Sr Orianne
Sr Orianne Pietra Rene fsp, 3/10/2023
Pray For Them...
Reflections for Corpus Christi
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 6/4/2021
On a day when we commemorate the institution of the New Covenant in Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, symbolised in the gift of the Eucharist
Reflections for Trinity Sunday
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 5/28/2021
“Deuteronomy” literally means “Second Law”. It is the final book of the Torah (Jewish Law) and re-presents the core of that law to people around the time of the Exile in Babylon and on their return to Jerusalem...
Reflections for the 7th Sunday of Easter
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 5/15/2021
As you can see from the reference to today’s reading we have returned to the opening chapter of the book of Acts...
Reflections for the 6th Sunday of Easter
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 5/8/2021
Although there are now only two more weeks left of the Easter Season we are still, on Sundays at least, in the earlier stages of the development of the Early Community...
Reflections for the 5th Sunday of Easter
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 5/1/2021
The Acts of the Apostles covers about 30 years of the story of the early Christian Community after the Ascension...
He is risen. Alleluia!
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/24/2021
The transformation from a cowered group, hiding in the Upper Room behind locked doors...
Conversion and renewal
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 3/18/2021
This is one of the most easily remembered references to a quotation from the Old Testament..
Conversion and renewal
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 3/13/2021
History is always being rewritten by different generations...
Conversion and renewal
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 3/5/2021
These Commandments, or literally, “Ten Words”, are unlike any of the other compilations of Mosaic Law in the Pentateuch...
Conversion and renewal
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 2/28/2021
Fr Nicholas King calls this story “the most chilling in the whole Bible”, and with good reason...
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 2/20/2021
“Repent, and believe the Good News.” This is precisely what we are about...
Easter Morning Mass – Mary of Magdala and the Two
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/11/2020
All four Gospels agree that Mary Magdalene was the first to witness the Empty Tomb...
Holy Saturday – a Day in the Silence of the Tomb
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/10/2020
Traditionally Holy Saturday is a say of quiet, at rest with Jesus in the Tomb...
The Easter Vigil
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/10/2020
Having prepared and lit the Paschal Candle and announced that Jesus is risen...
Good Friday – the Liturgy of the Passion
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/9/2020
Jesus is referred to as “the supreme high priest” in the Second Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews. He is described as one “who shares our weaknesses…
Maundy Thursday – the Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/8/2020
Love is the theme that links our three Readings this evening: God’s love for the People of Israel in setting them free from slavery...
Wednesday of Holy Week – Is. 50:4-9
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/7/2020
Today we return to the third Servant Song that we heard at Mass on Sunday. We are reminded of the need to listen to God’s word and to offer hope to “the wearied” ...
Tuesday of Holy Week – Is. 49:1-6
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/6/2020
In this second ‘Song’ the Servant is speaking for himself. He recalls his mission and the fact that God keeps offering words of encouragement...
Monday of Holy Week – Is. 42:1-7
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/5/2020
In this first ‘Servant Song’ it is God who speaks. We are told that God delights in the servant who is endowed with God’s Spirit...
Reflections for Palm Sunday
Fr Sean Hall, Hexham and Newcastle diocese, 4/2/2020
Naturally, our Gospel Readings throughout this week centre on the events leading up to, and including, Jesus’ death on the Cross...
Claire Howell, 8/5/2018
The priesthood and religious life are counter-cultural; they are not the norm in today’s society. The world tells us that we should aim for a life filled with wealth and material possessions – the priesthood or religious life is not going to deliver that lifestyle.
Claire Howell, 6/30/2018
Facebook’s ‘Memories’ feature is like having your very own time machine as it reminds you where you were, what you were up to and who you were with on that particular date in the past. This can be a great source of amusement (and sometimes embarrassment).
Vocation to Love
Claire Howell, 6/2/2018
In my own discernment, I have been reflecting a lot recently on the relationship between vocation and love. I have come to the conclusion that a vocation is a response to love, with love.
God, I'm Listening
Claire Howell, 4/29/2018
Vocational discernment is a time of closeness and intimacy with God. With raw honesty we present ourselves to the Father and tell him we’re listening; we’re listening to Him and to His will for us.
Praying Woman
Claire Howell, 3/24/2018
It is important that we reflect upon whether or not the noise and distractions of our society make it difficult for us to find Jesus in our everyday lives. Are we too busy to seek Him? Is today’s world too distracting that it is hard to find Him? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then we must challenge ourselves to do better.
Befriending the Saints
Claire Howel, 3/1/2018
St. John and his lived experience as an Apostle offers us an example of how discernment is a gradual process of revelation built upon a strengthening of faith. It may at times confuse us and it may bring us sorrow, but ultimately it will lead us to a life of unparalleled joy as when we give of ourselves in the service of God we fulfil our true purpose.
The Annunciation
Claire Howell, 2/1/2018
Hello and welcome to this new blog! I’m Claire, and I teach Religious Education in a Catholic secondary school in Scotland. Through this role I have the joy of sharing the Gospel with young people on a daily basis, and the privilege of accompanying them on their faith journey in coming to know Christ and his limitless love.
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 8/7/2017
Perhaps the most misunderstood word in the Bible, and one Paul seems to rely on in the letter to the Romans, is "wrath", as in "the wrath of God". Is God angry, mean, resentful or vindictive--or does "wrath" mean something very different, even if still challenging?
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 7/31/2017
In the suffering Servant song of Isaiah 53, God works through this despised, rejected and persecuted figure of the Suffering Servant, rather than working through the persecuting crowd. Jesus consistently made God available to people in this way, not only taking the side of the marginalised, but being made as marginal as possible through crucifixion. It’s not a total surprise then that the only way God would get through to Paul, or the only way he wanted to get though, is as The Persecuted One.
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 7/17/2017
Much is made of the fact that Jesus made no great missionary journeys himself. Some even take this as an indication that Christ had no great missionary intentions. Was Paul taking the Gospel where Jesus had never intended it should go?
Paul in prison, writing
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 7/3/2017
Paul wrote “letters,” but at the same time, they weren’t only letters...
Paul the Apostlee
John Hemer, 6/26/2017
Had Paul claimed that Jesus is Messiah because of his life and teaching, many could accept that. Had he even claimed that despite his ignominious death, Jesus was still messiah, a Jewish martyr, this too would be understandable within Jewish frames of reference. But Paul claims Jesus as messiah precisely because of the cross...
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 5/22/2017
Certain influential voices today claim that Christianity is something completely different to what Christ intended, and that it is all Paul's fault. Did Paul go too far in his ministry?
Paul the Apostle Deesis detail
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 5/8/2017
Paul seems to think of himself and of other Christians as "included" or "located" in Christ, but not as an isolated believer.
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 4/17/2017
If formerly Catholics seemed over-concerned with what happens after death, we find that now they often have little concern and only the vaguest ideas. And then, as now, people question how the resurrection of the dead could be possible. Paul speaks to all of this.
Paul and the Cross, Basilica of St Paul, Rome
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 4/3/2017
Paul, the Pharisee and persecutor of the followers of ‘the Way’, thought that Jesus was a counterfeit Messiah, whose false claims brought him to the kind of shameful and scandalous death that he deserved. Then he met the risen and glorious Christ...
Paul the Apostle by G Sciltian
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 3/20/2017
Paul was the earliest writer of the New Testament and the first ever to articulate an understanding of the saving death of Jesus Christ.
Conversion of St Paul Basilica of St Paul Rome
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 3/6/2017
"Metanoia" very aptly captures the essence of Paul’s experience and points to us the kind of conversion to which we too are being called today.
Paul, by Angelica Ballan, PDDM
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 2/27/2017
It sounds like a trick question, but Scripture scholars today spill much ink in discussions about the authorship of the Pauline epistles. Why would such a question arise? What are the most important things for an ordinary Catholic to know in this regard?
Paul and his Companions
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 2/13/2017
"Works well with others" is not the sort of notation we might expect on Paul's report card, but the record shows that he did, after all, work very well with others--if they were as intent as he was on the spread of the Gospel.
Paul the Apostle, detail of stained glass
John Hemer, 1/30/2017
The early Paul (Saul) believed that the promises made to Israel by God had still not been fulfilled, but that the countdown was on.
Paul with open Bible, icon detail
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 1/16/2017
How did Paul put together the history and sacred writings of Israel with the teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus? Was the Bible to be written from scratch, now that Jesus had come and made all things new?
Detail of Paul by Nino Gregori
Armanda Santos, FSP, 1/2/2017
Who was this Apostle sent to proclaim the Good News to the Gentiles? If we want to know Paul we must look primarily at the letters he wrote, which give firsthand information about his person and teaching.
John Hemer, 12/19/2016
Was Paul wrong about the "end of the ages"?
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 12/5/2016
It has become commonplace to regard ‘low’ Christology (i.e. an emphasis on the humanity of Jesus) as early and ‘high’ Christology (i. e. an emphasis on the divinity of Jesus) as a late arrival to theology.
Detail from the Altar of St Paul
Armanda Santos, FSP, 11/21/2016
1961: The city of Rome was celebrating the centenary anniversary of the Apostle’s arrival there. To mark the occasion, Alberione commissioned two altars for the Queen of Apostles Basilica. One altar was to feature a painting of Jesus, the Divine Master or Teacher; the other, his faithful disciple, Paul.
John Hemer, 11/7/2016
In the last five chapters of Romans, Paul draws some practical conclusions from the dense doctrinal considerations of the first half of his letter. It all begins with a statement which could be described as a manifesto for Christian living: I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Rmns 12:1).
Seeking Perfection 1
a parish priest, 10/23/2016
We live in a world that is filled with stress: stress to keep up with the standard of living, stress to keep a job, to cope with family, to cope with illness. But who says we have to be perfect in all of this? We have been brainwashed into thinking that we need all of these things, that if we don’t have them we will be a failure. Life has to be perfect and we have to work and work till we can have that perfection.
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 10/17/2016
An essay on the Letter to the Colossians and the new and bracing worldview it proposes.
Justice 1
a parish priest, 10/16/2016
Family, religion, society, all seem to be suffering a dystopian sickness that is the crisis of our age. People cry out for freedom and seek a self-fulfilment. Without justice in their life, who can blame them? If we don’t live justice, who will believe we have found it?
Solidarity 1
a parish priest, 10/9/2016
We can always prepare for disaster by building up our own resources. Not stockpiling food or things as in the days of the great fear of a nuclear war, but the more important things such as a solidarity among our neighbours, and sense of service of the community, the importance of integrity and justice. These are things that never go amiss. Who knows what will happen in the future, but we are not helpless before it.
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 10/3/2016
The surprisingly high vision of the Church in Paul's letter to the Ephesians has led many scholars to doubt Paul's personal authorship of this letter, but there is much we can learn from the image of the Church as Bride of Christ.
Politics again 1
a Parish Priest, 10/2/2016
A new breed of activists who are taking seriously the Church’s social teaching as well as its moral teaching. They at least have the courage to stand up and say something radically new is needed to save their country.
Special 1
a Parish Priest, 9/25/2016
What use is ideology if it remains only that. If words are never followed by action, then they remain empty and open to the accusation of hypocrisy.
Paul and the Cross, Basilica of St Paul, Rome
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 9/19/2016
What is the faith that leads to salvation, according to St Paul? Is it our "faith in Jesus", or the "faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2: 20)?
Money 1
a Parish Priest, 9/18/2016
Perhaps the modern insistence on the importance of individuals and the rights of individuals is a reaction to a long history of suppression of people in favour of ideas, but individualism is no answer to our world’s problems either. It too can wander around lost in the complexity of modern life without any real guide, it too can be dazzled by the promises of money and end up as just another form of selfishness.
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 9/5/2016
The Holy Spirit is the Power that makes it possible for each Christian to do what Christ did.
Everyone who can't succeed 1
a Parish Priest, 9/4/2016
For us the difficult thing can be that our lives are littered with failures as well. It isn’t everyone who can succeed. In the Olympics or Paralympics only one person gets the gold. We are not all saints.
a parish priest, 8/28/2016
When we are not afraid to acknowledge our weakness, when we no longer refuse to accept need of others, we are more open to the presence of God because we do not seek control and power over ourselves and our world, we seek the joy and hope of a love that does not abandon us or forsake us. We can deal with the confusion of life because we see the touches of a love that is present even in the confusion of a world we do not always understand.
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 8/22/2016
In Romans 6:11 Paul tries to get his readers to think through and act out the consequences of their baptism, of their having declared allegiance to another Lord: "So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."
Forgive a
a Parish Priest, 8/21/2016
If you have been watching the Olympics, you cannot help but be impressed by the efforts of the athletes and the amount of effort and training that they have put into what they have achieved. There is a great sense of achievement in our successes, but it does not compare with knowing the love that comes into our lives.
Olympics a
a Parish Priest, 8/14/2016
There is something very attractive about the dedication of these Olympic athletes, they are to be admired, but probably if we are honest, they are to be admired but also there is something in most of us that says it’s not for me. Most of us seem more content with a middle road in most of what we do.
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 8/8/2016
The Galatians are people who have been living by grace and some have come along and tried to persuade them to live by the Law again. What is the relationship between grace (freedom in Christ) and Law? Do we even now really live according to St Paul's understanding?
Information Technology 1
a Parish Priest, 7/31/2016
The internet is a constituent part of the age of the individual in which we are living. Educating the individual has never been more urgent. But who can we trust to decide on what our children are being taught?
Paul the Apostle, detail of stained glass
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 7/25/2016
Many modern-day readers hold the mistaken notion that the sequence in which the New Testament books are arranged in our modern-day editions follow the time or chronology of their writing. But the first writer of the New Testament was Paul, the Apostle, and his very first letter was addressed to the Christian community in Thessalonica (ca. 50 A.D.).
a Parish Priest, 7/24/2016
We live in a society where people are trying to figure out what is right and wrong, but differently from previous generations they are trying to figure it out without God’s laws or without any belief in God.
Politics 1
a Parish Priest, 7/17/2016
St John Paul thought religion had something to offer to politics and politicians. But that isn’t how many people see things, including many politicians.
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 7/11/2016
No one in the history of the world has understood and articulated the problem of Law and religion better than St. Paul, particularly in Romans and Galatians. But with this subject more than any other the opportunities for a superficial reading present themselves.
a Parish Priest, 7/10/2016
As long as we refuse to acknowledge the reality that sin exists, that we do wrong to God and others in sinning, that it is more than simply a failure for ourselves, we will never change our world, we will never be able to escape from a downward spiral that is afflicting the morals of our society.
a Parish Priest, 7/3/2016
We need something more objective, we need to realise that values such as truth, justice, and beauty, are objective, but we also have to acknowledge that they transcend our ability to wholly capture them, otherwise we reduce them to something under our control and so reduce them to a subjective reality rather than an objective one. That means that we have to have the humility to say not just that our knowledge is limited, but also that what we can know is limited, a statement that is anathema to
Barbara Davies, 7/2/2016
Join me on a virtual pilgrimage to a very real and unique place. We will find, like Bernadette, that someone is already there, waiting for us: the Lady who commissioned the girl to tell the priest, 'I want people to come here...' So as we set off, let us first be aware that we are responding to the Lady's own desire and to her invitation. Barbara Davies, 29th June, 2016
Image of Paul preaching
Armanda Santos, FSP, 6/27/2016
Raphael's depiction of "Paul Preaching at Athens" shows Paul at his parental best, patiently engaging in the process of religious formation. Like a concerned father or mother, Paul tries to meet these “children” on their own level, adapting his message in a way they will best understand while encouraging them in a journey toward acceptance of and maturation in Christ.
Power Struggle a
a Parish Priest, 6/26/2016
It was Christ who wanted to separate religion and politics. He wanted nothing to do with that human power and so he chose a different path, the path of service, a path without the power of the state, the path of the cross, because you cannot stand up for human dignity without persecution in this world, you cannot stand up for peace and equality without oppression.
Ancient Battle
a Parish Priest, 6/19/2016
Unless we are recalled from this madness of treating people as objects, as less than human, we will destroy our civilisation because civilisation is based on the premise that we are all human beings. When we have excluded some people in the past from our civilisation, then it has led to slavery or violence or some form of discrimination.
Paul at Miletus, by Teresa Groselj (detail)
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 6/13/2016
The Pauline mission, characterized by participation, collaboration, pooling of energies and resources, was a “networking in love” in the most concrete sense.
Mercy Heart
a Parish Priest, 6/12/2016
It was mercy and compassion from some people that opened her heart again.
A Sacred Heart 1
a Parish Priest, 6/5/2016
The real illusion is that through our intelligence and technology we have succeeded in dominating our world; we look to ourselves and are thrown back in on ourselves, rather than looking to the Sacred Heart and finding there a consolation of something greater than ourselves, but something that loves us.
Detail:Paul the Apostle, Tempio di San Paolo, Alba
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 5/30/2016
Paul retells the story of Jesus’ self-offering at the Last Supper as a solution to a concrete problem experienced in the Corinthian community.
Referendum Storm
a Parish Priest, 5/29/2016
What is important to us now seems to be about how comfortable we will be in life and what will maintain us in our standard of living or increase it even more. Once, the memory of war was still fresh in people’s minds, and peace and economic prosperity was seen to depend on community. Now that is breaking up, and it is becoming everyone for themselves: a reflection of a more individualistic society in which we are living.
The Bronze Mirror a
a Parish Priest, 5/22/2016
It is only in faith that we can see a clear reflection of the Grandeur of God reflected in Christ. Each of us is called to reflect what we have seen, each of us already does that in the way we live our life.
Paula and David la Fede: Paul (detail)
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 5/16/2016
We take it for granted that we have only four accounts of the gospel in the New Testament—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But then, what is Paul trying to prove when he claims that he had been “set apart for the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1)?
Holy Spirit
a Parish Priest, 5/15/2016
As Catholics we are called to live a different vision, one that comes to us from the Holy Spirit. There is a difference in being a believer in Christ, and hopefully as society continues pursuing its particular vision of love, that difference will once again become clearer.
Communion a
a Parish Priest, 5/8/2016
First communions are joyful and happy occasions. There is lots of human joy and excitement. But it doesn’t compare with the beauty of life to which your eyes can be opened when you let Christ guide you through life. The Eucharist can be the door through which we enter and see that beautiful world once again.
Paul the Apostle
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 5/2/2016
Throughout history, not a few readers of the Epistles have come to regard the Apostle Paul as a renegade Jew, antagonistic to his fellow-Jews. Some have even suggested that Paul, who described himself “a Hebrew of Hebrews” (Phil 3: 5), was himself “anti-semitic”! This misunderstanding about Paul's attitude toward Judaism became widespread from the sixteenth century onward.
Quality of Witness a
a Parish Priest, 4/30/2016
We need to find a way of presenting the Gospel to people that speaks to this fear and their need of control. That is quite a challenge because a cornerstone of Christian religion has always been that of doing the will of God as Christ did, even to death on the cross and there are some things on which we cannot compromise. But perhaps what is important is not about us getting everyone to believe, but about the quality of the witness we give to Christ.
a Parish Priest, 4/24/2016
God’s laws set the bar at a higher level, but when we get hold of them we confront them with our instincts and often we find ourselves doing only what the law requires and no more.
Paul preaching (detail)
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 4/18/2016
The paradox of Christian salvation is that though Christ shares our death in order that we may share his life, the believer can only share that life if he/she, in turn, is willing to share Christ’s death. This, in turn, reveals the mysterious fruitfulness of suffering.
Glad you exist a
a Parish Priest, 4/17/2016
Life is good, not just that it’s nice to be alive, but that existence is good. It is a culture of life, not a culture of death. It is Christian love. It is the mission that we received when we were baptized: to say with Christ, even as he hung on the cross, ‘it is good that you exist’.
The Joy of Love - Married Couple
a Parish Priest, 4/10/2016
The future for the Church now requires a greater depth of spirituality for everyone.
Paul the Apostlee
John Hemer, 4/4/2016
Insights from Rene Girard and James Alison shed light on what Paul meant in "God made him to be sin who knew no sin" and "Christ became a curse for us."
eye on future a
a Parish Priest, 4/3/2016
Mercy needs hope, and trust if it is to be welcomed into our lives; we need to trust that goodness has conquered evil and that its triumph will become more manifest in our world if we embrace the path of mercy. We need to hope that our world can change, that there is the possibility of something better.
New Eggs in nest
a Parish Priest, 3/27/2016
The cross and the resurrection go together and together they give us the meaning of our life in this fallen world. Perhaps we need to look again at how we live our life.
Paul the Apostlee
John Hemer, 3/21/2016
The whole of the New Testament bears witness that Christ’s death is sacrificial, but few theological ideas have been more misunderstood.
All is grace and all is mercy 2
a Parish Priest, 3/20/2016
We can blame God all we like for suffering and death, we can beat our own breasts and acknowledge our guilt for our sin and the sin of the whole world, but in the end we can do nothing about anything. All is grace and all is mercy. The cross shows us that, but we still have to wait for the resurrection to feel it.
Using power for good
a Parish Priest, 3/13/2016
The mercy of God is recognisable in that it re-establishes our communion with him and one another. We cannot avoid having power in life; it is not something to be frightened of, neither is it necessarily to refuse it, because it can do wonderful things, as long as we never separate it from mercy.
Detail from Moscow Cathedral, Paul the Apostle
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 3/7/2016
How many people distance themselves from religion because they cannot outgrow the idea of a god, who, like a policeman, is always on the watch for offenses and ready to inflict the severest punishment? Is this the image Paul presents?
Elephant in the room
a Parish Priest, 3/6/2016
We have lost sight of what is essential to us as human beings because we have believed that everything is about sex. So, this wonderful gift that is at the heart of who we are as people, has become something that is driving us ever further apart and isolating us more and more and making real communion harder and harder to believe in as a possibility - even as something to be desired. Instead of finding a greater communion, we are becoming more alienated from everything.
The Theory of Everything a
a Parish Priest, 2/28/2016
The genius of the Judeo-Christian tradition was to see that the order in existence was to be explained by the existence of God; creation was an expression of his goodness, of who he was. If we want to understand our existence then science can show us many things, but only in the person we know as God, will we find the answer to our questions, only in him will we know how everything fits together.
St Thecla, detail
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 2/22/2016
Contrary to charges that Paul was a woman-hater, the early Church cherished legends and stories of Paul's extraordinary women disciples, first among them Thecla, "equal to the Apostles."
a Parish Priest, 2/21/2016
Isn’t it strange, when it comes down to it, even when we deny there is such a thing, there nearly always seems to be an objective absolute that makes demands of us? We can call it Progress or some other name; it’s still an idol. I think I prefer a personal absolute. I’m going to call him God. Hopefully he’ll get in touch and offer some guidance.
Rushing Around
a Parish Priest, 2/14/2016
All the penances we take on, the extra things we do, unless they help us place God in our heart and find him there, we will have wandered off and not be standing beside Christ on the cross, or hear about the resurrection.
Paul in Chains, detail
Armanda Santos, FSP, 2/8/2016
In various passages Paul identifies himself as a prisoner, but how many times was he actually incarcerated? According to secondary sources, namely the Acts of the Apostles and the Second Letter to Timothy, Paul may have been imprisoned as many as five times, each imprisonment varying in duration.
a Parish Priest, 2/7/2016
We need the cross, and we need the resurrection, we need to be able to look and see that evil doesn’t win, that for all its power there is someone greater and more loving and more merciful.
Soar like and Eagle
a Parish Priest, 1/31/2016
Pope Francis said that, ‘No saint is without a past and no sinner is without a future.’
Sr Paul
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 1/25/2016
The story of Saul of Tarsus’ meeting with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus appears three times within the Acts of the Apostles. Luke has placed the three versions of the story at strategic points in his narrative, each time with the intention of drawing the readers’ attention to a particular aspect of Paul’s experience.
a parish Priest, 1/24/2016
Perhaps the Pope is right; perhaps more than anything else right now our world needs mercy. Maybe even instead of seeing God as the great threat to our freedom and trying to kill him off, we will realise he is the great protector of our freedom.
Blessed James Alberione
Brother Aloysius Milella, SSP, 1/19/2016
As the Daughters of St Paul centennial nears its official conclusion, one of the Founder's collaborators reflects on the essential place of St Paul in Alberione's thought and spirituality.
Measure Up
a Parish Priest, 1/17/2016
Mercy challenges our perfectionism and so opens the door to others; then it can begin to break down the walls that separate us.
Detail of Saul, Stoning of Stephen, Pauline Door
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 1/11/2016
St. Paul is one of the best-known personalities of the ancient world—the historian's dream come true. We have a better idea of Paul's life than we do of many major figures of the Roman Empire. We certainly know more about Paul than we do, humanly speaking, about Jesus, who left no personal writings at all.
What is the Truth
a Parish Priest, 1/10/2016
Christ’s Baptism gave him a truth to hold onto – you are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you. We all need a truth to hold onto in life. It’s time that helps us understand that truth we have already got hold of. Truth is a gift that we discover has been given to us. It’s not something we can find out there by searching for it. We have to hold it before we can understand it.
a Parish Priest, 1/3/2016
When you go to visit the crib this year, maybe you too will see that it is not only about the birth of a baby who was Son of God; it is also about you and your journey through life and love.
Paul Icon, detail
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 12/28/2015
John and Paul give two perspectives of the one reality of the Incarnation. For John, it is “putting on”; for Paul, it is “taking off.” For John, God becomes one of us by “putting on human flesh,” whereas for Paul, it is by “emptying himself of divine glory.”
Holy Innocents
a Parish Priest, 12/27/2015
The strength we need to show mercy, is the strength of knowing what is right, what is true, the strength of knowing that some things are really important.
a Parish Priest, 12/20/2015
We have a freedom to live and shape our world and not live in fear that there is something more powerful than us that wants to rob us of our freedom. Christ was born for our freedom.
Detail of Paul treasuring scrolls of the Bible
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 12/14/2015
How was a staunch Jew like Paul, without turning his back on his Jewish belief in the one true God of Israel, able to declare that “Jesus Christ is Lord!” (Phil 2:11). What force does this declaration have for him?
Christmas lights
a Parish Priest, 12/12/2015
In the deep mid-winter we need something to brighten up our days and put a little spring into our steps again
Year of Mercy: Home
a Parish Priest, 12/8/2015
Living well this Jubilee Year of Mercy
Rembrandt, The Apostle Paul (detail)
Armanda Santos, FSP, 11/30/2015
An attribute common to all of Rembrandt’s paintings of Paul is old age. As depicted in this painting, the Apostle is an elderly man, devoid of virile strength and grace. He is a lonely figure sitting in darkness, weighed down by layers of warm clothing. Rembrandt seems to have left nothing in writing to explain why the Apostle was a favorite subject of his, or why he chose to present Paul as older and vulnerable.
The Eucharist and holiness
Rev. Gino Valtorta, SSP, 11/26/2015
On this memorial of Blessed James Alberione, our Founder, the Postulator General of his cause offers a reflection on Alberione's essentially Eucharistic spirituality.
Detail of Paul (miniature)
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 11/16/2015
Pauline ethic may be summarized in three simple, yet loaded words: Identity informs behavior.
Detail of Paul (watercolor by Veneziano)
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 11/2/2015
For us today, “justice” only evokes images of a legal system—law, court hearing, verdict, etc. An alternative translation is “righteousness,” with connotations of moral uprightness, but this fails to capture the mentality behind Paul’s original expression.
John Hemer, 10/19/2015
Aside from a few facts, Paul gives us no direct information about the life of Jesus. This has lead some scholars to conclude that Paul had no interest in, and possibly even no knowledge of the earthly Jesus, and this view has in turn given rise to the idea that Paul’s Jesus is purely a theological construction with no basis in any historical fact.
Praying with movies
Margaret Joseph Obrovac, FSP, 10/6/2015
Paul VI commented that the divorce between culture and faith is one of the great tragedies of our time. That applies not only to high culture, but to pop culture as well. On the upside, a growing number of people are searching for a reconciliation of the two, with the hope that faith-life will become more credible and culture will maintain its soul. Here is a description of two approaches to wedding pop media productions with Scripture in a prayerful setting.
Detail of Paul by Beccafumi
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 10/5/2015
But Paul's relationship to the Bible isn't only that of an author.
Paul the Traveler
Armanda Santos, FSP, 9/21/2015
We who travel today in speed and comfort may fail to recognize Paul’s commitment of time and personal abnegation in traveling by foot from place to place. What drove Paul onward in his journeys despite fatigue and the hardships of travel?
Paul the Apostle, Orvieto Cathedral Museum
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 9/7/2015
If you’ve ever heard the exhortation, “Offer it up!” you were encountering a Pauline notion.
Paul the Apostle
Brother Aloysius Milella, SSP, 9/1/2015
Brother Aloysius Milella, SSP—“Br. Al” to us Paulines—is remembers what Paul meant to our founder, Blessed James Alberione, whom St John Paul II called “the first apostle of the new evangelisation.” (Br. Al would remember: He spent eighteen years in Rome as a general councilor, spending a portion of that time during Fr. Alberione’s last years, privileged to assist at his death.)
Paul with the Word
John Hemer, 8/24/2015
Paul makes it clear again and again that Christ was the fulfilment of everything Judaism tried to do, and one way to express this was to refer to Jesus as the messiah.
Angela Boffi, collaborator of Father Alberione
Margaret Joseph Obrovac, FSP, 8/20/2015
A second step in the history of the Daughters of St Paul as the tiny group of women begin collaborating in the publishing ministry of Blessed James Alberione. Eyewitness testimony from Alberione's young vicar, Blessed Timothy Giaccardo, points to the guidance of the Spirit.
The Ecstacy of St Paul, Coghetti (detail)
Armanda Santos, FSP, 8/10/2015
Writing to the Philippians, Paul declares that he has been grasped by Christ (cf. Phil 3:12), as if Christ had physically captured him by surprise. It is this “assault” that Coghetti seems to be alluding to in his fresco in the Basilica of St Paul.
Paul, detail (la Foresta)
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 7/27/2015
The first mention of a collection of Paul’s letters was found in a Latin document (165-185 A.D.) known as the Muratorian Canon, an annotated list of sacred Christian writings. Thirteen of Paul’s letters appeared in the list. Several theories have been proposed by scholars regarding the formation of the Pauline Corpus.
Thecla Merlo
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 7/16/2015
In its first fifty years of existence, the sisters of the Daughters of St Paul referred to their Superior General by an unusual title. She wasn't spoken of as "Mother" Thecla, but as the "Prima Maestra" ("first teacher").
Paul the Apostle
John Hemer, 7/13/2015
Perhaps the most remarkable thing in the New Testament is that someone highly unlikely to attribute divinity to anyone but God, i.e. a Jew steeped in rabbinical tradition, is precisely the person who makes the clearest claims for the divinity of Christ.
Last embrace of Peter and Paul
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 6/29/2015
Although Paul wrote frankly about a public disagreement with Peter, Christian art and literature have firmly and consistently kept the two together.
St Thecla, disciple of Paul
Bernardita Dianzon, FSP, 6/15/2015
The apostle Paul is sometimes characterized as a misogynist, and there are expressions in the epistles that could lead a modern mind to that conclusion. Scripture scholar Sister Bernardita Dianzon draws very different conclusions from her analysis of Paul's writings. (This article is being posted on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Daughters of St Paul.)
Young women printers in Susa, Italy
Ignacia Bunuan, FSP, 6/15/2015
The story behind the 100th anniversary of foundation of the Daughters of St Paul.
Mary, Queen of Apostles
Onorina Cruciani, PD and Sr. M. Martha Moss, FSP, 5/23/2015
Among the many titles by which Mary is invoked, the Pauline Family gives preference to that of "Queen of Apostles." For the Pauline, Mary is "Queen" of Apostles not so much as sovereign as exemplar; as one whose "apostolate" can never be surpassed, but always serves as a model, inspiration and guide. But why does a religious family with an ultra-modern focus on communications look back to a title that can sound so primitive?
Christ the Divine Master
Giovannamaria Carrara and Annunciata Bestetti, 4/2/2015
A characteristic of all the Institutes of the Pauline Family founded by Blessed James Alberione is their Eucharistic spirituality, expressed particularly in the daily Hour of Adoration made by every member. Sister Giovannamaria Carrara, former Superior General of the Daughters of St Paul, reflects on the place the "Visit" has in Pauline life.

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