Tim Tebow dumped by Fmr. Miss Universe Olivia Culpo over sex?

December 6, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

WaitU.S, December 1, 2015: While abstaining from sex until marriage isn’t a popular choice among most celebrities, former N.Y. Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has for years publically professed that he’s saving himself for marriage.

Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo and Tebow started dating in September after being set up by a mutual friend, according to Us Weekly, but their relationship was short lived.

“Tim’s super into her,” a source told Us magazine just two months ago. Tebow was released by the Philadelphia Eagles as No. 3 quarterback at the beginning of the season, and it was around that time he and Culpo first started dating.

Culpo was previously in a two-year relationship with singer Nick Jonas but after their split in June, Culpo, former Miss USA and Miss Rhode Island, linked up with Tebow.

The Daily News broke the story about the split on Thanksgiving Day, citing that it was because of Tebow’s stance on saving sex for the confines of marriage.

“He was really into her,” a source close to the model told the New York newspaper. “He was sending her love letters and cute notes and professing his love for her.”

“She had to break up with him because she just couldn’t handle it,” the source added. “He still hits her up, but she just can’t deal with the sex thing. He’s pretty adamant about it, I guess.”

According to his own admission, Tebow is waiting for God’s chosen mate. When the young athlete was asked during a press conference by reporter Clay Travis if he was saving himself for marriage? Tebow responded: “Yes, I am.”

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has also stated that he and his girlfriend, singer Ciana Harris, won’t be having sex unless or until they are wed.

Wilson was ridiculed by many in the secular media after he stated at Rock Church in San Diego, California, that he and Ciara agreed to abstain from sex. “We’re not going to be perfect, by any means. But He’s anointed both of us and He’s calling for us to do something special.”

Actress Meagan Good also followed the biblical ordinance of intimacy by waiting until her marriage to DeVon Franklin before having sex. TV star Tamera Mowry-Housely from the hit shows “Sister Sister” and “Tia & Tamera” hung in there three years until her wedding day as well. In addition, famous Christian actor Kirk Cameron is also vocal about keeping his relationship pure until marriage.

According to an E! News insider, Tebow’s recent split had “nothing to do” with his strong convictions to remain abstinent. “They are still friends and will remain to be,” the insider maintained.

– christian post

The secret of the rose

December 3, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

A new minister  was  walking  with  an  older, more  seasoned  minister  in  the  garden  one  day. Feeling  a  bit  insecure  about  what  God  had for  him  to  do,  he  asked  the  older  preacher  for some  advice.  The  older  preacher  walked  up to  a  rosebush  and  handed  him  a  rosebud  and told  him  to  open  it  carefully  without  tearing off  any  of  the  petals.


The  young  preacher  was baffled,  and  was  trying  to  figure  out  what  a rosebud  could  possibly  have  to  do  with  his wanting  to  know  the  will  and  plan  of  God  for his  life  and  ministry.  Nevertheless,  because  of his  great  respect  for  the  older  preacher,  he  proceeded  to  try  to  unfold  the  rose  while  keeping every  petal  intact.  It  wasn’t  long  before  he  realized  how  impossible  this  was  to  do.

Noticing the  younger  preacher’s  inability  to  unfold  the rosebud  without  tearing  it,  the  older  preacher began  to  recite  the  following poem:

It   is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God’s design;
But  I  cannot  unfold  the  petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is  not  known  to  such  as  I.
God opens this flower so easily,
But in my hands they die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
T his flower of God’s design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I’ll trust in God for leading
Each moment of my day.
I will look to God for guidance
In each step of the way.

The path that lies before me,
Only my Lord knows.
I’ll  trust  God  to  unfold the  moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.

– fwd: vathan shettigar

Police inadequately investigate church attacks in Delhi, Catholics say

December 3, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Fire damage inside Saint Sebastian Catholic Church in New DelhiNew Delhi, December 2, 2015: Catholics are accusing police of being insincere in their investigations against ascertaining the cause for attacks on church buildings in the national capital.

“Nothing has been done until now by police and we know nothing will happen. We go ahead and pray for peace,” said Jose Victoria, a parishioner of St. Sebastian Church in Dilshad Garden. The parish church in eastern New Delhi was burnt down on Nov. 30, 2014.

Father Anthony Francis told ucanews.com that police are not looking to see if Hindu hardliners were involved in burning the church. No one has been arrested in connection with this incident.

A series of similar incidents followed in the next two months.

A stone was thrown through a window of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Jasola while Mass was being celebrated Dec. 8. Police dismissed the incident as being caused by children playing in the street.

A minor fire broke out in a Nativity display at Resurrection church in Rohini on Jan. 5. Police say it was due to an electric short circuit, but church officials said it was an arson attempt. Police have yet to take any action.

A Marian grotto at Our Lady of Graces Church in Vikaspuri was vandalized Jan. 15. St. Aphonsa’s Church was desecrated in South Delhi in February. Attackers wrecked the church gate, entered the sacristy, broke open the tabernacle and scattered the Eucharist.

“The overall approach of police has been very weak and does not seem to show any great commitment when it comes to probing these incidents,” Father Savari Muthu, spokesman for the Delhi Archdiocese told ucanews.com.

Police were supposed to file a report within two months of the burning down of St. Sebastian Church but even after one year nothing has been revealed or anyone arrested, he said, adding that police have increased security around the churches after that incident.

The Hindu hard-line group Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh had earlier this month described the attack on churches and Christians as “petty crimes.”

Since May 2014 when the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janta Party won a landslide in national elections, Christian leaders have complained of attacks on churches.

They see an attitude change among political leadership that shows genuine concern over attacks on the minority community because of its indifference and silence.

The party is widely seen as the political wing of Hindu groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, which critics say are working to turn India into a Hindu theocratic nation.

According to the 2011 Census report, Christians constitute 130,000 in Delhi, which has a population of 17 million.

– ucan

Syro-Malabar Archbishop talks against sectarian politics in India

December 3, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

sectarian politics in indiaIndia, December 1, 2015: The Syro-Malabar church has said the outcome of Bihar state election is a verdict against “sectarian politics”and a “declaration by Indian conscience that it will not support political parties’ attempts to use caste divisions, religious intolerance and sectarian mindset as campaign tools”.

The church had earlier this year invited India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to celebrate the elevation to sainthood of two of its members, at a time the Modi government was widely criticised for inaction against attacks on churches in Delhi.

The event on February 17 was also attended by Cardinal George Alencherry, the head of the four-million strong Syro-Malabar Church.

In his pastoral letter, Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad-Delhi Syro-Malabar Church said there are “apprehensions” that some “ultra-religious fundamentalists have started questioning the very fundamentals of the Indian Constitution”.

This, he said, could “disintegrate” the country and lead to “sectarianism”.

“It cannot be accepted that one is questioned or isolated in the name of his caste, what he eats, or the religious rituals he follows,” he said.

In the four-page letter, written in Malayalam, Bharanikulangara recalled his experience of serving as a Vatican diplomat in an “Islamic country”, which had imposed a dress code for women. He added that the state should not interfere in an individual’s choice of religion, food habits and attire, which are “fundamental rights”.

“It cannot be accepted that a government imposes a particular ideology on its citizens just because it won a massive majority in the election. If the governments coming to power keep changing the Constitution, no country will have stability. Whatever is the ideology of the government, it should respect the Constitution and serve the country following the values prescribed in the Constitution,” the Archbishop wrote in the letter, read out in churches under Faridabad and Delhi diocese on Sunday.

The letter also referred to recent “incidents of intolerance” such as the Dadri lynching, the return of awards by artistes and writers, the killings of intellectuals such as M M Kalburgi, the murder of two Dalit children in Haryana, the alleged desecration of the Sikh holy book in Punjab, and the “restrictions on Green Peace and (activist) Teesta Setalvad’s organisation following their criticism of some policies of the government”.

The Archbishop said he wanted to enlighten the community about the need for religious tolerance. “Religious tolerance is the hallmark of Indian society. India neither has a concept of one state-one religion, nor the ruling party’s religion,” he said, adding that the Constitution ensures equality for all citizens.

– the indian express

Pakistani police investigate fire at Christian tv station

December 3, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Gawahi TVPakistan, November 26, 2015: Police officials said Thursday that they were investigating a fire this week that destroyed the office of a Christian cable television station in this southern port city.

Employees of the station, Gawahi TV, said the fire at their office was deliberately set.

There have been a number of recent attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan. More than a dozen people were killed in two bombings outside churches in Lahore in March, and Christians in Pakistan are routinely targeted by sectarian militant groups and local criminals.

Last week, a factory was burned, and a mosque owned by the Ahmadis, a Muslim sect considered heretical by Pakistan’s Sunni majority, was attacked over allegations that a factory worker had burned pages of the Quran. Army troops were called in to calm the situation in Jhelum, a city in Punjab Province.

Such acts of violence have continued in Pakistan despite the government’s repeated pledges to safeguard religious minorities, prompting some advocates of religious rights to question the government’s commitment.

The fire at Gawahi TV’s office was reported around 3 a.m. on Tuesday and took nearly two hours to extinguish. By daybreak, the three-room office was a burned-out hulk.

On Thursday, employees who days before had been planning their Christmas broadcast schedule gingerly stepped around large piles of half-burned religious books as they walked through the office. A charred copy of the Bible sat atop the reception desk.

Javed William, whose brother, Pastor Sarfraz William, is the owner of Gawahi TV, said the fire appeared to be a planned attack. “The door locks were cut and the things were not where we had left them,” he said, adding that a security camera system had been destroyed in the fire.

Employees said computers were destroyed or stolen.

“The hard disks are missing,” said Irfan Daniel, an assistant manager. “Someone did this with a lot of thought.”

Javed William said he was not aware of any threats to the organization. “This is not an attack on us,” he said. “It is an attack on Christianity. Whoever did this does not want God’s work to happen.”

Gawahi TV’s religious programming includes recitations of the Bible, Christian hymns and music videos, and is shown on local cable networks in Karachi.

On Thursday, the channel broadcast images of its damaged office, with Pastor William sitting amid the rubble. “A lot of people called and said, ‘We’d protest at one call from you,’ ” Javed William said. “We said our God does not allow us to do this.”

– ny times

Fr Piero Parolari is back in Italy, out of danger, but in need of a lengthy treatment

December 3, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Father Piero ParolariRome, November 30, 2015: Father Piero Parolari, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), returned to Italy this morning from Bangladesh, following an attack by Islamic extremists on 18 November in Dinajpur.

The clergyman is out of danger, but he will have to undergo a lengthy recovery and follow intensive care. Two physicians, Dr Rapacioli and Dr Rossetti accompanied him on his trip home, courtesy of Alitalia, which provided special assistance.

Now he is recovering as an exceptional measure in Rome’s Bambin Gesù Hospital. The Holy See’s Children’s Hospital has a long history of friendship and cooperation with PIME.

Fr Parolari, 64, is a medical missionary and associate pastor in Suihari and worked at the St Vincent Hospital in Dinajpur. He first came to Bangladesh in 1985.

On 18 November, three armed men on a motorcycle ambushed him on his way to the hospital. The priest fell to the ground and hit his head, bruising his eyes and other parts of the body. He has several broken ribs, which caused a pneumothorax, and a pneumocephalus due to a fracture to the Ethmoid bone.

Local authorities confirmed that Islamists were behind the attack. This reflects growing tensions vis-à-vis Bangladesh’s Christian community.

“Our community would like to thank the government and the authorities, who made themselves immediately available to help Fr Piero,” said PIME regional superior Fr Michele Brambilla, who spoke to AsiaNews.

“The situation remains very tense,” he added. “Today, extremists threatened the life of leading Muslim politician. Intimidation is not aimed only at Christians but also at all those who are working for peace. It is a political-religious problem, not a purely confessional issue.”

– asianews

Pope tells Bartholomew I that the necessary conditions for the restoration of unity between Catholics & Orthodox exist

December 3, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew IVatican City, November 30, 2015: Pope Francis sent Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I a message as part of the traditional meeting of delegations for the feast day of their respective patron saints, Saints Peter and Paul on 29 June in Rome and Saint Andrew on 30 November in Istanbul.

For the pontiff, “there is no longer any impediment to Eucharistic communion,” and progress “towards the full communion” can “draw inspiration from the gesture of reconciliation and peace by our venerable predecessors Paul VI and Athenagoras I,” who lifted the mutual excommunications of 1054.

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, delivered Francis’ message as the head of the Holy See delegation. The pope also sent the patriarch his greetings from Bangui, Central African Republic.

“While not all differences between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches were brought to an end, there now existed the conditions necessary to journey towards re-establishing the ‘full communion of faith, fraternal accord and sacramental life which existed among them during the first thousand years of the life of the Church’ (Joint Catholic-Orthodox Declaration, 7 December 1965). Having restored a relationship of love and fraternity, in a spirit of mutual trust, respect and charity, there is no longer any impediment to Eucharistic communion, which cannot be overcome through prayer, the purification of hearts, dialogue and the affirmation of truth. Indeed, where there is love in the life of the Church, its source and fulfilment is always to be found in Eucharistic love.  So too the symbol of the fraternal embrace finds its most profound truth in the embrace of peace exchanged in the Eucharistic celebration.

“In order to progress on our journey towards the full communion for which we long, we need continually to draw inspiration from the gesture of reconciliation and peace by our venerable predecessors Paul VI and Athenagoras I. At all levels and in every context of Church life, relations between Catholics and Orthodox must increasingly reflect the logic of love that leaves no room for the spirit of rivalry. Theological dialogue itself, sustained by mutual charity, must continue to examine carefully the questions which divide us, aiming always at deepening our shared understanding of revealed truth. Motivated by God’s love, we must together offer the world a credible and effective witness to Christ’s message of reconciliation and salvation.

“The world today has great need of reconciliation, particularly in light of so much blood which has been shed in recent terrorist attacks. May we accompany the victims with our prayers, and renew our commitment to lasting peace by promoting dialogue between religious traditions, for ‘indifference and mutual ignorance can only lead to mistrust and unfortunately even conflict’ (Common Declaration, Jerusalem 2014).

– asianews

Let your light shine

December 1, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

Someone told me that we influence at least 250 people during our lifetime.
Today, with the Internet connecting us with more people, I believe our influence is much greater.

I recently watched a true story featured on the video Paradise Road.
It told of a woman who used her influence and training to give a group of women hope,
courage, peace, unity and a reason to keep living.

The women were prisoners of war.
They came from diverse backgrounds – high society and farmers.
They were from different countries.

At first they didn’t trust each other,
but as life become more difficult for them, they began to work together.

God used this woman in an amazing way.
With her music and organizational abilities, she united the women to form an orchestra
and patiently taught them how to use their voices to sound like instruments.
Soon they were able to create a beautiful concert.

She gave them something to beautiful to focus
on besides their own misery and their horrific surroundings.

Every day women died at the hands of their captors or from disease,
but the group was able to keep going because of her courage.

There were, of course, some women who wouldn’t join the choir
and watched from afar, but most followed her.

let your light shine
Over half the women in the choir died. One day, when they were having yet another funeral procession,
one of the guards asked her, “Where is your choir now?”

Instead of letting his remark discourage her, she picked up two rocks and began banging out a rhythm.
Soon others followed her example, using sticks, shoes – whatever they could find.
They were an orchestra again and were encouraged.

Even those who usually sat and watched joined in the music.
Finally the war was over and they were set free.

This woman had given them hope, courage,
and even joy by inspiring them to make something beautiful in dire circumstances.

You are like this woman when Jesus Christ controls your life,
“You shine like stars…as you hold out the word of life” (Philippians 2:15).
You help women see something beautiful in life, no matter the circumstances.
You are the light of the world.

let your light shine
Think for a moment about the people you influence.
The ones you meet at your local coffee shop, the grocery store, clothing store and online,
as well as your neighbors, coworkers, church and family.
God can use you to help introduce people you know to Christ,
the One who brings light into our souls and eyes.

– fwd: vc mathews

From Kenya to India: Catholic schools committed to educating the young

December 1, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

kenya schoolMumbai, November 27, 2015: Catholics are playing a leading role in educating Kenya’s new generations, this according to Kevin de Souza, an African of Indian origin. He is a former student at the Strathmore School, Kenya’s first interracial educational facility founded in 1958 at the initiative of Josemaria Escriva.

De Souza remembers that admission to the school was hard because of its high standards, but “if I scored maximum marks in English and Mathematics in the Board Exams, I would be admitted,” he told AsiaNews. Which he did. Currently, he is working as a teacher in India where he also heads the Opus Dei Centre in Mumbai.

Speaking about the Opus Dei in Kenya, he noted that after a visit to the country, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo threw his weight behind the Kimlea Technical Training Centre near Nairobi. Founded in April 1989, the school provides technical training to rural women. Since it started, some 12,000 women have benefited from its programmes, most of them girls and young women working on tea and coffee plantations.

Another educational facility, the Eastlands College of Technology, was established in a slum district just east of Nairobi, where over a million people live in desperate poverty, with about 800 registered students. Run by the Strathmore Educational Trust, the facility is located in one of the poorest districts of Africa, providing students with a quality education.

Currently, half of Kenya’s 40 million people are under 25 years of age, and an unemployment level hovers around 80 per cent.

Speaking about the development of his religious vocation as a layperson, de Souza remembered those early moments at Strathmore. “Every now and then my mother would throw a hint that there was daily Mass celebrated in the School Chapel and I could go. Initially I rebelled.”

“In my second year, however, I saw a friend going to daily Mass. I was perplexed and asked him if he had someone at home, who was very sick or he had other problems. He smiled and replied that he wanted to receive Jesus every day. That changed my way of thinking and I started attending daily Mass.”

– asianews

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