Church

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Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the powerful yet humble faith which we celebrate on the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.      Look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church (The Order of Mass, 126). This heartfelt prayer is expressed at Mass just before the sign of peace. Look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church. These words capture not only our vivid sense of unworthiness in the presence of our Lord and his sacred mysteries but also our...
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For Pentecost Sunday, Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the power of language and how the Holy Spirit assists our communications.Learning a new language is laborious for most of us. In a world in which people move around a great deal and have to function well in cultures strange to them, there is plenty of such labour. Acquiring competence in a language may be no mere decorative accomplishment but necessary for survival.The account in the Acts of the Apostles of the first Christian Pentecost makes...
For the month of June, David Stewart SJ invites us to reflect on the active solidarity of the priests, and he reinforces the Pope's invitation to pray for them. That priests, through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively to a solidarity with those who are most poor. The late, great Cardinal Basil Hume OSB, when ordaining new priests in the Diocese of Westminster, used always to remark on how people would presume that the men being ordained had been tested...
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David Stewart SJ reflects on the Pope's prayer intention for May: the Church in Africa.       Pope Francis directs our attention, in this month’s Intention, south of the Equator, asking us to pray with him for the challenges facing the church’s mission there. His Evangelisation Intention for this month is that the Church in Africa, through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for this continent.Nobody of...
Pope Francis has said, ‘Today the Church needs to grow in discernment, in the ability to discern.’ His reforms are motivated by a desire for a more discerning Church, whether at the level of the bishops’ synods, in the local Church, or in the pastoral accompaniment of individual Christians. Above all, he has emphasised that the faithful ‘are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations’.About sixty people gathered at St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in North Wales...
Pope Francis has given an urgent new mission to his personal Prayer Network (formerly known as Apostleship of Prayer) to share among all the faithful. This task, to begin as soon as possible at the beginning of October, is to promote his intention that we all intensify our prayer during this month. He invites us to pray every day the Holy Rosary with the intention that the Virgin Mary help the Church in these times of crisis, and to pray each day to St. Michael the Archangel that he defend us...
Kensy Joseph SJ at his diaconate ordination with Rt Rev John Arnold, Bishop of Salford
Kensy Joseph SJ explains why it affirmed a vital part of his ministry as a deacon when he was recently told, ‘you’re a student – you’re one of us!’After delivering a Sunday homily recently at the Holy Name Church in Manchester, I was chatting with some students when one of them commented on my ‘both/and’ situation as a deacon. On the one hand, I am on the team of the Jesuit-run Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy, ordained to specific liturgical ministries (among other things) such as...
A long heritage alongside the poorJesuits had a mission in the Liverpool area from the 17th Century. In 1712 they built the first Catholic chapel since the Reformation. A second larger chapel was built in 1736 only to be demolished by an anti-Catholic mob in 1738. It was rebuilt in the following year disguised as a warehouse. Much of the hard work which led to the opening of St Francis Xavier's Church in 1848 was done by the Society of St Francis Xavier, a group of lay people some of whom...
Mass at the Sacred Heart church in Edinburgh
There has been a considerable drop-off in church attendance. And it’s not paralleled by the same widespread growth in atheism and agnosticism. Rather, more and more people are claiming to be spiritual but not religious, faith-filled but not church-goers. Why this exodus from our churches?The temptation is to blame what’s happening on secularity. Secular culture, many would argue, is a powerful narcotic both for good and for bad. It swallows up most of us with its seductive promises of instant...
Here is the cold, hard fact: almost 40 percent of British Catholics brought up in the faith no longer identify as such, according to recent British sociological data. But what can be done to reverse this trend?Landings, a lay-run ministry programme for welcoming returning Catholics, is a reconciliation process that helps faith communities welcome inactive Catholics who want to take another look at the Church. Landings trains compassionate lay people to reach out to those cut off from the Church...

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