Current Issue

January/February/March 2022

This issue's feature article:

On synods
Anthony Towey

Many moons ago, I was involved in a two-year exercise designed to redraw the contours of Religious Education. This involved a series of fact-finding engagements up and down the country, a detailed survey involving over a thousand participants and a whole list of consultations with experts and policy makers.
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Dec 31 2021

Anthony Towey Many moons ago, I was involved in a two-year exercise designed to redraw the contours of Religious Education. This involved a series  ... 
FOCUS: FORMATIONMore than courses and groups: Christian formation in the parish
Philip Dyer-Perry writes that the concept of formation is central to any Christian community, including a parish. Formation doesn’t always have a  ... 
A season of discovery: Dimensions of priestly formation in seminaries
Pia Matthews writes about the four dimensions of priestly formation in seminaries, which aim to create an integrated whole and form priests in the  ... 
Not a crisis of vocation but of culture: Formation for religious life today
Gemma Simmonds CJ writes on recent research into the reasons for entering religious life and the challenges which new entrants face on joining new  ... 
LEADERSHIP & MINISTRYThe synodal pathway begins in the parish
Catholic parishes in England and Wales have been invited to initiate the process of synodality. It begins with listening, writes Patrick H.  ... 
Developing a Servant Leadership programme for Catholic schools
Sue Price outlines a school Servant Leadership course and considers the impact it had on the leadership style of those who took part. Part of my  ... 
THEOLOGY TODAYWhat does a scripturally centred Church look like? The Bible behind the God Who Speaks campaign
In this article, Fleur Dorrell looks at the Catholic Church’s approach to the Bible as the foundation for the God Who Speaks campaign. ‘We  ... 
Wisdom: Where shall we find Her?
John Deehan continues to explore the teaching of the Book of Proverbs, exploring how the use of irony and paradox leads to profound truths which are  ... 
Understanding the world differently: Catholic Social Teaching and the charisms of social action in Northern Ireland
Maria Power explores how a social action approach to Catholic Social Teaching can be used to transform society through the charisms of prayer,  ... 
SPIRITUALITY‘It was just like I was there’: Exploring Ignatian spirituality in prison ministry
Emma Nolan reflects on how Ignatian spirituality can support prisoners in recognising God’s movement in their lives. We had just finished a guided  ... 
Recovering paradise
Tilling the soil of our hearts during Lent prepares us for the blossoming of new life at Easter, for grace is the seed of glory, writes Robert  ... 
RESOURCES FOR MINISTRYPreaching and the pandemic
Online worship is a new experience for most clergy and people. Preaching plays a vital role in the immediacy of this medium. Good internet  ... 
Witness and preaching
Duncan Macpherson
explores the preparation necessary for preaching which sets ‘hearts on fire’.1 In 1994, Pope John Paul II published a  ... 

Breaking The Word
Weekdays in January, February & March 2022
These reflections on the weekday Bible readings are by Canon Mervyn Tower, parish priest of Corpus Christi, Headington, Oxford.

Saturday 1 January
Mary, Mother of God (solemnity)
Numbers 6.22–27
Psalm 66
Galatians 4.4–7
Luke 2.16–21

Over the past year, a worship song, 'The Blessing', has become very popular and can be easily found on YouTube. The first part uses the text of the blessing that Aaron is ordered to give. The 'you' in Hebrew is singular, which refers either to each individual or to the whole people gathered as one. The most important word of the blessing is its climax ...

Robert Draper is priest of Sacred Heart and St Aldhelm, Dorset.
Sunday 2 January
The Epiphany of the Lord (solemnity)
Isaiah 60.1–6
Psalm 71
Ephesians 3.2–3,5–6

The Benedictus antiphon for morning prayer in the prayer of the Church uses the word 'today' to tie together the three great epiphanies we will be celebrating over the next three weeks: the visit of the Magi, the baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana. We might regard them as chronologically separate, but the eyes of faith see them as together revealing the presence of the incarnate God in the world ...

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Michael A. Hayes 1957 - 2017


Michael A. Hayes 1957 - 2017

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Rev. Professor Michael Hayes editor of the Pastoral Review.

Many friends and readers of the Pastoral Review and The Tablet will have been shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Michael Hayes early on Easter Saturday.   Read More