News & Blog

European Heritage Days

Entrance to the Vatican Museums will be free on Sunday, September 29, as the Holy See joins in the celebration of European Heritage Day.   On Sunday, 29 September, 2013, with the usual free entry on the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican Museums, along with many European States, have again confirmed their participation in the European Heritage Days 2013. Initiated in 1991 by the Council of Europe and by the European Commission, the Days aim to enhance and promote dialogue and exchange between European countries in the field of culture. The Vatican Museums will be open to the public between the hours of 9.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. (last entry at 12.30 p.m.) Fifty European nations will join in this year’s observance of European Heritage Day, a project sponsored jointly by the Council of Europe and the...

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A letter from the Trappist sisters living in Syria

A letter from the Trappist sisters living in Syria Below is the lovely letter sent by the Trappist Sisters living in Syria, near Tartous (in the west of the country, close to the Lebanese border), to their Order. Words full of spirit, which ask for for continued prayers for peace and for people to become involved so that they will feel their closeness to the Syrian brothers. Azēr, 6 September 2013 Dear brothers and sisters, At this time, by invitation of the Pope, all hearts are turned towards Syria and the sufferings of her people. We want above all to thank you for your prayers and your support which have accompanied us during the last two years, when you write to us directly or when you contact Valserena. Your prayer is for us the solid rock which has made...

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“Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: Running Like A Giant.” DVD

“Saint Therese of Lisieux: Running Like A Giant.”              Produced by Seven Doc – OCL- Pèlerinage de Lisieux Director Fabrice Maze Video format 4/3 NTSC / Stéréo Available with English subtitles and other languages Réf : SD70901 We invite you to discover the 24 years of the terrestrial life and the extraordinary posthumous life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. We invite you to meet her family, see where she spent her childhood and adolescence. We bid you to share her daily life at Carmel and the great moments of her religious life. We further invite you to discover the great Basilica of Lisieux, the largest regional structure erected in France in the twentieth century… the symbol of Saint Thérèse’s influence throughout the world. Saint Thérèse invites you to share...

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Section from Pope’s interview on “Religious‏”

Section from Pope’s interview on “Religious‏”   His Holiness Pope Francis is the first Roman Pontiff from a religious institute since the Camaldolese monk Gregory XVI, who was elected in 1831.   “What is the specific place of religious men and women in the church of today?”   “Religious men and women are prophets,” says the Pope. “They are those who have chosen a following of Jesus that imitates his life in obedience to the Father, poverty, community life and chastity. In this sense, the vows cannot end up being caricatures; otherwise, for example, community life becomes hell, and chastity becomes a way of life for unfruitful bachelors. The vow of chastity must be a vow of fruitfulness. In the church, the religious are called to be prophets in particular by demonstrating how Jesus lived on this earth, and...

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A Future Full of Hope

   A Future Full of Hope Edited by Sister Gemma Simmonds CJ €12.99 Are we looking at the imminent death of religious life in the church, at a future full of hope, or at something in between?   This book, based on papers given at a colloquium run by the Religious Life Institute (Heythrop College, University of London), addresses urgent questions around the renewal and survival of religious life from a British and Irish, religious and lay perspective.   Despite recent scandals and a steady diminishment of numbers since Vatican II, religious remain a powerful source of inspiration and positive energy within church and society. Some fifty years after the Council today’s context and questions are different.  Did the Council bring about a renewal or an implosion of religious life?  Who is looking at religious vocation today?  What are...

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A day to celebrate the Ecclesial Movements and Communities

Many Streams One River A day to celebrate the Ecclesial Movements and Communities “I have often had occasion to stress that there is no conflict or opposition in the Church between the institutional dimension and the charismatic dimension, of which movements are a significant expression. Both are co-essential to the divine constitution of the Church founded by Jesus, because they both help to make the mystery of Christ and his saving work present in the world.” Blessed Pope John Paul II This meeting will show in various ways how the movements are a gift at the service of the Church today. It is open to all, to those already belonging to a movement, as well as to those who would like to know more about these new charisms sent by the Holy Spirit. The day will consist of music...

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Episcopal Ordination of Archbishop Leo Cushley

Episcopal Ordination of Archbishop Leo Cushley, St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh On the feast of St Matthew the Apostle, during a moving celebration of Mass, Monsignor Leo William Cushley was ordained to the Episcopate and installed Archbishop and Metropolitan of St Andrews and Edinburgh by His Eminence James Michael Cardinal Harvey, Archpriest of St Paul’s Outside the Walls, at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh. Among those present in the full Cathedral were the priests of the archdiocese, religious priests, religious brothers and sisters and faithful from every parish. All had come to pray with and for their new shepherd as the pastoral governance of the archdiocese was passed to him.   In his homily, Cardinal Harvey said that, because of his consecration, ‘Monsignor Cushley will receive a special grace […] the grace to guide and defend the Church with...

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The Interview with Pope Francis – A Big Heart Open to God

  The Interview with Pope Francis – A Big Heart Open to God         Pope Francis and Antonio Spadaro SJ     You can find the full text of the interview that His Holiness Pope Francis gave to the editor of La Civilta’ Cattolica at:...

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Questions about the Holy See

Questions about the Holy See Nigel Baker OBE MVO I recently ran a competition on Twitter, inviting questions about the Holy See and the UK’s relationship with it. The response was impressive, with many searching questions. Below are the winners, their questions, and slightly lengthier answers than the 140 characters Twitter permits. Q. What made possible the great shift from historical anti-Catholicism to dialogue and confidence in UK/Vatican relations? – submitted by Giulio My Twitter answer was: “Time. Vatican II. Ecumenism. Popes since WWII. 1982 Papal visit. Basil Hume. Northern Ireland dialogue. Better UK understanding.” All were key elements, Giulio, and I don’t think it is possible to say there was one single factor. You are right that well into the twentieth century there was residual nervousness in the UK, reflecting historical relationships since the Reformation, about establishing a...

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