Pope Francis

The first Faith Matters Question Time will take place at Farm Street Church Hall in central London on Wednesday 4 June 2014. It will be an opportunity for members of the public to hear an invited panel engage in debate and answer questions on matters of faith and life today. The topic for the first Faith Matters Question Time will be Pope Francis’ Vision for the Catholic Church – what does it mean for us? and the speakers will be:Baron (Maurice) Glasman, an English academic,...
US President Barack Obama has met Pope Francis in the Vatican for the first time. The pair spent 54 minutes together – an unusually long meeting by papal standards. President Obama said it was a "great honour" to be received by the 77-year-old pontiff whom he said he greatly admired. Among the topics that the two leaders were expected to discuss were how to tackle poverty and inequality.http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/mar/27/barack-obama-meets-pope-francis-...
The Holy Spirit
After the Council of Trent in the Sixteenth Century, little changed theologically until the dawn of the 20th century. Catholics felt safe where they were. Then, just over a hundred years ago, Catholics throughout Europe began to move forward, spiritually, theologically and liturgically.They received severe opposition from Rome.  Around the start of the Twentieth Century an excessive conservatism stifled the spirit  of renewal,  but it would later be encouraged by John XXIII Meanwhile,...
Diepsfoot Township north of Johannesburg
To delve into the reasons as to why children end up on the streets, women are battered and old people are housebound and alone, is to do a collective, global examination of conscience. It is to ask the question: why is this so? And perhaps most importantly, the question: why do we permit it to be so? After all, most people would be horrified at the thought of their own children becoming street kids, their own mothers being beaten and kicked or their own grandparents being neglected. And that...
In a lecture in Glasgow, the British Ambassador to the Holy See has shared his vision of the Church in the world under the first Jesuit Pope. Nigel Baker was delivering the second in the 2014 series of Gonzaga Lectures at St Aloysius College. In it, he described the Holy See as “a global organization led by an evangelizing missionary with tremendous clout beyond the confines of the Church” and he went on to address what the focus of Holy See diplomacy is.Mr Baker took as his point...
Novena of Grace 15.pdfNext Tuesday, 4 March, we will begin our Novena of Grace with St Francis Xavier SJ.  A prayer booklet has been prepared by two alumnae of the chaplaincy at Oxford University, under Fr Simon Bishop SJ, the Director of Spirituality for the Jesuits in Britain. The prayer booklet combines the words and example of Pope Francis and those of St Francis Xavier SJ. “They are of a kindred Spirit and are perfectly matched,” says Fr Simon. “I hope anyone who...
As we approach the first anniversary of the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the Catholic Church’s first Jesuit Pope, Heythrop College has organised a conference to consider what difference Pope Francis has made in the past 12 months and what has influenced his pontificate so far. When Cardinal Bergoglio was elected Pope on 13 March 2013, he chose the name Francis in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. But to what extent has Pope Francis been influenced by St Francis and by the founder of...
Candles in sand image from flickr by caffeinehit
Lighting a candle is something shared and enjoyed across the world’s cultures. The candles on a birthday cake create an atmosphere which remains even when the candles are blown out.  When we light a candle in Church, its flame continues to flicker after we have gone, bearing witness to a relationship between God and ourselves.  The Easter Vigil with its Paschal candle proclaims the triumph of light over darkness, and we share in that proclamation as our small candles are kindled and...
Pope Francis saying mass at the Gésu in Rome
The white smoke appeared surprisingly early.  The Jesuit community in Edinburgh gathered round the TV to hear the announcement.  We had enough Latin to understand great joy and wondered how it fitted with the first name George. When the unfamiliar surname Bergoglio was spoken, someone in the group said, he is one of us. Most Jesuits I know were shocked. This might seem strange, but we have always taken it for granted that there would never be a Jesuit Pope. The founder of the Jesuits...

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