Is Hannukka the Jewish “Christmas”?


The Hebrew word ‘Hanukkah’ literally means ‘dedication’ and its story takes us back to the events of the 2nd century BCE as described in the deuterocanonical books of 1 and 2 Maccabees. The eight-day festival begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which normally falls somewhere in December in the Gregorian calendar. The background to the major events celebrated at Hanukkah ...

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Do They Know it’s Christmas in Connecticut?

Pyt Farrugia

Advent days are short, with the steady approach of midwinter bringing darkness and a diminution of light. And yet in the wake of last week’s tragedy in Connecticut, USA we need illumination now more than ever – a means of discerning the traces of God’s activity in our lives. People who claim that faith is a crutch, and see themselves justified in those remarks (by ...

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Life is a Journey not a Destination…

Nigel Camilleri

Upon pausing for a moment and looking back at what inspired me into entering into my profession I realise it was a journey which started long before I was even conscious of it. It was a journey which, over many years and after experiences of volunteering in different countries got me asking questions about life. Starting at the age of 19, I was given the ...

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Tolkien and Eucatastrophe: Towards Our True Port of Call

Justin Schembri OP

“Myth has always involved ways of telling stories that had special significance.  Myths change history into significant history.”  This is the power of literature: from birth to death, from damnation to salvation, our lives are full with meaningful stories.  “Philosophy and literature, therefore, belong together. They can work like the two lenses of a pair of binoculars. Philosophy argues abstractly. Literature argues too – it ...

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Faith or Brainwashing? Questioning Belief

Rosienne Farrugia

This month I have decided to go off on a tangent. But then, this is a blog so I guess going off at a tangent is acceptable. Last month I attended a talk at the University Chaplaincy entitled ‘Faith and Reason’ given by Fr Rene Camilleri. It was a very informal talk, just the type I like, with a number of people sitting casually around ...

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Immortality: a Question of Reason and Faith

Jake Mamo

“Immortality! Take it! It’s yours!” These are the words pronounced by Achilles in the Iliad of Homer. The poem colourfully depicts the struggle of these men to attain immortality through glory in battle. Almost three thousand years later, a couple decides to be deep-freezed immediately after their death in order to be ‘resurrected’ should technology or science provide a solution in the future. Whilst the ...

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A Church in transition: a challenge to leadership?

David Cilia

The divorce referendum and the reactions to the pastoral letter on IVF have clearly revealed unease within the leadership of the Maltese Church to adapt to changes in society.  The Bishops were only reiterating Catholic teaching that is proclaimed the world over, so why did the message create so much distance from the Maltese faithful? Reality is that our society is undergoing rapid cultural change.  ...

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Virtually Generous

Anton D'Amato

In a time when the virtual is very real and the distant is becoming every day closer, we might be running the risk of unconsciously limiting human relations to the virtual realm. December is a time when most feel jolly and, as it goes, more generous with others. Whether this generosity is due to being in good spirits or the other way round, is difficult to ...

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Real Dialogue and Fear

Fr Blake

A reply to Fr David’s blog Regarding Fr. David’s first entry in his blog I wish to make some remarks. Real dialogue (as in a friendly conversational exchange) can only take place if all sides are sincere enough to put their cards on the table by sharing their modus operandi. People like the late Christopher Hitchens fail to do so. It is my intention is to ...

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Are European Values in Conflict with Maltese Identity? Interview with Eddie Fenech Adami

Pyt Farrugia

Pete Farrugia speaks with former President of Malta Eddie Fenech Adami about the country’s place in a changing European environment, and the particular challenges of conscience we all face today.   The interview began without fuss or ceremony. The Former President and PN leader led us to an inviting sitting room and while the camera was being set up, he opened with a few remarks ...

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