November 2011

Advent: awakening our hope
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

On October 31, when a United Nations report estimated that the world’s population had reached seven billion, local media were peppered with phrases like “a population crisis”, “food and housing problems “ and “overcrowding fears.” 

However, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesperson and the director general of Vatican Radio, welcomed the birth of the seven...

Stay awake... you 
know not the hour
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

Happy New Year! Welcome to the Church’s New Year as we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent for year B in
the liturgical cycle. The prominent gospel readings in this cycle are taken from Mark, but due to his being the shortest gospel, we
will have readings from other evangelists as well to complete the year.

As we begin Advent, we enter into a time of spiritual preparation for the coming of Our...

First Sunday of Advent
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

Creed, preface for Advent I, Gloria, Creed, preface of the solemnity (violet). 
Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2b-7;
1 Corinthians 1:3-9; 
Mark 13:33-37.

Mass of the day, preface for Advent I (violet).
Isaiah 2:1-5;...

Let’s just love what God gives to us all
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

HONG KONG (SE): “I just want to show something of the unspoiled beauty of God’s creation that is currently under threat from the desire of our society to consume,” Hong Kong photographer, Francis Tong, told the Sunday Examiner on November 18, the opening night of an exhibition of her work from Fukushima, Japan, taken prior to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and consequent environmental threat from the damaged Daiichi Nuclear Power...

Religion is part of holistic education says pope
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The teaching of religion in public schools, “far from signifying that the state assumes or imposes a specific religious creed, indicates a recognition of religion as a necessary value for the holistic formation of the person,” said, Pope Benedict XVI on October 13, as he welcomed Brazil’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Almir Franco de Sa Barbuda.

The pope recalled that when the...

Digging out liturgical treasures from new translation of the Mass
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

HONG KONG (SE): Speaking to what has been the much criticised New English Translation of the Mass, Filipino Benedictine, Father Anscar Chupungco, told around 300 people gathered in the Caritas Hall in Central on November 18 that he was addressing the matter with some apprehension.

“It is as important to understand what it is not, as it is to understand what it is,” Father Chupungco said, explaining that...

Was Shakespeare a closet Catholic?
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): An opinion piece in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on November 18, suggested that William Shakespeare was a Catholic who was forced to conceal his faith in 16th century Protestant England, while leaving hints about it throughout his vast body of work. 

Taking a cue from renewed speculation about Shakespeare’s true identity sparked by the film, Anonymous, the article...

Vatican looks at adult stem cells but still rules out the destruction of embryos
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS/SE): In rejecting research using embryonic stem cells, the Catholic Church is not trying to impede science or delay treatment that can save lives, Pope Benedict XVI insisted on November 12, during a talk to delegates attending a conference under the theme of Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture, held at the Vatican.

The five-day conference, which ended on November 11, was...

Caritas Bazaars raise over $4 million to date
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

Hong Kong (SE): Fun-filled events at Cheung Chau, Shatin and Tsuen Wan closed out the Caritas Bazaar season for 2011. As at November 21, over $4 million had been raised. Over 100,000 people dropped in at the six bazaars—including those at Victoria Park and Tuen Mun on November 6, and Fa Hui Park, Kowloon on November 11.

Sister of Charity brutally murdered in India
(Saturday, 26 November 2011 )

NEW DELHI (UCAN): A 53-year-old Sister of Charity was shot dead in the state of Jharkhand, India, on November 15. Sister Valsa John, who comes from Kerala, was well known in the area for her work in defending the rights of tribal peoples.

Reports say that she was dragged from bed in the early morning by a mob of around 30 to 40 people and was stabbed and hacked to death in Pakur district, near the city of Dumka....