New Zealand

Christmas, bah humbug! Was Scrooge right? Comments 0


The hijacking of Christmas by the forces of commercialism could be changing Christmas into humbug – “a fraud or impostor, implying an element of unjustified publicity and spectacle.” A priest in Ireland has come up with a radical solution – “Stop using the word Christmas because it has been hijacked by ‘Santa and reindeer’. “We’ve lost Christmas, Read more

Hāhi Katorika has not kept up with Māori resurgence Comments 0

Hāhi Katorika

Sister Tui Cadigan says being Catholic and being Māori are two sides of identity but many younger Māori haven’t found ways to reconcile the two. Cadigan is the chair of Te Rūnanga o te Hāhi Katorika ki Aotearoa (National Catholic Māori Council of New Zealand). Te Rūnanga is an advisory council to the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Read more

Asia Pacific

First female principal for St Joseph’s College Alafua Comments 0


For the first time St. Joseph’s Alafua, Samoa, has a female principal. Since it was founded in 1950 the principal has always been a Marist Brother. 44-year-old laywoman Susitina Maletino Levao replaces Br Bryan Stanaway, who resigned for medical reasons last year. A mother of one child, Ms Levao has a long history with the college Read more

Churches in Fiji observe Break-the-Silence Sunday Comments 0

break the silence

Last Sunday Churches across Fiji observed Break the Silence Sunday in a united attempt to break the culture of silence and shame around violence against women. This is in response to research conducted by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre which suggests that 64 percent of Fijian women aged between 15 and 49 have experienced physical or Read more


Depends on meaning Comments 0

When we were young, no one in our house was allowed to swear. Except Dad, of course. But his oaths were limited to “Damn” and “Hell.” We thought these words very daring and wondered if they were okay with God. Read more

Book review: an intellectual history of Francis Comments 0

A number of people close to Francis have been looking forward eagerly to a book out this week in Italy that is sure to lay to rest the myth that somehow, he lacks the philosophical and theological ballast to be Read more

De La Salle brother to be pastoral director at the Holy Cross Seminary Comments 0

Brother Mark McKeon FSC has been appointed as the new pastoral director of the Holy Cross Seminary in Ponsonby, Auckland. Recently returned from Palestine, Br Mark has been a De La Salle Brother for 35 years. He has been engaged in teaching ministry in Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. NZCBC President, Bishop Patrick Dunn, Read more

  • Features

  • The priest who died on a Vietnam battlefield

    Labor Day, September 4, 1967, in the United States was just like so many other Labor Days before: the last day before the start of school, a federal holiday, banks and stores closed, and people preparing to join friends and family for backyard barbeques. But some 8,000 miles away in South Vietnam it marked the Read more

  • Feeling guilty about drinking alcohol? Ask the saints

    Each year the holidays bring with them an increase in both the consumption of alcohol and concern about drinking’s harmful effects. Alcohol abuse is no laughing matter, but is it sinful to drink and make merry, moderately and responsibly, during a holy season or at any other time? As a historical theologian, I researched the role that pious Christians played in Read more

  • World

  • #Red Wednesday – lighting up for persecuted Christians Comments 0

    Tomorrow is #RedWednesday: the day the UK Houses of Parliament and other public buildings will be lit up in red. The display will honour Christians and others persecuted for their peacefully-held beliefs. The UK “All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief” supports #RedWednesday. The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need is organising Read more

  • Chinese paid to swap crucifixes for President’s portrait Comments 1

    Chinese President Xi Jinping’s portrait is replacing crucifixes and other religious images in parts of China. A priest says removing the Christian images involved officials giving money to poor households in return for hanging Xi’s portrait. Officials from China’s Yugan County in eastern Jiangxi province say Christians have “recognised their mistakes and decided not to Read more

  • Non-sectarian Bible Museum opens Comments 0

    A non-sectarian Museum of the Bible opened in Washington on Saturday. The US$500 million museum’s aim is to entertain and educate visitors about the Bible’s history and significance. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States and the museum’s co-founder, evangelical businessman Steve Green, were at the opening. Wuerl spoke on behalf of Read more

  • Father Solanus Casey of Detroit beatified Comments 0

    Father Solanus Casey, known as a miracle worker to “legions” of Deroit locals, was beatified on Saturday. The Capuchin friar, who died in 1957, co-founded the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Although he was a priest who wasn’t allowed to preach, he listened “with his ears and his heart” to the needy. His prayers and presence comforted Read more

  • Medical advances require greater wisdom, Pope says Comments 0

    The intersection between medical advances and human mortality mean we now need “greater wisdom” in evaluating the good of the patient, Pope Francis says. He was speaking to the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and European World Medical Association representatives who met last week to discuss “end of life” issues. “Greater wisdom is Read more