David Stewart SJ

A rifle, from unsplash by Thomas Tucker
The Monthly Intentions of the Holy Father are our way of sharing his concerns and taking these into our own hearts and prayer. Sometimes these concerns can be uncomfortable, even challenging. That is because they must be about real-life issues and these can often be complex and awkward. Our Christian faith is no better than superstition if we restrict it to safe topics or only with a restricted range of concerns, deemed appropriate. This month’s First Intention of the Holy Father is one such –...
April’s First Intention of the Holy Father, commended to all of the people of God for their prayer, points towards a big topic that will become even more prominent next year, at the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops in Rome. The preliminary work has already begun towards that next gathering, which will deal with young people’s concerns and vocations. For this month, Pope Francis asks that our prayers be joined to his, that young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously...
The Jesuit group outside Wembley SSE Arena. Emma Holland
Pupils from three Jesuit schools represented the Jesuits in Britain at Flame 2017 on Saturday.  They were accompanied by their chaplains James Potter (of Wimbledon College) and Stonyhurst College's Sarah Young, as well as Fr Matthew Power SJ, Vocations Director,  Fr Simon Bishop SJ, the province's Director of Spirituality, and Fr David Stewart SJ of the Ignatian Spirituality Outreach Ministry and National Director of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network.  Fr...
Participants gather at Wembley for Flame 2015. Westminster Youth Service
The Jesuits in Britain will joining other Catholic youth organisations and up to 10,000 young people when they gather at Wembley SSE Arena on Saturday for Flame 2017. Encouraged by the success of the Flame events in 2012 and 2015, Flame has now become an important event in the calendar of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.Flame 2017 is organised by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed) and the organisers are hoping that participants in Flame 2017 will fill the Arena, which...
Vatican Sunset. Giorgio Galeotti/Wikimedia Commons
Members of the LGBT group based at London's Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street are on pilgrimage in Rome this week . Today, they will be attending Pope Francis' Ash Wednesday Audience; and later in the week, they will be celebrating Mass at the Gesù, the mother-church of the Society of Jesus, accompanied by Fr David Stewart SJ, who is a member of the Jesuits in Britain's spirituality outreach team.Pilgrims arrived in Rome yesterday and will be taking part in Ash...
Crucifix Pixabay free images
At the beginning of this month we mark Ash Wednesday, when we ourselves are marked with ashes in one of the best-known Catholic traditions of all. Churches are busy on Ash Wednesday. Something about the simple liturgy of the “Imposition of Ashes” calls to us in a deeper place in our souls. What might that be? Might it be its reminder that we, in the words of one of the prayers that can be used, are “dust, and unto dust we will return”?Or perhaps it’s Lent’s call to repentance and renewal,...
Join the Pope in prayer every day throughout 2017
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network has been growing and developing in many innovative ways over the past year. The ministry itself continues the work, of many decades, of the Apostleship of Prayer; but there’s a new name, a new energy and new methods of presenting the message. This does not mean that the previous work has been replaced, but developed, not least in the light of so much change and innovation in the world around us.The Second Vatican Council (1962-65)...
Catholic & Serbian Orthodox churches Credit Wikimedia Commons
January, and a new year, usually feels like a chance of a fresh start in more ways than just the numbers on the calendar. A great many of us have experienced the year just ended as pretty awful, quite exceptional in so much tragedy and suffering, such intolerance and hatred. The world is full of anger.It is on this world that the trinity gazes, this world and no other. If we feel a desire welling up from deep within our hearts for something better in 2017, so does the heart of God, in that...
Unite yourself with the Pope in prayer throughout the year
It is still not too late to order your 2017 Living Prayer Booklet that includes Daily Offerings, the Pope's prayer intentions, reflections and more for the year ahead. Beginning in January, only one prayer intention will be offered by Pope Francis, so that the second one can be topical or of current concern; but the format otherwise remains unchanged.The Pope also now has a mobile application called Click To Pray, brought to you by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of...
Child soldier
It’s December; we are in Advent, the season that reminds us that we are approaching Christmas. Some of our attention is turning towards children – the Christ-child of the well-loved Nativity and Infancy stories from Luke’s Gospel and the children for whom Christmas is a special time, although not always for wholesome or sacred reasons. Advent evolved in the Catholic Christian imagination, not as another Lent but responding to a sense that reflective preparation is necessary,...

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