I do not know how many thousand or hundreds of thousands filled The Sanctuary at the site where the original holm oak grew that formed the platform for Our Lady to alight upon, but it was many. The came by road, sea and air and many walked from their villages in the North of Portugal.
THE future of Roman Catholic weddings in England and Wales is now in doubt because of David Cameron’s gay marriage bill, the church’s chief legal adviser on the issue has disclosed. Prof Christopher McCrudden said that there are serious questions over whether the 120-year-old legal basis on which 8,500 Catholic weddings a year are performed can even “survive” the passage of the bill currently before Parliament.
More than 2,000 join bishop for Mass on a mountaintop. Pilgrims take part in a Way of the Cross at the foot of the mountain. Nyi Soe is one of the 2,000 pilgrims who recently participated in a trek up a popular mountaintop shrine for a Mass in the run-up to Easter. The 185-meter climb up Cross Mountain in east-central Myanmar helps Catholic pilgrims reflect on Jesus´ passion.
London pop band Ooberfuse have been chosen to sing and record in English the official youth anthem of World Youth Day 2013. This English version of the WYD Rio 2013 is great, youthful, faithful, joyful. Congratulatios Ooberfuse. Hope Cherrie Anderson's voice will encourage many to "Go, be missionaries".
In his address, Lord Williams said: ''Religion has always been a matter of community building, a matter of building relations of compassion, fellow-feeling and, dare I say it, inclusion. ''The notion that religious commitment can be purely a private matter is one that runs against the grain of religious history.''
While saying farewell the night before he died, Jesus told those with him that he "had other sheep that are not of this fold" and that those with him at that particular moment were not his only followers. Very importantly, he also said that he longed for unity with those others just as urgently and deeply as he longed for unity with those in the room with him.
More than 900 sixth form students from schools across the North-East are attending the two-day conference at Carmel RC College, in Darlington, hosted by world-renowned philosopher and theologian, Dr Peter Vardy, and his wife, Charlotte.
In celebrating the lives of her saints, rarely does the Church bestow more than one feast day on the same person. Even more rarely does she celebrate specific events in the lives of those saints other than the day of their birth into eternal life (the die natale). Therefore, today's celebration – the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle – is one that deserves our contemplation.
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles told an interfaith prayer breakfast that freedom of religion comes from God and that no one, court, legislature, or government agency, can take it away.
Christians’ rights of conscience are being sacrificed on the altar of “obsessive political correctness” contrary to the values of a democratic society, two European human rights judges have claimed.
The battle has been almost universally one way as the rights of Christians, in terms of the ability to practise their faith in the public sphere, have been eroded to the point where they have virtually no protection. The cases that I have been instructed in are alarming- and it’s not just the “little people”: health workers or junior civil servants.
Be bearers of the message of Christian unity. Pope addresses 45,000 young members of the ecumenical Taizé community. Dear young friends, Christ does not remove you from the world. He sends you there where His light is missing, so that you may bring it to others. Yes, you are all called to be small lights to those around you.
Nothing captures that better than his own words: “Canterbury is much more than a functional building. It is an effort to make sense of the cosmos and reach out to its maker. Whether or not you want to talk about God, you can’t help but stand back and admire what humans can achieve in pursuit of transcendence.”
The 35th European Youth Meeting sponsored by the Taizé Community begins on Friday, 28 December, in Rome. More than 40,000 youth are expected for the traditional “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth” which will last for six days.
"Bishop Ma's suppression is a blight for all citizens", writes Shi Feng from Shanghai, China. I witnessed the historic moment on July 7 when Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai pledged to defend his faith.
On the Sunday after the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas, we consider the family. Now when we hear the title of the celebration, the Feast of the Holy Family, we are inclined to just dismiss the possibility that our families can be like the Holy Family.
The Testament of Mary - review. Perhaps Mary is too well known? After all, her life is recorded in one of the two great originating books of the Judaeo- Christian tradition. The question for the wary reader approaching Tóibín’s novel is whether it is an atheist’s demolition job or an attempt to deepen our religious understanding of the birth, the death and the resurrection.
During a recent book launch in Rome, a noted theologian said that China will be home to the majority of the world's Christians within the next two decades. “Interfaith dialogue is something that China, which will have the world's largest Christian population in 20 years, lives with every day,” said Harvey Cox during the presentation at the Gregorian University.
Claretian Publication Macao comes online with a free audio recording of the News Testament from our own Christian Community Bible. A wonderful gift recorded with great generosity and patience by Paul Ginivan.
Bishop Tawadros has been chosen as the new pope of Egypt's Coptic Christians, becoming leader of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. His name was selected from a glass bowl by a blindfolded boy at a ceremony in Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral. Three candidates had been shortlisted.
On Sunday, Oct.21, the Catholic Church will canonize its first ever Native American saint, Kateri Tekakwitha. Sometimes known as Lily of the Mohawks, she died more than 300 years ago, but is thought by some to have performed a miracle as recently as 2006.
Evangelisation is not the work of a small number of specialists but of the entire People of God under the guidance of their pastors. Each member of the faithful, with and within ecclesial communion, must feel the responsibility to announce and bear witness to the Gospel".
Cormac Murphy-O’Connor tells Cole Moreton and Edward Malnick that the Catholic Church is in rude health and he is still, aged 80, its faithful servant Cormac. Murphy-O’Connor could have been wearing ermine and sitting in the House of Lords by now.
The ground–breaking rock musical Jesus Chris Superstar is back on the road, in a production that its composer Andrew Lloyd Webber loves and with a cast that includes comedian Tim Minchin. They both talk to Sarah Crompton
This week, four Christians will argue in court that they face discrimination in Britain because of their faith. Discriminated: A woman who was asked to remove her cross while working as a nurse is taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights to argue that she has suffered discrimination as a result of her faith.
The archbishop and the historian have the elusory character of Christianity on their minds in their new books. Rowan Williams conveys what being a Christian means to him in his new book, The Lion's World.
I presume that most of us were unaware of this story.Forty-three years ago two human beings changed history by walking on the surface of the moon. But what happened before Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module is perhaps even more amazing.
Spanish swimmer Mireia Belmonte offered her two silver medals from the London 2012 Olympic Games to Our Lady of Monserrat in Barcelona. The 21-year-old – who won silver in the 800 meter free-style and the 200 meter butterfly.
In religious discernment, how we recognize God's voice in our lives.? Does God speak in whispers or in thunder? Does God speak in pain or in blessing? Does God call us out of this world or more deeply into it?
In recent times there has been a great deal of talk about “the God particle”, mixing cosmology and religion, often with a touch of irony. This definition seems to allude to a recomposition of science with God, with a formula that seems to want to resolve the issue without problems.
Carlos Ballve – known as “Litus” to his friends – plays defense on the Spanish field hockey team that is competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games. But as soon as the competition ends, he will head to a Belgium seminary to begin the process of becoming priest.
“Until two years ago, I was a really committed atheis", she says. A 41-year-old Englishwoman, Sally Read is regarded as a rising star within the world of poetry. Her publisher describes the former psychiatric nurse as “one of a new generation of younger poets shaping the future of British poetry.”
For almost all of her 40 years, a Suffolk-born psychiatric nurse-turned published poet and passionate atheist felt little but contempt for Catholicism. But then, in less than a year, after a springtime epiphany she was received into the Church. This is her journey.
Reprisals against clergy who resisted illicit ordination. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Harbin where the illicit ordination took place on July 6. The government is exacting revenge against seven priests in Heilongjiang province who resisted the illicit episcopal ordination of Father Joseph Yue Fusheng in Harbin earlier this month, local Church sources say.
“The faith of our forefathers is hanging in the balance, especially in the western world. Grandparents have a special role to play in passing it on to their grandchildren. If we don’t act now, it may be too late, as quite often our own children have little knowledge of the faith. I truly believe that grandparents are being called at this moment in history.
A Prophet among Them. Many people in our society would rather that Christ stayed in the tomb then have to listen to His confronting them with the Truth. All this leaves us with two questions: First, do I have the humility to handle the truth? And second: do I have the courage to proclaim the truth?
Who wants to be Doubting Thomas, anyway? Yet the saint reminds us that doubt\ is integral to the human condition and is therefore an aspect of the spiritual journey we will have to engage. He was an apostle chosen by Jesus – one of his most intimate companions. So he was very much a committed believer who made an extraordinary journey.
Young people don't want the religious "to lower the bar, to soft-pedal the demands of the Gospel," Archbishop Tobin said. Usually, young people will consider joining a religious community only if they are asked, he said. For many young Catholics, WYD can be the one church event where they have the time, space and camaraderie they need to start pondering the way God wants them to live their faith in the church and in the world.
Hence the Gospel can only be planted and sowed with faith. That is what Jesus wants his disciples to learn from his parables. God’s project of making a better and more humane world implies a saving and transforming power that the sower-farmer does not possess. When the Good News of God is understood by an individual or group of persons, then something starts to grow that is well beyond our own merits.
How do we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in this time of severe crisis which is expressed through the faces and different situations in so many places in the world?... From the anguished Heart of Mary, who saw and felt the pain of those who lived humiliated or had nothing to eat, came the "Magnificat" which, being born from a Heart full of God, is a song of hope.
“Behold this Heart which has loved men so much that it has spared nothing, to the point of exhausting and consuming itself to show them its love.” That’s the deepest understanding of the Sacred Heart, whose feast we celebrate today.
A two-day Conference on "The Future of Consecrated Life in the United Kingdom and Europe" was held in the parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Hayes, Middlesex on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th May. Over 200 Religious men and women from the United Kingdom and Ireland attended.
This conference which took place in London last week had a remarkable and unprecedented reception and was organised by the Claretian Missionaries of the United Kingdom & Ireland. Claretian Publications hope to publish the conclusions drawn in these meetings, with both English and Spanish translations, in the very near future.
Jesus not only promised the coming of the Spirit, he also communicated to his disciples the day of the Resurrection as the first paschal gift, and the day of Pentecost as the outpouring of the Spirit on the young Church, gathered together in prayer around Mary.
Recent studies suggest that religious people tend to be happier and more fulfilled in their lives than non-believers. Here, a writer on religion and ethics assesses the evidence and identifies an essential component often missed.
Dion DiMucci tells Rory Fitzgerald that a ‘sudden and brilliant’ encounter inspired him to give up heroin and embrace the faith. He says that Catholics nowadays need to try to “infiltrate the culture”. “That’s our job, I think, to infiltrate the culture.” Not, he explains, to impose, but to expose “what’s important in life and give people an opportunity to see the truth.”
More than 3,500 adults were received into the Catholic Church in England and Wales last week. They included 1,397 catechumens, who had prepared to be baptised, and 1,843 candidates, who had already baptised in another Christian tradition.
We must seek to be messengers of God's love, declares Pope on Easter Monday. Jesus Christ is “present as a force of hope through his Church,” Pope Benedict XVI announced in his Easter greeting addressed to the city of Rome and the world on April 8. In his noon message, the Pope said the risen Lord inspires his Church to remain “close to all human situations of suffering and injustice,” including the persecution of Christians themselves.
A distressing Gallup Poll tells us that more than fifty percent of Catholics do not understand the teaching of the Church on the Eucharist. Furthermore, only one third of their number agree with the Church. But Mahatma Gandhi wrote, "In a world where millions go to bed hungry every night, the only form in which God would dare appear among human beings is food."
"Like the first Apostles, you too must be missionaries of Christ among your relatives, friends and acquaintances, in the places where you study and work, among the poor and the sick. Speak of His love and goodness with simplicity, without fear. Christ Himself will give you the strength to do so.
Complete silence filled Wembley Arena on Saturday afternoon as approximately 8,000 young Catholics adored the Blessed Sacrament. The famous sports arena was host to the Flame Youth Congress which was a day of prayer and praise for young Catholic across Britain.
Reasons for the Pope's trip to Mexico and Cuba: The bicentenary of the independence of the peoples of Latin America; the Mexicans' enthusiastic desire to welcome the Pope; the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Holy See, and the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the image of "Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre" in Cuba.
A week of celebrations mark the bicentenary of Augustus Welby Pugin, one of Catholicism’s great architects. The 200th anniversary of the birth of Augustus Welby Pugin on 1 March 2012 is being marked in England and Ireland with celebrations of Holy Mass, book-launches, exhibitions and lectures in Dublin, Birmingham, Cheadle, Nottingham and Ramsgate.
At least ten per cent of men training for the priesthood in England and Wales are now from non-Catholic backgrounds, with up to half of seminarians in some dioceses raised outside the faith, according to figures obtained by The Tablet.
Are you feeling a bit bewildered by all the complex problems we hear in the news these days ? Are you lacking in inspiration when you have to solve a problem ? Listen to the beautiful sound of the meadow-lark in Ireland or just have a glance at these beautiful Cardinals, preening their feathers in the spring morning air.'Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here.'
The Catholic Church does not oppose gay marriage. It considers it to be impossible. If it were possible, then we would have to support it since the Church tells that we must oppose all discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
When I met the Holy Father in 2010 he told me that he had heard what I had been saying and urged me to carry on making my case robustly. I will be arguing that to create a more just society, people need to feel stronger in their religious identities and more confident in their creeds. In practice this means individuals not diluting their faiths and nations not denying their religious heritages.
The news of the death of Father Lawrence Zhang Wenchang has sparked heated words on the popular Chinese website Tianzhujiao Zaixian (Catholic Church online). Some netizens praised Fr Zhang’s fidelity to Rome. He was arrested in 1958 and sent to prison for counter-revolutionary crimes. He received reform-through-labor in a farm from 1962-82, after which he began to visit Catholics and work part-time.
It is good, too, as Pope Benedict reminded us, to remember what we have in common. For years I was Chairman of something called ‘ARCIC - The Anglican-Roman Catholic Ecumenical Commission' - and we used to study together many matters. But the key to our work was a term called, koinonia, which means ‘communion'.
6 February 2012 was a day of both sad reflection and celebration for millions of Britons, as well as the citizens of 15 other countries around the world that count Queen Elizabeth as their Head of State.
The card is designed to be a daily reminder of the carrier's religion. Catholics are being encouraged to carry a "faith card" to remind them of their faith responsibilities. One million credit card-sized cards are being printed to be handed out in dioceses across England and Wales.
British bishops plan to use the 2012 London Olympic Games to renew interest in the Catholic faith, with initiatives ranging from fighting human trafficking and homelessness to promoting youth ministry and ecumenical dialogue.
The new translation, which seeks to introduce concepts that do not exist in English-speaking cultures and, consequently, the words or grammatical constructions to express them do not exist either.
From Africa and from the World Youth Day in Madrid, a powerful remedy against faith fatigue and weariness The joyous experiences of faith lived in Madrid with the youth of the world, then the recent Visit to Benin were moments of “great encouragement” for the Pope, showing him that it is possible to give life to “a new, more youthful form of Christianity” able to overcome the “ faith fatigue” ever more present in Europe.
Christians account for almost a third of the world's population. This was one of the findings in a report published Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The data from the 2010 survey of more than 200 countries found that worldwide, there are 2.18 billion Christians.
The Lord asks each of you to collaborate in constructing the city of man, uniting faith and culture with seriousness and passion. Therefore I invite each of you to seek the true Face of God with patient constancy. ... Announce to everyone that the true Face of God is in the Baby of Bethlehem, so close to each of us that no one can feel excluded.
“Historic” was the word used by Filipino priests to describe their First National Assembly held Nov. 8-11 in Los Angeles, which included an opening Mass followed by a day of workshops on spiritual growth and pastoral enrichment, a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a priests’ concert and the election of a new leadership council.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity is currently celebrating its twenty-fifth plenary assembly on the theme: "The Question of God in Today's World".Turning his attention to World Youth Day, Benedict XVI said: "An extraordinary cascade of light, joy and hope illuminated not only Madrid, but also Europe and the entire world, clearly re-establishing the importance of seeking God in today's world."
Pope Benedict XVI has announced a “Year of Faith” to help Catholics appreciate the gift of faith, deepen their relationship with God and strengthen their commitment to sharing faith with others. Celebrating Mass on Sunday with participants in a Vatican conference on new evangelisation, the Pope said the Year of Faith would give “renewed energy to the mission of the whole Church to lead men and women out of the desert they often are in and toward the place of life: friendship with Christ who gives us fullness of life”.
The Church in Germany is superbly organized. But behind the structures, is there also a corresponding spiritual strength, the strength of faith in the living God? We must honestly admit that we have more than enough by way of structure but not enough by way of Spirit. I would add: the real crisis facing the Church in the western world is a crisis of faith. If we do not find a way of genuinely renewing our faith, all structural reform will remain ineffective.
The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization unveiled a new project today to re-evangelize some of Europe’s major cities. The metropolitan missions will be aimed at those who live the faith but often do so in a way that “lacks an awareness of how this can infuse their lifestyle.” The missions also hope to engage those who are far from the faith, but are “nonetheless attracted by the person of Jesus Christ.”
Kate Shellnut at the Houston Chronicle reports that traveling into orbit is indeed a spiritual experience, finding believers among the ranks of our country's spacefarers. I would imagine that strapping yourself on top of a giant pile of rocket fuel would inspire prayer, but it seems the views from space are even more soul-expanding.
“They say there’s no atheists in foxholes, but there’s probably no atheists in rockets,” said Catholic astronaut Col. Mike Good, who believes his faith in God was solidified by the awe-inspiring views he saw from space. From the famous astronauts who pioneered space exploration to the crews on the final space shuttle missions, faith has been a driving force in NASA history.
"Our entire lives", concluded the Holy Father, "are like this long night of struggle and prayer, passed in the desire of and request for God's blessing, which cannot be ripped away or won over through our strength, but must be received with humility from Him as a gratuitous gift that allows us, finally, to recognize the face of the Lord.
Affirms That Face of the Father Is Love. The Pontiff explained that "only by believing in Christ, by remaining united to him, the disciples, among whom we also are, can continue their permanent action in history."
We pray today that we might all have a mature faith, able to grow through crises. We pray today that we might all be included in that phrase of the Lord's, "Blessed are those who have not seen but believe."
Anna Arco meets an American priest who has agreed, with some reluctance, to take a senior role in the Roman Curia Over a cup of tea, with the rain pouring outside, he talks about living in Britain’s secular culture, the Roman Curia he is about to join and the challenges of his new job.
Mark 9:41-50 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."