CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SAT. NOV. 14, 2009: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: RECIEVES PRESIDENT OF SERBIA-
AMERICAS: COLOMBIA: SOCCER GAME FOR PEACE ON BORDER-
EUROPE: IRELAND: SHRINE OF KNOCK SWARMED WITH CROWDS-
AFRICA: NIGERIA: BISHOP CONDEMNS LEADERS-
ASIA: MYANMAR: CATHOLIC MUSIC FOR YOUTH-
AUSTRALIA: EDUCATION DATA PREVENTION LEGISLATION-
POPE: RECIEVES PRESIDENT OF SERBIA
Pope Benedict received the President of Serbia, Boris Tadic, and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Jan Fischer, in separate audiences this morning.
COLOMBIA: SOCCER GAME FOR PEACE ON BORDER
CNA reports that following threats of war by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez against Colombia, the diocesan newspaper in Cucuta, Colombia reported this week on a soccer game for peace, which Colombian and Venezuelan priests will play at a field on the border between the two countries.
IRELAND: SHRINE OF KNOCK SWARMED WITH CROWDS
CNA reports that despite Archbishop Mike Neary's recent warning that alleged apparitions at the Shrine of Knock risk “misleading God's people and undermining the faith,” crowds of people swarmed the shrine on Saturday Oct. 31. Close to 10,000 people from all over Ireland came to the shrine in hopes of seeing an apparition of Mary which was predicted by self-proclaimed visionary Joe Coleman.
Pat Lavelle, manager of the Shrine of Knock, explained how the situation unfolded in a phone interview with CNA on Friday.
“Our basilica was left in a terrible state after. Chairs turned upside-down; food, drinks spilled. The basilica was closed for three days. Every one of the 5,000 chairs in the basilica had to be lifted in order to clean the floor and [be] put back into position.”
According to Lavelle, the clairvoyant Joe Coleman had predicted that Our Lady would appear inside the basilica at 3 p.m. that afternoon. The basilica has seating for 5,000, however, Lavelle said that he and private security allowed 7,000 inside. “I was afraid, actually, that if we stopped at 5,000 the other 5,000 would charge the building,” said Lavelle.
At around 2 p.m., Joe Coleman walked into the basilica and prayed a Rosary, and then prayed in front of the altar. Minutes passed and nothing happened.
As time worn on, the crowd became restless and began to trickle outside. “I was viewing [the crowd] from our sound room which looks down into the basilica, because I was concerned about safety,” Lavelle told CNA. “The atmosphere was like a social occasion. People were talking, people were on the phone, taking photographs. There was no sense of dignity in the building at all. There was just a sense of anticipation, people were waiting for something to happen.”
At 3:30, a loud bang from outside sent the people indoors into a frenzy, all stampeding to get out. Lavelle revealed that the private security guards found someone had let off a small firecracker on the grounds outside.
Shortly after this, the “visionary,” Joe Coleman, left the building and ran in the direction of the museum. Lavelle told of how Coleman was being mobbed by the crowd and how people were falling on the ground in efforts to reach him. “It was very dangerous,” continued Lavelle, who explained how his security guards had to lead Coleman to safety.
Coleman has since claimed that Mary appeared to him privately that afternoon and he has predicted that another apparition of Our Lady will take place on Dec. 5.
When asked by CNA if the Shrine of Knock will prevent Coleman from returning, Lavelle said that they will not intentionally close the basilica on that day, as people are welcome whenever the shrine is open. However, “as the manager of the shrine I am concerned about safety,” he said. “Joe Coleman can make his predictions and stand away from it. If something happens to someone here, he's ultimately not responsible.” The shrine manager added that discussions have taken place among the staff about ensuring that stricter safety measures are taken on Dec. 5.
Although the spectacle created by Coleman's predictions has been largely negative, Lavelle revealed that he has had a flood of very positive responses from the “real supporters of Knock.” Letters and calls have come in from people who have been “disgusted” and and “distraught” at how the basilica was left.
“People who come to Knock are not looking for signs,” said Lavelle, who concluded, “Our Lady is here everyday. She responds to everyone who comes here quietly and gives people a lot of hope as she did in 1879.”
NIGERIA: BISHOP CONDEMNS LEADERS
CISA reports that a Catholic bishop from Nigeria has condemned some spiritual and political leaders who have the habit of extorting money from their followers and called on them to desist from that ungodly attitude and practice.
MYANMAR: CATHOLIC MUSIC FOR YOUTH
UCAN reports that the Mandalay Catholic youth song contest may not have the glitz of American Idol, but it is just as effective at revealing talents among many young people here.
One competitor, Ann Gu, says standing up on stage to sing a gospel song at the recent contest helped her overcome shyness.
The Mandalay Archdiocese Youth Commission, which organized the event, says its music program not only helps develop the young people's talents but draws them into Church activities.
"I wanted to develop my talent by performing in the competition. It wasn't important whether I won a prize or not," said Ann, who performed a song she composed herself.
Ann was one of 38 young contestants, some of whom preformed solo and others in groups, in the Nov. 7-8 event. Singer Lwin Min Ko won first prize, with two runners up and 10 other prizewinners.
Singer Elvin Tin Nyi Htet hopes he can be included in an album the youth commission is planning to record next year.
"The song competition has helped everyone make friends and also shown how we can develop our talents," Nyi Htet said.
Youth commission officials say music is a key part of its ministry, although they admit that finding talented teachers and producers is difficult.
Apart from singers, the youth commission hopes also to encourage and help train musicians to play keyboards, drums and guitars in parishes.
The Church throughout the country is sponsoring classes in musical instruments, and conducting praise and worship programs.
According to the Mandalay performers, music programs culminating in the competition have provided a release for them as they struggle with the pressures of studying or trying to earn a living.
"The challenge for many young people in our parish is simply to survive," Ann said.
Participants also acknowledged that music has brought them together and improved their relationship with their parish priest. (Source: http://www.ucanews.com/2009/11/13/church-brings-music-to-young-peoples-lives/
EDUCATION DATA PREVENTION LEGISLATION
Cath News reports that stakeholders agree school performance data needs to be more transparent but differ on how it should be presented, said a Sydney Morning Herald report.
Associate Professor of Education at the University of Technology Sydney Geoff Riordan believes the benefits of publishing national test data on a national website outweigh the potential for "naming and shaming" individual schools.
John DeCourcy, a data analyst from the Catholic Education Office, Parramatta, has welcomed legislation preventing the publication of school comparisons using data from national literacy and numeracy tests, known as NAPLAN.
"We advocate just this sort of regulation. Otherwise, any usefulness that the tests might have in revealing anything about student literacy and numeracy will be masked by 'teaching to the test' and other distortions," he is quoted saying.
"Why do we want to go down the path of making a useful, contributing insight into students' learning like NAPLAN into a high stakes, distorted measure of schools?"
Dr DeCourcy said educators were generally in favour of transparency, but opposed to league tables, the report adds.
Jennifer Buckingham, a research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies and the author of two books on school education, was in favour of publishing national school test data, but advocates publishing reader guides to any published tables and explaining the limitations of the data.(SOURCE: http://cathnews.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=17676
Luke 18: 1 - 8
And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
|2||He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man;|
|3||and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, `Vindicate me against my adversary.'|
|4||For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, `Though I neither fear God nor regard man,|
|5||yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.'"|
|6||And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says.|
|7||And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?|
|8||I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?"|