David Stewart SJ

Fist bumps over open lap tops
Pope Francis is renowned for breaking new ground. He encourages all of us to “go to the frontiers”. He goes there too - in his preaching and teaching, in his travelling, but also in the topics that he raises. He wants the light of the Gospel to shine on so many varied areas of human experience. He reminds us that it must. This month’s Universal Intention is a great example: he invites the whole people of God to pray with him that “social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which...
Love thy neighbour Credit Nina Strehl via Unsplash
As we move into Mary’s month, and the beginning of the northern-hemisphere summer, our Holy Father points to the mission that we all share as baptised followers of the Risen Christ – the Mission of the Laity. Pope Francis asks us to pray with him this month that the lay faithful fulfil their specific mission by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today. In Mary’s month, we could surely ask her prayers in support of ours, as we pray with the Pope for this intention....
Boy running into cityscape Credit Linh Nguyen
Easter Sunday begins the month of April this year. The Pope has invited us to witness to the Resurrection in several ways, including his Intention for this month – “that economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.” We, his personal Prayer Network, are given a mission directly from the Holy Father to make his intention widely known, offering our day each morning to become more apostolically available, uniting our prayer with his. We are...
Two sheep in mountains Credit Jack Cairney
In March we continue with our Lenten observance and move into the most solemn week of the year, Holy Week.  We are taken to Palm Sunday, when we first hear proclaimed the Passion of the Lord just moments after His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. Then we begin the solemn Paschal Triduum on Maundy Thursday. Each of us hears an invitation to ponder these awesome events. We conclude these holy days on the evening of the last day of the month at the Easter Vigil when the new light of the...
Tower blocks credit Jakub Gorajek
Pope Francis’ prayer intention for February, entrusted to the people of God through his personal network of prayer, is expressed bluntly: “Say “No” to Corruption. That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption”.This is not the first time that Francis has been blunt about this matter; he has not been afraid to be outspoken on this “smog of corruption”, as he put it in a daily Mass homily last November. It is of sufficient concern for him to present...
Woman praying Credit Guilherme Romano
Pope Francis constantly invites us to think about specific concerns and challenges that face all of humanity and the Christian’s mission in the world. We are not only to think about these issues but to take them into our prayer then, from there, to try to be more open to whatever action we might be drawn towards, in the power of the Good Spirit. His Prayer Network, which anyone can join, is the principle means by which the Holy Father shares these prayer-requests with the rest of us, indeed...
Fr David Stewart SJ
Pope Francis said, in a powerful and outspoken intervention reported on Friday, that "The presence of God today is also called 'Rohingya'." This of course was the word that he had carefully avoided using while he was in Myanmar. This came in Bangladesh, to where he had next travelled. The report had it that he next said: "Maybe we can't do much for you, but your tragedy has a place in our hearts. For those who have hurt you, and above all the indifference of the world, I ask your forgiveness."...
Elderly woman credit Bill Hamway
December is a full month. There’s Advent, Christmas and New Year’s Eve and so much else in both the Church’s calendar and in the secular world. It’s cold and dark in our northern hemisphere. Our cities and towns try to counter the seasonal gloom by means of the lights, decorations and consumerism of the commercial season. Followers of Christ typically lament how little of Christ there is in Christmas any more, while some in authority make it their business to eradicate what little is left,...
November’s monthly Intention from Pope Francis reflects his concern for the whole of the universal church and the whole of the world, especially the frontiers. Frequently he draws our attention to those frontiers, to the realities of the "rest of the world" geographically as well as economically. He has been particularly interested in Asia and in November he points us towards that vast continent, asking us to pray with him that “Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the Gospel in word and in...
Children from St Ignatius primary school
Twenty three parishioners of St.Ignatius in Stamford Hill have just attended the first Haringey Citizens assembly, joining over 150 Christians and many other people of good will at St.Mark’s Methodist Church in Tottenham, in the shadow of the giant cranes of the Spurs stadium reconstruction. With the group were parish team members Sr. Eugenia and both Frs David: Fr Smolira, parish priest and one of the North London Citizens leadership team,  and Fr Stewart, who is also the national...

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