Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Wishes 2015

Dear Friends,

This Christmas is a very special Feast, taking place as it does during this very unique year that started on the 8th of December 2015 and that will finish with the Solemnity of Christ the King, on 20th of November. It is a year, in accordance with the wishes of the Holy Father, in which the floodgates will be opened to allow the torrents of God's mercy to flow freely upon us all. Indeed, this year is dedicated to the discovery and deepening of God's Mercy, making it a year of inestimable value.

Christmas is the second major Feast in the Liturgical Year after Easter, and this means that each one of us – those who are both close to as well as far from God – is invited to receive a very special and powerful healing Grace. The Mercy of God is manifest in a very unique way each Christmas: again and again we can live that moment where humanity was expecting a Saviour, a Messiah. He is God's Gift, given freely, where He humbles himself and reaches out to each one of us. In the Baby Jesus, the Most High does not ask us to climb the heights to reach Him – He himself comes to us in an overwhelming act of Mercy.

This year, therefore, the School of Mary will follow the intentions of the Pope and do its best to deepen our experience of God's Mercy.

As you know the School is a place for teaching Spiritual Life. “Teaching” is an act of Spiritual Mercy. The School sees the great poverty of today's world, especially the First World which thinks it has the means and the power, which considers itself to be highly civilised, but does not know how poor it is spiritually, how needy it has become. The half-dead man of the Parable of the Good Samaritan is often before us in the First World, waiting for somebody to come and take good care of him, giving him the Spiritual Doctrine that can restore him to real Life, giving his life Light, Guidance and Meaning.

Let us, in the School of Mary, humbly renew our commitment to serve Spiritual Life and Spiritual Theology. It is a very hard mission, and even if the door is wide open very few undertake it. Let us entrust ourselves to Mary, as God the Father entrusted to Mary and Joseph his Eternal Son, incarnate as a little Baby.

May the Lord bless us all and bless our families, and may He give us plenty of Graces especially this year, day after day, so we can discover, deepen and dwell in God's Mercy for ever.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to read, meditate and put into practice the Pope's Letter on Mercy (please click here to find it); it embodies a very deep message which is essential and to the point for all of us Christians. Mercy is not optional in the Gospel, it is God's Face, it is our Way to Him...

The teaching this year in the School of Mary will pay special attention to Mercy in Spiritual Life. A new and very exciting Course on the Sermon of the Mount will be announced soon which will be open to everybody. Further courses for 2016 will be announced at the appropriate times.

Counting on your prayers as always, I wish each and every one of you a Happy Christmas filled with the choicest blessings, and graced by the Presence of Our Lady.


Saturday, 19 December 2015

Solid Foundations Course Lent-Easter 2016

Exciting new course to for those looking to build solid foundations for spiritual growth…

Dear friends,

We are delighted to let you know that the School of Mary will be running an introductory course to the spiritual life starting in February 2016. 

Solid Foundations (previously known simply as “the first level course”) is for all of us who have found our feet in starting to practice our faith (weekly Mass, some prayer) but who now want to know “is there something more?” and “how can I start to draw closer to the Lord?”. 

The Solid Foundations course draws on the insight and practical advice of the great spiritual writers including St John of the Cross, St Teresa of Avila and St Therese of the Child Jesus to help us understand the basics we need to put in place and the part we are invited to play to begin to grow in our relationship with God… and how much more lies in store!

The course has been broken into three sections so that those wanting to complete the full course in one year can do so, but equally those who can only do a more limited number of Saturdays can choose to do just one or two of the sections now and the rest at a future point:

· Solid Foundations – Praying with Scripture will run on 27th February, 5th and 12th of March
· Solid Foundations – How the spiritual life works takes place on the 16th and 23rd of April
· Solid Foundations – Praying with the Heart will happen on the 11th, 18th and 25th of June

The course will run at St Mary of the Angels, in Bayswater and, as the venue has limited capacity and we expect demand to be high, participants will need to register and pay a deposit in advance.

Please see below for further details on the course and how to register. If you have any questions then please do contact us on

The School of Mary

What topics does this course cover ?
This course looks at how we can grow in relationship with God, what gets in the way and what can help.  Participants will have the opportunity to put the teaching into practice for themselves and there will be time for question and answer sessions in each section so that people can make sure they grasp the content and begin to make it their own. 

What topics are covered?
The course draws on the teachings of three Doctors of the Church who focus on the spiritual life – St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross and St Therese of the Child Jesus – and focuses on three key areas:
1. Praying with Scripture: understanding how to pray with Scripture, what to expect when we begin to pray in this way and the opportunity for some hands on practice
2. How the spiritual life works: looking at the shape of the spiritual life, the role of Our Lady and the guiding principles which we need to understand in order to start to co-operate more easily with what God is inviting us to
3. Praying with the heart: finding our bearings with contemplative prayer – what it is, how to pray in this way and what to bear in mind as we find our feet… as well as the chance to put it all into action

Where and when will the course be taking place?
The course will take place at St Mary of the Angels, Moorhouse Road, Bayswater, London, W2 5DJ from 10am to 4:30pm on the following Saturdays: 

· Solid Foundations – Praying with Scripture: 27th February, 5th March and 12th March 
· Solid Foundations – How the spiritual life works: 16th and 23rd April
· Solid Foundations – Praying with the heart (moving into contemplative prayer): 11th, 18th and 25th of June

The course will be taught by Jean Khoury, a theologian who has studied and taught Spiritual Life in the Church for over 20 years. As well as lecturing world-wide on spiritual life and meditation, Jean is the author of several books, articles and studies on spiritual life and the founder of the School of Mary, a 3 level formation in spiritual life ( Jean obtained a degree in Philosophy from the Institut Catholique de Toulouse (France), a Licence in Theology from the Teresianum (Rome) and a Masters in Spiritual Theology from the Institut Catholique de Toulouse (France). He is currently completing his PhD in Spiritual Theology at the Angelicum (Rome) with Monsignor François-Marie Léthel. 

How much will the course cost?

The cost for the course is £25 per day / £200 for the full course. As the venue has limited capacity and we expect demand to be very high, participants will need to register and pay a deposit of £75 in advance with any remaining balance to be paid on 27th February.

Please email to register your interest and we will send on details of 
how to make payment by bank transfer or cheque.

Should you have any questions about the course then please don’t hesitate to contact us by email at