Christmas

With only a few days to go until Christmas the festive season is officially in full swing. Gifts have been bought and wrapped (we all wish, anyway!) and cards filled with Christmas wishes from family and friends have begun arriving through letterboxes. I decided to take a look through the Christmas cards we possess in the archive to see if and how this friendly festive tradition has changed over the years.  The first modern commercially produced Christmas cards as we would recognise them...
Christmas celebrations came a bit early at the Manchester Universities Catholic Chaplaincy, with the term ending on Friday 14th December.The traditional Carols by Candlelight service took place on Wednesday 12th, with a full church, two separate choirs, and the participation of Revd Dr Adam Scott, the Lead Chaplain from St Peter’s House (the ecumenical non-Catholic Chaplaincy). Students read from the Gospel accounts of the Nativity, the classic choir both sang polyphonic settings of carols...
Saint Francis Xavier’s Church in Liverpool, along with the neighbouring parishes, is delighted to have links with the excellent secondary school in the area, Notre Dame Catholic College. SFX Church pastoral assistant, Debbie Reynolds has the joy of supporting the school chaplaincy team each Wednesday.On Red Wednesday, an initiative held on the 28th November promoted by ACN UK, a class from Year 9 celebrated Mass together remembering those who are being persecuted for their faith. The...
There are so many stories of people whose lives have been impacted by the work of the Jesuits, in the UK and throughout the world.You may have experienced a positive change in your life because of a Jesuit or Jesuit-ministry. It might have been when you were at school, in church, during a retreat,or a story you heard. Which Jesuit or Jesuit work has impacted your life the most? Could you support a Jesuit this Advent and change a life? Support A Jesuit this AdventToday, as we approach...
Photo by Walter Chávez on Unsplash
The Gospel for the fourth Sunday of Advent, tells us the story of the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus.  At this moment Christ comes into our world.   As we say in the Angelus “The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary and she conceived by the Holy Spirit”.  At Midnight Mass, as we move into our celebration of Christmas, we shall hear the story of the birth of Mary’s child.  On the Sunday after Christmas the Feast of the Holy Family...
Nativity scene
Contemplating the Nativity, for St Ignatius, is not just a cerebral exercise; engaging with the mystery of the Incarnation requires all of our senses. Teresa White FCJ considers how our meeting with the gentle Christ child can effect a powerful transformation in us if are alive to the many ways in which we can receive the gift of his coming. Ignatius of Loyola, at the beginning of the Second Week of his Spiritual Exercises, encourages the practice of what he calls ‘the application of the...
Ninety years ago this Christmas, Britain experienced one of the heaviest snowfalls recorded in the twentieth century. The huge blizzard of 1927 began on the afternoon of Christmas Day. Up to 25 feet of snow fell in parts of southern England, with six inches of snow recorded in central London. Towns and villages were completely cut off and roads in some rural areas remained unpassable for as long as three weeks. It was widely reported in the press at the time that the Salvation Army had...
Older woman holds her head in her hands - by Christian Newman on unsplash
This Sunday is Christmas day, a day when, by long tradition, all over the world, Christians wake up happy – thankful for all of the good things they have been given in life. Not just the good things they have been given this morning, but all of the good things they have received from God’s hand throughout their lives. And thankful most especially for the people they have been given to love and people who have been given to love them. This is a day for rejoicing in all that God has...
The Crib at St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham. Credit: Peter Jennings
Among those taking part in the televised Midnight Mass on BBC One on Christmas Eve this year will be a Jesuit novice from Manresa House in Birmingham. Christopher Brolly nSJ, a second-year novice in the novitiate, will be reading one of the Bidding Prayers during the Eucharist which will be broadcast live from St Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham with Archbishop Bernard Longley as the Principal Celebrant.This year, St Chad’s has been celebrating its 175th anniversary and considers it to...
Black ink sketch of a scribe in a busy library setting
Delving once more into the amazing treasure trove that is the Blandyke Papers (for information on the origins of this remarkable resource see our 2014 Christmas blog post) we wish to share the beginning of the editorial message of the 1928 Christmas number of the Blandyke Papers, which reads:It is our pleasant duty at this season of high festivity to offer to all and sundry the age-old greeting of a merry and a joyous Christmastide. We make no pretence of saying something new. However ambitious...

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