Tue 30th Sep 2014 | Last updated: Tue 30th Sep 2014 at 14:53pm

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Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips reviews books for the Catholic Herald.

We can learn a lot from St Nicholas Owen, the priest-hole maker

Priest demonstrates the use of the priest hole during the Tudor era (CNS)

Owen shows that sanctity has nothing to do with social status or educational attainments

Why a French town became a haven for Jews fleeing from the Nazis

France's then-president Nicolas Sarkozy walks past the Wall of Names during his visit to the Shoah Memorial in Paris. In one part of France in particular locals resisted (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, pool)

A new book looks at a part of southern France where tight-knit communities saved Jewish lives

It’s a shame our culture views chastity with such suspicion

Society views celibacy as a strange lifestyle choice

Contrary to popular assumptions, chastity is dynamic, creative and radical

Why the thought of organ donation makes me nervous

'The more divided the medical establishment seems to be on "brain death",  the more I hesitate to sign an organ donation card' (PA)

There is much about brain function that is not yet understood and it appears that the medical definition of ‘brain death’ is not infallible

Books blog: The role of the Church made blindingly clear

Pope Francis hears confession during a penitential liturgy in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in March (CNS)

Author Patrick Madrid’s new book is eloquent on the importance of sacramental Confession

Does the Church still adhere at all to the principle of a ‘just war’?

The Grenadier Guards are watched by a crowd as they leave Wellington Barracks in London for active service in France at the beginning of the Great War (CNS)

After a century of two world wars we know better that it is rarely the solution to human conflict

Rest in peace, Stratford Caldecott

Stratford Caldecott: 26th November 1953 – 17th July 2014

Stratford’s Requiem Mass was a solemn and beautiful occasion

Books blog: A frank and funny guide to Natural Family Planning

'Natural family planning is a way of spacing births in a family when there is a good reason for doing so'

Simcha Fisher’s Sinner’s Guide is recommended for those faithful to Church teaching on contraception and those who are struggling with it

For once the BBC has put the humanity of the unborn child centre stage

'A doctor made the comment that many couples in a similar situation choose not to abort because ... they want “the positive experience” of “meeting” the baby for however short a time' (Photo: PA)

A BBC Radio 4 programme yesterday showed how unborn children should be treated by the medical profession – with the utmost care and respect

Would you set up a ‘little oratory’ in your house?

'There is one right way to set up an oratory but that individual family oratories should communicate your own faith'

An energetic new book offers a helpful guide to praying at home