- Strangers in a strange land
With the United Kingdom criticised for opting out of a European Union plan to resettle thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East, what should be the Christian response to immigration and does Scripture offer any guidance?
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- What is going on in Brentwood Diocese? Mark Lee
- How can the Reformation Jubilee be a celebration for Catholics? Paul Röttig
- What happens when you euthanase the mentally ill Sheila Hollins
A cathedral has hosted a three-day “healing mission” run by a group offering the charismatic style laying-on of hands.
In what was a relatively rare event to be held in a British Catholic cathedral, St Mary’s, Aberdeen, on Thursday welcomed the Little Way Healing Ministries which is led by Augustinian friar Fr Laurence Brasill and Pauline Edwards.
Over four days they hosted a healing evening, open day and after Masses on Sunday offered prayer ministry including the laying on of hands which seeks to heal memories and contribute to the New Evangelisation.
Little Way Healing Ministries said it would like to encourage parishes to set up their own healing programmes. Ms Edwards explained on the group’s website she was brought up a Catholic, lapsed but rediscovered her faith after the death of her middle child.
She and Fr Laurence started their ministry 15 years ago at the instigation of another Augustinian friar, Fr Malachy Louchran.
“When people are healed, often spontaneously, by the power of the Holy Spirit, they then begin to realise and acknowledge that Jesus is alive and walking among us”, she writes.
The charismatic renewal is well established in the Diocese of Aberdeen which is led by Bishop Hugh Gilbert, a Benedictine monk and former Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey.
In recent weeks Pope Francis has shown a willingness to deepen links with charismatics and evangelicals by visiting an evangelical church in Caserta, Italy. He also attended a Catholic charismatic renewal gathering in Rome’s Olympic stadium. And when the Archbishop of Canterbury visited the Pope in June he explained that the Alpha Course – an introduction to Christianity from the Charismatic tradition in the Church of England – was now in more Catholic Churches worldwide than Protestant ones.
The ministry team also includes Deacon Tony Schmitz, founding editor of the The New Diaconal Review and the diocesan magazine Light of the North, who has been involved in healing ministry with his parish priest Fr Keith Herrera at St Peter’s and St Columba’s in Aberdeen.