Parliament hears first hand accounts about the situation in Aleppo and in Pakistan. Wednesday November 23rd has been declared “Red Wednesday” – when Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral will be lit in red to commemorate the men, women and children who are dying because of their faith or beliefs.

DavidAlton.net

On Monday October 17th, at a time of deepening crisis in SYRIA and PAKISTAN, AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED  held  a briefing with eye-witness testimonies from two of their project partners.

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 PAKISTAN: ARCHBISHOP SEBASTIAN SHAW of Lahore.

Head of the largest Catholic diocese in Pakistan, he led the

Church’s response to the Easter Day 2016 Lahore Massacre

and other atrocities affecting Christians and other minorities.

ARCHBISHOP SEBASTIAN SHAWSISTER ANNIE DEMERJIANSYRIA: SISTER ANNIE DEMERJIAN of Aleppo.

Providing emergency help in areas worst-affected

by violence and acute poverty, Sister Annie leads

a team of volunteers who go house-to-house, providing

food, shelter and medicine at great risk to their safety.

ALEPPO’S Sister Annie Demerjian described the “death, destruction and violence” engulfing the city at a Parliamentary meeting yesterday (Monday) organised to highlight the work of Christians ministering in places of suffering.

Giving first-hand witness at London’s Houses of Parliament organised by Aid to the Church…

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Catholics Find Their Voice

The Next Right Step

rockwell-freedom-of-speech Norman Rockwell’s Freedom of Speech Painting

By Charlie Johnston

I have been to Washington, D.C. more than a few times – always in the company of politicians. This time, I was in the company of people of faith. It was wonderful. I had a great and lively crowd. Entering the belly of the beast, I was prepared for a significantly smaller crowd than usual – and the room was only set to hold 80. To my pleasant surprise, the crowd spilled out into the hall as we tried to find some extra seats. The volunteer dinner the night before had been marvelous – and our hostess made us an early Thanksgiving dinner. I found that if the Son of Man came today, not only would He find faith on earth, He would find faith in Washington, D.C.

While in D.C., I visited the St. John Paul II National Shrine, just…

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Comfort Through the Storm

The Next Right Step

cross-shelterBy Charlie Johnston

I first became aware of Dr. Peter Howard earlier this year when I read a piece on “Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Renaissance of Civilization” which he had published at spiritualdirection.com. It was the finest short piece on the subject I had ever read – and so howard-heroic-familiesI reprinted it here – and today reprint a piece he wrote on “Mary and the New Times of Noah” at the bottom of this piece. This spring I spoke at a retreat in Danville, Illinois with him and we got to know each other face to face.

Howard is a scholar both on Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as Our Lady of Tepeyac, and on the late Bishop Fulton Sheen. In the last year he, with the support and help of his family, have launched the project, Heroic Families, dedicated to consecrating families to the Immaculate…

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The coming Isolation and Desolation

Veil of Veronica

light in the darkness

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

We have entered into a time of chaos and lawlessness.  Hatred and vitriol are everywhere.  Terror is starting to reign.  Everyone is blaming everyone else.  I know we all fear.  People may decide to stay in their homes, and not go out, for fear of the hatred in the world.  But hiding brings isolation.  Isolation brings desolation.  There is nothing the devil wants more than to bring this desolation to your soul.  Many have already being feeling desolation.  Trapped in sin of wrath, pornography, addiction, adultery and envy.  Now we have added violence to the mix, a quickening of the isolation.   We are fighting powers and principalities.

For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil…

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I Killed Christ…And so did You

The Next Right Step

first-thanksgivingBy Charlie Johnston

 

I confess to Almighty God,

And to you, my brothers and sisters,

That I have greatly sinned,

In my thoughts and in my words,

In what I have done,

And in what I have failed to do…

(Public Penitential Act)

I am often publicly impatient with Catholics who promote the idea that angels will lead all the faithful to refuges, safe havens to weather the full fury of the Storm. While that may be figuratively true, it is not literally true. It is just a Catholic version of the Protestant doctrine of the Rapture that has sprung up over the last 200 years. (The idea of Rapture was first proposed by John Darby of the Brethren Movement in 1830). Both ideas posit that God is going to mystically take the good folks to a place of complete safety while all the rest on earth suffer through…

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In the Eye of the Storm

The Next Right Step

human-eye-stormBy Charlie Johnston

As this election season goes careening wildly towards its inevitable fiery conclusion three weeks from now, a little advice…

Large political campaigns get into a higher gear six weeks out. The last three weeks are an unbearable pressure cooker for those involved that I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been there can  imagine. I have seen more than a few candidates (on both sides) lose in those last few weeks because they said or did something out of frustration and the overwhelming stress of the process, itself. A rule I had was that we were to open no new avenues of attack or proposal in the last three weeks, but stick to the themes we had already established. As passions mount, people fail to vet what they desperately want to believe. Even when it is solid, judgment is diminished and it is likely not to be…

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Fatima

All Along the Watchtower

fatimaNB

Ninety-eight years ago today, in the Cova del Iria in Fatima, three peasant children saw the Virgin Mary. She would appear to Lucia dos Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto four more times, on the last occasion, in October 1917, a huge crowd gathered to see her, as rumour had spread that a sign would be granted. It was. On that day ‘the sun danced’, or at least that was what onlookers reported – the sun seemed to move, come close to the earth – some even thought (as men and women will) that the end times had come. It had not. Within four years two of the little ‘seers’, Jacinta and Francisco, were dead; Lucia, who became a nun, lived on until 2005.

Jesus himself lamented the tendency of mankind to demand signs, not least because it always needed more signs. Here is not the place to discuss the…

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