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Religion

  • How much is that halo?

    How much is that halo?

    Even ‘poor’ saints will benefit from Pope Francis’s drive to control costs and introduce a sense of sobriety and accounting transparency in the Vatican. L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said that the Holy See department that oversees...

  • Becoming who we are

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 42, 1-4.6-7; Acts 10, 34-38; Matthew 3, 13-17. Far from being the usually romanticised celebration of a newborn baby, the baptism of the Lord in the River Jordan is the initiation of a commission to bring true justice on...

  • Christened to ‘be’ for the coming of God’s Kingdom

    Christened to ‘be’ for the coming of God’s Kingdom

    At Christ’s baptism, which is celebrated liturgically today, as Jesus came up for the baptism of penance for sins, John the Baptist exclaimed: “it is I who need baptism from you, yet you come to me”! Jesus insisted, implying that God’s will for...

  • Quotes and news

    “If Nigeria falls to Islamic extremists, all Africa will be at risk” was the stern warning given by Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo, administrator of Bomadi, during an interview with the agency Aid to the Church in Need. He added that the terrorist group...

  • The challenge ahead

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 60, 1-6; Ephesians 3, 2-3.5-6; Matt. 2, 1-12. St Mathew’s narrative today of wise men coming to Jerusalem from the east is mainly catechetical and is meant to complete the narrative of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. God made...

  • Meeting God in schools

    Meeting God in schools

    Our schools (State, Church and independent) may still, in many ways, be considered to be Catholic. Teaching of the Catholic religion is obligatory. Religious activities, such as Masses, religious celebrations, Lenten talks and retreats are common...

  • Quotes and news

    More quotes from Pope Francis’s message for the 47th World Day of Peace, which was celebrated on Wednesday. The message’s theme was: Fraternity as the foundation of peace and as the pathway to peace. Politics and economy “The necessary realism...

  • Time to listen

    Today’s readings: Eccl. 3, 2-6.12-14; Col. 3, 12-21; Matt. 2, 13-15.19-23. In the face of deep social, cultural, and political changes that have been radically transforming the physiognomy of the family and the patterns of family life, the...

  • Saints come from unusual quarters

    Saints come from unusual quarters

    This year which is coming to a close is special in a particular way. A few weeks ago we commemorated President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. A few months before that, Pope John XXIII had died of cancer. The lives of these two men were...

  • Quotes and news

    The following are extracts from Pope Francis’s first message for the World Day of Peace, which is celebrated every year on January 1. Its theme is ‘Fraternity as the foundation of peace and as the pathway to peace’. Fraternity is...

  • God is able

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 7, 10-14; Romans 1, 1-7; Matthew 1, 18-25 In their long desert journey, God’s people very often fell prey to the temptation of idolatry or even atheism. A recurring question was: Is God with us? This same question returned...

  • Interlocked in life’s mystery

    Most people feel that commercialism is the main obstacle to experience the true spirit of Christmas. I tend to differ. The real stumbling block is lack of belief, lack of inner preparation, and deafness to the Word of God. Only those who can truly...

  • Quotes and news

    Pope Francis described human trafficking as “a crime against humanity” and “a social wound of our times”. He was speaking to 17 new diplomats accredited to the Holy See. The Pope said human trafficking “affects the most vulnerable people in...

  • Vatican hires international outside firms to help clean up

    Vatican hires international outside firms to help clean up

    The Vatican has hired two big international consulting firms to improve financial accounting procedures and streamline media operations, its latest bid to clean up often-murky finances and improve efficiency by cutting through red tape. Pope...

  • Pope Francis drawing crowds four times as large as predecessor

    More than two million people have flocked to Pope Francis’ general audiences in St Peter’s Square since his election in March, four times the number that Pope Benedict drew in all of 2012. The Vatican said it had issued 1,548,500 tickets for the...

  • God’s healing touch

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 35, 1-6.10; James 5, 7-10; Matthew 11, 2-11. There is high tension in the sentiments of entire peoples today all over the world triggered by the impatience of those who suffer and who feel constantly let down by old-style...

  • Joy to the world

    Joy to the world

    As a young schoolboy many, many years ago, I had the privilege of having a first-rate music master, the late Jesuit, Fr Anton Caruana SJ. He had music in his veins. His passion for music also introduced us to an unbelievable repertoire of...

  • Quotes and news

    I am reproducing a few more quotes from Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’. I focus on its first section, which speaks about the nature of evangelisation. Lent without Easter “There are Christians whose lives seem like...

  • Pope's peace message

    Pope's peace message

    Pope Francis attacked mega-salaries and big bonuses yester-day, saying in the first peace message of his pontificate that they are symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality. In his message for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of...

  • No template for God

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 11, 1-10; Romans 15, 4-9; Matthew 3, 1-12. It is never easy to keep hope alive. Isaiah’s words in the first reading constitute the blueprint of our hope. It is a hope which translates in justice and peace. The worst thing...

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