Beggars for Heaven: The Inheritance of Jacques and Raïssa Maritain MBIT Day Conference – Wednesday 13 March 2024 – CALL FOR PAPERS A day conference open to scholars, students, lay and religious; to appraise the spiritual and intellectual inheritance of Jacques and Raïssa Maritain. Papers are welcome in any area relating specifically to Jacques or Raïssa Maritain, or to their unique complementarity. The conference aims to explore the legacy of the Maritains very broadly, emphasising ways in which their work still addresses the cultural, political, and theological spheres, in the academy and the Church. We intend that this conference is [...]
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So far Natalie Despot has created 28 blog entries.
Musings on the Readings for the Thirty-Third Sunday of the Year - 15th November 2020 When I am working with parish groups exploring how the readings for each Sunday are put together, I have fun explaining how the First Reading is usually from the Old Testament, it's purpose being to point towards the Gospel. However, this Sunday's offering seems to be, at first glance, far removed from doing that. What does a tribute to a good wife have to do with the Parable of the Three Talents? And how to weave into it the message from the Second Reading that [...]
A very Medieval Pilgrimage and the Power of Relics Evelyn Nicholson - April 2020. Since my own conversion to the Catholic faith some years ago, I accepted the idea of relics, but never really ‘got’ them, rather enjoying the reports that St Teilo had his mortal remains divided into three portions, so that the three monasteries connected to him would each have a fair share! This view changed in May 2016, when I learned through social media, that a relic of St Thomas Becket was being temporarily brought back to Canterbury Cathedral by a Hungarian mission, following reception at London [...]
A Tribute to Cambridge Professor Nicholas Lash Nicholas Lash, Norris-Hulse Professor Emeritus of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, died aged 86 at home in the early hours of July 11. His funeral is to be held today at noon at the Cambridge Chaplaincy, Fisher House. Nicholas was involved in the formation of the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology. Janet, his widow, says he was honoured and proud to become a Patron. Both Janet and Nicholas were pivotal in raising funds to purchase the Institute’s buildings which now house the Lash Library, his entire personal collection. Professor Janet Soskice, Chair [...]
Renovation of the Oratory The Oratory is the quiet heart of the Institute. It has the reserved Blessed Sacrament. It is space for private and group prayer and adoration. It has not been renovated for many years and requires decoration, re-carpeting and new furniture at a cost of £6,000.
Development of the chapel We want to convert the chapel to a flexible worship, library and public space During the 1950s, when our building was the convent of the Canonesses of St Augustine, the large chapel was used for regular worship and, on Sundays in particular, was open to lay people. Currently under-used, its proposed redevelopment represents Phase 2 of the strategic plan for the whole site; Phase 1 having comprised remodeling and expansion of residential accommodation completed March 2020. Detailed and costed plans have been drawn up by our architects to remodel this large open space and increase [...]
Social Action Projects Social Action Projects in prisons, detention centres, and police chaplaincy The Institute is developing resources for pastoral workers in prisons. ‘Flourishing Inside’ is supported by a grant from the Plater Trust until October 2020. This project will develop theological and ethical resources for pastoral work in prison as well as feed into Catholic social teaching. We perceive a need to extend this work into other areas such as detention centres and the police service. Scoping will cost £2,000. £3,000 will enable us to organise and host a conference and a further £3,000 will cover three seminars [...]
Centre for Ecclesial Ethics The rationale for creating this Centre is to help the Church at all levels to flourish. By drawing insights from professional ethics and examples of good pastoral practices, the Centre’s aim will be to address areas of malfunctioning, revealed by recent scandals, abuse and other crises in the Church, and develop frameworks for improving practice. The Centre is gaining significant support from ordained and lay people, pastoral workers and academic researchers, locally and internationally. The Institute received a grant for two years, to December 2021, to enable the Centre to establish itself and start preliminary [...]
Mary Ward and Cardinal Hume Fellowships Every year we appoint one Cardinal Hume Fellow and one Mary Ward Fellow to support experienced researchers or teachers from all over the world who would like to advance their scholarship by spending three months at the Institute. We provide accommodation, participation in the community life of the Institute and access to libraries, seminars and lectures in Cambridge. £5,000 will fully sponsor one fellow. The theological education of women is the Institute’s USP, and Mary Ward Fellows have all been women. 50 per cent of the Cardinal Hume Fellows have been men. Prof [...]