Catholic News

‘Catholic News’ is a podcast carrying interviews with a diverse range of people – lay people, religious and clergy – involved on the front line of the Catholic Church’s work in England and Wales.

Why the Lord’s Prayer is so important to us

20th February 2024

Catholic News
Catholic News
Why the Lord's Prayer is so important to us
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The focus of this Catholic News podcast is the Year of Jubilee in 2025, and the preparation year proceeding it that we’re currently living – the Year of Prayer.

Pope Francis wants the Church to be prepared for the Jubilee Year with a particular focus on prayer, and what better prayer to use than the ‘Our Father’ that Jesus taught us.

During Lent, we are offering a five-week course designed to help us deepen our understanding of the Lord’s Prayer called We Dare To Say.

Father Jan Nowotnik, Director of Mission for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales talks to us about how important a prayer the Lord’s Prayer is to us as Christians:

“There is a line in the Our Father that is a prayer of petition, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’. When I pray that line, I’m saying, ‘Give me today, Lord, just what I need – just for this day’. In the midst of some of the trials and tribulations of life, but also the joys, it’s about realising that I put my hope in the Lord who gives me everything that I need – the Lord whose kingdom is in heaven.

“‘Give us this day our daily bread’. Why? So that we can joyfully trust and hope in Him, but also so that we can forgive each other, so that we can put right some of those wrongs. Which takes us back to the major theme of a Jubilee year taken from the book of Leviticus – allowing the land to grow fallow, allowing that time of tranquilly and peace, so that we can rid each other of the debts that often occur when we don’t forgive each other, when we’re not kind and supportive to each other. To do that, you have to hope in the promises of the Lord – ‘Give us this day our daily bread’.”

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Deliver Us From Evil

15th February 2024

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Catholic News
Deliver Us From Evil
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Deliver Us From Evil is a new booklet, published by the Catholic Truth Society (CTS), offering Catholics a useful set of prayers and supplications, humble requests for the Lord’s help, that can be used in times of fear, distress or temptation.

The prayers are drawn from Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition and are intended for individual use to protect us from the forces of evil.

In this Catholic News podcast, Father Robert Taylerson, a member of our Spirituality Committee and Spiritual Director at Oscott College, joins Liturgy Office Director Martin Foster for a conversation about the booklet and how it can be used by Catholics.

Buy the booklet

Deliver Us From Evil costs £9.95 and can be purchased from the CTS website. It’s a handy pocket-sized guide to help us in the struggle against the powers of darkness.

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A place of belonging for people with disabilities

1st December 2023

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Catholic News
A place of belonging for people with disabilities
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As the Church enters the season of Advent, on the first Sunday, 3 December, we also celebrate the International Day of Disabled Persons. It’s an occasion that reminds us, should we need reminding, that the Church needs to be a place of belonging for people with disabilities.

For this Catholic News podcast we’re joined by Cristina Gangemi from the Kairos Forum, her friend Sean, a man who has never let disability get between his love of God and desire to serve the Church, and also Tracy, a lady who helps Sean and kindly assists at those times when Sean’s words are hard to understand during this podcast.

Please do use the transcript too in order to follow the conversation more closely.

We discuss: The International Day of Disabled Persons and why it’s important, valuability not vulnerability, the four Ps to help us value people with disabilities, and finish with a good focus for prayer this Advent.

Transcript

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Bishop of Wrexham celebrates Shrine’s elevation to National Status

17th November 2023

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Catholic News
Bishop of Wrexham celebrates Shrine's elevation to National Status
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Bishop Peter Brignall, the Bishop of Wrexham, has warmly welcomed the news that the Shrine of St Winefride in Holywell, north Wales, has been elevated to the status of a National Shrine for England and Wales.

The shrine, on Bishop Peter’s patch, has an unbroken 1,400-year tradition of pilgrimage and is part of the national heritage of Wales.

The Bishops, at their Autumn 2023 Plenary meeting, approved its elevation giving it national status, and the move will likely bring more people to this remarkable place of pilgrimage, prayer, consolation, and hope.

“Everyone is more than welcome, whether they are of faith or not, to come and discover a bit of our country’s tradition and heritage, and that they come with open hearts to that commitment to God that they may not have within their own lives, but are able to recognise in the lives of others and be prepared to be touched by that.”

Listen to our podcast to learn more about the story of St Winefride and this remarkable shrine in north Wales.

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General Secretary on Bishops’ Plenary Resolutions

17th November 2023

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General Secretary on Bishops' Plenary Resolutions
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Canon Christopher Thomas, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales speaks about the Bishops’ Autumn Plenary meeting held at Hinsley Hall in Leeds from 13-16 November 2023.

He talks, in particular, about the resolutions from the meeting and is joined by Father Jan Nowotnik to discuss the longer resolution on the Synod that looks at “Steps Towards Renewal”.

On this podcast we address: Environmental concerns, the elevation of the Shrine of St Winefride, Holywell to the status of National Shrine for England and Wales. We also talk about the National Eucharistic Congress that will be held at Oscott College in September 2024, and the conflict in Gaza.

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Remembrance: We all need to rededicate ourselves to peace

11th November 2023

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Remembrance: We all need to rededicate ourselves to peace
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Dominican friar Fr Samuel Burke OP is a chaplain in the Royal Navy currently serving on HMS Duncan in the Mediterranean. He gave a poignant reflection on remembrance and honouring our war dead on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

It was broadcast on 11 November, Armistice Day, known as Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth.

“If, during the two minutes of silence, the enormous shadow of grief and the haunting prospect of future loss can’t provoke each of us to rededicate ourselves to peace then, frankly, nothing will.

“Whatever else you choose to think about during the still moments later today and tomorrow, be sure to make good that solemn promise that we renew each year. We will remember them. They were not so different to us.

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Praying for the dead at the beautiful London Oratory Church

10th November 2023

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Catholic News
Praying for the dead at the beautiful London Oratory Church
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November is a very important month in the Catholic calendar. It’s the month when we pause on many occasions to remember our friends and loved ones who have died – the Holy Souls. We also remember those killed in the world’s conflicts, especially on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.

For this podcast, produced in partnership with the Centre for the Art of Dying Well, we head over to South Kensington in central London to speak to Father George Bowen, a priest of the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri.

The community has a most beautiful church. Built between 1880 and 1884, the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – the London Oratory – is sometimes incorrectly called the ‘Brompton Oratory’ and is the second-largest Catholic church in London, with a nave exceeding in width that of St Paul’s Cathedral. The architectural style and the atmosphere of the church were deliberately Italianate, in order to bring St Philip’s romanità to nineteenth century London.

So why are we here? Well, partly for the person and partly for this stunning place of worship. Fr George Bowen has vast experience as a hospital chaplain and has accompanied many people on their way to the Lord – Catholics and non-Catholics. As a priest and Oratorian, his stock-and-trade extends beyond what happens in the here and now – beyond this world to the eternal kingdom.

“St Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, talks about our experience in life as if we’re living in a tent,” says Fr George. “We’re living in a temporary place and we need to fold up that tent because there’s going to be a house built for us in heaven. And in a way, when we walk into a church like this, what it reminds us of is the house which is prepared for us in the next world. It’s meant to do that, really. It’s meant to put this world into a different perspective.”

This podcast is a walk-and-talk tour of the London Oratory’s memorials, statues, confessionals, altars, beautiful works of art, and prayerful side chapels – all gateways to a life beyond this world. Prayerful places where we can focus our minds on the Holy Souls and pray for those who have gone before us.

Images

Although we do our best to paint word pictures in your minds, we have an album of images on Flickr that accompany this podcast.

Click here to look through the photos as you listen.

The Centre for the Art of Dying Well

The Centre for the Art of Dying Well is based at St Mary’s University. It’s founding aim is to rethink the art of accompaniment at the end of life. It focuses on public engagement, policy, and research on the subjects of death, dying and bereavement.

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Alleviating the cost-of-living crisis

30th October 2023

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Alleviating the cost-of-living crisis
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Director of Policy and Research here at the Bishops’ Conference, Philip Booth, joins us to talk about our latest cost-of-living statement.

Philip is an economist who is also Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, as well the university’s Director of Catholic Mission.

The Bishops’ Conference statement, released by the Department for Social Justice ahead of the Government’s Autumn Statement, recognises that the cost-of-living crisis is multi-faceted and requires actions at a range of levels, including Government, civil society and the Church.

It makes a number of specific requests of the Government including the call that the taxation system should treat justly those with family and other caring responsibilities. Other requests relate to the provision and cost of housing, welfare benefits, the removal of the two-child cap on universal credit payments, and the transition to greener energy. You can read the full statement here.

Philip also discusses the preferential option for the poor that lies at the heart of Catholic life, what our network of Catholic charities are doing to alleviate poverty, the role of our parishes and schools, and how we can all we can all play a part – no matter our personal circumstances.

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World Mission Sunday – Wisdom from encounter

19th October 2023

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Catholic News
World Mission Sunday - Wisdom from encounter
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Father Anthony Chantry joins us for this Catholic News podcast to discuss World Mission Sunday. Celebrated on the penultimate Sunday of October, it’s a chance to support missionaries and the churches, hospitals and schools where they do the Lord’s work, in countries where the Church is new, young or poor.

Fr Chantry is the National Director of Missio, the Pope’s official charity for world mission.

On Sunday, 22 October, we join together in prayer to give thanks to God for missionaries everywhere who are spreading hope and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Fr Chantry tell us what mission is, but also what it isn’t:

“Mission is not about imposing, forcing or coercing. It’s about listening, being present with people, accompanying them and acting on what comes from that – the wonderful wisdom from these encounters. Jesus did exactly the same. We’re just following the master. He will show us the way.”

Listen to Fr Chantry speak about World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis’ theme for this year’s celebration, Missio’s focus on the story of Sister Mary in Africa’s biggest slum – Kibera in Kenya, and more.

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Walking pilgrimages in England and Wales

8th August 2023

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Catholic News
Walking pilgrimages in England and Wales
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Phil McCarthy is the man behind Pilgrim Ways – a digital resource that provides walking routes to key pilgrimage sites in each of our dioceses. An author, and former CEO of the Caritas Social Action Network, he has created a ‘pilgrim way’ for each diocese – from the cathedral of that diocese to one or more of its shrines.

“These are routes are not just for Catholics to deepen their faith,” says Phil. “They’re for everyone to experience pilgrimage within a Catholic setting.”

The Pilgrim Ways website offers a number of resources to assist in preparing for a walking pilgrimage. It has an interactive map, provides GPX files for the routes that can be downloaded to mobile phones, and there are ‘Pilgrim Passports’ that you can get stamped along the way, not to mention certificates at the end to show that you’ve completed the walk.

Interestingly, the title for the project is Hearts in Search of God, and is inspired by a quotation from Pope Francis where he reminds us that in every pilgrim beats a heart in search of God – whether old or young, sick or in good health, or just a casual tourist.

Website

Visit pilgrimways.org.uk to access the routes and resources. Our interview with Phil McCarthy was first broadcast in our Summer 2023 ‘At the Foot of the Cross‘ podcast.

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Drought recovery in northern Kenya

2nd June 2023

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Drought recovery in northern Kenya
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In this Catholic News podcast, we’re joined by Bishop Peter Kihara Kariuki, Bishop of Marsabit, and Isacko Jirma, Director of Caritas Marsabit.

Marsabit is a semi-arid location 500km north of the capital of Kenya, Nairobi. The local Catholic diocese spans almost 80,000 square kilometres without a single river passing through.

The Horn and East Africa has suffered its worst drought in 40 years. In Marsabit, where 80% of people rely on livestock for their income, their animals have died and their crops have failed.

Bishop Paul and Isacko discuss the pastoral challenges and the social action projects needed to help more than 300,000 people escape food insecurity.

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Helping women recover and heal after an abortion

25th May 2023

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Helping women recover and heal after an abortion
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Rachel’s Vineyard is a healing ministry for those who are suffering from the trauma of abortion, or have been closely connected to someone who is – whether they’re siblings, grandparents, aunts, cousins. Rachel’s Vineyard recognises that abortion impacts the wider family and community. The organisation also supports those that have worked in the abortion industry and struggle with the part they have played in abortion decisions.

Rachel Mckenzie is the director of the Birmingham-based charity and spoke to us back in June 2022 about the ministry and the growing numbers of people seeking help:

“I tell them firstly that they’re not alone and that they are already loved, and they can get forgiveness, they haven’t committed the unforgivable sin and they just need a place where they can work through that pain and be supported along the way.”

Post abortion trauma is central to the theme of Day for Life 2023.

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