dermot preston

Christmas begins with a priest arriving at the altar of the Lord – only to find that the Lord has other plans, and the biggest day of his priestly life ends in chaos and embarrassment.Poor Zechariah. Luke begins his Gospel with the story of John the Baptist’s father – at that time, still childless – having the once-in-a-lifetime privilege of burning the incense in the inner sanctum of the Jerusalem Temple at the end of the daily services. Much to his surprise, Zechariah encountered the...
By Alfred Weidinger from Vienna, Austria (Bob Geldof in the Belvedere, Vienna) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Thirty years after the original Band Aid, Bob Geldof has returned front-&-centre stage, directing the global media to focus on helping the people in West Africa with Ebola; unashamedly he attempts to use celebrity power to mobilise political will. It is good to have him back.Bob...Bob’s media presence in such a debate is a catalyst which manages (consciously and unconsciously) to provoke big moral questions which people normally try to ignore; so the very fact that we are forced to...
The British Jesuit Provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, was the principal concelebrant at a special Mass at Clongowes Wood College near Dublin to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus and the founding of the College. Throughout the period of its Suppression (1773 to 1814), the British Jesuits gave shelter to some of their Irish brethren as well as taking care of their funds. Once the Society was restored in 1814, these funds would be used to purchase Castle Browne (...
Bloody child's shoe found after a rocket attack in Gaza
“The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless."This wise insightful quote comes from ex-US President Jimmy Carter many years ago, but it might well have been said by Mother Teresa for the universal truth that it unveils.Beneath all the political and religious posturing and rhetoric in recent months, Carter's phrase can perhaps give a focus to the underlying reality of the violence being unleashed in various trouble-spots in our poor bruised...
The Jesuits in Britain have joined the Holy Father’s prayers for peace in Iraq. Pope Francis has appealed on several occasions over the past few weeks for violence to stop and has urged the Church to intercede for a peaceful solution to the fighting in the Middle East, most recently at last Sunday's Angelus.Fr Dermot Preston SJ, the Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, says that the Pope has expressed his deep concern at the situation in this region of the world and has expressed his...
St Ignatius at Manresa
For the Feast of St Ignatius 31 July, Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, Dermot Preston reflects on who St Ignatius is to him.It is reported that when a British Jesuit was asked, ‘Father, when you die, will you be afraid to meet Jesus?’, the Jesuit’s prompt response was ‘No… but I’m terrified of meeting St Ignatius!’ I suspect many Jesuits would smile and resonate with that. Yes: on the Day of Judgment, Ignatius will be giving us a harder time than...
Fr Dermot Preston SJ reflects on the place of the vows in the life of a Jesuit. He has worked as a Jesuit in Britain,  South Africa and Guyana and is now Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain.When I was a novice we used to recite this helpful little meditation:“Poverty – to be free, as He was freeChastity – to love generously, as He lovedObedience – to live a life of service, as He served.”As these words illustrate, the contours of the vows are not narrowly...