Spiritual Journeys

Scarves laid out in memory of the 96 who died at Hillsborough
Last week, one of the gentlemen asked me why I didn’t preach about football any more and if this was in any way connected to Liverpool’s less than brilliant start to the season. That gentleman, of course, supports Manchester United!I said “no, of course not, I was merely waiting for the right occasion.”So, “Love your neighbour as yourself?!”Why your neighbour?Why not the people down the road?or some people in the next town?Or some other people a nice safe distance away..?Or the man in the moon?...
I arrived with five other recent graduates at St Beuno’s Jesuit Retreat Centre in North Wales, a short taxi ride from the Welsh town of Rhyl. The six of us had been sent to St Beuno’s as part of the induction process for the faith and politics internships offered by Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. After a week of meetings all over central London, the second week was a silent retreat. The contrast on arriving at the centre was palpable.We had all looked forward to this...
Pub wedding credit jmason.org
I saw just that happen once – a long time ago in Northern Ireland. A rich man - a pub landlord – funny how pub landlords in Ireland are always rich men – can’t imagine why. Anyway, this man held his daughter’s wedding feast at the biggest hotel in a town a few miles outside Belfast. But this was in the time of the Troubles. And on the day of the wedding, there was a lot of trouble in the city, with fighting and shooting and bombs and road blocks, so many of the invited guests were too...
A hospital room
A long time ago in a land far, far away, I once worked in a very bad hospital. It had a very bad reputation and patients didn’t want to go there. The staff were always bickering, angry, rude to the patients. Many people came to work late; some came drunk; some didn’t come at all. As a result, the patients just did not get a good service. Equipment never worked. When you tried to call somebody to repair it, they weren’t there; or they couldn’t come; or they just wouldn’t do the work. The...
Credit David Siglin via Unsplash
The mission of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is to encourage all of us to make of ourselves a daily offering to the Lord by means of a simple and easy prayer pathway. For many years we have had this tradition. It comprises the morning offering, available in a variety of formats, a daily prayerful review, keeping in mind the intention that the pope gives to us each month, so that we can unite our prayer to the concerns that are in his heart. His is a global call to transform our prayer...
God speaks to a tech billionaire.
It was an interesting experience for me to go to the theatre and find an intelligent and non-cliched exploration of contemporary mystical experience. Christopher Shinn’s ‘Against’, playing at the Almeida Theatre in north London, is a fascinating and absorbing study of millennial confusion. Most engrossingly from an Ignatian perspective, a fundamental theme is what happens when someone powerful and influential feels that God is speaking to them in the midst of that confusion.  This is a...
Young man praying at Farm st church, london
Landings, the programme for returning Catholics whose UK base is here at Farm Street, is starting a new year, and also a new chapter.  First of all, our team would like to thank the parishioners of Farm Street sincerely for the opportunity to speak about the Programme at Masses two Sundays ago.  And for the very generous funds raised, which have now reached £2,417-51.  Very many thanks for your generosity and interest in the programme. But Landings is not about programmes,...
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...

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