The overwhelming sensation of someone who has attended a papal event on this Paraguayan visit (and I have been present at three) is one of huge, excited crowds, chants and shouting, climbing up to get a better view, and the waving of flags and balloons. It is also, for those few who are close enough, stretching out to touch the man whose goodness and compassion is so much greater than their own, in the hope that something will rub off. I will never read the gospels in the same way again.
News in Activities
Today's Gospel gives us a good start. Jesus must have been exhausted. Presumably He was running on empty. So, He decides on a weekend pass for Himself. Obviously He believed in the law that unless you come apart and rest awhile, you may just come apart.
The poor and disadvantaged remain focal point of pope's pastoral mission. With almost every step Pope Francis takes on his foreign trips and with his every embrace, he pleads for dialogue and inclusion. His denunciations of a "throwaway culture" — cultures in which certain people and most material goods are deemed disposable — are passionate and well-explained in his speeches and writings.
Religion or spirituality is often seen as a taboo topic at work, with many believing mixing the two simply doesn't work. Yet at Chinese real estate giant Tentimes Group, that is exactly what they do in the boardroom before making important decisions.Saying prayers with colleagues and turning to the Bible when the company has to make difficult decisions.
Mark Wahlberg has said he never would have been able to get his life back on track if it weren’t for his parish priest. In an interview with Square Mile, Wahlberg said he was saved from a life of drugs and violence as a teenager when his priest, Fr James Flavin, took him under his wing.
Pakistan’s tiny and downtrodden Christian community are taking heart from the construction of Asia’s tallest cross in the country’s most populous yet violent city of Karachi. A 42.6-meter-tall concrete and steel cross is being erected at the entrance of Karachi’s largest cemetery — Gora Qabristan — containing thousands of tombstones and graves.
A few miles away is the anchorhold of Mother Julian of Norwich where her solitude, friendly and open to all, burned bright in the medieval church. Here, at Noggs Barn, the Norfolk summer day is playing light and shade over the lawns and through the branches of the trees.
Cardinal Raymond Burke preached yesterday against a “dictatorship of relativism” which brands Christians“fundamentalists and extremists”. Cardinal Burke is on a short visit to Oxford. He will also address the Newman Society (the Catholic Society of the University of Oxford) on the intellectual legacy of Pope Benedict XVI.
Romero, the late Archbishop of San Salvador, was a fearless defender of the poor. He was assassinated by a right-wing death squad while celebrating Mass in 1980 as his country began to descend into civil war. At a press conference in San Salvador on Monday, church spokesman Mgr Rafael Urrutia said that among the 300,000 people expected to attend.
In England and Wales we have gone from an all-time low of seven in 2004 to 45 in 2014, the highest number in 25 years. A wide variety of types of religious congregations is attracting postulants: enclosed nuns and apostolic sisters, habited and non-habited sisters, those with common ministries and those where sisters tend to exercise individual ministries.
Church agencies have warned that the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on Tuesday could have a devastating impact on the crippled country. Catherine Cowley, Protection Coordinator for the Catholic aid agency Cafod, said that the second disaster could have immense impact. To donate to Cafod click here http://www.cafod.org.uk/
On Sunday 22 March, Cardinal Vincent preached at a service of Compline for the reception of the remains of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral. Cardinal Vincent joined the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, as well as representatives of other Churches and religions from across Great Britain at the reception of the king's remains.
Cardinal from Manila was in Britain for the Flame 2 Youth Congress at Wembley. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, has lamented the “harsh words” that the Church used about gay and divorced people in the past, saying it left them feeling “branded”
A Filipino Catholic priest led a protest run on Monday to urge Canada to take back 50 shipping containers loaded with toxic waste that are sitting at the Port of Manila. The shipments — which were labeled as recyclable plastics — were discovered to contain hazardous waste materials. "These toxic wastes are the worst form of expressing friendship between our two countries," said Fr Robert Reyes.
In the most comprehensive summary to date on what has been among Asia’s most destructive anti-Christian campaigns of recent times, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) recorded at least 400 crosses removed, and a further 35 churches wholly or partially destroyed in Zhejiang.
Impressive liturgy, solid teaching and social engagement are essential elements of any Catholic community, and these already draw in some people who go on to be received into the Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). But most people cannot find a door into the church that attracts them.
Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart.