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St Joan of Arc

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Saint Of The DayThe Maid of Orleans was the daughter of a peasant, born in Domremy in Lorraine, in 1412. From the age of 13 she began hearing heavenly voices telling her to take up arms and lead the French army against the English who had invaded the country.

She obtained an audience with the Dauphin, Charles, and after a searching interview, he entrusted her with a staff of attendants and a suit of armour. They joined the army at Blois and ten days later routed the English who had been besieging Orleans. Further victories followed and Charles was crowned King at Rouen.

However, Joan was captured by the Burgundians and handed over to the English. She was tried by a church court, presided over by the Bishop of Beauvais, on charges of witchcraft and heresy. During 15 sessions, St Joan defended herself and her ‘heavenly voices’. She was condemned as a heretic and burnt at the stake in 1431.

The case was tried again in 1456 and she was found innocent. After centuries of popular veneration she was canonised in 1920. St Joan was declared Patron of France in 1922.

Pakistan: ACN brings aid to families affected by Covid-19

More than 5,000 of the poorest families in Pakistan are to receive food and other COVID-19 emergency aid, with help from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Orphans, widows and unemployed people are among those who will benefit from a grant approved on Thursday.

The ACN emergency aid package targets the most vulnerable people in the capital, Islamabad, as well as in Rawalpindi, and the dioc…

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Today’s Gospel in Art – If all were written down…

Gospel 30 May 2020 – John 21:20-25 Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them – the one who had leaned on his breast at the supper and had said to him, ‘Lord, who is it that will betray you?’ Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to foll…

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Catholic peer leads coalition against Beijing’s ‘flagrant breach of Sino-British Joint Declaration’

Lord PattonIn the last week, 705 parliamentarians and faith leaders from 36 countries, including 165 British signatories, have joined a cross-party international coalition to decry the ‘unilateral introduction of national security legislation in Hong Kong’, which was rubberstamped by the Chinese Communist Party today, and to call on sympathetic governments to unite together to respond against the ‘flagran…

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Pope to join senior UK Church leaders online Pentecost service

Pope Francis is due to take part in an online church service alongside the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and a number of other senior UK church leaders for the first time online. He will deliver a special message for the virtual service for Pentecost Sunday – the day Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church.

The Pope’s heartfelt message calls on …

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New COP26 date set – CAFOD urges PM to put world’s poorest at heart of emergency plans

A new date has been agreed for the COP26 UN climate change summit in Glasgow. The summit will now take place between 1 and 12 November next year. Originally planned for November 2020, it was postponed due to the pandemic.

Dozens of world leaders will attend the gathering, the most important round of talks since the global Paris Agreement to tackle climate change was secured in 2015.

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Denouncing and combatting racism

Leela Ramdeen“When injustices around the world are screaming ‘your life is of no value’, the Church cannot remain silent. Apathy makes excuses. Love finds a way.” (Nicky Gumbel)

Racism is a vile worm that continues to eat away at the soul of humanity. I don’t think any right-thinking person can watch the video of the way in which George Floyd died without raging for justice.

44 year old…

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Iraq: Patriarch urges people to stay home as Covid-19 grows

Patriarch Louis Raphael I SakoThe leader of Iraq’s largest Christian community has issued an urgent plea for people to stay at home amid growing fears that the country cannot cope with a spiralling number of Covid-19 cases.

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako said the country’s medical services, still shattered after the 2003 collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime, are already in crisis, with cases topping…

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New Rector for St Mary’s College, Oscott

St Mary's Chapel, OscottArchbishop Bernard Longley has announced that Father Giles Goward has been appointed the new Rector of St Mary’s College, Oscott. Fr Giles, a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and currently Pastoral Director at Oscott, will take up his appointment on Sunday 28 June 2020. He will be responsible for the formation of students for the priesthood from more than twenty dioceses and Religious O…

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Today’s Gospel in Art – Simon, do you love me?

Peter's denial, by Peter's denial, by Anton Robert Leinweber 1919 © Christian ArtGospel of 29th May 2020 – John 21:15-19 Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you k…

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Italy: Founder required to leave monastery of Bose

Enzo Bianchi, founder of the ecumenical Monastic Community of Bose, along with three other members of the same community, are required to leave the monastery and move to another place. This also includes the cessation of their positions of authority.

The decision was set out in a decree on 13 May signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and approved in forma specifica…

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USA: Pax Christi statement on death of George Floyd

Pax Christi USA is outraged and heartbroken over the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others which reveal a complete disregard for the lives and dignity of People of Colour in our nation. The racism that is at the heart of these incidents penetrates every aspect of life in the United States, seeding the terror that threatens communities of colour and disfigures all our human…

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Niger: Cross removed from mission of kidnapped priest

The cross overlooking the village image/SMAThe cross on a hill in the parish of Fr Pierluigi Maccalli, the Society of African Missionary who was kidnapped 18 months ago, has been removed. The iron cross was installed in 1995, the year of the creation of the parish. This is the same place where Fr Pierluigi Maccalli was kidnapped in September 2018.

Fr Mauro Armanino, Fr Macalli’s confrere, said: “They went on pilgrimage on the hill…

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‘How Great Thou Art’ voted all-time favourite hymn

St George's Cathedral, Southwark ICN/JSA poll carried out by CAFOD has found the most popular hymn that inspires hope is ‘How Great Thou Art’.

With religious services halted under the coronavirus lockdown, How Great Thou Art – a Christian hymn which has been covered by artists ranging from Elvis Presley to Susan Doyle – is the hymn people found the most hopeful at this time.

It was picked as the favourite hymn, beating ‘…

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The Holy Spirit – a Prayer Video for Pentecost

As we approach the Feast of Pentecost, parish priest Canon Pat Browne and visiting seminarian Patrick van der Vorst, from Holy Apostles church in Pimlico, central London, have released a new film of reflection and prayer to the Holy Spirit using Art.

The Holy Spirit is not a thing. The Holy Spirit is a Person. Someone we can relate to as one person to another.

As human …

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