Rejoice and be Glad!

LAST MONDAY Pope Francis issued a new teaching document entitled Gaudete et Exultate, ‘Rejoice and Be Glad!’ As always it is a very thoughtful and challenging document, demanding reflection on what he says over a long period of time. There are simply a few introductory remarks from me here, and

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Calling All Renovators!

A recent publication – Divine Renovation: From a Maintenance to a Missional Parish by Father James Mallon (2014, Twenty –Third Publications) is a book that is creating big waves in the Church. In it he describes the profound renewal that has taken place in St Benedict’s church in Halifax, Nova

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Easter With Oscar

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS about Holy Week and Easter is the way in which we are enabled to relate the narrative of Our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection to the whole of our lives. This is helped by the ritual and special nature of what we do in church

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Riding on a Donkey

The dramatic events in Salisbury (and possibly New Malden) really show the danger to the world of populist nationalism. If you believe that your nation state has absolute claims over your life, then the State can’t really do any wrong. Truth, justice, fairness, accountability – these things don’t really matter

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Holiness, a Mark of the Church

One of the points in my Christian journey when I realised I ought to leave the Church of England was during a clergy training day in Dulwich many years ago when a speaker, thought to be an expert on mission and evangelism, said that she was fed up with churches

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Looking Forward to the Easter Vigil

Part of what Lent is about is getting ready for Easter, and that means, amongst other things, preparing for the most important act of Easter worship – the Easter Vigil, the night before Easter day. The picture here shows the Holy Father in St Peter’s holding his own candle as

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Housing Justice – Helping the Homeless

Housing Justice is the national ecumenical voice of Christian action to prevent homelessness and to tackle bad housing. As Catholics, we believe that human dignity is challenged by the lack of a decent home. Housing Justice aims to mobilise Christians united in their determination to work with and for the

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The Importance of Family Fast Day

TRADITIONALLY in this country we keep the Friday of the first full week of Lent as Family Fast day. Our dedicated team of CAFOD volunteers will be speaking at all Masses this weekend about CAFOD’s work and the ways in which the money you generously give to our Catholic aid

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Lent: How to be a Do-Gooder

A SURE SIGN of a society, or indeed a person, losing any real moral compass, or a real sense of right and wrong, is the use of the phrase ‘dogooder’ in a pejorative or negative sense. It’s always a snide and nasty expression, reflecting not only moral ignorance but of

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Catholic Teaching and the Rights of Women

MANY of the centenaries we  have been marking in recent years have been pretty grim, often centred on the terrible events of the First World War. But this last week the country commemorated a positive and ground-breaking event – the passing of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which

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