EUROPE: SPAIN: 58% OPPOSE ABORTION LAW-
NEW ZEALAND: ACADEMIC STANDARDS NEED TO BE HIGHER-
ASIA: ELECTRONIC MEDIA IS GROWING -
The poll also showed that 30 percent oppose abortion “in all cases,” and another 30 percent support the procedure only “in justified cases.” Only 35.5 percent support abortion for any reason.
A majority of respondents also opposed the distribution of the morning-after pill without a prescription.
On the other hand, the poll revealed that for 41.1 percent of Spaniards, the main reason for obtaining an abortion is economic or job-related. Nearly 19 percent said abortions were for social, family or cultural reasons. Eighteen percent attributed abortions to the failure of contraceptives, and only 7.5 percent believe the majority of abortions are performed for medical reasons.
“La Razon” reported that the poll results “contradict the claims of abortion clinics. According to official statistics of the Ministry of Health and Social Policy, around 99 percent of voluntary pregnancy terminations recorded in Spain occur for the life or health of the mother. In addition, on this point the youngest respondents (those aged 18-44) were the ones who attributed pregnancy termination to economic problems.”
Likewise, the poll revealed that 55.6 percent of Spaniards believe that a policy supporting childbirth would reduce the number of abortions in the country. For one-third of the respondents, abortion is failure of policies to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
ACADEMIC STANDARDS NEED TO BE HIGHER
CATH NEWS reports that New Zealand academic, researcher and author Professor John Hattie told local educators that teachers need to set the bar higher and focus only on the strategies that have the greatest effect on improving student achievement.
The Director of Visible Learning Laboratories and Professor of Education at the University of Auckland presented the 9th annual Ann D. Clark lecture titled, "Visible Learning, Visible Leadership", to over 600 educators from Catholic, government and independent school sectors, said the Parramatta Catholic Education Office.
"Every teacher can say that they are making a difference and that's the problem. All you need to enhance kid's achievement is a pulse," he contends.
"We have a system that allows us to teach the way we want because our bar is so low. We have to stop this argument that evidence of achievement increases is enough."
His research shows that influences like class sizes, socio-economic status, changing schools, ability groupings, homework and retention, have a small degree of effect on achievement.
Hattie argues "if there is a single, disastrous thing we do in our system it has got to be retention. Why should they need more of what failed? Why should they be put back with the same kind of teacher, the same kind of curriculum... the same kind of environment? The answer to most questions in education when they are not working is never more."
Many students disengage from learning, he said, because it is not challenging.
"If you reduce the leaving age to five, I think suddenly you would find ways to make it engaging. If kids thrive on challenge... and all kids want to have a reputation of being good at something, how can we come up with ways to challenge them?
"Our job is to exceed kids' potential, our job is to challenge them to go higher." (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=17250
UCAN reports that throughout the world, newspapers appear to be on the verge of extinction. Electronic media, beginning with radio and television, but now especially the Internet, have drawn readers away from the printed page as a means of distributing news.
The result has been a loss in subscription and advertising revenue for newspaper companies and, consequently, the possibility of their financial collapse.
Several newspapers have given up print altogether and publish solely on the Internet. It remains to be seen if such a move will stave off extinction for organizations that have relied upon print and are hesitantly and sadly turning toward other media.
Young people, especially, do not look to newspapers for information. The situation is exemplified by a recent cartoon that shows two young people reading news on their computers. One youth says to the other, "Hey, you know what's cool? If your batteries run out you can go down to the store and they have the news all printed out on paper!"
In many places, the same problem faces the Catholic press. Not only is information available through non-print media, but people who have lost the habit of picking up newspapers to get information are unlikely to make an exception for Church news. Young people, the Church of the future, may never even think to pick up a Catholic newspaper, or even know that such things exist. The demise of the Catholic press is inevitable.
But, at least in Asia, it may still be a bit early to make funeral arrangements.
News and other information that can be acquired from the Internet require access to a computer and the ability to use it. Many of Asia's Catholics are too poor to afford such luxuries even if they are available. In some countries such as Japan, an ageing Catholic population is less likely than younger generations to use computers.
Youngsters are frequently turning tothe Internet for news and information
For another few decades (two to four?), Catholic journalism will rely to some decreasing extent upon the printing press to turn out local-language news of the Church at home and around the world. But, even so, every editor's desk should have on it a picture of a tombstone with the name of his or her publication on it.
This does not mean the death of Catholic journalism. The Church's need for truly honest, relevant and useful sources of information for Asia's Catholics will grow even as the medium that distributed it in the past diminishes.
The Holy Spirit is active in Asia. Our vocation as Catholics is to know, give thanks for and proclaim that fact. The Spirit works through God's people, but for the most part, our parishes in Asia are small and scattered, and opportunities to know each other are limited. Catholic journalism provides one of the few tools to introduce us to Christians not only in our own countries, but around the world. When we see other Catholics' activities, we learn new ways to pray, to worship and to live and share our faith.
We are part of a world Church. Our brothers and sisters live in every land and time. Catholic journalists enable us to meet them and learn how they are a "light for the world." Scripture, history and the lives of the saints speak of what God has done for and through His people in the past. Journalism tells us what God is doing for and through His people today. We also learn how the Pope, bishops and other Church leaders guide us in our Christian life and proclamation.
In many parts of Asia where people are still poor,newspapers continue to be their source of information
Homilies, Scripture study and other parish, diocesan and national programs help adults deepen their faith. But, not all Catholics have the time or opportunity to join such groups even if they exist.
Catholic media, whether on paper or a screen, are tools for on-going formation as adult Catholics.
Finally, a truly responsive media is a place where we can share ideas and experience through columns, letters, comments on blogs, Facebook and other formats.
The time has already passed for those involved in Catholic media to prepare for the post-print age. The electronic age is upon us, and we have no choice but to move toward the death of the Catholic press. The role of Catholic journalism shall remain, even though the mode of delivery will change. This period of decline can and should be a time to develop the necessary journalistic skills for whatever media the future requires.
KANSAS: NATIONAL CATHOLIC YOUTH CONFERENCE EXPECTS 20, 000
CNA reports that the 2009 National Catholic Youth Conference expects 20,000 teenagers Nov. 19-21 in Kansas City for its gathering, which is based on the theme “Christ Reigns.” While 600 adults have volunteered, conference leaders are calling for 400 more.
Participants will have many opportunities to pray, to go to confession, to recite the Rosary, and to have a “labyrinth” experience. The event also features a multitude of workshops for youth and for youth leaders.
Archbishop of Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo will lead a Eucharistic Procession between the convention center and the Sprint Center arena.
The Catholic Key reported that volunteers represent a broad cross-section of the church in both the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri.
“We have a lot of college students from Benedictine, Rockhurst and Avila who went to a conference before, or who missed out and want to be part of it now, and we’ve got lots of people in their 60s, 70s, and even their 80s,” said Ernie Boehner, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas who is handling adult volunteer recruitment and training for the event.
“Every single job is valuable,” Boehner said. “We’ll be there to support the teenagers and help them become closer to Christ.”
He called for more volunteers who have been certified in the “Protecting God’s Children” child abuse prevention and education program.
“This will impact on their decisions and life choices for the rest of their lives,” he added. “It sends chills up your spine when these kids get excited about their faith.”
The conference website, which provides information both for attendees and for volunteers, is at http://ncyc.nfcym.org/
KENYA: 5 WOMEN HONORED FOR CONTRIBUTION TO PEACE
CISA reports that five Kenyan women who have made tremendous contribution for peace will be honoured at a five-day event organised by a worldwide ecumenical movement for peace, justice and reconciliation coming to Kenya for its 29th Annual Meeting, according to All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) in Kenya.The event which is expected to attract over 500 persons, will be held in Nairobi from 19 to 23, 2009.The International Committee of the Fellowship of the Least Coin (ICFLC), theme of this year will be: "Jesus Amongst Us: Pray and Act for Change".In Kenya, the Committee of the ICFLC will be hosted by AACC together with its 13 member churches in Kenya.Honourable Mrs Beth Mugo, Minister for Public Health and Sanitation will deliver the key note speech during the opening ceremony which will take place at the St Andrews PCEA Church Nairobi on the October 18, 2009, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm.The global movement for peace, justice and reconciliation owes its humble beginning to one Indian woman, Shanti Solomon, who, incensed by the ravages of war in Asia and the economic barriers which kept women apart mobilized women for prayer for peace.Today, the 53 year-old prayer movement is renown throughout the world for its positive role in promoting unity in over 100 countries.During prayers for peace, women are required to put aside their ‘least coins’. The least coin ensures that all economic barriers are broken to unite women regardless of their economic status.Using the ‘least coins’ put aside by women all over the globe, the ICFLC provides funding for diverse community and women projects.The ICFLC has supported women and community projects in various parts of Africa. In Kenya it has supported: Women and Children in Stress- a program of the NCCK; the PCEA Shalom Girls Training centre; the Joram G. Children’s home in Matasia; the Gamba Women’s Dairy project in Nyanza and the Kiragati community water project in Nyeri, among others development projects in several parts of the country.It is the second time that the ICFLC will be holding its annual meeting in Kenya since 1991.AACC, a regional partner of ICFLC is the largest Pan African ecumenical organization which begun in 1963. Its constituency comprises 173 member churches, National council of Churches and other Christian organizations in 40 African countries.(SOURCE: http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4192
St. Anthony Mary Claret
CLARETIAN ARCHBISHOP AND FOUNDER
Feast: October 24
December 23, 1807, Sallent
October 24, 1870, Fontfroide
May 7, 1950 by Pope Pius XII
Textile Merchants, Weavers, Savings (taught the poor the importance of savings), Catholic press, Claretians Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Anthony Mary Claret died in the Cistercian monastery at Fontfroide in France on this date in 1870. He was canonized in 1950 and listed in the Roman Calendar in 1960. Anthony was born at Salent in the Diocese of Vich in Catalonia, Spain, in the year in which Napoleon invaded Spain. He was trained for manual labor, since his father was a weaver, but in 1829 he entered the seminary at Vich. Ordained to the priesthood in 1835, he was assigned as pastor in his home parish. Later he went to Rome to work for the Propagation of the Faith. He also entered the novitiate of the Jesuits but had to leave because of ill health, so he returned to Spain and was assigned as pastor of a parish. His apostolate consisted of rural preaching, conferences for the clergy and publications (he wrote more than 150 books). Because of his successful apostolate he aroused the animosity of some of the clergy and as a result he left Catalonia for the Canary Islands (1848). After a year he returned to Catalonia and resumed his preaching apostolate.
In 1849 Anthony gathered together five priests who formed the basis of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (popularly known as Claretians). At the suggestion of the Queen of Spain, Isabella II, Anthony was named archbishop of Santiago, Cuba (1850). For the next seven years he made pastoral visitations, preached against the slavery of the Negroes, and regularized numerous marriages. As a result of his activity he was frequently threatened with death and on one occasion an attempt was actually made on his life. In 1857 he was recalled to Spain as confessor to the queen. In this way he was able to exert some influence in the naming of bishops, set up a center of ecclesiastical studies at the Escorial, and work towards the recognition of religious orders in Spain. In 1869 he was in Rome, preparing for the First Vatican Council. He followed Isabella II into exile and at the insistence of the Spanish ambassador, was placed under house arrest in the Cistercian monastery at FontFroide, where he died at the age of 63. His remains were ultimately returned to Vich.
Luke 13: 1 - 9
There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus?
I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo'am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?
I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
And he said to the vinedresser, `Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?'
And he answered him, `Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure.
And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"