Listen to the Pope and Greta Thunberg

THE SPEECH by the young Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg at the United Nations last week, together with her powerful glance at the man who thinks he’s the leader of the free world, made a dramatic impression. The UN conference came days after the Climate change protests here last

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Renewal and Cleansing: St John’s Seminary

When I look at the Chapel in St. John’s, I often think about all of the Seminarians and Priests over  the ages who have prayed there and I think about   how the Church has changed over those 125+ years! Mgr. Gerry, our Vice-Rector has been making a recent appeal for

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Talking about God

I promised a couple of weeks ago to tell you something about the annual conference of the Catholic Theological Association, which took place at the beginning of the month in Twickenham. The title of the conference was Word of God, Words of God: Words, Image and Ritual in Religion and

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Young People!

I am always hoping and praying for more young people to be engaged with their faith and involved in parish life. I know I am not alone in this. Equally, I am well aware of my inadequacy, my inability to make this happen. Again, this frustration may well be the

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Prophesy versus False Optimism

IN 2015 the Holy Father, following the example of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, designated today as a special Day of Prayer for Creation, in his encyclical Laudato Si’. One of the rather facile criticisms made of that letter at the time was that the pope was too pessimistic in his

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We are Shining in the Darkness of the Night

A FEW WEEKS AGO we celebrated at school our Year 6 Leavers’ Mass. This is always a poignant and emotional occasion, for parents as much as for children (possibly more so). For many, a ‘tear-jerker’ is this contemporary hymn, written by Eugene O’Reilly, which has been sung on this occasion

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What it means to be a Convert

THIS is the great east window in St George’s Cathedral, the mother church of our diocese of Catholics in South London and Kent. Later this month it will be the place of the installation of our new archbishop, John Wilson. However it is on the page because in the cathedral,

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The Church of all Nations

SOME OF YOU will recognise this picture. The large piece of rock in front of the altar is the traditional rock of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where Our Lord prayed after the Last Supper before his arrest. Because of the importance of this site, the church built

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Peter’s Pence, Peter’s Successor

SOMETIMES AT CLERGY DEANERY MEETINGS priests are apt to complain about second collections, arguing that people complain to them about them, that there are too many of them, and so on. As it happens people don’t complain here about them, at least not to me; in Beckenham you give very

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The Meaning of Corpus Christi

DURING THE REIGN OF KING CHARLES II, in year 1672, the English Parliament passed what became known as the Test Act (replicated shortly afterwards by the parliaments of Scotland and Ireland). It happened because the king’s brother, the Duke of York (subsequently King James II and VII) had converted to

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