Tablet World

Ascending the Scala Sancta

16 November 2017
Louise Cowley's journey to Rome led her to the Scala Sancta, otherwise known as ‘The Holy Stairs’ that Christ ascended to be judged by Pontius Pilate, and located near the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.

Henrietta Cullinan describes her experience with ‘Invitation to Mission’, a programme project run by the Columban Missionaries that send groups of lay people to visit Christian communities abroad, in her case the Columban Fathers Mission Unit in Sindh province, south east Pakistan.

Over the course of the year, millions of people have made the pilgrimage to Fátima. Final figures for 2017 are expected to top the 5.3 million who visited last year.

Dressed in a pristine cream habit, battered shoes and carrying a glinting metal box of communion wafer, the nun emerges from the shadows to greet us with a weary smile. Today is the day of taking communion to the sick and old in her parish and we are going to make it twice as quick, driving her from house to house.

Reconnecting with God on Iona As the ferry pulled away from the tiny Hebridean island of Iona I ran a wistful eye along the retreating coastline.

St Louis’ in Brest celebrates a daily Mass in honour of those who died in the Allied bombing, using a chalice made with jewels once belonging to those who died.

A simple stone set just to the side of the main door into Canterbury Cathedral marks the start of the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrim pathway which stretches through East Kent heading towards the coast, and then onwards to Rome.

St Augustine’s was built by Augustus Pugin, arguably England’s greatest Catholic architect, to honour St Augustine, the Apostle of the English, who landed near Ramsgate in AD 597.

Rose Gamble from Gorkha region, Nepal On a flat section of riverbank a temporary village has been erected. A series of blue plastic tarpaulins have been stretched between poles to form roofs. Sheets of corrugated iron, glinting sadly in the sun, form haphazard walls and doors. Mules have ploughed the section of empty ground running through the centre of the village into mud. A little girl, calf-deep in cloggy earth, is picking her way across it.

I feel the profound heartbreak of knowing that St Mary's Cathedral, Marawi City, in the heart of Mindanao, in the Southern Philippines has been burned by Islamist terrorists. On 23 May 2017, the eve of the Fiesta of the cathedral’s patron, “Our Lady Help of Christians", armed men entered the cathedral while the Vicar General of Marawi, Fr Teresito “Chito” Suganob and a group of Catholic worshippers were celebrating the last Novena Mass.

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