Notebook

Nativity plays – with their dancing snowmen and hilarious mishaps – remain a much-loved part of Advent in many schools. But some teachers are now finding new ways to encourage children to think about a deeper meaning of the season.

From John Lewis’s annual tearjerker to the Coca Cola convoy, Christmas advertising is huge business.

In her atheist days, out with friends in London, the poet Sally Read would often notice the tall red-brick Catholic church in Soho Square. One evening she wandered in.

The diamond jubilee of the ordination of Cormac Murphy-O’Connor brought a large number of guests to Westminster Cathedral and Archbishop’s House, Westminster, last week.

It may come as a surprise to learn that Paradise Lost, John Milton’s epic biblical poem about the Fall, was a hit in the Middle East when it was first translated into Arabic in the early twentieth century.

A newly-decorated chapel at Westminster Cathedral commemorating 40 English and Welsh Catholic martyrs was due to be dedicated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols yesterday (28 October).

Some stories about Scotland’s towns focus on the tribal hostility between Catholic and Protestant communities. So it is encouraging to read a story that has cooperation and amity at its heart.

The sight of a dapper, good-looking man in a cassock is a fairly common one in Rome – and it is something the Church likes, as it presents a positive image of the priesthood.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Fr Christopher Jamison and Irish Passionist Priest Fr Brian D’Arcy are among the voices selected for a new book showcasing the best contributions to “Pause for Thought”, a regular slot on BBC Radio 2, featuring on After Midnight, Vanessa Feltz and The Chris Evans (pictured) Breakfast Show.

JESUITS: 36TH GENERAL CONGREGATION
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