Media Video

[Video] In the Beginning talk

The Drama Displayed
#1 "In the Beginning"

"In the Beginning":
Reflections on Genesis

First of the online series: The Drama Displayed

***The talks are made available freely with the request for a donation to support our costs.***

Please donate here:

A reflection on Genesis 1 and 2, on the nature of God and of creation, and on man’s place within creation. Supported by an examination of Michelangelo’s series of frescoes on creation.

About the speaker:

Stefan Kaminski is the Director of The Christian Heritage Centre. He gained a licentiate from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Rome, specialising in theological anthropology. Prior to that, he studied for degrees in Philosophy and in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has worked in a wide variety of parishes and in schools, as a catechist and teacher.

Q&A session:

Conferences Events

Integrating Spirit, Mind & Body [mental health webinars]

Integrating Spirit, Mind & Body
[webinars for mental
health professionals]

13th February & 13th March @10amGMT

Promoting mental health with Christian wisdom

Two webinars for mental health professionals seeking to unite their faith and practice

In partnership with

Integrating Spirit, Mind & Body is intended to offer a forum for Christian mental health professionals to learn from and support each other in their work.

Building on the fundamental Christian vision of the human person as a unity of soul and body, the two webinars will examine the relationship of soul and of body to mental health. Olivia Raw will examine the healthy attitudes and mindsets that are promoted by Christian wisdom and spirituality, and Elizabeth Corcoran will explore the benefits for mental health in caring for our body in a holistic manner.

Webinars take place at 10am GMT on Saturday 13the Feburary and Saturday 13th March. Please register at the bottom of this page for a link.

Olivia Raw
13th February - Thinking Christianity & Mental Health

Olivia Raw is an accredited and registered psychotherapist, who currently works in private practice in central London.  She is also a Catholic Chaplain at University College London and SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies.) Olivia has worked with young people for over twenty years, and is also on the international board of the World Youth Alliance. She is a lay member of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family.

Dr Elizabeth Corcoran
13th March - A Thinking Body, Embodied Minds

Dr Liz Corcoran has a passion for empowering people to restore their health through changing how they interact with their world. Through her own and family members’ struggles with health she was led to Functional Medicine. She graduated Royal Free University College London in 2005 and completed higher training in psychiatry. She has pursued further education with the Institute of Functional Medicine as a means to ‘come alongside’ her patients to help them make changes and improve their health. She also runs the only UK charity focused on medical research helping people with Down’s syndrome.


Please register below:

Conferences Events

Set Free Summit [online series]

Set Free Summit
for Young Adults
[online series]

7 February-14th March @4pm

Discover the Mystery of Human Love

An online course for Young Adults aged 18-30, exploring relationships and human sexuality.

In partnership with

The Set Free Summit is an initiative of ICPE Mission. Bringing together speakers from around the globe, it offers young adults an opportunity to explore the theme of relationships and human sexuality in the light of St Pope John Paul II’s rich teachings.

The Summit consists of six sessions held online. Each session consists of a 30-minute video presentation by one of the engaging and expert speakers. This is followed by a time for discussion and sharing in small groups, mediated by one of the ICPE Mission – CHC team. A final Q&A and closing prayer as a single group rounds off each session.

We invite you to sign up and join other young adults from around the UK and beyond, to engage with our fantastic speakers on the topics below. Sign up individually and join as a group.

Takes place from 4 – 5:30pm on Sundays, beginning 7th February through till 14th March. Please register at the bottom of this page for a link.

Brian Butler
7th February - Introduction to the Theology of the Body

Brian Butler is the co-founder and president of Dumb Ox Ministries, a non-profit organization doing chastity and vocation formation for teens and young adults.  He is co-author of Theology of the Body for Teens: High School and Middle School Editions and the director of the feature-length reality film, Mystery Trip.  Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of New Orleans and a master’s degree in theology from Notre Dame Seminary School of Theology.

Dr Mario Sacasa
14th February - Making Sense of Masculinity

I am a Catholic Christian husband and father, that’s my primary vocation and passion. I am happily married to my wife of 16 years, Kristin, and together we share the joy of parenting our four sons. For work, I have a private counseling practice in New Orleans, LA. I am also the Associate Director of Willwoods Faith and Marriage. At Willwoods, I offer lectures, retreats, contribute regularly to their blog, and host a bi-weekly podcast, Always Hope with Dr. Mario.

Kerri Christopher
21st February - Rooted in Feminity

Kerri Christopher, M.A., S.T.L., became the first woman in the world to receive a Licentiate in the New Evangelisation, 2012. As part of her doctoral studies at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, she researched the nature of gender and the vocation of woman. She also has extensive experience in teaching the thought of St. John Paul II, systematic theology, and issues of sexuality.  Kerri has taught at the University of Dallas, Texas, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, and at the Center for the thought of John Paul II, Warsaw, as well as at Oscott Seminary, Birmingham. 

Kendra Von Esh
28th February - No Sex, No Kidding

Kendra Von Esh was a Corporate Executive who thought she had it all—money, prestige, power and bought into the “me” culture. She devoured all the pleasures this world had to offer but nothing satisfied her desire to “Find Something More” and her life filled with stress, anxiety and never being good enough continued as the norm.  She bought into the lie that life was not supposed to be peaceful and loving … that it was stressful and difficult so party hard because life is short.

Daniella Grillo
7th March - Sexuality: Current Trends & Challenges

Daniella  was born in Bari, in 1973. She graduated from Royal Holloway & Bedford New College, University of London, with a Bachelor’s Degree in French. In Rome she got a Master in Tourism management. She speaks several languages. 

After working for a Rotary District in the South of Italy, for a few years, she moved to Rome where she is currently working for an international organization of lay missionaries who carry out evangelisation activities worldwide and humanitarian work in Africa- the ICPE Mission.

Fr Rob Galea
14th March - Music Heals Body & Soul

Fr Rob Galea is an ordained Catholic Priest and is currently serving in Sandhurst Diocese, Victoria after moving to Australia from Malta, his home country. He is a singer and songwriter with an international fan base. Apart from a series of recordings and CD releases, Fr Rob has also written a number of songs for various campaigns and international conferences.

***Admission is free. We kindly request a donation to support the costs of our activities.***
Please register below:

If booking as a group, please indicate the group size with the appropriate number of ticket.

Articles Media

The “Great Os”: the Advent Antiphons

The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst

The Great Os: The Seven Advent Antiphons

Have you ever wondered what the “O Antiphons” of Advent are? You might have heard religious or priests getting excited about these every year; the “great Os”, as they are also known.

These are the seven antiphons that accompany the recitation of the Magnificat at Evening Prayer, over the seven days from 17th to 23rd December.

Each begins with an “O”, invoking the Lord Jesus who is to come, with a different title. They were instituted in the 7th century, and each has deep theological roots in the Old Testament. Reading the first letter of each title (in the Latin) provides an interesting acrostic in reverse:

Sapientia – Wisdom

Adonai – Lord

Radix – Root

Clavis – Key

Oriens – Dayspring

Rex – King

Emmanuel – Emmanuel

“Ero cras” means “I will be [there] tomorrow”.

17th December - O Sapientia

“O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth.”

Wisdom is the explicit theme of seven of the Old Testament books, all of which personify her as coexistent with God.

In the Book of Sirach, she says of herself, “I came forth from the mouth of the Most High”: a reference to the creative Word of God in Genesis 1. This is the same Word through whom all things were made (cf. John 1:3): the Incarnate Lord, Jesus Christ.

In the Book of Wisdom, Solomon writes of her, “She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well”. Thus the antiphon picks up the long-held understanding of creation as, not simply a momentary act akin to setting things off, but a continuous and permanent act of holding all things in being. As St Augustine is keen to emphasise, though Christ became incarnate and therefore mortal insofar as He took on our human nature, in His Divinity He remained present everywhere and in all things.

Finally, Wisdom invites us to “walk in the way of insight”, following her invitation to her banquet (Proverbs 9). And so the antiphon concludes by asking Him who is “the way, the truth and the light” (John 14) to teach us His way as we walk towards the great Mystery of His birth on earth.

And so the first of the seven antiphons sets the metaphysical scene, pointing us to “the beginning” of both the Old Testament and the New, to the Coming of the Almighty One in human form.

Listen to the O Sapientia antiphon here

18th December - O Adonai

“O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai.
O come and save us with your mighty power.”

The word “Adonai” is a particular Hebrew term for “Lord”. Yet it is retained in the original Latin antiphon, rather than being translated to “Dominus”. The term is only used twice in the Vulgate (Latin) Bible. The only explanation for its usage in the antiphon is the author’s intended acrostic (see above)!

The first time “Adonai” is used in the Bible is when God reveals His name as “the LORD” to Moses. And so this second antiphon points us to the second essential thing that we, with our Jewish ancestors, can say about God: He is the Lawgiver.

The Latin words that refer to the Lord’s appearance in the burning bush are not taken directly from Exodus, but are a literal quotation from St Stephen’s speech in the Acts of the Apostles. Thus a discrete reference is inserted to the New Testament and to Christ.

The words either side of that phrase – referring to the leader of Israel and the Law on Sinai – are not found directly anywhere in the Old Testament, although they refer to Israel’s exodus from Egypt and to the Covenant formed with them. Equally, the last phrase, “Come and save us…” seems to refer to Moses’ song of thanksgiving after the crossing of the Red Sea.

So how does all this relate to Christmas? According to ancient Christian tradition, the revelation of the Old Testament was considered to be the Revelation, however veiled, of the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. The God Who spoke to our ancestors spoke through His Word, Who becomes incarnate in the Christmas mystery. Hence Catholic theology has always seen a spiritual prefigurement or foreshadowing of the New Testament in the physical events of the Old Testament.

The leader of Israel, the One Who sets us free from the land of slavery, Who leads us through the waters of Baptism that wipe away all evil, and Who forms an irrevocable covenant in His blood on the mount, is Christ the Lord: the One Whose coming we await.

Listen to the O Adonai antiphon here

19th December - O Radix Iesse

“O stock of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations; kings fall silent before you whom the peoples acclaim.
O come to deliver us, and do not delay.”

Today’s antiphon follows on from Exodus by turning to the prophecies of the Promised Messiah.

The first sentence of the antiphon is a reference to Isaiah 11:10 (“In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; him shall the nations seek”). It is also quoted by St Paul (Romans 15:12), who confirms that the long-awaited Messiah has arrived.

However, inserted into this reference to Isaiah 11 is the phrase, “Kings fall silent before you”. This does not relate to any of the glorious and kingly prophecies, but comes from the Song of the Suffering Servant, in Isaiah 52. After describing how this Servant will suffer and be disfigured beyond recognition, Isaiah adds: “kings shall shut their mouths because of him”.

So this antiphon, in its first line, succinctly refers us directly to the Easter mystery, forecasting the Passion, but more significantly, the exultation of the Servant that will follow, through His Resurrection. And crucially, as Isaiah already suggests, this Redemption will be universal: for all the nations, the kings and peoples.

The final phrase, “do not delay,” is a direct reference to a particular prophecy of Habakkuk, who is given a vision by the Lord. In the Jewish tradition, this vision, which “awaits its time”, concerns the promised Messiah. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the pronouns referring to the vision are changed to masculine (whereas “vision” is feminine in Hebrew), as a direct reference to the Messiah. The prophecy is then picked up by both the letter to the Hebrews and by St Peter’s letter in the New Testament, thus taking up this refrain again in expectation of Christ’s Second Coming.

In this way, the third antiphon at once captures both the historic manifestation of the Messiah, with His Saving Mission, and His future arrival with the renewal of the heavens and the earth.

Listen to the O Radix Iesse antiphon here

20th December - O Clavis David

“O key of David and sceptre of Israel, what you open no one else can close again; what you close, no one can open.
O come and lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

The prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 22, from which the first half of this antiphon is drawn, invests Eliakim as master of the royal household. This imagery is taken up in Revelation 3:7, in which Eliakim is replaced by Christ, the true Master. An echo of the imagery of the binding power of the key can perhaps be heard in Christ’s words to Peter in Matthew 16, in which Peter is given that power to bind and to loose by the Lord.

Into this phrase is inserted a reference to Genesis 49:10, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah”. This is a further allusion to the promise of a kingly Messiah, as made to Jacob: he who would become known as Israel, and the father of a great nation.

The second half once again refers us to the Song of the Suffering Servant. Isaiah 42:7 speaks of the Lord who has come “to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” To this is added “the shadow of death”, a phrase that is repeated twice in Psalm 106, which gives thanks to the Lord for His saving help.

Following on from the previous antiphon, “O Key of David” makes clear the saving action of the Messiah, His absolute power over life and death and His mission of Redemption.

Listen to the O Clavis David Iesse antiphon here

21st December - O Oriens

“O Rising Sun, you are the splendour of eternal light and the sun of justice.
O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

The fifth antiphon comes together out of a coincidence of literary necessity, the calendar and its relation to the previous antiphon.

Any literary-sensitive person will note the discomfort of “Oriens” following on from “O”. However, as with “Adonai”, “Oriens” in part serves to complete the acrostic that the antiphons form. Before despairing at such a utilitarian approach however, it has to be observed that the calendar comes to the rescue by providing an objective significance to this choice of words: 21st December is also the winter solstice. From now on, in the northern hemisphere, the Sun’s light indeed begins to increase and to rise earlier.

And this contrast between light and darkness, so aptly captured by St John in the prologue to His Gospel, also describes the relationship of this antiphon to its predecessor. The “Rising Sun” (or “Dayspring”, in some translations), follows immediately from the previous plea for freedom for “those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.”

Before returning to the repetition of this last phrase, there are the three, distinct, light-themed invocations to consider, all of which are grounded in the Old Testament.

“Rising Sun” contains a duplicate reference. The Greek word, anatole, was used to signify not only “rising sun” but also “shoot” or “branch”. Anatole was used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament in Zechariah 3:8 and 6:12, both of which are Messianic prophecies referring to the Shoot or Branch. When St Jerome translated the Bible into Latin, he chose to translate these texts with the Latin for “rising sun” – “oriens”. This perhaps made all the more sense in view of the fact that St Luke used the same Greek word, anatole, in reporting Zechariah’s prophecy at the birth of his son, John the Baptist: “the loving-kindness of the heart of our God, who visits us like the rising sun from on high.” “Oriens” was the more fitting translation for St Luke’s text, and thereby the antiphon reflects its roots in the prophecies of both the Old Testament Zechariah and the New Testament Zechariah.

The phrase “Splendour of eternal light” points us back to the Book of Wisdom, and indeed to the first of the antiphons. This title is used to describe Wisdom herself, in 7:26. Whilst “eternal light” refers to the omnipotence of God (i.e. the Father), the emanating splendour of Wisdom has been understood as a reference to the Son since the earliest Christian times.

In keeping with the theme of significant days, “sun of justice” is found in Malachi’s prophecy of the Great Day of the Lord, in chapter 4. It will rise “with healing in its wings” for the righteous. Although the phrase is not found again in the Bible, a third century AD text, referring to Christ in relation to the “sun of justice”, helped to cement the tradition of the Lord’s Birth as being around the winter solstice.

The second half of this antiphon again draws in the theme of shadow and darkness, which awaits to be dispelled by the light. “Those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death” is also a phrase used by the New Testament Zechariah at the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:79). In his turn, Zechariah is undoubtedly borrowing from one of Isaiah’s great prophecies (Is 9:2), in which “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…”

The antiphon thus unites our prayers to those of our ancestors in asking the Lord to fulfil this prophecy and to save us from the shadow of darkness.

Listen to the O Oriens antiphon here

22nd December - O Rex

O King whom all the people’s desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one.
O come and save man, whom you made from clay.”

The penultimate antiphon expresses a very Christocentric reading of the Old Testament. Unlike the previous antiphons, none of the Old Testament texts to which it refers are essentially Messianic prophecies.

The English translation loses some of the references however. The Latin antiphon translates more literally as, “O King of the people, and [who is] desired by them”. “King of the people” is drawn from Jeremiah’s speech, in which he contrasts Israel’s true God with the pagan idols ( Jer 10:7). The application of this title to Christ the Son seems to be original to the antiphon’s author.

The people’s desire, as expressed here, has also been subjected to some reinterpretation. The text refers to Haggai’s prophecy (2:7) where, in the Hebrew text, the prophet speaks of that which is desirable or precious flowing in. The English, and other vernacular translations, translate this to refer to “treasure” or similar. But St Jerome, in his Latin translation, instead personifies the desirable or precious object, giving it a Messianic interpretation. And so the antiphon interprets the Promised One, Israel’s own God in human form, as the true desire of humanity.

The universal sense of this desire is reinforced by the “cornerstone which makes all one”. St Paul, in Ephesians 2:20, refers to Christ as the cornerstone on which the Church is built. In turn, he draws this expression from Isaiah 28:16, which speaks of a stone at the foundations of Sion. However, the Latin antiphon then quotes Ephesians 2:14,, which refers to making both one (rather than all). St Paul is here referring to the “pagans and Jews”, who are brought together as one in Christ.

The antiphon concludes by underlining, again, that universality of both pagans and Jews (i.e. of all humanity) by reference to their common Creator. The making of man from clay refers to Genesis 2:7. It should not surprise us that the antiphon accredits this act of creation to the Second Person of the Trinity. St John’s Gospel reminds us that “all things were made through Him”, and several Fathers of the Church (particularly Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus) speak of the role of the Son, and indeed the Holy Spirit, in creation.

Thus, immediately prior to the imminent manifestation of the Christ-Child, this antiphon reminds us of the splendour and power that human form will veil in the Christmas mystery.

Listen to the O Rex antiphon here

23rd December - O Emmanuel

“O Immanuel, you are our king and our judge, the One whom the peoples await and their Saviour.
O come and save us, Lord our God.”

The final antiphon condenses the glory and might of the Lord, as announced by the previous antiphons, into the immanence of the human form. Emmanuel is the name given in prophecy by Isaiah to King Ahaz to describe the promised Messiah (Is 7:14). Meaning “God is with us,” it serves as a title that aptly describes the person of Jesus.

The references to “king” and “judge”, as well as the final invocation, “O come and save us”, are also drawn from one of Isaiah’s prophecies (33:22), which has as its theme the deliverance of Israel from its foes into the land of the King. The final “Lord our God” of the antiphon also emerges from a similar theme: it appears to refer to Isaiah 37:20, in which the prophet Ezekiel prays for deliverance from the siege of Jerusalem laid by the Assyrian King, Sennacherib, in 70BC.

So the meat of this antiphon expresses very succinctly a certain physical imagery of salvation, that of Israel and its earthly foes, whilst hinting at the hidden way – and thereby the real significance of salvation – in which God will save us.

This salvation is once again given its universal orientation by the phrase at the centre of the antiphon: “the One whom the peoples await and their Saviour.” Although the first part of this is a reference to the prophecy made by Jacob (who was renamed Israel) to his sons (Gn 49:10) regarding the Messiah who would emerge from Judah, the specific notion of a Saviour of all peoples is one that is more identifiable with the New Testament writings of St John and St Paul.

In this way, the final antiphon rounds off the three antiphons that form the acrostic for the word “ero” – “I will be”. The first four, which give “cras” (“tomorrow”), all referred explicitly to the Old Testament; whereas these latter three rely on the New Testament for their full meaning. As the 23rd December draws to a close and the Church waits expectantly for the birth of the Saviour at the next midnight, the last three antiphons have literally spelt out the immanent arrival of Christ, and drawn together the promises of the Old Testament with their fulfilment.

Listen to the O Emmanuel antiphon here

Stefan Kaminski

Director, The Christian Heritage Centre

How to support The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst

is a registered charity, established to increase access by the Catholic community to the Stonyhurst Collections.

Images from the Collections are kindly reproduced by permission of the Society of Jesus and Stonyhurst College.

The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst has built Theodore House to enable visitors, scholars, parishes, schools and retreatants to deepen their Christian faith.

Further details of how to support the project or to book Theodore House are available from 01254 827329.

Media Video

[Video] St Francis of Assisi talk

Saints, Scholars & Spiritual Masters
#8 St Francis of Assisi

God & the Crib:
St Francis & Greccio

Eighth of the online series: Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters

***The talks are made available freely with the request for a donation to support our costs.***

Please donate here:

In the weeks before Christmas, the final talk of Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters appropriately turns to St Francis of Assisi, who built the first crib on a hillside above Greccio, in the Rieti valley, Italy. St Francis’ love for the mystery of God’s Incarnation spilt over into his radical choice of a life of poverty and prayer, following in the footsteps of his master, Jesus Christ. His profound and intense spiritual life powered a charismatic life of preaching. Fr Gabriel Kyte, of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, offers insights into the Christmas-orientated spirituality of this ever-popular saint.

About the speaker:

Fr Gabriel Kyte, CFR is a Canadian national and was ordained a priest at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York in 2014.  He is a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and currently the Local Servant at St Pio Friary in Bradford.  He has a passion for Franciscan spirituality and uncovering it’s authentic roots in the character and life of St Francis.  His Master’s thesis was on the Mariology of Benedict XVI.

Articles Media

Christian Leadership Formation programme launched

The Catholic Universe | Friday 1st January 2021

The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst

Christian Leadership Formation programme launched for Sixth Form students

Stefan Kaminski

Government leaders are easy targets for our criticisms, however justified these may be. But we cannot escape the fact that leaders do not grow on trees. They emerge from our very own society, and their shortcomings to some extent reflect our own collective failures in educating and forming our young people.

 As Catholics, we have a duty to provide a solid philosophical and theological formation for those whom we wish to see safeguarding and promoting a Christian society. We cannot expect future government ministers and legislators to formulate and implement ethically-coherent laws that distinguish between morally-licit surgery and invasive operations, genuine rights and the demands of lobbyists, if we have not given them the framework for such judgements.


The Lord Alton of Liverpool is one of many who have long recognised the need for a greater preparation of potential leaders. When he founded The Christian Heritage Centre charity, he dovetailed his desire for such a preparation with the charity’s objectives.

The Centre is delighted to now announce the launch of its first Christian Leadership Formation course. It has partnered with St Mary’s University, Twickenham and the Catholic Union of Great Britain to offer a course consisting of three, residential modules delivered over a nine-month period. Organisations such as Alliance Defending Freedom and Catholic Voices, besides other independent, Catholic academics, are also contributing to the course, so that participants will receive a variety of top-quality input from experts in different fields.

“In an increasingly fast moving and complex world where decision makers have to grapple with ethical challenges, about which they feel ill-equipped to deal with, a course which provides formation, maps and sign posts will be greatly welcomed by many,” noted Lord Alton.

Applications for the course are now being welcomed from Lower Sixth students until the end of March, when fifteen students will be selected on the basis of their personal statements, recommendations from their school, academic grades and personal references. The students who will be offered a place will be those who are motivated by their faith to help shape and create a society founded on Christian values; those who are driven towards public life by a love of God and of neighbour.

The successful applicants will gather at the charity’s Theodore House, in Lancashire, at the end of July for the first, five-day residential. Two shorter residentials will follow in London, during the October half-term and the Easter break of their last year of school

Each residential will have a particular focus. The first will consider the prerequisite “Philosophical Foundations for the Common Good”, providing the students with a grounding in concepts such as human dignity, natural law and conscience. The bedrock of Catholic ethics, these concepts today remain mostly in name whilst their origins have been lost from view and their meaning substantially mutated. The course will seek to offer students the necessary vision and tools to engage both faith and reason in pursuit of the truth that is common to all people, and which is the only source of a genuine and common good.

 The second residential will offer input on “Human Life and Ethical Considerations”, covering a range of issues from the basic definition and understanding of human life, through stem cell research and end-of-life care. As St John Paul II noted, “A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members; and amongst the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying.” This second module will thus aim at instilling in our future leaders a profound sense of the full dignity of life at all its stages, and a clear, moral framework to tackle the continually-growing field of ethical issues around the existence and the nurture of human life.

 The final module will focus on “Applied Political Leadership”. It will examine Catholic Social Teaching in the context of the current political field, providing students with a clear, applied understanding of the purpose and role of politics as well as the essential principles that are necessary for a pursuit of the common good. One particular field that will also be addressed, which so many are particularly sensitive to today, is that of the management of public finances. Economic interests are often at the heart of political divisions, and yet the Church has long-since elaborated clear principles for the structuring of a fair and just fiscal policy.

Interspersed with the lectures provided on these different themes will be workshops on practical skills such as public speaking, policy making, political virtues and statesmanship. Learning and team-building activities, as well as social time, will complete a daily routine framed by communal meals, prayer and liturgy.

 The charity has been securing sponsorships from various organisations and trusts to cover the costs of the participants, in order to make this course free of any financial burden. However, the current pandemic has not made this process easy, and several places remain awaiting sponsorship.

 The charity will therefore not only be very grateful for any further support it receives towards meeting the costs of the course, but particularly for prayers offered for the course’s success. Please do also signpost your local Catholic secondary schools and Lower Sixth students to the details below!

 For more information about the course and for the Information and Application Pack, visit or contact

To donate towards the cost of this programme, please use the link below:

Media Video

[Video] St Benedict of Nursia talk

Saints, Scholars & Spiritual Masters
#7 St Benedict of Nursia

The Saviour of Europe:
St Benedict & Benedictine Spirituality

Seventh of the online series: Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters

***The talks are made available freely with the request for a donation to support our costs.***

Please donate here:

The seventh talk of Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters turns to the “Father of Western Monasticism” and his Rule of life, which  still guides religious life around the world 1,500 years later. Benedict fled Rome, with the degenerate and empty lifestyle that he found amongst his fellow students, to become a hermit in the hills outside the city. His saintliness soon attracted diverse followers, and set him on the path of establishing monastic communities and writing a Rule. Though these were not primarily centres of learning, Benedictine monasteries, and others following their example, became the repositories of learning and culture. Europe thus owes not only its monastic tradition to Benedict, but also the continuity of its development through the medieval era.

About the speaker:

Father Cassian Folsom, O.S.B., is the founding prior of the Monastery of San Benedetto, located in Norcia, Italy, the birthplace of Saint Benedict. He was born in Massachusetts in 1955, and has been a monk since 1979 and a priest since 1984. Fr. Cassian studied music before joining the monastic community of Saint Meinrad in 1974. He has served as the pro-president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at Sant’ Anselmo from 1997 to 2000. He founded his monastic community in Rome in 1998 and transferred it to Norcia in the year 2000. Father Cassian has been a consulter to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments since 2010, and is the author of numerous studies on Roman Catholic liturgy.

Conferences Events

The Drama Displayed: A Journey of Salvation [online evening talks]

The Drama Displayed:
A Journey of Salvation
[online evening talks]

14 January-25th March @7:30pm

Six talks, six moments in Salvation History

Reflections on key Biblical themes, illustrated with artistic masterpieces.

Online at 7:30pm every second Thursday, beginning 14th January. Please register at the bottom of this page for a link.

Stefan Kaminski
14th January - In the Beginning

A reflection on Genesis 1 and 2, on the nature of God, the mystery of Creation and man’s relationship to God, with the aid of Michelangelo’s series of paintings on creation.

Stefan Kaminski is the Director of The Christian Heritage Centre. He gained a licentiate from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Rome, specialising in theological anthropology. Prior to that, he studied for degrees in Philosophy and in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He has worked in a wide variety of parishes and in schools, as a catechist and teacher.

Dr David Torevell
28th January - The Naked Truth

The talk will focus on humanity’s first disobedience in Genesis 3, and the resulting experience of loss and shame, supported by an examination of Masaccio’s “The Expulsion”.

Dr David Torevell is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at Leeds Trinity University, before which he taught Religion and Philosophy at Liverpool Hope University. Prior to that he spent eighteen years teaching in Catholic secondary schools.

Fr John Hemer
11th February - A Great Love Song

A talk based on the Song of Songs: the great love song at the heart of the Bible. Following humanity’s distancing from God, the Old Testament tells the story of God’s loving approach to humanity, which is captured in the poetry of the Song of Songs.

Fr John Hemer is a Mill Hill missionary who has worked in Pakistan, Kenya and Uganda, as well as the UK. He is a scripture scholar, specialising in the Old Testament, who has lectured and taught throughout his ministry.

Dr Caroline Farey
25th February - The Greatest Gift

God’s approach to us as Son and Redeemer, in the person of Jesus Christ, is the pivotal point of human history. Several artistic pieces will be used to aid in a reflection on the mystery of the Incarnation and of our Redemption in this talk.


Dr Caroline Farey has taught catechesis, theology and philosophy for many years throughout the English-speaking world. She has held several important positions, having also been appointed by the Vatican as one of the lay experts at the Synod on the New Evangelisation. She has a passion for Sacred Art, which she has long made use of in her teaching.

Pam Moon
11th March - Signs of Passion

This talk will be based around the Turin Shroud, offering a very visual aid to the sufferings of Our Lord in His Passion and Death, as well as some insights into the history and study of the Shroud.

Pam Moon is a researcher and scholar on the Turin Shroud. She is the possessor of one of only six, full-size replicas of the Shroud, around which she has developed an exhibition. She has been lecturing on the Shroud and exhibiting the replica for many years.

Sr Emanuela Edwards
25th March - The Life to Come

A reflection on the Last Things, which are most vividly spoken of in the Book of Revelation, but also given concrete shape by the Gospels. Amongst others, Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel will provide an artistic aid to this talk.

Sr Emanuela Edwards is a member of the Missionaries of Divine Revelation, an apostolic community orientated towards the New Evangelisation. She has worked extensively with the Vatican Museums delivering tours and talks on Art and Faith.

***Admission is free. We kindly request a donation to support the costs of our activities.***

Please register below:

Events Talks

Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters [online evening talk] – #8 St Francis of Assisi

Saints, Scholars & Spiritual Masters 8 - St Francis of Assisi
[online evening talk]

Thursday 10 December @7:30pm

God & the Crib:
St Francis & Greccio

Eighth of the online series: Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters

In the weeks before Christmas, the final talk of Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters appropriately turns to St Francis of Assisi, who built the first crib on a hillside above Greccio, in the Rieti valley, Italy. St Francis’ love for the mystery of God’s Incarnation spilt over into his radical choice of a life of poverty and prayer, following in the footsteps of his master, Jesus Christ. His profound and intense spiritual life powered a charismatic life of preaching. Fr Gabriel Kyte, of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, will offer insights into the Christmas-orientated spirituality of this ever-popular saint.

About the speaker:
This talk concludes the Saints, Scholars & Spiritual Masters series

For the flier, please click here


***Admission is free. We kindly request a donation to support the costs of our activities.***
Please register below:

Events Talks

Margaret Clitheroe [book launch]

"Margaret Clitheroe"
by John & Wendy Rayne-Davis
[book launch]

30 August, 7:30pm [2019]

Book launch of "Margaret Clitheroe"

A presentation of “Margaret Clitheroe” by the authors, followed by questions, drinks & nibbles

“Margaret Clitheroe” is a fresh look at one of England’s best-loved saints. It includes an overview of England’s transition to Protestantism and Elizabeth’s role in the anti-Catholic movement of the time, as well as a consideration of the various claims to St Margaret’s final resting place.

Join us for a presentation by the authors, an opportunity to ask them questions and complimentary drinks and nibbles!

Books will be on sale at the event or can be purchased direct from the publishers.

Join us @10am on Saturday 31st August for Mass at Stydd Chapel

Stydd Chapel, according to various historians, is considered to be the most likely resting place of St Margaret Clitheroe.

By kind permission of the Revd Canon Brian McConkey, vicar of the Anglican parish in Ribchester, we will celebrate Holy Mass at Stydd Chapel on Saturday morning.

Mass will be followed by a short talk on the history of the chapel.

All are invited to join us on Saturday morning.




B&B Special Offer
Guests of the book launch are invited to stay overnight at Theodore House, at a reduced price:
*Single room, bed and breakfast: £40
*Twin room, bed and breakfast: £55

Please indicate your attendance and any accommodation requirements by contacting us at

Please register below:

This event has closed.