With great sadness we can announce that CTS Commissioning Editor and author Stratford Caldecott passed away on 17th July after a lengthy illness.

Stratford was an admired colleague and a valuable adviser with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the faith and an authentic talent for spotting gifted writers who, like himself, could explain the riches of the Faith to all.

Stratford’s writing and commissioning for CTS ranged from Catholic Social Teaching, to scripture, to prayer and from spirituality to liturgy. In an age of specialists, Stratford’s work encompassed all aspects of the Faith he loved so well.

It has been a pleasure and a joy to work with him over the years and to learn from his professionalism and his deep faith. I’m sure we can speak on behalf of ourselves and of the many thousands who have benefited from the books he has written and commissioned, assuring his family of our deep gratitude and prayers.

“The man who keeps and teaches the commandments will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 5:19

Mr Fergal Martin, General Secertary & Mr Pierpaolo Finaldi, Managing Editor.

CTS author Steven Schloeder pays his tribute to Stratford Caldecott

“I met Stratford about 25 years ago, when he encouraged me to pursue my work in church architecture. he tried unsuccessfully to get my book ‘Architecture in Communion’ published through Harper Collins, though he did give me my first publication in Second Spring in 1995, which was then published in Catholic World Report. From that article, priests started asking me to design churches, my book got published by Ignatius Press, I was able to pursue my doctorate, and my career finally became my vocation.

I have been blessed by his constancy and support. Stratford understood what I was trying to say, he advocated for me without reserve, and he helped me find my voice. Over the past five years he regularly cajoled me to write a couple of books for the Catholic Truth Society – Publishers To The Holy See, which were finally published last year (Catholic Architecture) and this year (Understanding a Church).

I dedicate both of those books to you, dear friend.

As I wrote last to Strat in May this year:

‘You have been such a blessing to me — and I can honestly say that I am now working full time serving the Church in architecture mostly because you have advocated me and my ideas. That is a strange and wondrous bit of providence — probably not too significant in the grand scheme of things, and you have done so very much for so many in to help light their path in service to Christ — but for me it has been determinative. You have very much been part of the way our Lord has shaped the trajectory of my life. I simply want you to know that, and to let you know how grateful I am to you for your friendship and support.’

Rest in peace.”

Steven Schloeder

Saints John Paul II & John XXIII Prayer Book

Dame Joana Bogle was interviewed by Vatican Radio recently about the impressive sales of the latest project she has worked on with CTS, compiling the St John XXIII and St John Paul II Prayer Book.

In the interview, which you can listen to here, she discusses the booklet, the day of the four Popes at the canonisation in April, what the two new saints have meant to her and to others and much more.

Here is an extract of the St John XXIII and St John Paul II Prayer Book which is available from CTS, priced £2.50.

Evangelium Conference

Are you interested in the Catholic faith, but lack the time or opportunities to learn? Do you wonder why the faith exists or how to flourish as a Catholic? Do you face challenges in living, sharing or defending the faith in secular society?

If so, the Evangelium Conference 2014, sponsored by the CTS, is on hand to help. Taking place at the Oratory School in Reading from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd August, it provides an opportunity to meet these challenges and to help participants, especially young Catholics age 18–35, to live a more abundant Catholic life.


Jesus taught that we need to put down deep roots in order to bear good spiritual fruit, and these roots come largely from our prayer and study. The Evangelium conference provides opportunities to construct a personalised short course of four sessions, with summaries and references provided for ongoing reading, selected from one of the fourfold areas of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (pictured right)

The Evangelium Conference 2014 features:

• dynamic talks by outstanding speakers
• opportunities to meet with other young people who share your faith
• debates, discussions and spiritual direction
• daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration
• opportunities for confession
• excellent food and relaxation in the beautiful grounds
• sport and evening entertainment

Guest speakers for Evangelium 2014 will include:

Rt. Rev Philip Egan – Bishop of Portsmouth
Joanna Bogle – Broadcaster and Writer
Lynette Burrows – Journalist, Social Commentator and Family Rights Activist
Mary Killeen – Director of Marriage and Family studies at Maryvale Institute
Fr Marcus Holden – Rector of St Augustine’s Shrine and Director of MA Apologetics, Maryvale
Dr William Newton – International Theology Institute
Fr Armand de Malleray – Chaplain of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter
Fr Andrew Pinsent – Theology Faculty of Oxford and former CERN physicist.


The whole weekend, including accommodation and meals comes to £95.00. Discounts are available, or if you are only interested in attending a part of the Conference it costs only £65.00.

To find out more or to book your place at this enjoyable and uplifting weekend, click here.


Rejoice Cover

From November 2014 to October 2015 will be the Year of Consecrated Life. Like the Year of Faith which proceeded it, the special time coincides with an important anniversary in the Church.

The Year of Consecrated life will run from November 21st, the 50th anniversary of the publication of Lumen Gentium which has a whole chapter on the involvement of religious persons in the Church’s wider mission to and for the world, until the 50th anniversary of Perfectae Caritatis, Pope Paul VI’s decree on the renewal of religious life, on October 28th 2015.

The year will involve conferences, gatherings of religious from across the world with the Pope and much more.

Below is an extract from the first document published in relation to the new year: Rejoice – Letter to Consecrated People on the Occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life from the Magisterium of Pope Francis. It sets out the aims of the year and you can read an extract too.
When he announced the year, Cardinal João Braz De Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life said:

“We believe that the [Second Vatican] Council has been a breath of the Spirit not only for the whole Church but, perhaps especially, for the consecrated life. We are also convinced that in these 50 years consecrated life has undertaken a fruitful journey of renewal — not free, certainly, of difficulties and hardships — in the commitment to follow what the Council asked of the consecrated: fidelity to the Lord, to the Church, to their own charism and to the people of today.”

The CTS will be presenting other ways to help Catholics, whether they are specially consecrated or not, to make the most of this grace-filled time, in due course.

Rejoice – Letter for the Year of Consecrated Life is available from CTS, priced £4.95.

Of related interest:

Great Orders of the Catholic Church Great Orders of the Catholic Church - This booklet examines the Benedictines, the Augustinian family, the Cistercians, the Carthusians, the Dominicans, the Franciscan family and the Carmelites, looking at the origins of each, their distinctive charisms, and the great saints they have inspired.

During the course of an interview, Rt Rev Philip Egan, the Bishop of Portsmouth has praised the CTS for an apologetics that helps “Capture the imagination”.

Speaking the U.S Catholic News website The National Catholic Register about the challenges he faces, Bishop Egan stressed that modern secularism was changing people’s vision of mankind:

Catholic Knowledge Network

“It’s sort of utilitarian anthropology, a new version of what it means to be human. Our task is to show that the Christian, the Catholic approach is the natural way of life, graced in Christ – which is the way to an authentic humanism, a true happiness; it’s a happy way, and this is the full vision of the human person.”

Part of that task, he argues is an effective apologetics. In this part of the interview, our Catholic Knowledge Network Posters and Lumen – The Catholic Gift to Civilisation, are mentioned in a very positive light:

“One of the pamphlets goes through in every chapter showing the impact on culture, on history, that Catholicism has had, including of course some of the greatest scientists. There is a kind of triumph of scientism, and scientific thinking, that’s captured us: that science gives us the truth, and it’s delivered all these wonderful advances; which of course we wouldn’t say it hasn’t, but it’s only part of human knowing. So there’s a kind of epistemological argument that needs to be done; I think that would be part of apologetics too.

Lumen Cover

The thing I like about the posters you mentioned is it’s an example of capturing the imagination. I think that in the time of Pope John Paul, and the mid-to-late 20th century, there were big clashes of reason going on, but I’d say today, not only is that important, but also, who is capturing our imaginations? Who is controlling our imaginations? How do we express the Gospel in a way that strikes the heart and captures the imagination and kindles good feelings? And of course as Catholics it’s been very difficult, with the abuse crisis and all of those things: Lots of Catholics are hurting, and that makes it kind of a bit difficult, really. So there’s an internal apologetics, as well as an external.”

Read the full interview here.

The Catholic Knowledge Network Poster Pack is available from CTS, priced £24.95.
Lumen – The Catholic Gift to Civilisation is available, priced £2.95

Who is the Devil

Pope Francis has spoken about the devil numerous times since his election and this is sometimes one of the least understood aspects of his teaching. With the controversy over black masses in Boston, the time is perhaps right to look again at what the Church believes about the devil.

We spoke to Deacon Nick Donnelly, author of the new CTS titleWho is the devil? What Pope Francis Says’.

CTSCompass: Tell us a little about this title.

Deacon Nick Donnelly: “I think it’s the first English-language book on Pope Francis’ teachings on the devil, which is a significant theme of his homilies. One of the things that has surprised everyone about Pope Francis is the number of times that he has referred to the devil. What’s striking is that he doesn’t refer to the devil in an academic or theoretical way but in the sense of a real and present danger to each one of us.”

CTSCompass: What do you think the Holy Father wants to achieve by talking about the devil so often?

Deacon Nick Donnelly: “I think his purpose is not to scare us. He hopes to help us get over any embarrassment about talking about the devil. Aware that our secular society dismisses the devil as a hang-over from a medieval world view, the Holy Father wants us to be totally faithful to the Gospel of Our Lord and that includes the recognition that the devil and demons are a reality in our world.”

CTSCompass: Have you felt that reality yourself?

Deacon Nick Donnelly: “I have prayed in Nazi Concentration Camps, and participated in prayer vigils outside abortion clinics. There is a sense of evil at these places that has convinced me of the existence of the devil.”

CTSCompass: How would you describe the Pope’s understanding of that reality?

Deacon Nick Donnelly: “I would say there is the sense that the devil is someone the Holy Father has encountered personally and with whom he often fights, as he explains ‘And in my personal experience, I feel him every time that I am tempted to do something that is not what God wants for me’ .”

CTSCompass: How does the Holy Father want to help us in our fight?

Deacon Nick Donnelly: “Pope Francis wants us to understand that the devil exists and insists that we take the devil seriously. He wants to warn us about the strategies and snares in our daily lives that our enemy uses to lead us deeper into sin, and nearer to hell.”

Here is an extract of ‘Who is the devil? What Pope Francis Says’ which is available from CTS, priced £2.50.

Of related interest:

The Cover of Who is the sacraments The Sacraments -In this concise and easy to read series of catecheses, Pope Francis reflects on the Sacraments, what they are for and where they lead every Christian.
How to Enter Heaven How to Enter Heaven – Death inescapably faces us all. But how can the Christian faith be the main or only requirement to get to Heaven? If Hell and Purgatory are so terrible, how can God permit the souls we are told he loves to go there?
What is the Church? What is the Church? – Pope Francis’s first systematic series of Catecheses centres on one of the main themes of his Pontificate thus far: the evangelising mission of the Church.

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