History

Photograph of Stonyhurst College
On 21 August 1834, Fr Marmaduke Stone SJ died at Lowe House, St Helens. Born in Draycott, near Painsley in Staffordshire, in 1748, and entering the Society in 1767, those who have some knowledge of British Jesuit history might realise that Fr Stone would have been witness to a particularly significant, and turbulent, period for British Jesuits and the Society as a whole.Catholic education in England and Wales had been outlawed since Elizabethan times, so, in order to provide an education for...
Fr Peter Edmonds SJ
Jubilarian and biblical scholar Fr Peter Edmonds SJ reflected on a life of service in this homily, given at Farm St Church on the Feast of St Ignatius 2018.Today is the feast day of St Ignatius, a special day of celebration for members of the Jesuit order, the Society of Jesus; it is also a special day for those who have been educated at Jesuit colleges which for over four centuries have flourished in so many parts of the world. But today is also a special day of celebration and gratitude for...
To date, the Jesuits in Britain Archives have supported two part-time Archives Assistants, with the aim of helping prospective archivists into the profession. We are pleased to say that both were accepted onto Masters programmes for Archives and Records Management, an accredited qualification which is required of individuals working in the profession. Our most recent Archives Assistant, Lucy Vinten Mattich, has been working with us for almost two years, the second of which she has been...
Even the most apathetic will be aware that the World Football Cup has recently been taking place. The 21st tournament, which has been held in Russia, had its final match on Sunday 15 July. In light of the football fever it seemed an appropriate time to share the story of how the Jesuits had a football team stay with them during the 1966 Cup.The inclusion of this photograph of Fr Peter Blake SJ with some footballers in the timeline of the most recent Jesuit and Friends issue reminded me that...
This year, 9 July marks the 70th anniversary of the death of Fr Robert Henry Joseph Steuart SJ. According to his obituary in Letters and Notices, Fr Steuart was born in Reigate, but his ancestry and home-life were Scottish. He was first educated at Fort Angus and hoped to enter the Navy but was prevented due to his recurrent hay fever. Instead, having a talent for mathematics, he entered the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich where he was a military cadet from March 1892 until February 1893....
Portrait of Fr Stephen Perry SJ
The Jesuits and wider Catholic Church have a long history with astronomy. In October 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the new Gregorian calendar to replace the Julian system which, by that time, had drifted by ten days. The new calendar also altered the lunar cycle used by the Church to calculate the date for Easter, restoring it to the time of the year as originally celebrated by the early Church. The Gregorian calendar was developed by the astronomer Aloysius Lilius and modified by the...
Seeds resting in a persons hands - Photo by Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash
‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’Right after I was ordained, I spent five years working in the Amazon in South America. The area I worked in is called the Rupununi. That’s an area of Guyana about...
Image of William Weston SJ
In 1478 Bishop Morton of Ely (later Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England) began the building of a castle in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, to replace the ageing motte-and-bailey structure built by William I in 1072. His successor, Bishop Alcock, extended and completed the re-building and subsequent bishops also spent considerable sums on this new palace. By late Tudor times, however, the castle had become a notorious prison used to hold Catholics. This year, the 5th of June marks the...
St Aloysius' Church, Oxford
145 years ago, on the 20th of May 1873, Oscar Wilde and a companion were among a large crowd that watched as Dr William Bernard Ullathorne, the first Bishop of Birmingham, laid the foundation stone of the first Catholic church to be built in the centre of Oxford since the Reformation: St Aloysius’. According to Fr John Morris SJ who was also present at the occasion:The weather, on which an out-door function is so entirely dependent, was magnificent; and the attendance on the occasion was large...
Illuminated IHS headscript under which October 1917 and Codex Juris Canonici in typescript
A centenary ago, on 19 May 1918, the Code of Canon Law took legal effect, having been promulgated by Pope Benedict XV in 1917. Prior to the Code of 1917, the Churches law was scattered in separate documents making it very difficult to find out what the law was on a particular point. “The volume of documentation was so vast and complex that only a canonist who possessed some of the skill of an archivist would have known where to look to find what the law said” (Peter Ingman, ‘The New Code...

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