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24th January 2020

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Showing ‘Unusual Kindness’ to Migrants

Leaders of Christian communities throughout the world gather each year in the Vatican for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Pope Francis traditionally concludes the initiative presiding over Vespers at the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls. The theme for 2020, chosen and prepared by a group of representatives from the Christian Churches in Malta, is from the Acts of the Apostles: “They Showed … Read more

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Paul’s Handling of Christian Disunity

In this brief article I should like simply to look at one important New Testament test-case for grappling with Church disunity: Paul’s dealings with the fractious Corinthians, who, to his annoyance, were forever picking a fight, both with one another and with him. The place to start here is perhaps with the last surviving line of Paul’s correspondence with that quarrelsome group of Christians. Try … Read more

Cameroon: National Days of Prayer for Respect of Human Life

“The ongoing clashes in the Anglophone regions make activities impossible. Difficulties are increasing in the economic field. The majority of businesses have ceased to operate. The population makes a living from agriculture, but cultivating the fields is becoming complicated, many peasants have been killed while working on their farms,” Bishop Kome lamented. He added, “Today we need to intensify our prayers and seek God’s divine … Read more

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18 – 25 January on Theme: ‘They Showed Us Unusual Kindness’

On 10th February many Christians in Malta celebrate the Feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, marking and giving thanks for the arrival of Christian faith on these islands. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles used for the feast is the text chosen for this year’s Week of Prayer. Hospitality is a much needed virtue in our search for Christian unity. It calls … Read more

Story of a Conversion: ‘My Atheist Family Was Appalled’

Thirteen years ago, not long before my 40th birthday, I decided to become a Roman Catholic. My mum, dad and brother, all atheists, were astonished and appalled in equal measure. I had always had a sense of God, but no church that suited me. Now I had been to mass with a friend and felt at home there. It was that simple. The congregation all … Read more

‘The Bible is the Book of the Lord’s People’ – Pope Francis Announcing Sunday of the Word of God

In his letter, Pope Francis wrote, “A day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a yearlong event, for we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, who continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers.” “We need to develop a closer … Read more

Holy Land: Visiting and Supporting the Local Christian Communities

This annual visit was set up over 20 years ago at the invitation of the Holy See with the aim of visiting and supporting the Holy Land’s local Christian communities as they experience the political and socio-economic realities of living in Israel and Palestine. During their stay, the bishops will be based in Ramallah with an overnight visit to Gaza, where they will celebrate Sunday … Read more

The Philippines: Black Nazarene Procession an ‘Outpouring of People’s Longing for Good’

Wherever the people’s devotion came from, whether it’s liturgically sound or not, there is no stopping them from offering prayers and giving thanks to the suffering Jesus. Through the years, many have attested, and believed wholeheartedly, to the miraculous power of the image of the Black Nazarene, from granting personal petitions to healing the sick. There are those who have accused devotees of bordering on … Read more

The Netherlands: Church Closures Trigger Further Disaffection

“The fact that every neighborhood in the Netherlands used to have its own church is an exception worldwide. The closing of churches is a logical consequence of the fact that the church no longer is a binding factor in Dutch society,” he said. According to religious sociologist Theo Schepens, people in the Netherlands have been “spoiled” with so many churches close by. “That cannot be … Read more