Netherlands:The Martyrs of Gorkum
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Netherlands:The Martyrs of Gorkum

These were a group of nineteen Dutch religious, including Franciscans, Dominicans Premonstratensian Canons and diocesan priests, who were hanged by militant Dutch Calvinists at Briel in 1572, during the war of independence with Spain. After imprisonments and tortures, a mob hauled them before the fanatical pirate Admiral Lumey. William of Orange ordered their release and…

India: Fr Stan Swami SJ ‘latest Saint of India’s poor’
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India: Fr Stan Swami SJ ‘latest Saint of India’s poor’

The Catholic bishops of Asia have expressed their sorrow at the death of jailed Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy, describing him as the “latest saint of modern India’s poor”. “His last month in custody on a hospital bed till the last moments is the most heart-wrenching tragedy of an innocent man persecuted for doing good,”…

Visiting the ‘Mémorial Kongolo’ at Gentinnes: A Dream Deferred
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Visiting the ‘Mémorial Kongolo’ at Gentinnes: A Dream Deferred

For many years, ever since I heard of its inauguration, I have felt a strong desire to visit the ‘Mémorial Kongolo’ in the Belgian hamlet of Gentinnes, but somehow a suitable occasion never seemed to materialise. For too long it remained a dream deferred. Until, that is to say, towards the end of last month,…

Holy Week: Yearly Spike in Anti-Christian Violence
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Holy Week: Yearly Spike in Anti-Christian Violence

Although Christians are simply one among a staggering set of vulnerable minority groups around the world exposed to hatred and persecution, there remains a sort of wall of silence around their suffering. In part, that’s because the people who set the tone in global politics and the media generally live in the affluent West, where…

Pakistan: 10th Anniversary of Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti
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Pakistan: 10th Anniversary of Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti

Ten years ago today, I woke up and, as usual, switched on the radio and turned on my computer. Within seconds I received the news that I had long feared and expected, though hoped would never happen: the assassination of my friend Shahbaz Bhatti. For over five years from 2004 to 2009, I worked side…

Coptic Martyrs ‘Saints of All Christians’ – Pope Francis
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Coptic Martyrs ‘Saints of All Christians’ – Pope Francis

Pope Francis has praised the courageous witness of the 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians killed by ISIS in 2015, calling them “saints of all Christians.” In a video message for the “Day of Contemporary Martyrs” Feb. 15, the pope said, “I hold in my heart that baptism of blood, those twenty-one men baptized as Christians with…

The Netherlands: Canonisation of Carmelite Friar Titus Brandsma Imminent?
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The Netherlands: Canonisation of Carmelite Friar Titus Brandsma Imminent?

Priest, professor and former dean Titus Brandsma is an important step towards canonization. “If things go fast, it could be in February,” says philosopher and FTR dean Christoph Lüthy. Titus Brandsma (1881-1942) is well on his way to being canonized. The Carmelite, priest and former professor and dean of the Catholic University of Nijmegen who…

Missionary Disciples Killed in 2020
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Missionary Disciples Killed in 2020

The annual list says that the 20 “missionaries” killed include 8 priests, 1 male religious, 3 nuns, 2 seminarians and 6 lay people. Fides uses the term “missionary” for all the baptized, aware of what Pope Francis explains in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii gaudium: “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of…

John Kaiser MHM Memorial Day, Kenya -‘Where is Justice?’
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John Kaiser MHM Memorial Day, Kenya -‘Where is Justice?’

“It is now 20 years since he was killed and body dumped in Naivasha. His killers have not been brought to book till today. Where is justice?” Bishop John Oballa Owaa of Kenya’s Ngong diocese probed Sunday, August 23 during Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral, Ngong where the 20th anniversary of Fr. Kaiser’s assasination took place….

Kenya: 20th John Kaiser MHM Anniversary
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Kenya: 20th John Kaiser MHM Anniversary

A message from the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Please note that this year the National Office will not print Fr. Kaiser posters and prayer cards as agreed by the planning committee due to the current situation of Covid 19 in the country. Please use different platforms at the diocese and parish levels to…

Canonisation of Blessed Titus Brandsma: Interview with Vice-Postulator
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Canonisation of Blessed Titus Brandsma: Interview with Vice-Postulator

–Father Millan: In addition to what I just indicated, I would highlight his profound spirituality, not only theoretical (as Professor, he was an expert in Rhenish-Flemish mysticism, as well as on the work and doctrine of Saint Teresa of Jesus), but vital and existential. Although he was very discreet in regard to his personal interior…

“A Church without Martyrs would be like a Tree without Fruit.” – Church Leader Iran/Turkey
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“A Church without Martyrs would be like a Tree without Fruit.” – Church Leader Iran/Turkey

Of course, it goes without saying that the mass exodus of Christians, and in particular of our young people and our most active members, is a cause of concern for us. Nonetheless, we should not look at the situation from a too human perspective. The strength and dynamism of a Christian community does not depend…