Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 7:1-17):
‘Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by
his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the
town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son
of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the
townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not
cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers
stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.
Nicola Sturgeon appreciating the beauty of new life
It is wonderful to hear Scotland’s First Minister Nicola
Sturgeon announce that, from Spring 2017, all pregnant women will receive free
vitamins in order to help give their children the best possible start in life.
In addition to making vitamins freely available the Scottish
Government will also be introducing the following initiatives:
- Every newborn baby to receive a ‘baby box’ of essential
- 500 more health visitors will be recruited to improve child
health and wellbeing
It’s a terrifying thought: finding yourself being dragged
along in shallow water by a monster and being at their mercy. Okay, so perhaps it’s slightly far-fetched to
refer to Harambe the gorilla as a monster, but one thing we do know for certain
is that he is, or was, a wild animal.
Like most people I am a lover of animals, and I am not
particularly keen on many of the limited enclosures wild animals find
themselves in, be it in zoos or in those horrid environments they call
circuses. Sure, there are some zoos and
safari parks that do a good job in protecting animals, especially endangered
species, and this work is important for the wellbeing of life on our planet.
shine in the world like bright stars
are offering it the word of life.’ (Ph2:15-16)
Today’s Gospel acclamation is a beautiful
summary of our mission as Christians. At
a time when Christianity - despite being on the rise worldwide - is gradually being
eroded across the western world, this little piece of scripture is a timely
reminder of our call to evangelise.
By evangelising and spreading the Gospel, as
instructed to by Christ himself, we aren’t simply passing on a simple
historical message in order to preserve it and keep it going for as long as possible.
Madagascar is a country riddled with debt, where the basic
right of a child to an education is far down the list of government priorities and
public expenditure on children is a paltry £31 per year, leaving very little
for a basic, let alone decent, education.
The situation is especially grim for girls who are often
denied any form of education so as to allow male siblings to benefit from the
opportunity to learn. Boys, it seems,
are best placed to go to school to learn.
Girls, it seems, are better off at home.
Pope Francis, during his weekly general audience, has slated
those who turn their backs on the poor, suggesting that their ignorance means
that they despise God.
The pope stressed that in the poor “we find Jesus himself:
whatever you did to the least brothers of mine, you did to me”.
The message is clear: we are called to wake up to the plight
of the poor and to make sure we never ignore them. I recall one of Pope Francis’ early comments
on the poor. He said that we must get
close to them as Jesus did, and touch their wounds.
Here are the April and May editions of Dermot Grenham's Handing on the Faith newsletter. There is a particular focus on Pope Francis' recent exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
These newsletters are an excellent and extremely insightful read, especially for families.
Children should be safe in the hands of midwives
The Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is
facing calls to resign after announcing that the organisation supported the
removal of the 24 week time limit for abortions in the UK. Cathy Marwick has caused consternation among RCM
members, many of whom have signed an online petition seeking to distance themselves from the RCM’s stance. They have also accused her of failing to
consult on the issue.
Marwick, who is the chair of the UK’s
biggest abortion provider BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service), has not surprisingly been
accused of a conflict of interest given her two roles.
In the first of our
new series of Catholic Love in the Community we pick up the story of a group of
Dominican nuns caring for the terminally ill in New York.
The New York Times has this week published a beautiful story
about a group of Dominican nuns who care for the dying at their Rosary Hill nursing
home situated in the small town of Hawthorne on the outskirts of New York City.
The home, which is essentially a hospice, was founded in
1901, ‘long before the mainstream medical community embraced hospice care and
during a time when some doctors still thought cancer was contagious.
During Wednesday’s General Audience Pope Francis reminded
the gathered that Friday 13 May is the memorial of Our Lady of
Fatima, stressing the importance of paying heed to Mary’s words not to offend
God any more than we already have and to focus our hearts and minds on
abandoning ourselves to God’s love and mercy.
The pope said: “In this apparition, Mary invites us once
again to prayer, penitence and conversion. She asks us to offend God no more….She
warns all humanity of the need to abandon itself to God, the wellspring of love