Kerala parish organizes “total eye donation” campaign

June 28, 2011 by  
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Kerala parish organizes “total eye donation” campaign

“Total Eye Donation” Campaign in progress

A Catholic parish in Kerala has created history when all its families agreed to donate their eyes.

St. Francis Xavier’s Church of Kannankara, a parish under Kottayam archdiocese, organized a program on June 26 to help the parishioners pledge their eyes.

The program was part of the archdiocese’s centenary celebrations.

The Kannankara unit of Knanaya Catholic Congress organized the “Vision 2011″ in collaboration with the Kerala Eye Donation Association of the Little Flower Hospital in Angamaly.

Archbishop Mathew Moolakkatt of Kottayam led the Mass that preceded the “Total Eye Donation” campaign.

The archdiocese was erected in 1911 to cater to the section of Syro-Malabar Catholics known as Suddhist, or purists. They are descendents of 72 Jewish-Christian families who settled down in Kerala in the year 345 under the leadership of Thomas Kynai.

– Ucan

Removal of ‘anti-Church’ contents in text book recommended

June 28, 2011 by  
Filed under India, Kerala, Persecution

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Dawn of Modern Era, The RenaissanceA panel set up to look into the complaint about “anti-church” references in a 10th standard text book in Kerala has recommended removal of controversial portions.

The two-member panel constituted by the state government said the controversial portions hurt religious sentiments of the believers.

The panel, comprising former additional chief secretary D. Babu Paul and historian Raimon, however, discounted the church’s allegation that the inclusion of such ”anti-religious” contents was the result of a “deliberate Marxist plot to run down the church.”

“There are some factual errors and objectionable contents in the textbook. We have submitted our suggestions and it is for the government to take action on them,” said Raimon.

After studying the chapter titled “the dawn of modern era” dealing with the Renaissance, which deeply influenced the history of Europe since the 14th century, the panel found that it contained factual errors resulting from approaching history from purely Marxist perspective.

The Catholic Church in the state had objected to the contents in the book, alleging it contained “grossly baseless anti-church contents” and “propagated Marxist political ideology.”

Eminent historian M. G. S. Narayanan had refused to join the panel set up by the Kerala government to review a school text after the Church’s complaint.

– ibnlive

Prelate slams religious profiling report

June 28, 2011 by  
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Archbishop Leo Cornelio, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Archbishop Leo Cornelio

The head of the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh has dismissed the findings of a government investigation into alleged profiling of Christians in the central Indian state.

“The probe has not answered the basic questions,” Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal said yesterday after reading the probe report.

The state’s intelligence department, which conducted the investigation, concluded the profiling was the result of a “misunderstanding resulting from a breakdown in communications” among officials in the police department.

The report, signed by the director general of police (intelligence), has not held anyone responsible for the fiasco.

A police circular issued in March sparked nationwide protests against the Madhya Pradesh government, which was accused of targeting Christians.

The circular sought details on where the Christian community obtained its funds, the number of its educational institutions, and details of criminal records in what critics say was an apparent bid to brand Christians as thugs.

The pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party) now rules the state. The party is considered the political arm of several Hindu extremist groups that are blamed for several acts of anti-Christian violence in the state.

Archbishop Cornelio says the Church wants to know the identity of those behind the circular that “branded Christians criminals.”

He said he would write to government officials since the report did not clarify this.

“No low level official in the police would have had the courage to issue such an order without instruction from higher up,” the prelate said.

– Ucan

I Wish You Enough

June 27, 2011 by  
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I Wish You EnoughI wish you enough of all that you need to keep you fruitful achieving
God’s purpose.
Stay blessed.

………………………………………………………….

All glory to him, who alone is God our Savior, through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Yes, glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to him, in
the beginning, now, and forevermore. Amen. Jude V 25.

………………………………………………………….

I Wish You Enough.

Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together
at the airport. They had announced the departure.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, ‘I love
you and I wish you enough.’

The daughter replied, ‘Mom, our life together has been more than enough..
Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.’

They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window
where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted and needed to
cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by
asking, ‘Did You ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be
forever?’

Yes, I have, ‘I replied. Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever

Good-bye?’

‘I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the
reality is – the next trip back will be for my funeral.’ she said.

‘When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May
I ask what that means?

She began to smile. ‘That’s a wish that has been handed down from other
generations. My parents used to say it to everyone. She paused a moment
and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even
more. When we said, I wish you enough, we were wanting the other person to
have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them. Then
turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it
from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the
day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may
appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate
them, a day to love them but then an entire life to forget them.

Only if you wish, send this to the people you will never forget. If you
don’t send it to anyone it may mean that you are in such a hurry that you
have forgotten your friends.

TAKE TIME TO LIVE & LOVE…..

To all my loved ones, I WISH YOU ENOUGH
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

For the Christian Prayer is not an option but an opportunity.
“In prayer; expect setbacks, but refuse retreat. R. Eastman
Salvation: Nothing to Earn, Much to Learn. Adrian Rogers
Do your best, bring out the best in others,
Don’t tell the Lord how big the problem is,
tell the problem how Great the Lord is!
Put God first, be happy at last!

Egyptian Muslims torch Eight Christian Homes on Rumor of Church Construction

June 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Egypt, Persecution, World

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ICC Note: “A mob of nearly 200 Muslims torched eight Christian homes on Saturday morning in the Upper Egyptian village of Awlad Khalaf. The attack was initiated by a rumor that a house which is being built by Wahib Halim Attia will be turned into a church. Two Christians and one Muslim were injured, no fatalities were reported,” Assyrian International News Agency reports.

By Mary Abdelmassih

Egyptian Muslims torch Christian Homes

Egyptian Muslims torch Christian Homes

6/26/2011 Egypt (AINA) – A mob of nearly 200 Muslims torched eight Christian homes on Saturday morning in the Upper Egyptian village of Awlad Khalaf. The attack was initiated by a rumor that a house which is being built by Wahib Halim Attia will be turned into a church. Two Christians and one Muslim were injured, no fatalities were reported.

Wahib Halim Attia obtained a license to build a house in the village on a 95 square meter plot. The house grew to an area of 350 square meters but was still on agricultural land that he owns. This gave rise to the rumor that he intended to build a church instead.

Father Weesa Azmy, the priest at St. George Church in the neighboring village of Negou Madam East, said that someone went to the City Council in Dar es Salam and told them about the irregularities in the house construction, and Wahib was ordered to remove the excess by June 24. “Instead Wahib carried on with the construction, which angered the Muslims, who decided to play God and take the law into their own hands; they attacked the construction site and other Christian homes.”

According to Father Weesa, Muslims broke into the home of Ihab Tamer, who defended himself with a rifle. A Muslim who was there to help Ihab was injured by a bullet in his leg from Tamer’s rifle. The matter was explained and resolved with the family of that Muslim.

According to eyewitnesses the Muslims, mostly Salafists and some youngsters, looted and torched eight homes belonging to Wahib Halim Attia and his two brothers, his three cousins and two other Copts, including Ihab Tamer.

The police arrived three hours after the looting and torching had ended.

West Borneo: Bomb threats to a Church, Catholics in the crosshairs of Terrorists

June 27, 2011 by  
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Bomb threats to a Church in West Borneo, Indonesia6/22/11 Indonesia (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church Stella Maris in Siantan Hulu, a village north of the city of Pontianak, the capital of western Borneo, is in the crosshairs of terrorists. On the evening of June 20 an anonymous phone call announced an imminent bomb attack. A woman’s voice, in fact, warned of a crude bomb planted near the building. The pastor, warned by a faithful, called the bomb squad who blew up a hidden object in the trash. It has been a while since attacks against the Christian minority, although in the past there have been incidents of sectarian violence.

Interviewed by AsiaNews, Severianus Endy, a journalist in Pontianak, reports that the first phone call was addressed to a man named Beno, a Catholic pharmacist in the village. He immediately warned the pastor of Stella Maris, Fr. Sony Wengkang, who then contacted the police. “The threat came – said the priest – from an unidentified woman’s voice, calling from a cell phone. The number was not hidden.”

A bomb squad immediately intervened to verify the seriousness of the threat. Rummaging in the garbage, experts found a suspicious object inside a garbage can and they detonated it. Addressing the crowd of worshipers, the pastor said that the community should be notified in case of concrete threats, at the same time he sought to soothe tensions, calling Catholics to calm and social harmony. Meanwhile, police launched an investigation to trace those responsible.

In the past, Pontianak, West Borneo, was the scene of sectarian violence. The area is inhabited mostly by Indonesians of Chinese descent and native local Dayak ethnic group, Catholics. In 1999 they were involved in violent clashes with maduranesi migrants, from the island of Madura in East Java, and mostly Muslim.

Previously, other incidents of sectarian conflicts had occurred in 1997 and 1996. Only the intervention of the Indonesian army guaranteed the return of calm and order.

Lay person to head Christian institution

June 27, 2011 by  
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Lay person to head St. Edmunds CollegeThe Congregation of Christian Brothers has appointed a lay person to head the prestigious St Edmund’s College in Shillong, in northeastern Meghalaya state.

It’s the first time a lay person has been appointed principle at the oldest college in the state, which was established in 1924.

Brother C. D’ Abreu, rector of St. Edmund’s College, said the move would allow more time for the brothers to go to remote places and minister to the poor.

Goethals Memorial School in Kurseong, in West Bengal state, became the congregation’s first education institution to appoint a lay person as principal in 1990.

“The Church has been encouraging us to put lay people in positions of responsibility, and we as a congregation believe that the laity, especially those who have been working with us for many years share our charism and vision,” he said.

“The Christian brothers still run and manage St. Edmund’s School as well as the college. I, as the rector, work closely with the principal as our model of leadership is team based.”

The principal used to have sole responsibility over many things now there is the rector and three vice-principals to assist him. Decisions are taken in consultation with the team.

Sylvanus Lamare, the new principal, has a doctorate in Khasi literature and has been a lecturer at the college for almost 20 years.

“The real challenge is to maintain quality and to teach Christian values as laid down by the Christian brothers.”

– Ucan

Christian student files case against St. Stephen’s College

June 27, 2011 by  
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St. Stephen's College

St. Stephen's College

The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Delhi University and St. Stephen’s College for not giving admission to a student despite eligibility under the Christian quota.

Justice Manmohan Singh issued the notice on a plea by Nikhil Neil Das who had secured 89 percent marks in the 12th grade.

The court sought a reply from the two institutions by today as to why Das was not allowed to appear in an admission interview in the college under the quota.

Das has applied for admission to BA Economics (Hons) course for academic year 2011-12.

His counsel Ashok Aggarwal said the college “illegally and unconstitutionally” set a criteria of admission to benefit candidates having membership in the Church of North India (CNI). Das is not a member of the CNI.

The college came out with two cut-offs for the course- one for CNI members and another those who were not, Aggarwal said.

– Indian Express

Sachar report may lead to Muslims’ ghettoization, says Salman Khursheed

June 27, 2011 by  
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– Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net,

Union Minister of Water Resources and Minorities Affairs, Salman Khurshid, speaking at a function; Moosa Raza, Chairman SIET Trust on extreme left

Union Minister of Water Resources and Minorities Affairs, Salman Khurshid, speaking at a function; Moosa Raza, Chairman SIET Trust on extreme left

New Delhi: In an important development, marking a radical shift in the UPA government’s approach, from pre-Sachar to post-Sachar period, the Union Minister of Minorities Affairs Salman Khursheed has questioned, both the credibility of the Sachar report and blind acceptance of its recommendations.

Speaking at a function in Chennai on June 25, Khursheed said that “the recommendations of Sachar Committee Report are not divine like Quran; they can be wrong also and that’s why one must approach them critically.”

Khursheed was delivering a talk on ‘Minorities of India: Issues and Challenges,’ at the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women.

Explaining his point further Khursheed said, by critical approach he meant that the overall impact and benefits of Sachar report on Muslims must be analyzed before accepting the report in letter and spirit.

Cautioning the community from uncritical following of the Sachar report, Khursheed said that it might benefit the community in the short term but it could also lead to its further ghettoization which will be disastrous for the community in the long term as it will prevent the community’s mainstreaming.

The Rajinder Sachar Committee which appointed by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India in March 2005, was a high level committee for preparation of a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India.

The Minister also advised the community not to expect and approach only the Minorities Affairs Ministry (MMA) because the MMA was supposed to cater to the needs of other minorities as well. He implied that the MMA can’t provide solution to each and every problem of Muslims. For some problems they need to approach other ministries as well. For instance Muslims, Khursheed said, should approach the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD), which had a budget 10 times bigger than that of his ministry.

“The Minorities Affairs Ministry has only Rs 5,000 crore as its budget. If the community is dependent on only this ministry it will be devoid of funds from other ministries like the Ministry of Human Resources Development which has funds of more than Rs 65,000 crore. Moreover, this ministry doesn’t cater only to Muslims,” he added.

Khursheed wanted the Ministry of Minority Affairs to evolve into Ministry for Equal Opportunities, “Once the Equal Opportunities Commission, which was recommended by Sachar report, is finalized we may actually start thinking of a new structure of the ministry,” he added.

Cautioning the Muslim community of limiting themselves only to the community centered issues, Khursheed also exhorted them to think on larger issues like corruption, human rights and Naxalism.

“Why are Muslims silent on the Lokpal issue or on the issue of freedom for Binayak Sen,” he asked.

Khursheed a politician from the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, praised the works done by the community leaders in South in areas of education. He appealed the Muslims of south India to migrate and bridge the north-south divide by opening up quality institutions in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam.

Talking about the performance of the MMA on pre and post-Matric scholarship, Khursheed said that last year the MMA disbursed 44 lakh scholarships in the pre-matric, five lakh in post-matric categories and 750 PhD scholarships. In the coming year, the MMA will issue 60 lakh matric and post matric and 1,400 PhD scholarships in the coming year.

Importantly the Minister said that, the Central government was contemplating on universalisation of the scholarship with every child qualifying for a scholarship getting it.

A Beggar’s Rags

June 24, 2011 by  
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cartoon_beggar_01

A beggar lived near the king’s palace. One day he saw a proclamation posted outside the palace gate.

The king was giving a great dinner. Anyone dressed in royal garments was invited to the party.

The beggar went on his way. He looked at the rags he was wearing and sighed. Surely only kings and their families wore royal robes, he thought. Slowly an idea crept into his mind. The audacity of it made him tremble.

Would he dare?

He made his way back to the palace. He approached the guard at the gate. “Please, sire, I would like to speak to the king.”

“Wait here,” the guard replied. In a few minutes, he was back. “His majesty will see you,” he said, and led the beggar in.

“You wish to see me?” asked the king.

“Yes, your majesty. I want so much to attend the banquet, but I have no royal robes to wear. Please, sir, if I may be so bold, may I have one of your old garments so that I, too, may come to the banquet?”

The beggar shook so hard that he could not see the faint smile that was on the king’s face.

 “You have been wise in coming to me,” the king said. He called to his son, the young prince. “Take this man to your room and array him in some of your clothes.”

The prince did as he was told and soon the beggar was standing before a mirror, clothed in garments that he had never dared hope for.

“You are now eligible to attend the king’s banquet tomorrow night,” said the prince.

“But even more important, you will never need any other clothes. These garments will last forever.” The beggar dropped to his knees. “Oh, thank you,” he cried.

begging joke

But as he started to leave, he looked back at his pile of dirty rags on the floor. He hesitated.

What if the prince was wrong?

What if he would need his old clothes again. Quickly he gathered them up.

The banquet was far greater than he had ever imagined, but he could not enjoy himself as he should.

 He had made a small bundle of his old rags and it kept falling off his lap. The food was passed quickly and the beggar missed some of the greatest delicacies.

Time proved that the prince was right.

The clothes lasted forever. Still the poor beggar grew fonder and fonder of his old rags. As time passed people seemed to forget the royal robes he was wearing. They saw only the little bundle of filthy rags that he clung to wherever he went.

They even spoke of him as the old man with the rags.

One day as he lay dying, the king visited him.

The beggar saw the sad look on the king’s face when he looked at the small bundle of rags by the bed. Suddenly the beggar remembered the prince’s words and he realized that his bundle of rags had cost him a lifetime of true royalty.

He wept bitterly at his folly. And the king wept with him.

We have all been invited into the royal family–the family of God.

To feast at God’s dinner table, all we have to do is shed our old rags and put on the “new clothes” of faith which is provided by God’s Son Jesus Christ.

But we cannot hold onto our old rags. When we put our faith in Christ, we must let go of the sin in our life, and our old ways of living. Those things must be discarded if we are to experience true royalty and abundant life in Christ.

What are you holding on to from your life before knowing Jesus?

Whatever it is, get rid of it! God will give you everything you need … you don’t need to rely on the world to satisfy you anymore!

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