Spiritual Journeys

Jesuit parish of St Ignatius Stamford Hill
Many are the concerns in the Pope’s heart, for the serious challenges that face humanity and for the spread of the Gospel, not least its call for peace and justice. His first request to us for September will catch the attention of many of us, for it is about parishes.  He invites us to pray “that our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen”.We all know at least one parish.  The parish, at some point, has featured in the...
Michael Beattie SJ
Year by year, the world over, Jesuit priests and brothers come together on 3lst July to celebrate the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The community here at Farm Street is no exception and as Jesuits we are always delighted to share the Eucharist and this celebration with you all and we thank you for being with us this evening.The Pamplona war wounds in the form of a shattered leg and a lengthy and very painful convalescence were the start of a life changing experience for St. Ignatius....
Grenfell Tower Fire
Too much suffering has been witnessed by too many people recently for anyone to feel able to speak  of God’s love with much confidence. After many acts of inhuman terrorism, we recently witnessed the scenes of people being burned alive, in a tower that they had known as their homes, crying with terror from windows, or leaving heart-rending messages to loved ones. This black tower of dead families now stands as a fearful monument in the heart of London, a witness of dreadful judgement...
Canoe pilgrims in training Credit Canadian Jesuits
René de los Reyes SJ, a British Jesuit currently studying philosophy at Regis College in Toronto,  reflects on his participation in the Canadian Canoe Pilgrimage.  The 1500 mile, 28 day pilgrimage is an initiative of the Jesuits in Canada to promote a deeper intercultural dialogue and understanding during the year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation.A canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness is an adventure of a lifetime. The collective goal of the paddlers is...
An older man listening
An old friend of mine is a cardiologist - a specialist heart doctor. In fact, he is probably the most respected specialist heart doctor in his country. After a stellar academic career, he became at 43 the youngest professor of cardiology in his country’s history. Through his research, he has introduced new techniques and better treatments which have saved the lives of many hundreds of patients. And he is also a good man - a man of great prayer and personal holiness – rather more so than is...
Philip Harrison SJ, far right
Perched high in the Colombian Andes, the city of Bogotá basks in strong sunlight and is battered by rain in equal measure. It is home to one of three centres for theological formation in Latin America that train young Jesuits preparing for life as a priest or a brother. In this crucial stage of formation, the aim is to cultivate a thorough understanding of our Catholic faith, in such a way that it can give meaning and hope to those we will meet in the many situations in which Jesuits live and...
Bernard Hall SJ shares memories at Leo Arnold's funeral mass
Fr Provincial Dermot Preston SJ has just returned from the funeral of Leo Arnold SJ.  In the last year Leo had been living in the Peter Canisius retirement community close to the Jesuit Curia, but for much of his apostolic life he had been based at the Biblicum in Rome. Leo was an Arabic scholar and in the early 60’s was assigned to Beirut; but in the mid-70s, with the onset of the civil war in Lebanon, he was re-missioned to Rome. Leo was a frequent summer visitor back to the UK doing...
Lifted hands in praise
For the next twenty Sundays, we hear the voice of Matthew in our Sunday gospels. From the earliest days of Christianity, this gospel has been the one most quoted by the Fathers of the church and most used in her liturgy. One reason for this is the abundance of the teaching of Jesus that it includes: Matthew is surely a scribe “trained for the kingdom of heaven who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old” (Matthew 13:51). He is the evangelist who offers us the most elevated...
Young girl with tear running down her face
“I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children.”I have a friend – a good and holy Jesuit who is also a world-renowned Biblical expert. I’ll call him Fr John Smith. And his particular expertise is in Biblical languages – he is supposed to know many of the languages which existed in Palestine in Old Testament times, which is not bad at his current age of 92!But, to tell you the truth, he is also an...
Credit Josh Applegate via Unsplash
July is the height of summer for most of us in the northern hemisphere; schools and colleges complete their syllabi for the year and, for the minority of us who can afford it, holidays and August beckon. So many of us have no chance of a holiday, either in the sense of going away somewhere different or in the sense of respite from a lived reality marked by suffering, by poverty or by violence. Sometimes, too, we’re tempted to take a holiday from our lived faith, from the obligations that we...

Pages