Friday, 21 November 2014

Canonisation of Kuriakose Elias Chavara

On 23 November 2014, the Feast of Christ the King, Pope Francis will canonise six blesseds and inscribe them in the roll call of Saints. One of these will be the Carmelite priest: Kuriakose Elias Chavara. The National Shrine of Saint Jude has a beautiful icon of this future Saint (pictured).

In 2004 a fire broke out in the Shrine Chapel destroying the murals which once hung there and damaging much of the other artwork. Happily, the windows and ceramics could be repaired, but the murals had to be replaced.

The decision was made to install icons depicting saints inspired by the Carmelite Rule of Saint Albert, in commemoration of the 8th centenary of the Carmelite Rule in 2007. The icons were written by Sister Petra Clare, a Benedictine hermit living in Scotland.

Fr Chavara was a priest and the founder of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. He is remembered for his solid leadership and is recognised for having saved the Church in Kerala from a schism in 1861.

Matt Betts

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Thoughts from our Chaplain - Christ the King

This Sunday, we will be celebrating the Feast of Christ the King. What comes into our minds when we hear the word King?  I always imagine a palace, the fine robes and the crown jewels, a royal court peopled by the rich and the good. I suspect that most people would think the same or similar. What about Christ the King?  His palace was a stable in Bethlehem; his fine robes were a used cloak thrown round his shoulders as the soldiers mocked him; his crown jewels were a twisted wreath of thorns; his court was a gathering of fishermen and tax collectors - the outcasts of society.

This is hardly what the people of Israel expected of their Messiah, as they flocked to him full of hopes and anticipation for the downfall of the Roman authorities.  Unfortunately they had totally misunderstood what this kingship of the Messiah was to be.  He was to be the ‘servant king’, the suffering servant of Isaiah and his kingdom was to be ‘not of this world’ (Jn 18:36).  He is to be a Shepherd King caring for his flock. He is to be a healing king, a pastor who searches for and finds his lost sheep. This is to be a king who is filled with compassion who is even willing to die for the welfare of his flock.  Unlike the king they expect, He takes the cloak, wears the thorns and arrayed in the jewel-like blood of his scourging, he walks to his destiny carrying the instrument of his death.

As we celebrate this Feast, maybe we can ask ourselves, each and every one of us, how can I follow this King?  Well the way He teaches is to be like Him, to be compassionate, to care for the needy, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, support the outcasts and stand up for those deprived of justice.  These are steps we take towards his Kingdom, by becoming each day, a little more Christ-like.

Fr Michael Manning, O.Carm - Chaplain to the National Shrine of Saint Jude

Monday, 17 November 2014

Help us through the Giving Machine this Christmas

Are you purchasing presents for your friends and family online? If so, you could help raise money for the National Shrine of Saint Jude and the Order of Carmelites every time you make a purchase – at no cost to you! All you need to do is sign up to our Giving Machine page, here, and add the National Shrine of Saint Jude as one of your beneficiaries. 

Or, alternatively, you can send us an email to, and we'll do it for you!

You can then shop via the Giving Machine at any of the 400+ top on-line shops who have teamed up with them. Each of those shops then gives a donation to the Shrine, so we can support the Carmelites for many years to come. All those who join up with the Giving Machine and add the Shrine will be entered into a draw to win some gifts from the Shrine. Thank you

THANK YOU to our 44 friends who have already signed up!