Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! 10 easy Ways to make 2015 Peaceful! - SHARE

Dear Family in Jesus, JCE Catholic News World wishes you a blessed new year of 2015 and Feast of Mary Mother of God. Thank-you for your patronage - please keep us in prayer as we do you. May this year be a one of "Peace, requires the force of meekness, the force of nonviolence of truth and of love." as suggested by Pope Francis.
 "O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long. Be mindful of thy mercy, O LORD, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth..." (Psalm 25) 

The fruit of silence is prayer
the fruit of prayer is faith
the fruit of faith is love
the fruit of love is service
the fruit of service is peace. 
Mother Teresa
10 Amazing New Year's Resolutions - That Can Change the World
1. Go to Church Every Sunday (or every day)
2. Pray Every Day (Rosary, Mercy Prayer)
3. Go to Confession Regularly (Every Week or Every Month)
4. Fast Every Week (Great for your figure - the best diet)
5. Smile at everyone
6. Forgive everyone on a daily basis
7. Practice Silence especially when angry
8. Read your Bible Daily
9. Do random acts of kindness Daily
10. Tell others about the love of Jesus
Let us make the world peaceful in 2015 through small acts of kindness, love, forgiveness, silence, and suffering. World peace begins in your heart, then to your family, friends and the world. Above all let us pray and love God with all our heart, mind and soul and love our neighbor as ourselves.

In Jesus and Mary, JCE News.

Wow Pope Francis Train seat to fund home for Single Mothers in Korea

Pope Francis traveled to South Korea in August and during his stay he was supposed to take a helicopter but decided instead to take the train from Seoul to Daejeon. His famous seat now has a plate indicating the where he sat. This seat has become so popular in South Korea that a part of the ticket price paid to use the seat now goes to the local diocese. So far it has geneerated US$ 13,500, and the bishop has given to young mothers in need.

The Bishop, Mgr Lazzaro You Heung-sik, of Daejeon, explained the decision by the Korea Railroad Corporation (aka Korail), South Korea's railway company.
From August to December, Korail collected some 15 million won, about US$ 13,500.
The company, has indicated that a donation will be made annually, The bishop said, "It is wonderful that the seeds planted by Pope Francis in his trip to Korea will continue to bear fruit."

RIP Father Gregorio Lopez Gorrostieto - Priest killed in Mexico - Pope Francis offers condolences

A portrait of Father Gregorio Lopez Gorrostieto, at his funeral in Altamirano, Mexico. - AFP
27/12/2014 01:
(Vatican Radio) The Catholic Church in Mexico has condemned the murder of a priest, who was abducted by organized crime, after he preached a sermon criticizing it. Father Gregorio Lopez Gorrostieto dedicated what was to be his final sermon last Sunday to the 43 missing student teachers, who were handed over to gangsters by Municipal Police, following a protest rally on September 16th in the Southern City of Iguala. Father Gregorio, who was from the City of Altamirano in the State of Guerrero, criticized organized crime.
Listen to the report by correspondent James Blears:
That evening witnesses saw him being forced into a truck by armed men. His body was found near that city. He'd been strangled and shot.
Father Gregorio is the third priest to be murdered in Guerrero this year. The remains of a Ugandian Priest were found in a mass grave last month.
The student teachers went missing on September 16th after being handed over to gangsters, following a protest rally in the City of Iguala. So far only one set of remains have been identified. The Mayor and scores of Municipal Police have been arrested. 

Pope Francis calls murder of Mexican priest "unjustifiable violence"

The funeral of Father Gregorio López Gorostieta - AFP
30/12/2014 05:
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has expressed his “deep sadness” about the murder of Mexican priest, Father Gregorio López Gorostieta, who was murdered after preaching a sermon against organized crime, an act the Pope calld “unjustifiable violence”.
In a telegram sent on the Holy Father’s behalf to Bishop Maximino Martinez Miranda, The Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin conveyed the Pope’s condolences to the entire ecclesial community of the Diocese of Altamirano.
The telegram expressed the Pope’s “firm condemnation” of all such violence, and added the Holy Father urges all priests, and other missionaries, to continue in their mission despite the difficulties encountered, following the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Breaking News AirAsia Crashed at sea - many bodies found - Please Pray

AsiaNews report:AirAsia QZ8501, recovery of bodies difficult. Families: We want to say farewell
Indonesian authorities confirm they have identified the remains of the plane. Weather conditions hamper search operations. Six bodies recovered so far. The images spark desperation and fainting. A family member: "I continue to hope in a miracle."

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Queries of the last days on the fate of the AirAsia airplane received an answer last night, when the first bodies - along with some parts of the aircraft - were recovered by search teams in the Java Sea. Authorities have officially confirmed that they pertain to Flight QZ8501. Hope, still nurtured by family members of the passengers, turned to weeping and despair. At the sight of the images of dead bodies broadcast on Indonesian television, two people collapsed and fainted. "My heart will break if what I saw is true", 60-year-old Dwijanto, whose son was on the plane, said. "We just want to say farewell" one woman added.
For the moment, six bodies have been recovered. One is of a woman, wearing the uniform of the airline crew. Indonesian authorities explain that the ongoing storm, strong winds and waves that are 3 meters high, render recovery operations difficult. Moreover, with the passing of hours, it may become impossible to identify the bodies once they are recovered.
On board the flight there were 137 adult passengers, 17 children and a baby, along with two pilots and five crew members.
Tony Fernandes, President of AirAsia, rushed to Surabaya Airport where family members of the passengers on board are gathered, waiting for news. "Words can't express what these people are going through", he said.
When the television showed the first body floating on the water, relatives of the victims broke down in tears and embraced each other.  Some demanded the intervention of ambulances. A man covered his face with his hands, fainted and was taken away on a stretcher. A woman started screaming. The Mayor of Surabaya, who was present in the room with the families, tried to comfort them. "You must be strong - he said - they are no longer ours. Now they belong to God".
50-year-od Munif's younger brother, Siti Rahmah was on board the flight. "I'm trying to calm my family - he says - but it is difficult. The atmosphere has changed since they showed bodies floating. People have become hysterical".

54-year-old Ifan Joko, says he is still hoping in a miracle. His brother, Charlie Gunawan, together with his wife, three sons, and two other family members were on the plane. They were on their way to Singapore to celebrate the New Year. "I know that the plane crashed - he says through tears - but I can't believe that my brother and his family are dead. We are praying that they are still alive".
Shared from AsiaNewsIT

Today's Mass Readings : Wednesday December 31, 2014

The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
Lectionary: 204

Reading 11 JN 2:18-21

Children, it is the last hour;
and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming,
so now many antichrists have appeared.
Thus we know this is the last hour.
They went out from us, but they were not really of our number;
if they had been, they would have remained with us.
Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.
But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One,
and you all have knowledge.
I write to you not because you do not know the truth
but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.

Responsorial Psalm PS 96:1-2, 11-12, 13

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the LORD.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD comes,
he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Alleluia JN 1:14A, 12A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.
To those who accepted him
he gave power to become the children of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.

And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son,
full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.

Gain a Plenary Indulgences on New Year's Eve

Plenary Indulgences for 31 December 
The Enchiridion Indulgentiarum 26 indicates that we can gain plenary indulgences on the 31 December. (Video Below)
A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, recite or sing the Te Deum
Under the usual conditions, a plenary indulgence can be gained:
1. Sacramental confession within eight days
2. A prescribed good work (for Dec. 31 the recital of the Te Deum)
3. Sacramental Holy Communion within eight days.
4. Prayers for the intentions of the Roman Pope (usually 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be)
5. Detestation of venial sin 

TE DEUM PRAYER in Latin and English
Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.O God, we praise Thee: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.Everlasting Father, all the earth doth worship Thee.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi Caeli et universae Potestates;To Thee all the Angels, the Heavens and all the Powers,
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:all the Cherubim and Seraphim, unceasingly proclaim:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,The glorious choir of the Apostles,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,the wonderful company of Prophets,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.the white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,Holy Church throughout the world doth acknowledge Thee:
Patrem immensae maiestatis:the Father of infinite Majesty;
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.Thou, having taken it upon Thyself to deliver man, didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.Thou overcame the sting of death and hast opened to believers the Kingdom of Heaven.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.Thou sitest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.We beseech Thee, therefore, to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.
V. Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance!
R. Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.
V. Per singulos dies benedicimus te.V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yea, forever and ever.
V. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.R. O Lord, in Thee I have hoped; let me never be put to shame.

Free New Year's Recipe by Maria Von Trapp of the Sound of Music

Sylvester Punch

Sylvester Punch
(In Austria the last day of the year is dedicated to the Holy Pope, St. Sylvester, who baptized Constantine the Great, thereby bringing about the dawning not only of the New Year but of a new era; for this reason, the night before the New Year is called "Sylvesterabend" (Eve of St. Sylvester).
Red burgundy (count one bottle for six people)
Equal amount of hot tea
12 cloves
rind of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. sugar to each bottle of wine
2 cinnamon sticks to each bottle of wine

Pour the liquid into an enamel pot, add the cloves, the thinly pared rind 
of 1 lemon, the sugar, and the cinnamon. Heat over a low flame but do not 
allow to boil. At the last moment add the tea. Serve hot.

If there are many children and very young people, it is good to know 
different fruit punch combinations. Here is a basic recipe, with 

1/2 cup lemon juice           grated rind of 1 lemon
1 cup orange juice            1 qt. water
grated rind of 1/2 orange     1 cup sugar

Cook sugar and water for five minutes. Cool. Add juices and the grated 
rind and any of the following combinations:

(1) 1 cup grated pineapple, 1 qt. ginger ale.

(2) 1 qt. strained, sweetened strawberry juice, 1 qt. raspberry juice, 2 
qts. ginger ale.

(3) 1 glass currant jelly dissolved in 1 cup hot water. Cook, chill, and 
add 1/4 cup mint, finely minced.

(4) 1 qt. cider, 1 qt. grape juice, 1 qt. soda water.

It is great fun to try out new variations every year. One starts with 
lemonade or orangeade and soon the children will go on to pineapple-ade, 
raspberry-ade....In our family we have something called "Hedwig-ade" 
because it is Hedwig's own secret.

Source: Maria Augusta Trapp
Music Arranged by Franz Wasner
Illustrations by Rosemary Trapp and Nikolaus E. Wolff
Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Saint December 31 : St. Sylvester : Pope

Feast Day:December 31
Died:31 December 335 at Rome, Italy
Patron of:Feroleto Antico, Italy

St Sylvester, whom God appointed to govern his holy church in the first years of her temporal prosperity and triumph over her persecuting enemies, was a native of Rome and son to Rufinus and Justa. According to the general rule with those who are saints from their cradle, he received early and in his infancy the strongest sentiments of Christian piety from the example, instructions, and care of a virtuous mother, who for his education in the sound maxims and practice of religion, and in sacred literature, put him young into the hands of Charitius, or Carinus, a priest of an unexceptionable character and great abilities. Being formed under an excellent master, he entered among the clergy of Rome and was ordained priest by Pope Marcellinus, before the peace of the church was disturbed by Diocletian and his associate in the empire. His behaviour in those turbulent and dangerous times recommended him to the public esteem, and he saw the triumph of the cross by the victory which Constantine gained over Maxentius within sight of the city of Rome, on the 28th of October 312. Pope Melchiades dying in January 314, St. Sylvester was exalted to the pontificate, and the same year commissioned four legates, two priests, and two deacons to represent him at the great council of the Western church, held at Arles in August, in which the schism of the Donatists, which had then subsisted seven years, and the heresy of the Quartodecimans were condemned, and many important points of discipline regulated in twenty-two canons. These decisions were sent by the council before it broke up, with an honourable letter, to Pope Sylvester, and were confirmed by him and published to the whole church. The general council of Nice was assembled against Arianism in 325. Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret say that Pope Sylvester was not able to come to it in person on account of his great age, but that he sent his legates. Gelasius of Cyzicus mentions that in it "Osius held the place of the Bishop of Rome, together with the Roman priests Vito and Vincentius." These three are named the first in subscriptions of the bishops in the editions of the acts of that council and in Socrates, who expressly places them before Alexander, patriarch of Alexandria, and Eustathius, patriarch of Antioch. St. Sylvester greatly advanced religion by a punctual discharge of all the duties of his exalted station during the space of twenty-one years and eleven months; and died on the 31st of December 335. He was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla. Pope Sergius II translated his body and deposited it under the altar in a church dedicated to God in his memory. Mention is made of an altar consecrated to God in his honour at Verona, about the year 500; and his name occurs in the ancient Martyrology called St. Jerome's, published by Florentinius, and in those of Bede, Ado, Usuard, &c. Pope Gregory IX, in 1227, made his festival general in the Latin church; the Greeks keep it on the 10th January.

After a prodigious effusion of Christian blood almost all the world over, during the space of three hundred years, the persecuting kingdoms at length laid down their arms and submitted to the faith and worship of God crucified for us. This ought to be to us a subject of thanksgiving. But do our lives express this faith? Does it triumph in our hearts? It is one of its first precepts that in all our actions we make God our beginning and end, and have only his divine honour and his holy law in view. We ought, therefore, so to live that the days, hours, and moments of the year may form a crown made up of good works, which we may offer to God. Our forgetfulness of him who is our last end, in almost all that we -do, calls for a sacrifice of compunction at the close of the year; but this cannot be perfect or acceptable to God unless we sincerely devote our whole hearts and lives to his holy love for the time to come. Let us therefore examine into the sources of former omissions, failures, and transgressions, and take effectual measures for our amendment and for the perfect regulation of all our affections and actions for the future, or that part of our life which may remain.


Latest News from Vatican Information and Pope Francis

30-12-2014 - Year XXII - Num. 229 

- Wisdom of the heart to recognise the image of God in the sick
- Pope Francis' prayer intentions for January
- Other Pontifical Acts
Wisdom of the heart to recognise the image of God in the sick
Vatican City, 30 December 2014 (VIS) – The Pope's message for the 23rd World Day of the Sick 2015 begins with a phrase from the Book of Job: “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame”, explained from the perspective of “sapientia cordis”, the wisdom of the heart that “is not theoretical, abstract knowledge, the product of reasoning”, Pope Francis remarked, but rather “a way of seeing things infused by the Holy Spirit in the minds and hearts of those who are sensitive to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters and who can see in them the image of God”.
World Day of the Sick, instituted by St. John Paul II in 1992, is held on 11 February, feast day of the Virgin of Lourdes. The full text of the Message is published below:
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On this, the twenty-third World Day of the Sick, begun by Saint John Paul II, I turn to all of you who are burdened by illness and are united in various ways to the flesh of the suffering Christ, as well as to you, professionals and volunteers in the field of health care.
This year’s theme invites us to reflect on a phrase from the Book of Job: 'I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame'. I would like to consider this phrase from the perspective of 'sapientia cordis' – the wisdom of the heart.
1. This 'wisdom' is not theoretical, abstract knowledge, the product of reasoning. Rather, it is, as Saint James describes it in his Letter, 'pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity'. It is a way of seeing things infused by the Holy Spirit in the minds and the hearts of those who are sensitive to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters and who can see in them the image of God. So let us take up the prayer of the Psalmist: 'Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom'. This 'sapientia cordis', which is a gift of God, is a compendium of the fruits of the World Day of the Sick.
2. Wisdom of the heart means serving our brothers and sisters. Job’s words: 'I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame', point to the service which this just man, who enjoyed a certain authority and a position of importance amongst the elders of his city, offered to those in need. His moral grandeur found expression in the help he gave to the poor who sought his help and in his care for orphans and widows.
Today too, how many Christians show, not by their words but by lives rooted in a genuine faith, that they are 'eyes to the blind' and 'feet to the lame'! They are close to the sick in need of constant care and help in washing, dressing and eating. This service, especially when it is protracted, can become tiring and burdensome. It is relatively easy to help someone for a few days but it is difficult to look after a person for months or even years, in some cases when he or she is no longer capable of expressing gratitude. And yet, what a great path of sanctification this is! In those difficult moments we can rely in a special way on the closeness of the Lord, and we become a special means of support for the Church’s mission.
3. Wisdom of the heart means being with our brothers and sisters. Time spent with the sick is holy time. It is a way of praising God who conforms us to the image of his Son, who 'came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many'. Jesus himself said: 'I am among you as one who serves'.
With lively faith let us ask the Holy Spirit to grant us the grace to appreciate the value of our often unspoken willingness to spend time with these sisters and brothers who, thanks to our closeness and affection, feel more loved and comforted. How great a lie, on the other hand, lurks behind certain phrases which so insist on the importance of 'quality of life' that they make people think that lives affected by grave illness are not worth living!
4. Wisdom of the heart means going forth from ourselves towards our brothers and sisters. Occasionally our world forgets the special value of time spent at the bedside of the sick, since we are in such a rush; caught up as we are in a frenzy of doing, of producing, we forget about giving ourselves freely, taking care of others, being responsible for others. Behind this attitude there is often a lukewarm faith which has forgotten the Lord’s words: 'You did it unto me’.
For this reason, I would like once again to stress 'the absolute priority of “going forth from ourselves toward our brothers and sisters” as one of the two great commandments which ground every moral norm and as the clearest sign for discerning spiritual growth in response to God’s completely free gift'. The missionary nature of the Church is the wellspring of an 'effective charity and a compassion which understands, assists and promotes'.
5. Wisdom of the heart means showing solidarity with our brothers and sisters while not judging them. Charity takes time. Time to care for the sick and time to visit them. Time to be at their side like Job’s friends: 'And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great'. Yet Job’s friends harboured a judgement against him: they thought that Job’s misfortune was a punishment from God for his sins. True charity is a sharing which does not judge, which does not demand the conversion of others; it is free of that false humility which, deep down, seeks praise and is self-satisfied about whatever good it does.
Job’s experience of suffering finds its genuine response only in the cross of Jesus, the supreme act of God’s solidarity with us, completely free and abounding in mercy. This response of love to the drama of human pain, especially innocent suffering, remains for ever impressed on the body of the risen Christ; his glorious wounds are a scandal for faith but also the proof of faith.
Even when illness, loneliness and inability make it hard for us to reach out to others, the experience of suffering can become a privileged means of transmitting grace and a source for gaining and growing in “sapientia cordis”. We come to understand how Job, at the end of his experience, could say to God: 'I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you'. People immersed in the mystery of suffering and pain, when they accept these in faith, can themselves become living witnesses of a faith capable of embracing suffering, even without being able to understand its full meaning.
6. I entrust this World Day of the Sick to the maternal protection of Mary, who conceived and gave birth to Wisdom incarnate: Jesus Christ, our Lord.
O Mary, Seat of Wisdom, intercede as our Mother for all the sick and for those who care for them! Grant that, through our service of our suffering neighbours, and through the experience of suffering itself, we may receive and cultivate true wisdom of heart!
With this prayer for all of you, I impart my Apostolic Blessing”.
Pope Francis' prayer intentions for January
Vatican City, 30 December 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for January 2015 is: “That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace”.
His intention for evangelisation is: “That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 30 December 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Fr. John Saw Yaw Han as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Yangon (area 47,192, population 14,620,000, Catholics 69,120, priests 102, religious 438), Myanmar. The bishop-elect was born in Homalim, Myanmar in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He studied philosophy and theology at the St. Joseph national major seminary, and has served in a number of roles, including missionary “fidei donum” in the diocese of Kentung, lecturer in philosophy at the national major seminary in Mandalay; assistant at the St. Lazarus Church in Insein and St. Mary's Cathedral in Yangon; lecturer in theology at the national major seminary in Yangon; and rector at the minor seminary of Bago. He is currently rector of the national major seminary in Yangon.

200 Volunteers Feed Homeless on Christmas Day in Australia - 250000 Free meals per year....

Vinnies Brings Christmas Cheer to City's Homeless

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
23 Dec 2014

Giving to Vinnies will help turn despair into hope this Christmas
The balloons, holly, streamers and Christmas lights are about to go up while the cold room at St Vincent de Paul Society's Matthew Talbot Hostel at Woolloomooloo is filled to overflowing with hams, turkeys, Christmas puddings, cakes, bags of potatoes, pumpkin and 24 kilos of peas.
On Christmas morning, 200 volunteers will arrive and the rest of the day will be devoted to giving Sydney's homeless and families doing it tough a Christmas to remember.
At the Matthew Talbot Hostel, staff and volunteers will serve up more than 600 meals throughout the day, while at Vincentian House in Surry Hills, 44 families living in temporary crisis accommodation will also be given an extra special Christmas. Each child will receive a special Santa pack of toys and treats.

Volunteers help Vinnies serve 250000 meals each year to Sydney's homeless
With typical sensitivity and tact, each toy-filled Santa pack will be quietly passed to each parent so it is the parent rather than the charity who gives their child his or her Christmas presents.
"It is what each of the parents would be do if they weren't going through hard times, and had the wherewithal to buy their children gifts," says Jay Gleeson, Services Administrator at Matthew Talbot.
Each day, at its Matthew Talbot kitchen in Woolloomooloo, Vinnies staff and volunteers prepare and serve between 400 and 450 meals to the city's homeless.
"Matthew Talbot Homeless Services is so large that just to stay open we rely on 200 volunteers each week day and weekend. They are absolutely vital and an essential part of the support and help we are able to give men, women and families not just at Christmas but throughout the year," Jay says.

Each year Vinnies puts on a slap up Christmas dinner for the homeless
On any given night of the year across Australia at least 105,000 have no shelter and no where safe to bed down. Instead they sleep rough in parks, on the streets or in a car.
Of this number more than 33,000 are children.
The popular image of a homeless person is of an aged man in rags befuddled by years of drink and drugs. But this is far from the reality.
Disturbingly not only is 30 - 35 the average age of those experiencing homelessness, but many are victims of today's fast changing world where traditional jobs are being replaced by the rapid advances in technology, and where companies are downsizing with thousands given reduced shifts or laid off completely.
The impact of today's technological revolution is as far reaching and life changing as the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century.
CEO of Vinnies NSW, Michael Perusco says it is not unemployment so much as under employment that is causing deep concern across the country. Thousands want to work and are keen to work but they cannot get enough shifts to make a living wage, let alone support their families, he says.

Michael Perusco CEO of Vinnies NSW
This is further exacerbated by Sydney's skyrocketing real estate, high rents and lack of affordable housing. 
As always on Christmas Day, Vinnies NSW and the team of staff and volunteers at Matthew Talbot Homeless Services are making sure that they provide an all day feast.
The day will start with a cooked breakfast of fruit juice, fried eggs, bacon, grilled tomatoes, toast and jam.  Then after a 9 am Mass celebrated by Bishop Terry Brady who began volunteering at Matthew Talbot more than 50 years ago as a teenager, there will be morning tea with festive biscuits and Christmas cake.

Lunchtime is the main Christmas dinner which features roast turkey, baked ham, homemade gravy, roast potatoes, minted and buttered peas and honeyed pumpkin. After which, those at Matthew Talbot and families at Vincentian House will enjoy Christmas pudding with custard and ice cream.
Afternoon tea is served later and includes more special treats and Christmas cake and in the evening a supper of roast beef and salad will be served.

No shortage of volunteers at Christmas but more needed during the year
As with all meals served in the Matthew Talbot Hostel kitchen, much of the food has been generously donated by corporations such as Manildra who supplied the 40 hams and 25 turkeys for this year's Christmas dinner. But much of the food throughout the year is also the result of the generosity of individuals, families or groups of friends.
Although at Christmas there is never a shortage of volunteers, Jay says throughout the year volunteers are also needed. So too are donations of food and he suggests a great way of contributing is to get together with a group of friends or extended family and pitch in and sponsor meals for the homeless at different times throughout the year.
"All they have to do is ring us up and ask what we'd like to cook. Then once the meal is sponsored we can go ahead and organise the 45 kg of lamb or beef or 70 chickens for the guys and other bits and pieces for one of the main meals of the week," he says.
Another way to help those in need and the vital work of Vinnies' staff and hundreds of volunteers across NSW is to donate to Vinnies' annual Christmas Appeal.

The Matthew Talbot Hostel in Woolloomooloo cares for more than 400 homeless men each day
Vinnies NSW is gearing up to assist 40,000 people providing around $3.7 in support. This will include as much as $2 million in food and $1 million to help people cover energy bills and utilities.
Support will also include gift hampers and toys as well as the hand of friendship and much needed emotional support for families and individuals doing it tough.
"Christmas can be extremely stressful and a difficult time for families who are struggling on the margins and I urge Australians to dig deep and donate to help them and to help us reach our 2014 Christmas Appeal target of $1.1 million," says Yolanda Saiz, spokeswoman for Vinnies NSW.
To find out more about Vinnies and to donate to the Christmas Appeal log on to

Death Toll from ISIS nears 2000 - Please PRAY for Peace

AsiaNews report: Islamic State blamed for almost 2,000 executions in less than six months
Of those killed, 1,175 were civilians, including women and children. Almost half of the victims are members of the Sunni Shaitat tribe, which rebelled against the Islamic State domination. The group also executed 120 of its own members, who wanted to return to their home countries.

London (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group has murdered nearly 2,000 people in Syria - half of them from an important Sunni tribe - since announcing its "caliphate" on 28 June, a monitoring group said yesterday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in Britain, said that it has documented the execution by the Islamic State of 1,878 people in Syria.
Victims were shot dead, beheaded or stoned to death in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Hama, Homs, Hasakeh and Raqa.
Of those killed, 1,175 were civilians, including four children and eight women.
The dead include 930 members of the Shaitat tribe which rose up against IS in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor in the summer.
IS also executed 502 Syrian soldiers and pro-regime militiamen, and 80 members of the rival al-Nusra Front, the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria.
The Observatory said that the jihadist group also killed around 120 of its own members, mostly for trying to flee to their home countries.
It warns that the number of people killed is almost certainly higher since many more people are still missing or unaccounted for.

IS often videotapes its killings and posts footage on the Internet to sow fear among civilians and rival groups, as well as attract new recruits. Shared from Asia News IT

How to Recognize and Counteract Anti-Religious Indoctrination

Special to JCE CatholicNewsWorld by Scott Ventureya:
 On Anti-Religious Indoctrination
How to know Recognize Anti-Religious Indoctrination
First, whenever an educator is adamant of pushing an ideology on their students as if it were commonsensical and widely established (despite it obviously not being so, such as the inexistence of God).  Students should be alarmed when an educator makes such claims without substantiating it with good arguments and evidence.
Second, whenever an educator denies truth, as was previously discussed, this should suggest an anti-religious agenda may be at work. This includes denial of well-established laws of logic which are necessary for any scientific endeavour let alone communication.  The laws of logic cannot be proved but must be presupposed, without this communication would be literally impossible. 
Third, the expounding of moral relativism, related to the second reason, it is a form of truth denial, namely, moral truth. An important distinction between subjective and objective truths must be made. Subjective truth is based on internal preferences whereas objective truths are based on the outside world and cannot be altered based on our desires, regardless of how much we wish.[1]  Moral relativists deny objective truths and reduce everything to the subjective level of internal preferences then proceed by rationalizing them. For obvious reasons such a view put into practice will have devastating consequences.
Fourth, the advocating of scientism – a belief that science can account for all types of knowledge. It is commonplace particularly in the university setting for professors to pin science against religious belief and even sometimes philosophical reflection, as if it were a scientific claim.  Scientists who do this unwittingly are expounding philosophical or even a-theological positions of their own. As the philosopher Peter van Inwagen explicates: “When it comes to classifying arguments, philosophy trumps science: if an argument has a single “philosophical” premise (a single premise that requires a philosophical defense), it is a philosophical argument.”[2] 
Fifth, the relentless exposition of naturalistic (the view that all that exists are natural phenomena; no God(s), souls or spiritual beings) ideologies while mocking religious and supernatural concepts. 
Sixth, the presentation and defense of liberal ethical ideas such as abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia.  If your child is being exposed to this at a young age, approach the educators and the school administration. 
How to Counteract Such Indoctrination
There exists a wealth of resources to counteract each of these methods of anti-religious indoctrination.[3]  It is important to read as widely as possible from differing viewpoints on issues pertaining to truth, relativism, the existence of God, religion, evolution, creation, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and science in general in order to gain a nuanced and balanced perspective.  It is vital to understand what you stand for and what you stand against.  This is a proper first step in countering attacks against what you believe.
Students can challenge indoctrination by asking their professors simple but logical questions. Greg Koukl refers to this as the Colombo tactic: “[going] on the offensive in an inoffensive way by using carefully selected questions to productively advance the conversation. Simply put, never make a statement, at least at first, when a question will do the job.”[4]  By doing this one can gather more information from them, reveal inconsistencies and leaps in logic through solely asking appropriate questions.  However, just one or two questions might suffice to get the instructor and the students thinking.  For example, if educators are speaking about evolution, ask them to define what they mean by such a term since it has several different meanings which are more often than not conflated with one another.
Parents and older students should be vigilant of educators who deny truth (alongside other forms of anti-religious indoctrination) if consistent, they will not be able to discern the difference between the grade of A and F. I believe it is absolutely important for students to question educators (in a respectful manner) when they present unwarranted conclusions.  The implications are great if such conclusions remain unchallenged. Why should a democratic society remain silent about the anti-religious indoctrination of students in the schools we fund through our tax dollars? Equipping young minds to ask the right questions is essential.  The retired law professor Phillip Johnson pointedly stated in his book The Right Questions: Truth Meaning & Public Debate: “the questions I am asking are the ones they should be asking, and that their education to this point has prepared them to ask the wrong questions [instead of] the right ones.”[5]
Typically, any dissent from these ideas are stifled and met with vitriol.  There have been attempts to silence dissenters with fear tactics. This does not create greater understanding and is poor pedagogy. Parents and older students should be vigilant of educators who push such ideologies on their students. It is the first step forward to overcome anti-religious indoctrination.
This is Part 2 - for part 1 see
Scott Ventureyra
by: Scott Ventureyra is a doctoral candidate in theology at Dominican University College in Ottawa, Canada.


[1] Francis J. Beckwith and Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), p. 28.
[2] Peter van Inwagen, “Can Science Disprove the Existence of God?” Philosophic Exchange 34 (2004): p. 41.
[3] For literature on philosophical arguments for God`s existence I would recommend authors such as W.L. Craig, Norman Geisler, J.P. Moreland, Richard Swinburne, Alvin Plantinga and Stuart Hackett. For literature on Intelligent Design I would suggest looking at the writings of William A. Dembski, Stephen C. Meyer, Michael Denton and Michael Behe.  In the camp of theistic evolution one could read Francis Collins, Kenneth Miller and Simon Conway Morris.  In order to understand Neo-Darwinism, one should look at books by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Michael Ruse.  An interesting appraisal of competing theories over evolution is that of Thomas Folower and Daniel Kuebler’s “The Evolution Controversy.”  For apologetic type books have a look at Phillip E. Johnson, Michael L. Brown and Gregory Koukl.
[4] Gregory Koukl, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing your Christian Convictions (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2009), p. 47.
[5] Phillip E. Johnson, The Right Questions: Truth Meaning & Public Debate (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 28.