Archive for the ‘FCJ Mission’ Category

FCJ Pilgrimage – Issoudun

July 29, 2015
The Hospice of St Roch

The Hospice of St Roch

Marie Madeleine lived in Issoudun as a teenager and among the stories that we are familiar with from this period of her life is one about how she used to visit the sick in the hospice of St Roch. Visiting there you see an image of the women at the foot of the cross carved into the wall outside, and inside is a striking statue of Mary Magdalene clinging to the foot of the cross. Seeing these images I couldn’t but be led to consider the impact they would have had on Marie Madeleine’s spirituality and understanding of herself.

Mary Magdalen

Mary Magdalen

‘The cross will be our rallying point’

‘My name is Magdalene. I will follow my patron saint who so loved Jesus, … as to accompany him in his journeys and labours, ministering to him even to the foot of the cross with the other holy women who did not like the apostles, abandon him, but proved to be his faithful companions…’

Equally as striking is the large modern statue of Mary at the foot of the cross which is in the sanctuary and frames the altar at the Church of the Sacred Heart in the MSC centre where we stayed.

This image shows Mary holding one hand up towards the pierced side of her Son, whilst her other hand faces outwards. Mary is depicted as a strong and still, she doesn’t shy away from the suffering. Instead she appears to be receiving from Jesus, and giving. To me it is as though His life is flowing out through her to others.

Perhaps this is a helpful image for each of us as disciples… that of placing ourselves in such a way that Christs life can flow out though us to the world. 


Laudato Si – Addressing the throw-away culture

June 24, 2015

pc-dumpIn the next few weeks I invite us to have a look as some parts of Laudato Si to consider areas of personal conversion that each one of us is called to. Pope Francis reminds us that awareness enables us to discover what can be done.

Following a period of irrational confidence in progress and human abilities, some sectors of society are now adopting a more critical approach. We see increasing sensitivity to the environment and the need to protect nature, along with a growing concern, both genuine and distressing, for what is happening to our planet. Let us review, however cursorily, those questions which are troubling us today and which we can no longer sweep under the carpet. Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. LS19

Pope Francis invites us to reflect on our current situation so as to allow the suffering of the world to become our own suffering.

One area that is addressed in the encyclical Laudato Si, is that of our throw-away society.

We have not yet managed to adopt a circular model of production capable of preserving resources for present and future generations, while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximizing their efficient use, reusing and recycling them. A serious consideration of this issue would be one way of counteracting the throwaway culture which affects the entire planet, but it must be said that only limited progress has been made in this regard. LS22

Change is certainly needed on a macro level, with industry and governments playing a key role. However we are reminded that the individual cannot abdicate responsibility and there are small lifestyle choices that each of us can make.

Perhaps as a practical step each one of us might consider the waste produced in our households each week. Are there choices that we can make with regard to food, clothing, transport etc that might reduce our personal consumption of the earths resources? Here’s are just a few simple questions that might provoke reflection:

  • Do we buy food with a lot of packaging?
  • Do we repair or dispose of damaged goods?
  • Do we compost or send to landfill?
  • Is all recyclable waste separated in our house?
  • Are we overly influenced by fashions – clothing, technology, etc?

The video addresses the question of manufacturing in a way that has less environmental impact.

Camino Companions

June 8, 2015

camino Companions Flyer 2The new FCJ Project in Santiago de Compostela has begun well. Srs Katherine and Marion are welcoming pilgrims and providing a place of reflection, companionship and sharing on the experience of having walked the camino. There is space to pray, to be quiet and to notice what has been important before returning home to busy lives.

Here are some photos!

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Freedom & Foundation – Week 1

July 1, 2014

God In All Things

This is Week 1 of Desires of the Heart, a 10-week series on Ignatian spirituality and prayer. The text below is meant to companion the audio teaching and meditation.Click play and feel free to follow along. You may also download a PDF this week’s “handout” here.

“This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored’” – Matthew 6:9 (GNT)

St Ignatius Loyola was considered minor nobility, but that didn’t stop him from leading a life of vanity, sin, and pride—being “of the world” he might say—indulging in gambling, duelling, and affairs. After a conversion while recovering from a battle wound, Ignatius began living a life of poverty and asceticism. He didn’t cut his hair or nails and wore shoes with no soles. His attachment now was not to vanity but to harsh penances.

Through prayer Ignatius learned that…

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The Chaplaincy Team in Santiago de Compostela

August 12, 2013


Helen, Lynne, Alan and Maryanne enjoying a break during the busy day meeting pilgrims.
Our t-shirts say “camino… it’s an in-going journey”, and today I’d like to pray for the people I met who are returning home changed by their experience of being on a Journey with others.

Days at the desk

May 9, 2013


Often my ministry is a very ‘out there’ sort of thing – I am constantly meeting new people and working at a variety of levels with them. Sometimes I am presenting something, giving a talk answering questions, other times I am working at a much deeper level with an individual, listening to their story, to their hopes and dreams. 

But there are also days when I am just at home, at the desk, working on the computer. My desk looks out to our garden and I am surrounded by trees and birds. It is a lovely haven really – a place to be contemplative. In the garden we have a pond too – and at this point of the year it is teeming with life – frogs, fish, water snails and countless other creatures that come to visit – the neighbourhood cats, a pair of foxes, and our resident robins all drop by regularly for a drink or a spot of hopeful fishing.

For me this abundant spot is a reminder when I am stuck inside at the desk, that no matter where I am, or what I am doing LIFE is just waiting to be noticed!



April 9, 2013

Isn’t it great the way we are all suddenly really interested in what is going on in the Vatican?  In our house we can’t stop talking about Francis I and what he’s doing for the Church, the world and all of us…What joy that we
are so keen on what is going on in the Church!  Francis has energised us all!  FCJs like Jesuits are ready to be missioned anywhere by the Pope for the sake of God’s mission.  While Francis may not directly mission us if we are opening to what he is saying and doing we can take our inspiration from his example and words…and go and do likewise…


March 27, 2013

As we move into these very sacred days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday let us hold our world and all its needs in our hearts and prayer…We walk the way of the cross with Jesus and stay with him all the way to his resurrection and celebrate the gift of transforming love given to us all…Uniting with all who are praying at this time…


March 12, 2013

conclave_2506270bAs the conclave to elect our new Pope begins let’s all pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire the Cardinals and guide them to the right choice for today’s Church and world.   What an historic moment in the Church’s life and ours!


February 21, 2013

What amazing times we live in! Who would have thought that at the end of this month Benedict XVI would retire from public life to make way for a younger man to take his place at the head of the Roman Catholic Church.  It’s a brave decision and one marked by true humility.  Let’s pray for Benedict and for our Church at this crucial time.  Meanwhile, let us look to the future with hope…God is with us and the Spirit continues to guide the Church…