Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has delivered the third Christmas message of his pontificate Urbi et Orbi on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, 25 December 2015.

What does Urbi et Orbi mean? Translated, it’s “for the city and for the world” and is a papal address and Apostolic Blessing not only for the city of Rome but for the entire world. The blessing is given at Christmas and Easter.

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The event took place during a Mass celebrated by the President of the English Benedictine Congregation (EBC), Abbot Richard Yeo. The event is of particular significance given that Downside Abbey is one of only two Minor Basilicas in the United Kingdom.

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Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy is an opportunity to focus on God’s mercy and forgiveness. To mark this, many of the Bishops of England and Wales have recorded special reflections for Advent. The podcasts, released one a day throughout the season, cover those important themes of mercy, compassion and forgiveness.

Today it id Bishop Declan talks about what we need to do before it’s too late!

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There’s certainly a festive air to today’s Middle East Analysis podcast from the Bishop’s Conference.

At a time when office parties, crazy-season shopping and the work wind-down are well underway, it’s easy not only to get distracted and lose sight of Christ’s coming at Christmas, but also to forget the region in which he was born.

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“[M]ercy and forgiveness must not remain beautiful words, but be realized in daily life. To love and to forgive are the concrete and visible signs that faith has transformed our hearts and they enable us to express in ourselves the very life of God — to love and forgive as God loves and forgives. This is a program of life that knows no interruptions or exceptions, but which pushes us to always go beyond without ever tiring, with the certainty of being supported by God’s paternal presence.

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It was at first a classic French fairy tale written in 1756, made famous by Disney in 1991, and tastefully remastered by Katie Mitchell for the National Theatre just five years ago; Beauty and the Beast is a timeless story of romance and magic that we are all familiar with. Last week, seven BTEC Acting students in their second year at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College presented their own portrayal of the classic story.

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‘Admission to candidacy for ordination as deacon comes about by means of a special liturgical rite, “by which one who aspires to the diaconate publicly manifests his will to offer himself to God and the Church, so that he may exercise sacred orders. The Church, accepting this offering, chooses and calls him to prepare himself to receive a sacred order, and in this way he is rightly numbered among candidates for the diaconate”.’

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To accompany our pilgrimage through the Jubilee of Mercy, the diocesan department of Adult Education and Evangelisation has produced a series of resources by way of helping you make a prayerful journey and one that offers us a renewed personal encounter with the person of Jesus Christ, the face of Mercy.

All the resources can be found here

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