Living Theology, Loreto, Llandudno, 7-9 June, 2019

Book your place while there are still spaces – this event is very highly recommended and wonderful value!

Friday 7th – Sunday 9th June 2019
Loreto Centre, Abbey Road, Llandudno LL30 2EL

Friday 7th June, 7.30pm (Registration from 6.15)
Speaker: Theodora Hawksley CJ: Religion, Violence and Peace-Building


Keynote Speaker:  Theodora Hawksley CJ
With a choice of courses from:

Mike Smith SJ:
(1) Jesus Christ came to save us;  (2) Teilhard de Chardin – his life and work

James Crampsey SJ:
(1) The Sermon on the Mount (repeated both days)

John Moffatt SJ:
(1) A Planet to Heal: Achieving a plan for our world that is holistic and human;  (2) Three Reasons Why Medieval Islamic Thought is Really Rather Interesting

Suggested Donation:
£70 for the whole weekend (non-residential) including coffee/tea and a light lunch; £35 for one day; £5 donation for just the Friday lecture.
Please enquire about residential places.


For further information and to book, please contact Sr Ewa Bem IBVM at the Loreto Centre. Tel:  01492 878031 or email:



First Sunday of Lent, Year C, 10th March 2019

When you call, I shall answer: ‘I am with you.’

We begin our Lenten journey in the wilderness. In the First Reading, Moses reminds the people of Israel of the story of how they became a mighty nation. He tells of their years of slavery in Egypt, and how the Lord heard their cry. God’s people were led through many trials in the desert to the promised land.

The Psalm is a song full of confidence in the power of God, to help us endure the difficulties of life. We can imagine Jesus taking comfort from praying this psalm when he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. And yet it is a verse from this very same psalm that the tempter in the desert uses to test Jesus’s trust in God. The psalm reminds us that God is always with us, whatever trials we may face.

Luke’s Gospel account of the testing in the wilderness sees Jesus being tempted to use his divinity for his own needs, and of the possibility of seizing earthly power. Jesus shows that true power comes from centring your life on God.

The Second Reading reminds us of this teaching, and tells us that the Word of God is very close to us. It is deep within our being for all who believe in the saving love of Christ. We are all equal in that love, and we are called to proclaim this message of love in our lives. When we call on the Lord for help in our daily struggles, God will be with us.

Let us hold each other in prayer and pray too for our communities, that we may grow in our trust in God and deepen our prayer life in the coming weeks of Lent.



Third Sunday in Advent, Year C, 16th December 2018

The Lord is near!

This week, ‘Gaudete Sunday’, we are called to rejoice, for the coming of the Lord is near. At the same time, we are invited to live out our preparation in the details of our daily lives.

The First Reading from Zephaniah is a joyful exultation, because the Lord is bringing back Zion, his people.  God is in our midst and he dances for joy in his love for us.

The Responsorial Psalm does not come from the Psalter, but is a Song of Joy from the Book of Isaiah.  It is a joyful canticle of trust in the Lord and of thanksgiving for all that he has done for us.

St Paul, in the Second Reading, speaks of his desire of happiness for the Philippians.  The Lord ‘is very near’, so we need not worry –but trust in God who will grant us the peace of his Son.

In the Gospel this Sunday we meet John the Baptist again.  But this time we hear his direct teaching and advice to the different groups among his followers.  He also tells them of the One who is to come, who will baptise us with the Holy Spirit and fire.

This week, may we remind ourselves that the Lord is very near, in our midst, and that this is our joy.





Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B, 6th May 2018

God is Love!

The central theme of today’s readings is God’s unfailing and overwhelming love for humanity.

In the First Reading we hear of an incident at the house of the centurion Cornelius that marks a turning point for Peter and the whole church. The Holy Spirit shows that the Christian message is for the whole human race – Gentiles as well as Jews.

The Psalm is a song of joy and wonder at the salvation offered by the Lord to all nations; a psalm Cornelius would have gladly sung.

The Second Reading gives the best definition of God to be found in the Bible: God is love. This is the very nature of God: he acts in love and sends his Son to reveal the fullness of his love.

In St John’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us of the centrality of his loving relationship with his Father. Throughout his life, he is responding to the Father’s love and making it known to us. Jesus invites his followers into the intimate relationship that exists between Father and Son. As his friends and disciples, he invites us to go and bear fruit and to love one another.

This week, I pray for the grace to recognise that I can bear fruit in my life – and to respond in unique ways to God’s love. I ask the Lord to help me live my life through loving relationships with my brothers and sisters, and with the living planet.




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Praying Holy Week, 2018

‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’

In New Testament Greek, the word for ‘holy’ is hagios, which means ‘set apart, reverent, sacred, and worthy of veneration’. Throughout this Holy Week then, we may want to set some time apart to be with Jesus as he lives his Passion.

The reflections this year are built around a well known Afro-American spiritual, ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’. You can listen to it here.

Here are some other suggestions you may like to use during this week to help you be even closer to Jesus:

  • Find an extra 10 minutes in your day, perhaps early in the morning and ponder: it’s Holy Week.
  • Copy short phrases or one-liners from the Scripture texts of the daily reflections and stick them on your fridge door or your car dashboard. Change them each day.
  • Change your phone ring tone to ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’
  • Put Lenten graphics and the words ‘Were you there …?’ on your computer or phone.
  • Every time you’re reminded it’s Holy Week, send a short prayer to the Lord, and tell him how much you want to be there to support him.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble,
But I so want to be there.


WERE YOU THERE WHEN THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD? (booklet version to print)


Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B, 11th March 2018

We are God’s work of art

The readings for this ‘Laetare (‘Rejoice’) Sunday’ reveal the Lord’s desire to save his people.

In the First Reading, the exile of the people, and later their release through the pagan king Cyrus, are understood in terms of God’s judgment and mercy.

Today’s Psalm speaks of the desolation that is experienced when the Lord’s goodness is no longer felt. In exile, the people could not be joyful. They could recall the presence of the Lord, but only with regret at its apparent loss.

The gift of the Lord’s presence is given, ultimately, through God’s loving gift of his Son to the world (Gospel). God loved us so much that he has led us back from the exile of sin, and in bringing us to life in Christ, he has made us a ‘work of art’. Jesus is the means by which we are saved, so that we might live ‘the good life’ of grace in return (Second Reading).

Let’s pray, this week, for a greater awareness of the Lord’s wonderful gift, full of grace, that frees us from the darkness of exile to the light of joyful living.



This Sunday, the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent in Year A may be used as an alternative (please click here).

Third Sunday in Lent, Year B, 4th March 2018

Christ, the power and the wisdom of God

We continue our Lenten journey and join Jesus this week as he goes up to Jerusalem. Our readings offer us the wisdom of God’s law in the commandments, and Jesus’s forceful action regarding the true meaning of God’s Temple.

The ten commandments in the First Reading from Exodus present the Law as a freedom charter – we have been freed from slavery to serve our God.

Psalm 18 (19) is a joyful poem of praise for God’s precepts. It links the teaching of the commandments to their personification in Jesus – wisdom, truth and light.

St Paul in the Second Reading preaches a crucified Christ. This is an obstacle to some, but for Christ’s followers, through his death and resurrection, he is the power and the wisdom of God.

In the Gospel, Jesus ejects the buyers and sellers from the Temple and in doing so reveals himself as the true Temple. Like the Temple, he too, will be destroyed in his body, but will rise again.

As we journey with Jesus, may we find in him the true sanctuary, and perhaps the wisdom to know when to disturb the peace.



This Sunday, the readings for the Third Sunday in Lent of Year A may be used if preferred (please click here).