United Kingdom

St Asaph

Guyana Region

Port Muorant
Fr Chris Corbally, 74, is a British Jesuit originally from London but has worked at the Vatican Observatory since 1983. He has just had an asteroid named after him. The asteroid, designated 119248 Corbally, measures approximately 1 mile across in size and was discovered in 2001 by Roy Tucker, a retired senior engineer who had worked closely with Vatican astronomers. Fr Corbally has a wide range of research interests spanning decades. These include multiple star systems, stellar spectral classification, activity in solar-type stars, galactic structure and star formation regions and telescope technology. His current research focuses on the characteristics of human sentience in the context of evolution. Naming an asteroid requires approval from a committee of the International Astronomical Union. Of this honour, Fr Corbally said: “I’m not a kind of asteroid guy. For me it came as a complete surprise. That’s why it’s kind of nice.” To read about this story in more detail, click on The Dialog article here. For a list of asteroids named for Jesuits click here. 
The photo shows members of the Edinburgh Jesuit community adding our prayer and a public gesture of solidarity to the “Black Lives Matter” movement taking place around the world. At Mass on Sunday we prayed for racial harmony and for racial justice. We then gathered in front of Sacred Heart Church at the same time that people in Edinburgh were assembling for a peaceful demonstration in Holyrood Park. Like so many prosperous cities in the United Kingdom Edinburgh has its own history of involvement in slavery and its citizens are more aware than ever of the need to recognise that history and where possible to make amendments. As one example, the monument to Henry Dundas (Lord Melville) which towers over St Andrews Square will soon have a plaque at its base to remind people of his role in prolonging the slave trade in the 1800s when he held the office of First Lord of the Admiralty. Our own community of seven Jesuits represents a considerable diversity of national backgrounds and as we kneel in solidarity with the renewed call for racial equality we remember how human history has been tainted in every land by the stain of racism. Behind us is the image of a dove. For Christians it symbolises the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost, making of many nations a single people. For all of us it is the traditional symbol of peace and at this time of turmoil we remember that where there is no justice there can be no peace. In union with other churches, with civic leaders and community organisers and with all people of good will, we continue to pray for peace and to work for justice. David Pearsall S.J. 
Guide for walking out in creation. Pray as you go has added a new 40-minute prayer guide for walking out in creation. The guide was written by Iona Reid-Dalglish, a Spirituality Worker and part of the Jesuits in Britain family. Iona herself loves getting out in nature and enjoying God’s creation (see video). The format includes a time of preparation to get yourself ready with a moment of stepping over a threshold and setting off on your walk. Using the Ignatian spirituality theme of finding ‘God in all things’, listeners are encouraged to intentionally immerse themselves in their surroundings, staying present to this moment with God, before finally stepping back over the threshold to return home. We hope this is a really easy way to add prayer to your walking and a creative way to add walking to your prayer life. For this resource, we have also provided listeners the option of choosing a different voice to guide you through this extended time of prayer. The guide is available on our apps and website
Eight artists have come together to raise money for refugees fleeing conflict and those making life-changing pilgrimages. Book your place at the auction at Farm Street Church on 30th Jan! John Woodhouse has organised the exhibition ‘Journeys in hope’ at Farm Street Church Hall (entrance at 114 Mount Street) where the paintings will be shown for the next month and be sold at a special auction event at the hall at 6pm on January 30th 2020. All proceeds will go to supporting three charities: Westminster Lourdes Pilgrimage, Aid to the Church in Need and Safe Passage. As well as John Woodhouse, the artists taking part are Nelson Ferreira, Alex Roch, Teresa Newham, Pauline Barley, Mike Quirke, Norah McKeogh and the Farm Street Church artist in residence, Andrew White. Many of the paintings explore the themes of Syrian migration and pilgrimage. John Woodhouse – a retired librarian, organist and choirmaster – now organises the Westminster interfaith group and has become a keen painter. He explained why he felt moved to organise this ambitious event: “I really felt I should use my art to try and change the world and convey what I actually believe in. After hearing Lord Alf Dubbs speaking about safe passage for child refugees, I was absolutely appalled when I heard about babies being taken across the sea in open boats which could possibly sink – and I felt I had to do something about that. So that’s why I started to paint totally different subjects and moved away from portraits and landscapes that I had been doing. So that’s where the painting 'Safe Passage' comes from and the others followed on. “I then had a wonderful encounter with Elizabeth Uwalaka at Lourdes. Elizabeth is the Pilgrimage Administrator for the Westminster diocese who suggested the idea of an art auction and asked me to paint a picture about Lourdes for her – which I did and that lead to us being here today.” Nelson Ferreira will be offering a commissioned portrait at the auction. Nelson explained that his own travels had led him to take part in this event: “Before the conflict I visited Syria myself and couldn’t believe the hospitality I received from people. I was so touched by my connection with them that I felt I had to take part in this auction to help those who have fled for their lives.” Alex Roch is a regular visitor to Lourdes and sees a parallel in the spirituality of art and in the experiences of those visiting the holy shrine.” Teresa Newham's work also draws inspiration from nature, travel and the quirkiness of everyday life.  Pauline Barley’s work, Worship, shows Hindu women standing in a river during a religious festival: “This painting was a challenge to myself – the strong women dressed in vibrant colours standing in the tranquillity of the water with its reflections. I am so happy that it’s part of the exhibition – I couldn’t say no because I am so touched by the desperation people must feel when they are forced to flee from peril and danger. As a mother I am always asking myself what would I do in that situation.”
Jesuits in Britain together with 10 other institutional shareholders have taken formal action at Barclays, asking the bank to phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies that are active agents in driving the climate crisis. The group of 11 institutional investors which manage over £130billion includes Brunel Pension Partnership, LGPS Central, Sarasin & Partners and Folksam Investors. Coordinated by the responsible investment charity, ShareAction, they have filed a shareholder resolution at Barclays alongside over 100 individual shareholders. It will be voted on by investors at Barclays’ annual general meeting in May 2020. This landmark resolution – the first climate change resolution filed at a European bank – requests that Barclays publishes a plan to gradually stop the provision of financial services (including project finance, corporate finance, and underwriting) to companies in the energy sector, and to gas and electric utilities that are not aligned with the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Stephen Power of the Jesuits in Britain, said: “Climate change is the most pressing challenge the world faces. The Jesuits in Britain support the resolution to align Barclays with other banks taking steps to meet Paris targets, both in response to the increasing scientific evidence that effects of climate change are accelerating and for reasons of sound business sense. The scale of the challenge means large global banks should do all they can to help avert the severe financial risks that could result from a failure to meet the Paris goals.” Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, Barclays has provided more than US $85 billion of finance to fossil fuel companies and high-carbon projects such as tar sands and Arctic oil and gas. This makes it the world’s sixth largest backer of fossil fuels, and constitutes the highest level of fossil fuel financing of any European bank, exceeding its peers by over US$27 billion. Mr Power explained: “The resolution seeks to ensure that major energy sector companies take the Paris targets seriously but also that the finance and banking sector do not allow deviation from them.” In May 2019 a group of Barclays' investors backed a letter from ShareAction to the bank asking it to stop funding companies involved in coal mining or oil sands exploitation. The proposal also encourages Barclays to consider the social dimension of the transition to a resilient and low-carbon economy, as per the Paris Agreement. This makes it the first climate change resolution to include a so-called ‘just transition’ ask in its supporting statement. Investors representing more than US $5 trillion have already expressed support for the just transition. Given the systemic threats posed by climate change, and the rising regulatory scrutiny of banks’ resilience to accelerated decarbonisation and climatic impacts, this resolution supports the long-term economic interest of shareholders.
Spirituality workers from across Britain and Ireland gathered at St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre to attend a key training session on mental health. Speakers came at the invitation of Fr Roger Dawson SJ, Director of St Beuno's, to share new approaches to accompanying those suffering or stigmatised because of poor mental health.  Kate Dawson originally qualified as a social worker and has since gained 30 years’ worth of experience in the public sector and within mental health fields. Kate started a powerful conversation among those gathered about how self-compassion can in fact help others.  Steve Noone, a clinical psychologist, led a fascinating session looking at the effects of stress, introducing the group to mindfulness techniques. This included holding a raisin and noting sensations such as the way it felt, sounded, smelt and tasted, and then eating a raisin in a (slow!) mindful way.  Ellie Harrison, Spirituality Resources Coordinator for the Jesuits in Britain, said: "The course was very helpful and has changed the way I approach my work. While mindfulness and Ignatian Spirituality are different things and have different uses / values, there can be much to learn from both approaches to the way we live our lives. A deeper understanding of the experiential, whether an individual or shared experience, can help us to approach our lives in a more positive way and help us accompany others better."