Family and Lifestyle

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger works in a modest enough building just beside St Peter’s Square in Rome. Modest that is, when one considers the power and influence the cardinal wields in the Catholic Church worldwide. He is arguably the most important man in the Church, apart from the Pope himself. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the...

Our pilgrimage to Lourdes was a very peaceful and uplifting experience. At the very beginning we felt quite apprehensive meeting the other students, but soon we began to feel more comfortable, and we formed many great friendships during the week. On the first visit to Accueil Notre Dame Hospital, little did we know how helping the sick pilgrims...

Depending on one’s perspective, Bishop Michael Smith’s presence in Rome when the Second Vatican Council was announced was either a case of good or bad timing. As a seminarian at the Irish College in 1959 when Pope John XXIII made his surprise announcement of a Council, Michael Smith and his fellow students were immediately pegged for stenographer...

For over 1,000 years pilgrims have been coming to Lough Derg in Co. Donegal to pray barefoot without food or sleep. It seems like an extraordinary hardship to take on voluntarily, yet the same pilgrims come back year after year for decades, looking to repeat a sense of spiritual connection that they struggle to put into words.“It is hard to...

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, was born at Marktl am Inn, Diocese of Passau (Germany) on  April 16, 1927 (Holy Saturday) and was baptised on the same day. His father, a policeman, belonged to an old family of farmers from Lower Bavaria of modest economic resources. His mother was the daughter of artisans from Rimsting on the...

I propose that there are essentially four dimensions to the evangelical act broadly called ‘Sharing the Good News’.  Firstly, we acknowledge the existence of the Good News: the driving force of the act of evangelisation.  In this Easter season, when our liturgy is replete with accounts of the Resurrection, the Road to Emmaus and...

Anyone who has studied the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church will realise that the weakest chapter in the book is number 10 on ‘Safeguarding the Environment’. For example, the most serious problem facing planet earth today, and therefore humanity, is the wanton destruction of biodiversity which is taking place today. We are living...

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