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…

At eleven o’clock on Sunday, Britain will fall silent to commemorate the millions of men and women who have been lost to war. These deeply moving and inspiring titles, published for the centenary of the First World War, are a way to reverently honour the fallen at this time of remembrance.

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From the military chaplain who died saving the life of another to the Pope who fought valiantly for peace in a war-torn world, these booklets tell of the great sacrifices made by ordinary people to help keep the light of faith shining. Inspirational stories of courage, faith and forgiveness, they bring the powerful witness of the wartime faithful in to the modern day.

Benedict XV & World War I, by Fr Ashley Beck

Fr Willie Doyle & World War I by K. V. Turley

and Stories of World War I by Raymond Edwards (ed.)

are all available now for only £2.50 each.

Click the links to read an extract… 

“You don’t often hear the experiences of the everyday faithful who endured the gruelling years of World War I. This collection of testimonies illustrates how the Faith was lived with hope and constancy, often to the point of heroism!”
Christine – CTS Reader

The Cover for Paul VI CTS biography

This coming Sunday, Pope Paul VI will be beatified by his successor Pope Francis.

Doubtless there will be much discussion, about the timing of the beatification in relation to the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, of the achievements of his pontificate and these tend to focus on a few big events. How he brought the Second Vatican Council to a close after the death of his predecessor blessed John XXIII, or how he prophetically defended the Church’s ban on the use of artificial contraception.

To look only at these big moments can however lead to a picture of this man that is somehow out of focus. As Fr Anthony Symondson SJ’s CTS biography shows, he was a deeply modest man, a man of intense personal holiness who shunned the pomp of his office and spent his life serving the Church and the world.

As you can read in the extract below, he was the son of a northern Italian newspaper editor, who was heavily influenced by the Oratorians and as the text goes on to show he suffered spiritually in his desire to be faithful to the Church’s teaching and to his position as its guardian.

Blessed Paul VI, pray for us.

Paul VI by Fr Anthony Symondson , SJ is available now from CTS, priced £2.50. Read an extract below.

Of related interest:

Vatican II Documents Pack Vatican II Documents Pack - The Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council continue to have a profound meaning for the Church, informing how she sees both herself, and the world around her.
St John XXIII and St John Paul II Prayer Book St John XXIII and St John Paul II Prayer Book – We have new friends in heaven. John XXIII and John Paul II were men of deep prayer, with a message about prayer and the spiritual life which can be learned and shared. This new prayer book helps and encourages the faithful to seek the intercession of these two new saints and to thus grow in their own prayer, holiness and virtue.
Humanae Vitae Humanae Vitae – Pope Paul VI’s momentous restatement of how love must, and must not, be expressed if it is to be marital love, true to the nature of human persons and of real marriage as a high and most significant calling.

Preparing for your child's baptism

Continuing in our efforts to give you an inside look at our latest titles, we have spoken to Dominican sister Hyacinthe Defos du Rau about her text Preparing for your Child’s Baptism. As well as accessibly explaining the rite itself, it contains activities and practical suggestions for enriching and renewing the faith of all those involved.

CTSCompass: Where did the idea for this title come from?

Sr Hyacinthe: “I was inspired by the parents’ need to understand what they are asking for when they wish their child to be baptised. Often adults have received little, if any, teaching on the sacraments, and this booklet tries to offer a basic understanding of baptism in a simple language, for any parent or godparent. It’s a kind of ‘everything you need to know before having your child baptised': it tells you what baptism is, how it is celebrated, how it is lived, and how we can best prepare for it.”

CTSCompass: And it comes from your experience as a catechist?

Sr Hyacinthe: “That’s right, I am a catechist and I train catechists for the diocese of Portsmouth. I have an MA in RE and Catechesis from the Maryvale Institute. I lecture and tutor students in this field at the Maryvale Institute. I am the author of the Anchor resource which helps adults, and specifically parents, to understand, receive and introduce the sacraments to their children: Baptism, the Eucharist and Confession.

CTSCompass:: And it’s that focus on the parents and its simplicity which makes this text different?

Sr Hyacinthe: “I hope so, I have tried in a simple and accessible language, to offer a deeper introduction to the sacrament of baptism, showing its beauty and necessity. It presents Baptism as a gift of God to us, as an indelible mark and irreversible change in us which enables us to enter into the life of the Blessed Trinity and wipes sins away. As it presents the nature and rite of baptism, this booklet also offers a kerygmatic proclamation of the Catholic Faith. As this quote from the text itself explains:

‘Baptism is much more than a social or religious formality. It is a wonderful gift of New Life given to us by God through the Church to enable us to live our life to the full, here and for all eternity. You have given birth to a new human person, your child. In asking for the new birth of baptism, you are asking God to make your child his own.'”

‘Preparing for your Child’s Baptism’ is available from CTS, priced £2.50.

Of related interest:

Baptism Baptism - The purpose of this booklet is to provide an introduction to baptism in the Catholic Church, looking both at the practicalities of baptism and at its history and meaning.
Being a Godparent Being a Godparent Leaflet – The important responsibilities of the Godparent are explained and all the promises and responses they will make are included. The role of the Godparent as an example and guide in the Christian life is emphasised.
Effective Parenting Effective Parenting – This text sets out the importance of the role parents have and shows how that role must be expressed through nurturing and encouraging one’s children along a path to responsible caring adulthood.

A brief history of English Catholicism

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of Walsingham, which is England’s premier Marian Shrine. It seems the perfect day to highlight just one of our newest titles, ‘A Brief History of English Catholicism’.

We spoke to the author, Fr Nicholas Schofield, asking him to tell us more about the booklet and its aims.
CTSCompass: What inspired you to write this title?

Fr Schofield: “It grew out of a talk that I have given frequently over the last 8 years or so, ‘A Catholic History of England in 45 Minutes’. People often asked if there was a book covering this subject and so eventually I decided to fill the gap myself. I am Archivist of the Archdiocese of Westminster, have written several books on English Catholic history and am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Perhaps most importantly, my passion is to provide ‘ordinary’ Catholics with an appreciation of our rich history and culture.”

CTSCompass: Why do you think this particular aspect of the history of the Church is so important?

Fr Schofield: “The Catholic history of England is largely hidden and forgotten but discovering its main riches gives us an appreciation of the workings of grace over the centuries, an understanding of where we are today and a sense of mission for the future. As Catholics, we should love our history and research the story of the Church in our own area as much as we can. And there are no other books in print giving a one volume history of Catholic England – especially within 60 pages! The aim is to give a broad framework in which the reader can slot the knowledge they already have.”

CTSCompass:: What do you hope readers will gain from reading A Brief  history of English Catholicism?

Fr Schofield: “An understanding of our particular history, an appreciation of the many achievements of English Catholics, an understanding of the many continuities that we see in our own day, a greater love of the Church, a desire to discover more and a sense of how God works through individuals and groups. There is a paragraph in the booklet that sums this up which I would like to quote:

‘Every detail of the past shows the presence of Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of History. He was present in those who brought the Gospel to England and in the country’s many saints. He was present in the sufferings of the martyrs and the quiet perseverance of the recusants. He was present in those who went into exile to train priests or pray for England’s conversion. He was present in the lives of those who built our parishes and schools, the servants of the Second Spring. Now He is present in us. We are links in this great chain of Faith. Let us pray that we will be faithful and courageous as we write the next chapter of this story.'”

‘A Brief History of English Catholicism’ is available from CTS, priced £2.50.

Of related interest:

The Cover of Reformation In England The Reformation in England -This booklet looks at the events which led up to the Reformation in Europe, and particularly in England. It shows how much that was good was lost in this conflict.
The Early Church The Early Church - The growth of the Church in her first three hundred years was faster and stronger than can easily be accounted for on purely historical grounds. While Christianity offered a brighter hope to a weary world than rival religions, it demanded a drastic change of life.
Message of Walsingham The Message of Walsingham – The Ancient Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, England’s national shrine, sits in a tiny village on the north coast of East Anglia. Since 1061 pilgrims have made their way there. Paupers and kings have walked, ‘slipperless’, the last holy mile.

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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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