Feasts and Saints

One human family and refugees welcome banners
As the days really shorten and darken in the nations of Britain and of the northern hemisphere, the monthly Universal Intention of the Holy Father, commended to the church though his Prayer Network, keeps us mindful of the awful suffering of refugees, many of whom have come to these nations to escape persecution and violence. We are invited, through prayer and reflection, to grow in compassion for all displaced people, most of whom experience great need and pain. We have a powerful reminder of...
Until 31 March next year, the St John Paul II National Shrine in Washington is hosting a unique exhibition, God’s Servant First: The Life and Legacy of Thomas More, which will showcase over 60 artefacts, most of which come from Stonyhurst College. The objects on display include a first folio by William Shakespeare, a hat owned by More, a chasuble embroidered by Katherine of Aragon, and relics of More and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, who was executed for treason 2...
Fr Tony Nye cuts his Jubilee cake with Pauline Merceica of the Farm Street parish council
“ What  are you looking for?....Come and see” Those words of invitation of Our Lord to the first disciples in John’s Gospel have helped many people on Retreat. St. Ignatius also has his “Come and see.” Approaching the end of his life he was prevailed upon to tell the story of his vocation, somewhat reluctantly. Though a strong and firm leader, Ignatius was a humble man.  He spoke of himself in the third person as the Pilgrim and in that account of his...
Stephen B Whatley's the Sacred Heart of Jesus - part image
I have been telling many of our students here at Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy,  that when we die God is not going to be interested in how you did in this module, or what mark you got in this exam.  However He will be interested in how much love you shared in your life. Today the church focuses on the mysterious way that God manifests his love for us through the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a beautiful devotion that has been part of the Church’s...
Credit: Unsplash
If we feel drawn, this June, to praying with Pope Francis for the concerns that lie in his heart, we can definitely make our prayer richer and more consoling if we unite them to Christ’s heart, too.This month has traditionally been devoted to the heart of Christ, the Sacred Heart, and it’s at the beginning of the month, when the church – you and I – mark the feast-day properly known as the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics "to renew,...
Shamrock courtesy of unsplash.com
The story of the Shamrock is one that everyone half knows. The half that everyone knows is the bit where St Patrick is trying to explain to the ancient Irish the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and was - like many preachers before and since - having a bit of a struggle with the whole business of how God could be both One and Three at the same time. Then he chanced upon a tiny plant - the Shamrock - which had three leaves, individual, different & distinct - but was united in a single plant...
image of Remembrance Day parade in Enniskillen bomb 1987 from bbc.co.uk
What exactly is a ‘Spirit’?I remember once hearing a child of 11 being asked that question. It was a Holy Communion catechism class and she was meant to give the answer that the class had been told the previous week. The only problem was that she had not been there the previous week, so she had to make it up. She said: “The spirit is the bit of you that lives on after all is rest is dead and gone.”I thought that was pretty good on the spur of the moment.As you may be...
The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance (Confession). This window depicts a Priest raising his right hand in absolution of a penitent in Confession. James Bradley on Flickr
“‘You see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.’”I have a friend who is a politician -but don’t hold that against him. He is really not like other politicians, at least as you may have read about them in newspapers. For one thing, he’s not actually very good...
Sun breaking through the clouds
If you have problems with prayer, read on. The God we imagine and then try to meet in prayer is generally thought of as pretty lifeless, dull, flat, colourless, genderless, sexless and lacking in humour, creativity and understanding. We feel that our friends and our distractions are more interesting and life giving than God. We would rather spend time with our friends and our amusements and interests than with God, rather take our chances with them than with God. That is understandable, given...
crib with crocodile
It was childish, I know, but…Many moons ago I worked in an office where the construction of a small, simple crib, placed on a narrow mantle-piece, was one of the marks of the upcoming Christmas. It was a traditional scene – Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus etc… You can probably visualise the regular cast of characters.But somewhere in its journey this particular crib had become home to a small plastic crocodile. The Crocodile – a small toy – had its origins in some long-forgotten game or display,...

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