David Stewart SJ

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...
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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,...
It is October and the Holy Father invites us all to consider a fresh pair of intentions throughout the month. Like his predecessors did, Francis entrusts these intentions to the Apostleship of Prayer, his own worldwide prayer-network, for us to spread to the whole people of God.This month, the first intention concerns an area we maybe don’t pray about often – journalism, and journalists.The month’s missionary concern reminds us of World Mission Sunday and our missionary roles....
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This month, Pope Francis has asked us to join him in a prayer for, and about, sports – that sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world. Do we ever think about sports as a topic for our prayer? Maybe, only when our favourite team is about to participate in a big match or prestigious tournament! Maybe the only time we ever might link our prayer and whatever sport we follow, or play, is at that moment, and it’s...
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If we feel drawn, this June, to praying with Pope Francis for the concerns that lie in his heart, we can definitely make our prayer richer and more consoling if we unite them to Christ’s heart, too.This month has traditionally been devoted to the heart of Christ, the Sacred Heart, and it’s at the beginning of the month, when the church – you and I – mark the feast-day properly known as the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics "to renew,...
Pope Francis appeals directly for us all to join him in prayer
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network has launched ‘the Pope Video’ through which Pope Francis invites men and women of the world to unite in prayer for his intentions related to the challenges facing humanity. This global multi-media initiative builds on the network that has grown as the Apostleship of Prayer since 1844; its first statutes were approved by Pius IX in 1879 and its promotion was entrusted to the Jesuits as an ecclesial ministry of the Church throughout the world. Since 1929, the...

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