Mon 28th Jul 2014 | Last updated: Mon 28th Jul 2014 at 16:55pm

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Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips reviews books for the Catholic Herald.

My new Sunday Missal is the Christmas present I will cherish most

Catholic Truth Society's altar missal (this one, in white, was presented to the Pope). Photo: Pierpaolo Finaldi

Not everyone, though, is happy about the new text. For me it brings back a sense of the sacred

Alec Guinness and the Spanish mystics

Guinness rehearses Alan Bennett's Habeus Corpus (PA photo)

In his diary he says St Teresa of Avila’s autobiography must be ‘one of the greatest given to the world’

In 1960 Cardinal Siri urged women not to wear trousers. I think he may have had a point

A model wears Chanel trousers in 1964 (AP)

When women wear trousers, he wrote, it flattens out the natural distinction between the sexes

Should I give up alcohol forever?

A friend has suggested I join the Pioneers, whose members abstain from alcohol for life as reparation for alcoholism

Two million Russians venerate Marian relic believed to boost fertility

Mother of God's belt comes to Moscow

The belt of the Mother of God, believed by the Orthodox to have been worn by the Virgin Mary, has been brought to Russia from Mount Athos

‘Dr Death’ comes to Britain with a message of despair

Euthanasia activist Dr Philip Nitschke has been touring Britain telling people how to plan their own death (Photo: PA)

No amount of reassuring chat can disguise his advice that we should keep deadly drugs in our sock drawer

A conversation with a Quaker: sacraments, suicide and Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day: a saint for sinners (Photo: CNS)

Was Mother Teresa depressed and did Jesus commit suicide?

Never underestimate the self-giving of the Catholic priesthood

John Vianney: 'The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus' Photo: CNS photo/Crosiers

We easily forget those good priests whose reputations can be permanently tarnished by false accusations

Heroes like Derek Barrowcliff light up our dark times

Heroes like Derek Barrowcliff light up our dark times

Reading the pathologist’s obituary lifted my spirits

Heavy-handed child protection is eroding trust in Catholic schools

Students can apparently no longer enter Downside Abbey without being accompanied by an adult

Monks and other members of staff at Downside are now being treated with caution