On 24th March, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero went to the Divine Providence Hospital in San Salvador to celebrate Mass. As he finished his homily, inviting his congregation to prayer, a shot rang out through the church, and Romero slumped to the ground, a bullet in his heart. He died soon after.

“Romero was a remarkable figure, not just for the tragic circumstances of his martyrdom, but also for the depth of his teaching,” says Fr Ashley Beck, author of the newly revised CTS booklet on Romero. “The essence of his teaching can be seen in the words of his final Sunday Homily, given the day before his death:

“I have been trying during these Sundays of Lent to uncover in divine revelation, in the word read here at Mass, God’s programme to save peoples and individuals. Today, where history offers our people various proposals, we can say with assurance: the programme that better reflects God’s programme will prevail. And this is the Church’s mission, and so, in the light of God’s word revealing God’s plan for the happiness of peoples, we have the duty of also pointing out the realities, of seeing how God’s plan is reflected among us or despised among us. Let no one take it ill that in the light of God’s words read in our Mass we illuminate social, political and economic realities. If we did not, this would not be our own Christianity. It is thus that Christ willed to become incarnate, so that the light that he brings from the Father may become the life of people and of nations. I know that many are scandalised at what I say and charge that it forsakes the preaching of the gospel to meddle in politics. I do not accept that accusation. No, I strive that we may not just have on paper and study in theory all that Vatican Council II and the meetings at Medellín and Puebla have tried to further in us, but that we may live it and interpret it in this conflict-ridden reality, preaching the gospel as it should be preached for our people. I ask the Lord during the week, while I gather the people’s cries and the sorrow stemming from so much crime, the ignominy of so much violence, to give me the fitting word to console, to denounce, to call to repentance. And though I continue to be a voice that cries in the desert, I know that the Church is making the effort to fulfill its mission.””

For Romero, continues Fr Beck, “campaigning for social justice and denouncing injustice were part of the Church’s witness”. He had a great love for his people, who were suffering under violence and oppression, and he saw it as his duty to stand up to these injustices happening around him.  This was the essence of his ministry and teaching, and the reason why this humble, holy and courageous man has become an inspiration to so many millions of people.

Oscar Romero is to be beatified on Saturday 23rd May, and some 300,000 people are expected to attend the Mass in Salvador del Mundo Square in El Salvador.

To find out more about Oscar Romero, his life and teachings, you can buy the newly revised booklet Oscar Romero: Martyr for Faith from CTS for £2.50. Read a preview below:

Facing Difficulties in Christian Family Life

On Friday 20th March in the Diocese of Westminster, Dr Peter Kahn will be giving the keynote address at the Annual Theology of the Body Lecture. We spoke to Dr Kahn, who is also a CTS author and editor of the popular Family Matters series, about his latest CTS booklet Facing Difficulties in Christian Family Life.

CTS: What inspired you to write this title?  

Dr Peter Kahn: Families face many difficulties in today’s world. It is heart-breaking to see friends and acquaintances suffer in so many ways , as well as to realise how widespread difficulties are felt in family life. The task of responding to these difficulties is not something that we can just leave to others.

CTS: This is a challenging subject to discuss. How have you approached it? 

Dr Peter Kahn:  We cannot control our circumstances, but this booklet suggests that even when we encounter difficulties it is still possible to find fulfilment that is both concrete and real. The booklet looks at conflicts in the family, as well as at difficulties that are linked to suffering and death. It addresses challenges that arise from providing for one’s family and living in society with others. The booklet doesn’t provide a straightforward happy ending to these difficulties. Rather, it draws attention to ways that God has helped families in the past, exploring how it is possible to experience difficult family circumstances in ways that do not involve us giving in to despair and bitterness. The booklet principally does this by offering a range of stories and testimonies on family life, as well as by looking at the wisdom of the Bible. When human frailty and sin come together, then suffering is intense indeed. But if we long for Christ to reach out to us in our difficulties, then he will not abandon us.

CTS: How does this booklet tie in with the wider discussion of family life in the church and the world today?

Dr Peter Kahn: The Catholic Church is presently struggling to find ways to reach out to those who are experiencing difficulties within families. At this stage of proceedings the debate is either being held at one distance removed from those actually facing the difficulties, or it is played out in the media from a secular perspective. This booklet is directly addressed to those who are facing difficulties in their families, and it tackles the issues from a perspective that takes faith into account. God sees our difficulties from a different angle – every difficultly can become a means to encounter Christ. He can reach out to us and replace our despair and bitterness with wonder, even when the difficulty itself remains.

CTS: What do you hope people will take away from reading this booklet? 

Dr Peter Kahn: I hope that this booklet will provide some encouragement to family members in the difficulties that they experience, as they realise that even in such situations they can still be generous to others and find life. I hope also that it will encourage others in the church to proclaim a message of hope before the sea of challenges that families face across the world, and to assist in framing  responses that present Christianity not as an unrealisable ideal, but as something that is liveable and fulfilling. 


Facing Difficulties in Christian Family Life is available now from CTS for £2.50.  Dr Peter Kahn will also be giving the keynote address on this topic at the annual Theology of the Body Conference on Friday 20th March – click here for details.

You can read an extract from Facing Difficulties in Christian Family Life below:


Of Related Interest:

9781784690397 Pure Womanhood – Every girl longs for love, but many have already given up. In Pure Womanhood, Crystalina Evert restores a woman’s hope. By her powerful testimony and honest words of wisdom, she shows that real love is possible, regardless of the past. Evert answers the most common issues girls can face when it comes to sex, love and dating, including… “Guys don’t want a pure girl.” “Nobody’s getting hurt.” “It’s all fun and games.” “It’s my body. It’s my choice.” “If I say no, I might lose him.” “I can’t be alone.” “It’s too late for me.”
978784690380 Pure Manhood – Every day boys and young men are bombarded with messages and images that encourage them to make sexual impurity a way of life. And since it looks like so much fun, they can easily be made to feel as if they’re foolishly missing out on something really great. Jason Evert’s Pure Manhood will help them to see things in a new light. Best of all, it will give them the spiritual tools they need to stay pure—or to return to purity.

Click here for more CTS books about Marriage and Family Life 



Starting on Friday 20th February, we will be praying St Louis Marie de Montfort’s celebrated 33 Day Consecration to Jesus Through Mary, and we would like to share that journey with you.

A beautiful devotion with a long and respected history, these prayers and reflections have changed lives and transformed hearts and you too can benefit from this devotion which has deepened the faith of so many.

In the 33 Days leading up to the Feast of the Annunciation, people across the world will be praying this devotion, and we are inviting you to join them.




Click here to join our special mailing list and receive prayers and reflections straight to your inbox each day for the duration of the 33 Day Consecration to Jesus Through Mary.


We suggest that you also buy a copy of the booklet, which is only £2.50 and will guide you through the consecration with prayers, reflections and readings for each day, giving you a physical companion for your spiritual journey.

Click here to order online or call us on 0207 640 0042. Why not buy an extra copy for a friend?


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A Message from Joanna Bogle, CTS Author and part of the Catholic Women of the Year Committee 2015

Nominations are now open for the Catholic Women of the Year: any Catholic woman can be nominated and it only requires a letter listing the reasons why she should be put forward for this honour. We are looking for the “unsung heroines” – women who care for the frail and elderly, who teach children the Catholic faith in schools or parishes, visit prisons, raise funds for charity, or are involved in community projects… women who are good neighbours, who defend and uphold Christian values, who care for the common good…women who are married or single, or vowed in religious service, women in all walks of life. 

The Catholic Women of the Year Luncheon is a popular event, held now for over 40 years. The four Catholic Women of the Year are chosen by secret ballot by a committee drawn from representatives of Catholic organisations in Britain. There is no actual award – just a special welcome at the Luncheon, which seeks to celebrate and honour the contribution made by Catholic women to the life and work of the Church in Britain.

Nominations should be sent, by email to the Chairman, Mrs J. Woodford at mijamaajoje@ntlworld.com or by post to 22 Milton Road WARE SG12 0PZ  before April 10th 2015. The letter doesn’t have to be long or elaborate. Please make sure it includes your full name and an address/tel number at which we can contact you!

Joanna Bogle

Catholic Women of the Year Committee 2015


Of Related Interest:

Do830 The Special Gift of Women – We live in a world which has many confused ideas about gender and seeks to play down any difference between the sexes; yet it is by their very difference that men and women enrich each other’s lives. This beautiful booklet considers the gifts that God has entrusted to woman in particular, and the gifts which she can give for God’s glory, for the good of those whose lives she touches, and for her own happiness.



All of us at CTS would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and holy Christmas, and every blessing for the new year.

We also wanted to take this opportunity to remember the wonderful words of Pope Francis at his first Christmas Mass as Pope, a year ago today:

“Together with the shepherds, let us pause before the child , let us pause in silence. Together with them, let us thank the Lord for having given Jesus to us, and with them let us raise from the depths of our hearts the praises of his fidelity : We bless you, Lord God most high, who lowered yourself for our sake. You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich and you made yourself poor; you are all powerful and you made yourself vulnerable. 
On this night let us share in the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, he so loves us thathe gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10), As the angels said to the shepherds: “Do not be afraid!” And I also repeat to all of you: Do not be afriad! Our Father is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness”
~ (Pope Francis, The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, 24th December 2013)

This Christmas, let each of us take a moment to ‘pause before the child’, and contemplate the miracle that is God’s love for us.


A Quick Note…

Just a reminder that our offices and bookshop will close at 12.30 on Christmas Eve, and will reopen on Monday 5th January 2015.

Have a wonderful Christmas!!


prayer leafletsPart of our mission at CTS is to reach out to those who most need our ministry, and it was our pleasure this week to donate several sets of leaflets to the inmates of Portland Young Offenders Institution and Immigration Removal Centre.

We received this in reply, from Catholic Chaplain Yvonne:

“Almost a quarter of the men in the Prison I work at are Roman Catholic.  My role as RC Chaplain is only a part time role and this does not allow me sufficient time for pastoral work.  I am always trying to find ways to enable the men to have enough resources to support their faith, during times when I am unable to be with then.  Your kind gift will provide this and I am truly humbled by your donations. 

Working in a Prison is the most rewarding job I have ever had.  I work with men who make me want to be a better person, because they want to be better people too.  Doing this Ministry is sometimes sad and tough, but the spiritual rewards are astonishing, and it’s because of organisations like yours that I can spread the Word of the Catholic Faith.”

It is wonderful that our publications can make such a great difference, and it is through all the help we receive from our members and supporters that enables us to give the gift of faith to others in this way.

We remember in our prayers the inmates of Portland Prison, and pray that these leaflets may touch the hearts and lives of all who read them.

 Click here to find out how you can support the work of the CTS…

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CTS Catholic Compass is a blog from CTS Publishers set up to help fellow travellers get a true bearing on the life, faith and teachings of the Catholic Church.

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