UCAN REPORT: MUSLIMS TORCH CHRISTIANS’ HOUSES
Seven houses were burnt and several people badly injured after a group of Muslims attacked a Christian village in northwestern Bangladesh yesterday.
A group of Muslims quarreled with predominantly Catholic Christian villagers in Banglagar in Thakurgaon sub-district, part of Dinajpur diocese on March 7, triggered by ongoing land disputes. Later they attacked poor villagers with sticks and sharp weapons and also set their homes on fire.
The attack left seven people badly wounded and their homes and valuables worth several hundred thousand taka (US$ 1= 70 taka) burnt to ashes.
The injured people are being treated at nearby Ranishonkoil sub-district health complex.
Sabina Akter, 37, a Muslim nurse at the health complex said, “We’ve 6 people- 4 male and 2 female admitted here who have serious injuries in chest, head, back and other places.”
Father Anthony Sen, parish priest of Thakurgaon parish, said: “After we called the police and informed about the attack the culprits fled.”
Father Sen, secretary of diocesan justice and peace commission also visited the place and distributed 40 kilos of rice and 9 blankets among the victims.
One of the villagers filed a case against the perpetrators, with the diocese and local Caritas wing to provide legal assistance.
Soon afterwards, local police visited the village and assured the victims of compensation and punitive measures against the culprits after proper investigation.
However, several villagers said they fear further attacks might take place.
Father Sen said land dispute with the Muslims is one of major challenges they often have to face.
- The U.S. bishops are urging Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to sign an anti-death penalty law after weeks of indecision on the state leader's part, saying that the legislation would help build a “culture of life in our country.”
“Respect for life applies to all, even the perpetrators of terrible acts,” Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California wrote to Gov. Quinn on March 3. Bishop Stockton serves as chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for the U.S. Bishops' Conference.
The landmark Senate Bill 3539 abolishing the death penalty passed through the Illinois legislature in January and now awaits Gov. Quinn’s approval.
At an event at the University of Illinois on Jan. 19, Gov. Quinn says he'd like feedback from the citizens of Illinois before he decides whether to sign the legislation. He added that he is currently going through a period of what he called “reflection and review” and has not indicated when he will make a decision. According to local news outlets, the governor has until March 18 to sign the bill into law before it takes effect without his signature.
“On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I join the Catholic bishops of Illinois and urge you to sign SB 3539,” Bishop Blaire said in a letter to Gov. Quinn.
The Stockton bishop added that the legislation would not only end the use of the death penalty in Illinois but also provide funds for training law enforcement personnel and providing services to families of murder victims.
Bishop Blaire also noted in his letter to the governor that Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, “called for the end to the use of the death penalty as a sign of greater respect for all human life.”
His letter also drew from the U.S. Bishops' Conference 2009 document “In A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death,” which says that even “when people deny the dignity of others, we must still recognize that their dignity is a gift from God and is not something that is earned or lost through their behavior.”
“The legislation before you would help to begin building a culture of life in our country,” he said.
Karen Clifton, executive director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network – a group that works collaboratively with the U.S bishop's conference – said in a Jan. 18 interview with CNA that “all eyes are on Illinois” as Catholics wait to see if it will repeal the death penalty.
“Presently there are 15 states without the death penalty and 35 still have the death penalty on their books,” Clifton said. “We are waiting for Illinois to make the number 16.”
Clifton spoke against the continued use of the death penalty in comments to EWTN News, saying that Catholics need to be consistent in promoting the Church's stance on the issue. Failure to do so, she added, puts the faith community at risk of not being taken seriously on other pro-life initiatives.http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/abolishing-death-penalty-in-illinois-would-help-build-culture-of-life-say-us-bishops/
St. John of God
CONFESSOR, FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF CHARITY
Feast: March 8
Born at Montemor o Novo, Portugal, 8 March, 1495, of devout Christian parents; died at Granada, 8 March, 1550. The wonders attending the saints birth heralded a life many-sided in its interests, but dominated throughout by implicit fidelity to the grace of God. A Spanish priest whom he followed to Oropeza, Spain, in his ninth year left him in charge of the chief shepherd of the place, to whom he gradually endeared himself through his punctuality and fidelity to duty, as well as his earnest piety. When he had reached manhood, to escape his mastery well-meant, but persistent, offer of his daughter's hand in marriage, John took service for a time in the army of Charles V, and on the renewal of the proposal he enlisted in a regiment on its way to Austria to do battle with the Turks. Succeeding years found him first at his birthplace, saddened by the news of his mother's premature death, which had followed close upon his mysterious disappearance; then a shepherd at Seville and still later at Gibraltar, on the way to Africa, to ransom with his liberty Christians held captive by the Moors. He accompanied to Africa a Portuguese family just expelled from the country, to whom charity impelled him to offer his services. On the advice of his confessor he soon returned to Gilbratar, where, brief as had been the time since the invention of the printing-press, he inaugurated the Apostolate of the printed page, by making the circuit of the towns and villages about Gilbratar, selling religious books and pictures, with practically no margin of profit, in order to place them within the reach of all.
It was during this period of his life that he is said to have been granted the vision of the Infant Jesus, Who bestowed on him the name by which he was later known, John of God, also bidding him to go to Granada. There he was so deeply impressed by the preaching of Blessed John of Avila that he distributed his worldly goods and went through the streets of the city, beating his breast and calling on God for mercy. For some time his sanity was doubted by the people and he was dealt with as a madman, until the zealous preacher obliged him to desist from his lamentations and take some other method of atoning for his past life. He then made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, where the nature of his vocation was revealed to him by the Blessed Virgin. Returning to Granada, he gave himself up to the service of the sick and poor, renting a house in which to care for them and after furnishing it with what was necessary, he searched the city for those afflicted with all manner of disease, bearing on his shoulders any who were unable to walk.
For some time he was alone in his charitable work soliciting by night the needful supplies, and by day attending scrupulously to the needs of his patients and the rare of the hospital; but he soon received the co-operation of charitable priests and physicians. Many beautiful stories are related of the heavenly guests who visited him during the early days of herculean tasks, which were lightened at times by St.Raphael in person. To put a stop to the saint's habit of exchanging his cloak with any beggar he chanced to meet, Don Sebastian Ramirez, Bishop of Tuy, had made for him a habit, which was later adopted in all its essentials as the religious garb of his followers, and he imposed on him for all time the name given him by the Infant Jesus, John of God. The saint's first two companions, Antonio Martin and Pedro Velasco, once bitter enemies who had scandalised all Granada with their quarrels and dissipations, were converted through his prayers and formed the nucleus of a fourishing congregation. The former advanced so far on the way of perfection that the saint on his death-bed commended him to his followers as his successor in the government of the order. The latter, Peter the Sinner, as he called himself, became a model of humility and charity.
Among the many miracles which are related of the saint the most famous is the one commemorated in the Office of his feast, his rescue of all the inmates during a fire in the Grand Hospital at Granada, he himself passing through the flames unscathed. His boundless charity extended to widows and orphans, those out of employment, poor students, and fallen women. After thirteen years of severe mortification, unceasing prayer, and devotion to his patients, he died amid the lamentations of all the inhabitants of Granada. His last illness had resulted from an heroic but futile effort to save a young man from drowning. The magistrates and nobility of the city crowded about his death-bed to express their gratitude for his services to the poor, and he was buried with the pomp usually reserved for princes. He was beatified by Urban VIII, 21 September, 1638, and canonized by Alexander VIII, 16 October, 1690. Pope Leo XIII made St. John of God patron of hospitals and the dying.
|Mark 12: 13 - 17|
|13||And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Hero'di-ans, to entrap him in his talk.|
|14||And they came and said to him, "Teacher, we know that you are true, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?|
|15||Should we pay them, or should we not?" But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, "Why put me to the test? Bring me a coin, and let me look at it."|
|16||And they brought one. And he said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" They said to him, "Caesar's."|
|17||Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at him.|