Pope Francis

The winner of the first Pope Francis Award to honour the achievements of those young people who make our communities and our world a better place will be announced at a ceremony in London's Leicester Square on 1 July 2015. Nominated by anyone from friends and family to teachers and clergy, the winners are drawn from throughout England and Wales and reflect achievements in every area of social action. The final day for nominations for this and the other Young People Awards is tomorrow (Friday 1...
Jesuit IHS monogram at Gesu Church in Rome
When Ignatius of Loyola was structuring the new religious order that he was setting up to serve the Church in the mid-16th century, he was determined that the Company, or Society, of Jesus would be notably different from the traditional monastic and mendicant forms of religious life, by being more streamlined, more mobile and flexible, to meet the apostolic needs of the contemporary Church.  In addition to deciding against having his men tied down to singing the Divine Office in choir...
Earth Day 2015
Regarded by many as the birth of the modern environmental movement, Earth Day began exactly 45 years ago today.  On 22 April 1970, millions of Americans took to the streets in response to a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Mobilised by Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the student anti-war movement, those early environmental pioneers sought to infuse protest energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution to force environmental protection up...
As the death toll in the Mediterranean reaches record proportions, Europe’s first priority must be to implement a full-scale search and rescue operation, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). It is calling on the extraordinary European Council meeting on Thursday 23 April to respond to this ongoing tragedy with a concrete action plan prioritising human dignity and justice."Saving human life must come first," says Fr Jean-Marie Carrière SJ, the Director of JRS Europe. "Europe should...
Pope Francis has described the "heartfelt pain" he feels for the hundreds of victims who are believed to have drowned while fleeing across the Mediterranean from North Africa. He called upon the international community to take swift and decisive action to avoid more tragedies of migrants seeking a better life.The Pope's plea was delivered after the Regina Coeli prayer in St Peter’s Square on Sunday morning. Addressing tens of thousands of people, he said: “They are men and women like us, our...
26 APRIL 2015 - FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTERTheme: Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocationDear Brothers and Sisters,The Fourth Sunday of Easter offers us the figure of the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep: he calls them, he feeds them and he guides them. For over fifty years the universal Church has celebrated this Sunday as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In this way she reminds us of our need to pray, as Jesus himself told his disciples, so that “the Lord of the harvest...
Pope Francis’ diary for the coming months shows a diverse schedule. It will include a visit to a former Balkan war-zone, a city in northern Italy and three countries in South America.On 6 June, the Pope will meet with a number of different groups during a daytrip to Bosnia, on a visit which it is hoped will help to ease political and ethnic tensions after the country’s recent war. Announcing his visit to Sarajevo during a Sunday Angelus in February, he asked pilgrims to pray that the visit...
A quote from Walter Ciszek SJ in his book He Leadeth Me
Walter Ciszek SJ has received little attention from the wider world since his death in 1984. Although better known in Jesuit circles, particularly for his two books With God in Russia and He Leadeth Me, Ciszek spent most of his life in obscurity. The main reason for this is obvious; having volunteered as part of a Jesuit missionary group for the re-evangelisation of then Communist Russia, Ciszek had been arrested, spending five years in solitary confinement in the Lubianka Prison in Moscow, and...
Why Pope Francis insists on ending Global Human Trafficking: Experiences in Albania and the VaticanOlivia Conroy, postgraduate student at Somerville, who has worked with RENATE, the European Network of Women Religious committed to working together against human trafficking and exploitation in 19 different countries. She has also taken part in the Vatican symposium on ‘Young people against prostitution and human trafficking, after her research into mapping human trafficking.  You can...
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster, has been asked to represent Pope Francis at two special services to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie SJ.  Along with Jesuit Provincial Fr Dermot Preston SJ and Archbishop Tartaglia he will celebrate ecumencial solemn Vespers at St Aloysius Church in Glasgow on the evening on Monday 9th March at 7pm, and he will attend a special Mass in St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow on Tuesday 10th,...

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