February 2014

A box of tricks
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

The Box with Ten Thousand Uses is just an expression, but English translation somehow reveals an abundance of possibilities.

We could think of 10,000 uses for such a box. Even thinking about a few hundred would get our imaginations working. Don’t restrict yourself to transport or storage—that is too obvious. How about packing gold, myrrh and frankincense for a trip to Bethlehem?...

Eighth Sunday of the Year
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

Mass of the day, Gloria, Creed, preface of the day (green).
Isaiah 49:14-15; 
1 Corinthians 4:1-5; 
Matthew 6:24-34.

Mass of the day (green).

Statue of hope in Fukushima
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

TOKYO (AsiaNews): A statue of the goddess Kannon, the Buddha of Compassion, has been sculptured out of timber from the pine forest that surrounds the Buddhist temple of Taimadera, which was destroyed in the earthquake and the tsunami that devastated Fukushima in March 2011.

The sculptor is calling it a sign of hope for the survivors and a call to prayer for the souls of those who died during this tragedy. ...

Kneel in front of the holy people executioner orders
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

YONEZAWA (SE): All 53 people who were martyred in Yonezawa, in the Fukushima province of Japan on 12 January 1629, were lay people.

Their leader was Blessed Luis Amakasu Uemon, a high ranking samurai in the Uesugi household. 

He was baptised in Tokyo, or what was then known as Edo, around the year 1610, without the knowledge of his master.


Egypt and Holy See renew relations
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

VATICAN (SE) : On February 6, Pope Francs received diplomatic credentials from Wafaa Ashraf Moharram Bassim, as the new ambassador to the Holy See from the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The accepting of the 58-year-old ambassador brings to an end a three-year period of without diplomatic relations between the two entities.

Cairo withdrew its ambassador in 2010, Vatican Radio reported....

Don’t divide the Holy Land
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

BETHLEHEM (SE): The bishops of the Holy Land are calling for prayer and asking the international community to bring pressure to bear on Israel, as the Supreme Court begins a hearing on an appeal against a planned extension of its security wall in the Cremisan Valley, near Bethlehem, it was reported by Vatican Radio on January 28.

The group said that the proposed direction of the extension of the wall is outside the legal...

Give laity decision-making power
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

VATICAN (SE): There should also be a Pontifical Council for the Family headed by a married couple, Oscar Rodriguez Cardinal Maradiaga told the French Catholic newspaper, La Croix, on February 20.

“Why not?” he asked. “It would be a wonderful sign. And it would be great to have a Congregation for the Laity within the Church. I can tell you that the spirit is pushing in this direction. More and more lay men...

If you can think about fasting you are lucky
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

“DON’T FORGET TO fast in Lent.” This is a well known catchphrase among Catholics in the lead up to Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of what is recognised as a 40-day period of fast.

More often observed by people trying to give something up for Lent, it can become a struggle of mind over matter in the effort to avoid eating or drinking a favourite delicacy for the long period of time.

United Nations response to Vatican not useful
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

HONG KONG (SE) : The United Nations (UN) response to the Vatican report on its institution of safeguards for children against sexual abuse may have been good media feed, but according to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the director of media relations for the bishops in the United States of America, that is about where its utility may end.

The prior of the Bose Monastic Community, Enzo Bianchi, was even stronger in his criticism,...

Nepal gives big wraps to Jesuit education
(Saturday, 1 March 2014 )

KATHMANDU (AsiaNews): The Hindu community in Nepal celebrated Shree Panchami on February 4, the day of wisdom and knowledge dedicated to the goddess, Saraswati.

During the celebrations this year, the Society of Jesus received a government salute as being the primary source of spreading wisdom and knowledge in the country.

“Hindus celebrate Saraswati in accordance with...