News in Activities

Ukraine: A spiritual journey in a political guise

Ukraine: A spiritual journey in a political guise

by: David Nazar SJ - Thinking Faith in Activities,

Writing from Ukraine, David Nazar SJ gives a first-hand account of the recent events in the country. The media coverage has been littered with misunderstandings, he says, particularly in the reporting of the influence of the oligarchs and the role played by Russia. What is really going on in this ‘apocalyptic’ confrontation between the people and the government?

In-depth report on pope's latest major interview

In-depth report on pope's latest major interview

by: UCA News in Activities,

 As part of a recent interview given to an Italian news agency, Pope Francis discussed hot-button issues in the Church today, giving clarity to topics which have often been misinterpreted since his election. During the interview, published on March 5 in the Italian daily “Corriere della Sera,” the Pope was asked to speak on several issues which have been a source of heavy debate within the Church, particularly in the pontiff's short tenure.

Two prominent Sri Lankan Human Rights Defenders detained.

Two prominent Sri Lankan Human Rights Defenders detained.

by: D.B.S.Jeyaraj in Activities,

Two prominent Sri Lankan Human Rights Defenders who were detained and questioned at Kilinochchi by officials of the Police Terrorism Investigation Division(TID) on Sunday March 16th night. The two human rights activists, one a Sinhalese Catholic layman and the other a Tamil catholic clergyman are Mr. Ruki Fernando and Rev.Fr Praveen Mahesan.

Syria crisis: Nuns freed by rebels arrive in Damascus

Syria crisis: Nuns freed by rebels arrive in Damascus

by: BBC Reporters in Activities,

A group of Greek Orthodox nuns held for three months by rebels in Syria after being taken from their convent in Maaloula have arrived back in Damascus. The nuns were brought to the Lebanese border town of Arsal early on Monday where they were handed over to Lebanese officials and then driven to Syria. 

Catholicism growing in heart of Muslim world

Catholicism growing in heart of Muslim world

by: John L. Allen Jr. - Boston GLOBE in Activities,

Filipinos, Indians, Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, Koreans, and members of other nationalities are becoming the new working poor in some of the world’s wealthiest societies.The result is a Catholic population on the peninsula estimated at around 2.5 million. Kuwait and Qatar are home to between 350,000 and 400,000 Catholics, Bahrain has about 140,000, and Saudi Arabia itself has 1.5 million.

Cardinal and Welby launch joint Lent prayer week

Cardinal and Welby launch joint Lent prayer week

by: Liz Dodd - The Tablet in Activities,

Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, announced that a week of ecumenical prayer for social action would take place at the end of Lent, from Passion Sunday on 6 April to Palm Sunday on 13 April. 

After the music: Maria von Trapp, lay missionary, dies

After the music: Maria von Trapp, lay missionary, dies

by: James Macintyre - The Tablet in Activities,
Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the singing family immortalised in the Sound of Music, died at the age of 99 last weekend. She was a devout Catholic and former missionary. The Von Trapp family escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938, to New York, where they were a hit with concert audiences.
Lovers flock to St. Peter's for Valentine's meeting with pope

Lovers flock to St. Peter's for Valentine's meeting with pope

by: REUTERS-Tony Gentile in Activities,

 Signs of affection were as common as signs of the cross in St. Peter's Square on Friday as couples from around the world attended a special Valentine's Day gathering with Pope Francis. Some 25,000 people engaged to be married were invited to the unprecedented event. But as news of the gathering spread, couples of all ages, including many elderly who have been married for decades, flocked to the square.

The Christian Roots of the Olympics

The Christian Roots of the Olympics

by: Brantly Millegan in Activities,

The ancient Olympics were pagan, but are the modern Olympics Christian? Now that you’re taking a break from perusing the crazy pictures coming out of Sochi, here’s some trivia about the Christian roots of the modern Olympics.

‘Give them something to eat’: The Christian approach to food aid

‘Give them something to eat’: The Christian approach to food aid

by: Paul Chitnis in Activities,

The growth in the number of food banks in the UK in recent years has been something of a divisive issue. ‘A food bank is, and always should be, a short term response to a particular crisis,’ says Paul Chitnis – so what is the long term solution, and how should Christians be addressing this crisis?

Vatican trove shows Catholic persecution in samurai-era Japan

Vatican trove shows Catholic persecution in samurai-era Japan

by: Hiroshi Hiyama, Tokyo AFP in Activities,

 A trove of ancient documents unearthed at the Vatican could shed light on the brutal crackdown on Christianity in isolationist Japan under its samurai rulers, scholars say. The hoard contains about 10,000 pieces of paper, collected by an Italian priest who lived in Japan last century, mostly dating from the "Edo" period (1603-1867), when the country shut itself off from the outside world and declared Western religion illegal.

Through the looking glass of an iPhone

Through the looking glass of an iPhone

by: Brett T. Robinson - L'Osservatore Romano in Activities,

The call of Pope Francis to take the Gospel to the streets also includes the digital ones. The first message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day is consistent with the Holy Father’s concern for reaching individuals where they are. Today that often means the virtual confines of the digital environment.

Young women religious reflect on their transformation

Young women religious reflect on their transformation

by: The Catholic Sun Reporter in Activities,

Giving Voice, a peer-led organization of women religious, is using regular retreats and networking to improve peer support among young discerners. The latest retreat, held Jan. 17-19 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in west Phoenix, was aimed at women in their 20s and 30s. The retreat drew 23 women, all at various stages of discernment, who are living vowed religious life with 12 different communities. 

In sign of a stronger bond, Kerry visits Vatican

In sign of a stronger bond, Kerry visits Vatican

by: Matt Viser - The Boston Globe in Activities,

Secretary of State John Kerry, whose political career has at times put him publicly at odds with Catholic Church leadership, traveled to the Vatican in a visit that demonstrated a reinvigorated relationship between the world’s most powerful country and one of its most powerful institutions. The meeting – which the former altar boy deemed “a thrill” – marks a new, deeper alignment between Washington and the Vatican.