12th July 2020

The Holy Family: Going Beneath the Glitz of Christmas Peace

From a very young age, Mary, Joseph and Jesus were held up to me as ‘The Holy Family’ – a haloed trio artistically represented with sublime, serene aspect. They seemed very different to our family and the noisy, feisty reality of my own upbringing as the only brother to five elder sisters. To be sure I was dimly aware that there would be sorrows ahead. … Read more

Bethlehem: A Malaysian Pilgrimage

The popularity among Christians in Malaysia of pilgrimages to The Holy Land, Rome, Lourdes, Fatima and other places of significance is unmistakable. This year our Mill Hill Procurator in Rome, Fr Guido Gockel mhm, accompanied a group of Malaysian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Viewing Fr Guido’s extensive experience as a missionary in both Malaysia and the Holy Land what better guide could you wish … Read more

Pondering the Mystery: ‘The Word Became Flesh’

“The Father spoke one Word, which was His Son, and this Word He always speaks in eternal silence, and in silence must It be heard by the soul.”  (John of the Cross) …..Jesus was so different… his state of mind so pure and full of love that no human interpretation could do Him justice. He had the same mentality that was described in the Holy … Read more

The Netherlands: Portuguese Speaking Community in Christmas Play

Nossa encenação do nascimento de Jesus. A vulnerabilidade do nené fica bem claro. A Christmas play at the end of mass. Jac.Hetsen mhm Francis of Assisi would have delighted in this!! Pope Francis writes: But let us go back to the origins of the Christmas crèche so familiar to us. We need to imagine ourselves in the little Italian town of Greccio, near Rieti. Saint … Read more

Sudan: Christmas Celebrated Publicly for First Time in Ten Years

“This time is special, not like previous years,” Simon Kunda, a 16-year-old student from the Nuba Mountains, told Middle East Eye.  “It’s peaceful, enjoyable and very special that Sudanese youth from different religions are celebrating together.” Public Christmas celebrations had been cancelled by former President Omar al-Bashir since the secession of Christian-majority South Sudan in 2011.  He was ousted in April after months of protests by a popular movement … Read more

Brunei: Near Total Ban on Christmas Celebrations

In a move that bears striking similarities to Biblical stories from the Roman occupation of the Holy Land, Christians are only allowed to celebrate Christmas within the privacy of their own homes and only after they have notified authorities. Any breaches can result in jail terms of up to five years and fines of up to US$20,000, or both, following the growing influence of Wahhabism, … Read more

United Kingdom – China: A Chilling Christmas Card Surprise

Tesco has suspended production of charity Christmas cards at a factory in China after a six-year-old girl found a message from workers inside one. The note, found by Florence Widdicombe, was allegedly written by prisoners in Shanghai claiming they were “forced to work against our will”. “Please help us and notify human rights organisation,” the message said. Tesco said it was “shocked” by the report, … Read more

Cameroon: A Simple Christmas Story

Born at the wrong time? It seemed to Charley that the people around him in the church were singing rather loud and joyfully.  Maybe this was always like that at the end of the Christmas midnight Mass.  The song in the vernacular had very meaningful words, and the beat of the drums could turn a heart of stone into flesh.  But… Charley couldn’t join in … Read more

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