Spiritual Journeys

Near the end of this month, Friday, 29th September, we celebrate the Feast of St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, and with them all the angels. That has prompted me to ask  :How many angels are there in Farm Street Church?I have gone round counting carefully and I have found 98 in the church and its chapels, and 20 on the outside. The Victorians at the time our church was built were very much drawn to angels. We meet them in their paintings, especially those of the pre-Raphaelites....
Christopher and his family on vow day
Three young men gave a powerful witness to their faith and desire to serve by taking simple perpetual vows as Jesuits at the weekend. This marked the end of an exacting and inspiring two years as novices. Their experiences have been rich and varied.Chris Brolly had been a Maths teacher in a Newcastle secondary school. He feels that his two years as a novice have been a process of becoming more human. “The novitiate, gave me a chance to look back at my life and see how God has been working...
Stephen Noon SJ kneels as he professes his first vows
It was 'vow day' last Saturday,  after two years as novices, a time of testing to see if God has called them to join the Society of Jesus, three men were invited by their provincials to take simple and perpetual public vows.  One of them, Stephen Noon entered the novitiate from the cut and thrust of Scottish politics. A member of the SNP, Stephen worked as an assistant to Alex Salmond and an architect of the 'Yes' campaign in the Scottish referendum.Reflecting on the last two years as...
Damian Howard SJ preaches at the first vows September 2017
This is a great day for the British and Irish Jesuits as we receive the vows of three young men who have decided that they are ready to commit themselves to sharing our life and our mission.These days, a decision like that it is no trivial matter. Behind the simple words of commitment that they are soon to pronounce lies much seeking and questioning and even a little struggling as they have tried to make sense of the invitation they have heard deep in their hearts to take a chance on God.So in...
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...

Pages