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Shopping green and shopping smart

With Christmas in the air, the old topic of frenzied seasonal shopping is back on the script. The time to be jolly has become a retailers’ delight over recent decades, with delusional specials on offer and all sorts of goodies on display especially designed to make it a special time for loved ones—to say nothing of clients and prospective customers.








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Knock knock—come in!

The Jubilee of Mercy is a symbolic event, which in the current climate of violence in the world has become more relevant than ever.

Officially, the year begins on December 8, when Pope Francis is scheduled to throw open the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.








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Modern lesson from ancient times

Last weekend, the 1,400th anniversary of the death of St. Columban was celebrated at St. Joseph’s in Central. Columban was Irish and a monk. He set off for Europe with the confidence that he could meaningfully engage with the cultures of a foreign people and use his learning to contribute to their lives.

Columban was highly conscious of his own identity, leaving the earliest surviving literary record of Irish self-description.








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Subduing evil with mercy

THE NOVEMBER 13 terrorist attacks on Paris have made the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy all the more relevant.

Mercy is fundamental to resolving violence. Mercy, rather than pity, allows lives to be linked with each other and bridges of peace to be built. In the fight against systematic violence, mercy must be proclaimed through dialogue and collaboration.








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Love and forgiveness in the family

THE FAMILY IS where we learn the value of forgiveness. At the closing of the Synod on Family Life, Pope Francis said that forgiving, or seeking forgiveness, not only helps families bind together and grow, but also contributes towards the development of a more humane society.

The bishops at the synod reiterated family values and emphasised the need to help those whose marriage relationships have fallen apart to remain part of Church life.








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It is a call to everyone

THE YEAR THE Catholic Church marks 50 years since the promulgation of the Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes) and the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem). On November 22, the Hong Kong diocese will celebrate their promulgation with a Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to encourage reflection on mission in the world.








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The deceased and the communion of saints

EVERY YEAR, THE Church dedicates the month of November to the souls in purgatory, not only to remind us of our deceased relatives and friends, but most importantly to urge us to remember the communion of saints.

The feast encourages us to pray for the souls in purgatory so that they can be delivered from suffering.








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Mercy and marriage

The three-week Synod of Bishops on Family Life was marked by fervent discussion among the synod fathers. Meeting under the theme, The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World, the gathering took place in what is described as a protected space where the Church can experience the action of the Holy Spirit.








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Inadvertent missionaries

October 25 completes Mission Week, the only celebration in the liturgical calendar that runs for a full eight days, from Sunday to Sunday.

With the major exception of Korea, where local people received the faith in China and brought it home, Churches across Asia were founded by missionaries, mostly from Europe. Stories of their heroic deeds abound and indeed they punched well above their weight, often at great cost, for some—their lives.








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Trumpet all Nobel Laureates

The awarding of a Nobel Prize for Medicine to a Chinese research doctor, Tu Youyou, has captured the imagination of the country and in some ways turned her into of a cult hero.

The home she used to live in has sky-rocketed in value and the high school she attended over 50 years ago has become a centre of attention.