Faith Blog

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  1. FAQ: If God is All-Good, why do bad things happen?

    God has created different sorts of things. In particular He has created matter, which is simply controlled by His laws of nature (the laws we attempt to discover in the natural sciences). He has also created 

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  2. What has Ethiopia to Teach us?

    What has Ethiopia to Teach us?
    Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali FAITH MAGAZINE July-August 2014The introduction of Christianity to Ethiopia is charted in the Acts of the Apostles. The contemporary story of this ancient Christian church, though, has much to teach us, says Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.The St Frumentius Lectures in Addi...
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  3. FAQ: What does being Confirmed mean?

    FAQ: What does being Confirmed mean?
    We are made members of the Body of Christ through receiving three sacraments - Baptism, Confirmation,  which we receive only once, and the Holy Eucharist which is Christ Himself. Confirmation completes and strengthens ('confirms') the spiritual “character” and belonging t...
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  4. New edition of Faith Magazine online!

    New edition of Faith Magazine online!
    The New July-August edition of Faith Magazine is now online. ...
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  5. New series of talks in London!

    New series of talks in London!
    All are welcome to our Autumn series of talks Jesus Christ and Human Love.The talks are a great opportunity to deepen your faith and to connect with other Catholics.Talks will take place on alternate Tuesday evenings at 19:30 from 23rd September in the Crypt of Our Lady of Assumption Catholi...
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  6. Summer Session Roundup Video!

    Summer Session Roundup Video!
    The Faith Summer Session 2014 was as good as any in recent memory, set in the beautiful grounds of Woldingham School in Surrey. The theme was especially relevent given contemporary challenges to family life and the upcoming Synod on that subject.Here our very own David Edwards provides a quick su...
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  7. ARCHIVE: Confusion over the Meanings of Marriage

    ARCHIVE: Confusion over the Meanings of Marriage
    Editorial FAITH Magazine March-April 2006The "Ends" of Marriage: An Unresolved TeachingThe old Code of Canon Law (1917) stated that “the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of offspring; the secondary end is mutual love and support, and the remedying of c...
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  8. New photos from Faith Summer Session!

    New photos from Faith Summer Session!
    See more photos in the new album on our Facebook page and please like us too!   ...
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  9. Summer Session Success!

    Summer Session Success!
    The Faith Summer Session 2014 has just come to a close. Young people from across the UK and beyond gathered to hear talks on the topic of The Family In God's Plan and the Modern World. The Summer Session combines time for presentations on the faith, daily Mass, prayer and the opportunity for ...
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  10. Summer Session 2014 Update

    Summer Session 2014 Update
    See our new video update from the Faith Summer Session 2014. Sr Andrea Frailie describes what has been going on at the conference so far which is addressing the theme of The Family in God's Plan and The Modern World. She speaks about the presentation she gave to the conference on th...
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  11. Summer Session 2014 begins!

    Summer Session 2014 begins!
    Faith Summer Session 2014 has begun at Woldingham School, Surrey. The Conference is for those aged 16-35 and is addressing the theme "The Family in God's Plan and in the Modern World". The first speaker of the conference was Dr Stephen Dingley, tutor of Theology at St John's Sem...
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  • Christmas: a time to bring healing and hope

    With this issue of FAITH magazine, we bring Christmastide greetings to our readers. Their number is growing – recent promotional work at Catholic gatherings this past summer introduced the magazine to a number of new readers. Welcome!  It’s a cliché to say that Christmas is a “family time”. But clichés usually hold some wellestablished truth: that’s why they become clichés.  Christmas Dinner ought to be – for many still is – a grand gathering of family and clan around a table with good food and with glasses raised in toasts and a generous host dispensing large quantities of good cheer.

    Britain in 2018

    But Christmas in the Britain of 2018, along with Christmases of the past half-century in our country, will see many families divided. Children will be ferried from one Christmas dinner to another: Mum and her new boyfriend, Dad and his parents, with some stepgrandparents and half-siblings variously added to the mix over the Christmas gatherings. Cohabitation, divorce, complicated pairings, all make for awkwardness. A thoughtful Christmas feature in a newspaper last year noted a child’s lament about the boredom of being ferried down what seemed endless motorway journeys, with lavatory stops and offers of hamburger meals en route to various step-relatives following parental divorces.  Language once regarded as odd is now standard: “My ex-stepmother’s parents”, “My sister’s lesbian partner”.  So we make no excuse for featuring, in this Christmas issue of FAITH, some comment and analysis of Britain’s current tragic situation concerning marriage and family life. At a time when food has never been so abundantly available in Britain for this season of feasting – indeed, our major national health problem is obesity – many will be hungry not for food but for family solidarity, love and goodwill, for a renewed confidence in the truth about God’s covenant plan for marriage as the lifelong union of a man and a woman. And the solution lies with the Church.


    Christmas is not the right time for great public denunciations of divorce or contraception or same-sex “marriage” in fiery terms from the pulpit. But it is a time to affirm that the Church does not and cannot change her teachings: even a general upbeat message to that effect, without going into much detail, will be understood and will send a powerful message.  This is a time to take note of the raw wounds being endured by the many people for whom the breaking up of family bonds has been particularly horrific and for whom this season will be miserable, so an emphasis of the consistency of God’s love for us and the consistency of the Church’s message will offer hope and healing. It is a time for the Church to focus firmly on the truth: God came to dwell among us, he knows our wounds, and he is really and substantially present with us now. He brings that steadfast love about which he taught when he spoke of the Good Samaritan who healed raw wounds with wine and oil and gave a pledge of future care for which he paid full price. Christ is the Good Samaritan and if our journey has been a savage one, with many wounds perhaps inflicted by a savage society imposing or encouraging horrible things, he is there to rescue and help us.

    God is unchangeable, reliable, and loving

    Many Catholic schools and organisations hold carol services in Advent: these are an opportunity to emphasise Advent as a time of preparation for Christmas and the place of the sacrament of penance (confession). Many people attending services at Catholic churches over Advent and Christmas will not be Catholic: this is time to offer all that is glorious in the liturgy and be generous with candlelight and beautiful traditional music so that the central importance of worship of God is grasped. Many Catholics will be at Midnight Mass who are not at Mass through the year: this is a time to bring a sense of joyful urgency about a new encounter with Christ, noting that as Catholics at Mass this Christmas, we should also be at Mass on every Sunday of the year: Christ calls us to this as we encounter him in the Christmas liturgy. If we have not been faithful to this in 2018 then the Christmas Mass is a time to open our hearts to him and make a fresh start.

    A light for the year ahead

    Midnight Mass as a sort of sentimental preliminary to general indulgence and socialising with a vaguely troubled conscience does not make for happiness: Midnight Mass as a spark that offers a light for the year ahead, perhaps through the challenging words of the sermon, could be a real Christmas gift.  Above all this is a time to bring people close to God. Often, the emphasis even in church at this season is about food for the body rather than the soul: collections of money to fund important projects for the hungry and the poor. Of course such action is essential. But the message of Christmas is not just about encouraging well-fed people to part with their spare cash or their used toys or clothes. Christmas is more soul-searing, more real, than that.

    An “edgy” message

    Moaning about the “commercialisation of Christmas” tends to fall on deaf ears. We all know about it. More useful and important is a reminder of the hugeness of what Christmas celebrates: God becoming man and sharing directly in our lives. Our entire civilisation in Britain is based on an understanding of that reality: it is why we number our years in the way that we do, it frames our language and our traditions, it has shaped our family structures and is at the core of our common life. So Christmas has, or should have, an “edgy” message, a slightly uncomfortable challenge that will in fact act as a sort of healing to people who know that the wounds in our families and common life cannot be covered with a band-aid while festering beneath.


    Christmas is a time to evangelise. The message is that God really is among us, that there is hope here, that the Child in the manger did not leave us but grew to adulthood, served and died and rose again, and is with us still - that we will all one day meet him face to face and that meanwhile our lives have meaning and purpose.