Fr Damian Howard SJ

Senior Jesuits from around the world have published an open letter to world leaders including Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen urging them to act against climate change.The letter was motivated by the postponement of the United Nation’s 26th Conference of Parties (COP 26) due to COVID-19. The UK government were to host the conference in Glasgow at the beginning of November, this year. Rem, “While COVID-19 remains a clear and present danger to the health and security of...
Stand with StanFr Stan Swamy SJ, 83, a Jesuit priest and human rights activist, was arrested by India's National Investigation Agency for alleged links to an armed Maoist group. He is still in prison, in spite of his poor health and calls from around the world, including from Pope Francis, to free him. Fr Swamy has worked for five decades for the marginalised, downtrodden and other vulnerable communities, especially the indigenous people in Jharkhand, India. Ruth Gledhill from The Tablet...
Jesuit Priests demand the release of Fr Stan Swamy SJ from prison at a protest outside the High Commission of India in central London today.Jesuit Priests and their lay associates working for the Jesuits in Britain protested outside the High Commission of India. The protest was organised by Jesuit Missions and took place from 12.30 – 2:00 pm this afternoon in London.Fr Stan Swamy SJ is a well-known human rights activist. He was arrested and detained on the 8 October by the National...
Pope Francis’ third encyclical ‘poses an incremental expansion of the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching which carefully lays bare its logic and gently radicalises some of its implications’, writes Damian Howard SJ. In Fratelli tutti, how does the pope respond to a confused and troubled world which is struggling to articulate a vision for its future, with a gospel-centred narrative which is both practical and ambitious?Catholic Social Teaching just keeps coming these days. That should...
In 2020 there is no task more urgent for Christians than to understand that we are creatures – and to take action accordingly.Living as a creature means knowing you are dependent on a Creator. Which is not obvious if you have been taught all along that you are your own creator. We used to talk about someone being a “self-made millionaire”; these days we are told we can be entirely self-made, reinventing ourselves from scratch. But creatures don’t decide who they are, what they look like or what...
St Ignatius of Loyola is a saint of many roles. Some like to remember him as an ex-military man. But he was also in his time variously a tongue-tied mystic, an ascetical pilgrim, a mature student, a man of affairs and a meticulous administrator. And Rubens made sure that no one before or since has ever looked as good in a chasuble as Ignatius did. For me, in the strange and turbulent time we are now living through, a particular angle is emerging which speaks to contemporary concerns. He is...
In the last of the Lockdowns from Lauriston talks, Fr Damian Howard SJ looks back on some of the key learning from the series and ahead to the challenges and opportunities for the Church in the ‘new normal’. As the Ignatian month of July invites us to celebrate the life and legacy of the founder of the Society of Jesus, it is important to remember that along with the tragedies, good things have also come out of the lockdown. Watch the talk here:  Video of The Church After Lockdown | Fr...
The Jesuit Conference of European Provincials has re-echoed Pope Francis’s call for the European Union to overcome its internal rivalries and to see itself once again as single supportive family.In a statement issued on the 75th anniversary of VE Day, more than 20 Jesuit Provincials from Europe and the Middle East said the EU needed to respond to the current pandemic with a new approach to globalisation that would show greater solidarity with poorer countries around the world and with refugees...
In a few minutes, Fr Dushan Croos will take the final step towards full incorporation into the Society of Jesus After a quarter of a century’s preparation, we can be confident that he has thought things through. That includes the choice of making his final profession on this date. Maybe it was the chance to throw a party in Lent that swung it for him. But I don’t think so. It was really because Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, spouse of Our Lady, Patron of our Society, speaks to him...