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Our Lady of Fatima

In 1917, the apparitions of Our Lady occurred at Fatima. On the 13th of this month, Pope Francis will visit the small Portuguese town to preside over the celebration of their centenary.

In 1910, following the Portuguese Revolution, Portugal came under a Marxist government and in the traditionally Catholic country religion suffered from unprecedented persecution. Clergy were expelled and seminaries, convents and Church properties were confiscated. The government wanted to exterminate religion.








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Resurrect or perish

 

It is time to imagine a different sort of Church. It is time to discover new ways of looking at our religious reality to advance our common good, well this seems to be the opinion of Pope Francis anyway.








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D-Day for chief executive

Just 20 years after Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty, a new chief executive will be selected on March 26 by the 1,194-strong Election Committee.

In 1997, Tung Chee-hwa left the business sector to become the first chief executive of Hong Kong. He was followed by the veteran civil servant, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. In 2012, Leung Chun-ying, a professional who had also held public office, won selection.








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Patron of the Church in China

The Church dedicates the month of March to St. Joseph, one of the few feast days celebrated during Lent. With the exception of St. Joseph on March 19 and the Annunciation on March 25, both of which are part of the proclamation of the Saviour’s birth, Lent is a period of reflection on the Passion of Jesus, an opportunity to follow the way of the cross and live simply.








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Sinners have a future saints have a past

Pope Francis strongly proclaims that the Church is not a club for saints, nor should it be a place of arbitrary judgement of neighbour, but rather a home where the sinner can seek shelter, repent and embark on the search for conversion and forgiveness.








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Watch out for your dignity

St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians that every person is God’s work of art and has dignity by virtue of being created in Christ Jesus.

Kenyan author, Margaret Ogola, tells us that unless we recognise that no individual can be replaced and has dignity by virtue of simply being conceived human, we cannot begin to talk about human rights.








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Renewal calls for simplicity

At the beginning of the Year of the Rooster, everything takes on a new and fresh look. We wish all our readers good health and may your days be filled with God’s grace.

While it is customary to say that the New Year is a time of renewal, the warm winter prior to 2017 being ushered in followed by the heavy smog from the northern part of China reflect a worsening climate change problem.








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500 years of separation is a call to unity

ON 31 OCTOBER 1517, the German Augustinian friar, Martin Luther, posted The Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, a critical document challenging the teaching and practices of the Catholic Church on indulgences. This act symbolically signifies the beginning of a period known as the Reformation in Europe. One spin off of this has been the splitting of the western Church into Catholic and Protestant denominations, followed by 500 years of sometimes tempestuous and often acrimonious relations among them.








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The gaze of two faces

THE TITLE OF the recently released apostolic letter of Pope Francis, Mercy and Misery, has a close connection with the quotation from St. Augustine about the encounter of Jesus with a sinner, “… the two of them alone remained: mercy with misery.”








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Politics for Peace

POPE FRANCIS HAS offered his Message for the World Day of Peace for New Year’s Day under the theme Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace, in which he reminds the world that rejecting violence in the midst of turmoil and turbulence is the imperative of the truth of humanity.