to £9.75 per hour. It is calculated as the minimum amount of money a person can live off in Greater London. It is considerably higher than the minimum wage (£6.70) and the Government's national living wage (£7.20) due to the higher cost of living in London.

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Dr Peter Saunders addresses Alliance of Pro-Life Students
Dr Peter Saunders addresses Alliance of Pro-Life Students

The Alliance of Pro-Life Students held their Celebration & Fundraiser event on Thursday 20th October, with a stirring and emotional endorsement of their work by Dr Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship and Campaign Director of Care Not Killing. The event also included the launch of the Alliance of Pro-Life Students Handbook. Niall O Coinleáin, Chairman of the Alliance of Pro-Life Students, said: "This event is a pivotal moment for the student pro-life movement. The Alliance of Pro-Life Students has a track record of success over its four-year history.

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Record number of Masters students at Heythrop College
Record number of Masters students at Heythrop College

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.

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Transgendered student wins right to wear girl's uniform at Catholic school
Transgendered student wins right to wear girl's uniform at Catholic school

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.

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