Saturday, February 1, 2014


FR. DENIS LEMIEUX BLOG: If we were tomorrow snowed up in the street in which we live, we should step suddenly into a much larger and much wilder world than we have ever known. And it is the whole effort of the typically modern person to escape from the street in which he lives.

First he invents modern hygiene and goes to Margate. Then he invents modern culture and goes to Florence. Then he invents modern imperialism and goes to Timbuctoo. He goes to the fantastic borders of the earth. He pretends to shoot tigers. He almost rides a camel.

And in all this he is still essentially fleeing from the street in which he was born; and of this flight he is always ready with his own explanation. He says he is fleeing from his street because it is dull; he is lying. He is really fleeing from his street because it is a great deal too exciting. It is exciting because it is exacting; it is exacting because it is alive.

He can visit Venice because to him the Venetians are only Venetians; the people in his own street are men. He can stare at the Chinese because for him the Chinese are a passive thing to be stared at; if he stares at the old lady in the next garden, she becomes active.

He is forced to flee, in short, from the too stimulating society of his equals—of free men, perverse, personal, deliberately different from himself. The street in Brixton is too glowing and overpowering. He has to soothe and quiet himself  among tigers and vultures, camels and crocodiles…

The complaint we commonly make of our neighbors is that they will not, as we express it, mind their own business. We do not really mean that they will not mind their own business. If our neighbors did not mind their own business, they would be asked abruptly for their rent, and would rapidly cease to be our neighbors… What we really mean… [is that] we do not dislike them because they have so little force and fire that they cannot be interested in themselves. We dislike them because they have so much force and fire that they can be interested in us as well. What we dread about our neighbors, in short, is not the narrowness of their horizons but their superb tendency to broaden it.
GK Chesterton, Heretics

Reflection – ‘On the virtues of being snowed in’ – that is a timely seasonal subject for a blog post. Oddly enough, while we’ve had no shortage of severe cold weather up our way this winter, and plenty of snow, we’ve had very few real winter storms—all of that has been going on to the south of us. But oh my, it has certainly gone on to the south of us with a vengeance—Mother Nature appears to be in quite a temper this year, over a great deal of continental North America.

So GKC gives us one good perspective on this, as this winter forcibly confines us to quarters, ‘sends us to our room to think about what we’ve done’, so to speak. Namely, how about going out and getting to know your next door neighbors? Not because they’re all such wonderful people and you’ll all get along marvelously once you break the ice (no pun intended). But precisely as he says, because they are quite different from us, may be quite gloriously uncongenial to us and constantly challenge our notions, our habits, our comfortable assumptions about things.

There is nothing quite as bracing as being ‘stuck’ with a bunch of people who are really very different from you, and trying to forge some kind of human society out of the clash of personality and individuality. There is nothing quite so stifling as living one’s life either among people who are virtual echo chambers for oneself, continually reflecting back one’s own temper and mind, or the kind of shallow cosmopolitanism Chesterton critiques here, where one races about the world and in doing so skims along the surface of life and relationships, essentially alone and unengaged in so doing.

Again, I can allude to my own experience of Madonna House, where we really are cooped up together by the exigencies of our communal way of life and the work we are doing here. Yes, we are all a bunch of Catholics, and so come together on some fundamental levels. But. My goodness. It is truly amazing how much room Catholicism provides for differences of opinion on just about everything besides those fundamentals of faith, and even within the shared fundamentals, the mode of expression and emphasis.

I can testify that it is not the weakness and dullness of my brothers and sisters that challenges me, but their forceful, fiery, boundless strength. We are just all so… very different, and it never ceases to amaze me what a constant work it is to stick it out with each other and work things through.

Patience, flexibility, humility, forgiveness, and perhaps above all a darned good sense of humor—all of this is profoundly needed if we are going to be ‘snowed in’ together, stay in proximity to the people you happen to find yourself with in the street where you live, and endeavor to get along with them. Frankly, the jungles of Borneo do in fact start to look tamer in comparison. GKC is precisely right on this point, and it is a point worth pondering in this long winter of 2014 when we are all feeling, maybe, a bit pinned down and immobilized.


(Vatican Radio) Build and preserve ecclesial communion, be mindful of the cultural context to which you are sent, and evangelize with love. These were some of the recommendations Pope Francis gave to members of the Neocatechumenal Way on Saturday, in advance of their evangelizing missions in different countries throughout the world.

The community commissioned several new “Missio ad Gentes” teams to establish communities of faith in countries, such as China, India, Vietnam, Mongolia, Finland and Ukraine, among others. Each team consists of priests, seminarians, female celibates and up to four families.

The Pope sent off the missionaries with a special prayer and blessing during an audience in the Paul VI Hall. He thanked the community for their joy, generosity, witness, missionary zeal and work in the Church.

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with about 8,000 members of the Neocatechumenal Way on Saturday in the Paul VI Hall. During the audience, with a solemn prayer and blessing, the Pope sent off members of the community on mission to countries throughout the world. Prior to the blessing, he addressed the members of the Neocatechumenal Way.

Below is a Vatican Radio translation of his message:

Dear brothers and sisters,

I thank the Lord for the joy of your faith and for the ardor of your Christian witness. Thanks be to God. I greet you all cordially, starting from the International Responsible Team of the Neocatechumenal Way, together with the priests, seminarians and catechists. I send an affectionate greeting to the children, in attendance in great number. My thoughts go out in a special way to the families, who will go out to different parts of the world to proclaim and witness to the Gospel. The Church is grateful for your generosity! I thank you for all that you do in the Church and in the world. And precisely in the name of the Church, our Mother,... I would like to propose to you some simple recommendations.

The first is to have the utmost care to build and to preserve the communion within the particular Churches in which you will work. The Way has its own charism and dynamic, a gift, which like all of the gifts of the Spirit, has a profound ecclesial dimension; this means paying attention to the life of the Churches to which your leaders send you, to enhance the riches, to suffer for the weaknesses if necessary, and to walk together, like one flock, under the guidance of the pastors of the local Churches. Communion is essential sometimes it can be better to renounce living in all the details that your itinerary demands, in order to ensure the unity among those who form one ecclesial community, of which you must always feel that you are part.

Another recommendation: wherever you may go, it would do you well to think that the Spirit of God always gets there ahead of us. The Lord always precedes us! ... Even in the most faraway places, even in the most diverse cultures, God scatters everywhere the seeds of his Word. From here, flows the necessity to give special attention to the cultural context in which you, families, will go to work: it consists of an environment often very different from the one from which you come. Many of you will have to work hard to learn the local language, sometimes it will be difficult, and this effort is appreciated. Even more important will be your commitment to “learn” the culture you will encounter, knowing how to recognize the need of the Gospel, which is present wherever, but also that action that the Holy Spirit has accomplished in the life and in the history of every people.

Finally, I exhort you to care lovingly for each other, in a particular way for the weakest. The Neocatechumenal Way, as an itinerary of discovery of one’s own baptism, is a demanding road, along which a brother or a sister can come upon unforeseen difficulties. In these cases, the exercise of patience and of mercy on the part of the community is a sign of maturity in the faith. The freedom of each person must not be forced, and even the eventual choice of someone who decides to seek, outside of the Way, other forms of Christian life that help him to grow in the response to the call of the Lord must be respected.

Dear families, brothers and sisters, I encourage you to bring everywhere, even in the most de-Christianized environments, especially in the existential peripheries, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Evangelize with love, bring to everyone the love of God. Tell everyone you will meet on the streets of your mission that God loves man as he is, even with his limits, with his mistakes, with his sins. For this, he sent his Son, so that he could take our sins upon himself. Be messengers and witnesses of the infinite goodness and the inexhaustible mercy of the Father. I entrust you to the Virgin Mary, that she may inspire and always sustain your apostolate. In the school of this tender Mother, be zealous and joyful missionaries.
Text from Vatican Radio website 


Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 322

Reading 1          2 SM 12:1-7A, 10-17

The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him,
Nathan said: “Judge this case for me!
In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor.
The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers.
But the poor man had nothing at all
except one little ewe lamb that he had bought.
He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children.
She shared the little food he had
and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom.
She was like a daughter to him.
Now, the rich man received a visitor,
but he would not take from his own flocks and herds
to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him.
Instead he took the poor man’s ewe lamb
and made a meal of it for his visitor.”
David grew very angry with that man and said to him:
“As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death!
He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold
because he has done this and has had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!
Thus says the LORD God of Israel:
‘The sword shall never depart from your house,
because you have despised me
and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.’
Thus says the LORD:
‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house.
I will take your wives while you live to see it,
and will give them to your neighbor.
He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.
You have done this deed in secret,
but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel,
and with the sun looking down.’”

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
Nathan answered David: “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin:
you shall not die.
But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed,
the child born to you must surely die.”
Then Nathan returned to his house.

The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David,
and it became desperately ill.
David besought God for the child.
He kept a fast, retiring for the night
to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth.
The elders of his house stood beside him
urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not,
nor would he take food with them.

Responsorial Psalm          PS 51:12-13, 14-15, 16-17

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God;
then my tongue shall revel in your justice.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Gospel                  MK 4:35-41

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up,
rebuked the wind,
and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
“Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”



St. Bridgid of Ireland
Feast: February 1

Feast Day:February 1
451 or 452 at Faughart, County Louth, Ireland
Died:1 February 525 at Kildare, Ireland
Patron of:babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; mariners; midwives; milk maids; newborn babies; nuns; poets; poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; watermen
Born in 451 or 452 of princely ancestors at Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth; d. 1 February, 525, at Kildare. Refusing many good offers of marriage, she became a nun and received the veil from St. Macaille. With seven other virgins she settled for a time at the foot of Croghan Hill, but removed thence to Druin Criadh, in the plains of Magh Life, where under a large oak tree she erected her subsequently famous Convent of Cill-Dara, that is, "the church of the oak" (now Kildare), in the present county of that name. It is exceedingly difficult to reconcile the statements of St. Brigid's biographers, but the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Lives of the saint are at one in assigning her a slave mother in the court of her father Dubhthach, and Irish chieftain of Leinster. Probably the most ancient life of St. Brigid is that by St. Broccan Cloen, who is said to have died 17 September, 650. It is metrical, as may be seen from the following specimen:

Ni bu Sanct Brigid suanach
Ni bu huarach im sheire Dé,
Sech ni chiuir ni cossens
Ind nóeb dibad bethath che.

(Saint Brigid was not given to sleep,
Nor was she intermittent about God's love;
Not merely that she did not buy, she did not seek for
The wealth of this world below, the holy one.)

Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of Kildare in his day: "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis". The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards, lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated curtains. Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century. Although St. Brigid was "veiled" or received by St. Macaille, at Croghan, yet, it is tolerably certain that she was professed by St. Mel of Ardagh, who also conferred on her abbatial powers. From Ardagh St. Macaille and St. Brigid followed St. Mel into the country of Teffia in Meath, including portions of Westmeath and Longford. This occurred about the year 468. St. Brigid's small oratory at Cill- Dara became the centre of religion and learning, and developed into a cathedral city. She founded two monastic institutions, one for men, and the other for women, and appointed St. Conleth as spiritual pastor of them. It has been frequently stated that she gave canonical jurisdiction to St. Conleth, Bishop of Kildare, but, as Archbishop Healy points out, she simply "selected the person to whom the Church gave this jurisdiction", and her biographer tells us distinctly that she chose St. Conleth "to govern the church along with herself". Thus, for centuries, Kildare was ruled by a double line of abbot-bishops and of abbesses, the Abbess of Kildare being regarded as superioress general of the convents in Ireland.
Not alone was St. Bridget a patroness of students, but she also founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination, over which St. Conleth presided. From the Kildare scriptorium came the wondrous book of the Gospels, which elicited unbounded praise from Giraldus Cambrensis, but which has disappeared since the Reformation. According to this twelfth- century ecclesiastic, nothing that he had ever seen was at all comparable to the "Book of Kildare", every page of which was gorgeously illuminated, and he concludes a most laudatory notice by saying that the interlaced work and the harmony of the  colours left the impression that "all this is the work of angelic, and not human skill". Small wonder that Gerald Barry assumed the book to have been written night after night as St. Bridget prayed, "an angel furnishing the designs, the scribe copying". Even allowing for the exaggerated stories told of St. Brigid by her numerous biographers, it is certain that she ranks as one of the most remarkable Irishwomen of the fifth century and as the Patroness of Ireland. She is lovingly called the "Queen of the South: the Mary of the Gael" by a writer in the "Leabhar Breac". St. Brigid died leaving a cathedral city and school that became famous all over Europe. In her honour St. Ultan wrote a hymn commencing:

Christus in nostra insula
Que vocatur Hivernia
Ostensus est hominibus
Maximis mirabilibus
Que perfecit per felicem
Celestis vite virginem
Precellentem pro merito
Magno in numdi circulo.

(In our island of Hibernia Christ was made known to man by the very great miracles which he performed through the happy virgin of celestial life, famous for her merits through the whole world.)

The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan, an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824. St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran. When dying, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to Ireland's Patroness. She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1 February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick, where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba. The relics of the three saints were discovered in 1185, and on 9 June of the following year were solemnly translated to a suitable resting place in Downpatrick Cathedral, in presence of Cardinal Vivian, fifteen bishops, and numerous abbots and ecclesiastics. Various Continental breviaries of the pre-Reformation period commemorate St. Brigid, and her name is included in a litany in the Stowe Missal. In Ireland today, after 1500 years, the memory of "the Mary of the Gael" is as dear as ever to the Irish heart, and, as is well known, Brigid preponderates as a female Christian name. Moreover, hundreds of place-names in her honour are to be found all over the country, e.g. Kilbride, Brideswell, Tubberbride, Templebride, etc. The hand of St. Brigid is preserved at Lumiar near Lisbon, Portugal, since 1587, and another relic is at St. Martin's Cologne.
Viewing the biography of St. Brigid from a critical standpoint we must allow a large margin for the vivid Celtic imagination and the  glosses of medieval writers, but still the personality of the founder of Kildare stands out clearly, and we can with tolerable accuracy trace the leading events in her life, by a careful study of the old "Lives" as found in Colgan. It seems certain that Faughart, associated with memories of Queen Meave (Medhbh), was the scene of her birth; and Faughart Church was founded by St. Morienna in honour of St. Brigid. The old well of St. Brigid's adjoining the ruined church is of the most venerable antiquity, and still attracts pilgrims; in the immediate vicinity is the ancient mote of Faughart. As to St. Brigid's stay in Connacht, especially in the County Roscommon, there is ample evidence in the "Trias Thaumaturga", as also in the many churches founded by her in the Diocese of Elphim. Her friendship with St. Patrick is attested by the following paragraph from the "Book of Armagh", a precious manuscript of the eighth century, the authenticity of which is beyond question: "inter sanctum Patricium Brigitanque Hibernesium columpnas amicitia caritatis inerat tanta, ut unum cor consiliumque haberent unum. Christus per illum illamque virtutes multas peregit". (Between St. Patrick and St. Brigid, the columns of the Irish, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many miracles.) At Armagh there was a "Templum Brigidis"; namely the little abbey church known as "Regles Brigid", which contained some relics of the saint, destroyed in 1179, by William Fitz Aldelm. It may be added that the original manuscript of Cogitosus's "Life of Brigid", or the "Second Life", dating from the closing years of the eighth century, is now in the Dominican friary at Eichstätt in Bavaria.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
31 Jan 2014

Priests of the Missionaries of God's Love will celebrate their official recognition next Saturday in Canberra
A milestone in the life of the Catholic Church of Australia will be celebrated at St Christopher's Cathedral, Canberra on Saturday, 8 February when Archbishop Christopher Prowse will preside over the inauguration of the Missionaries of God's Love (MGL) Religious Institutes of Diocesan rite.
Founded by Father Ken Barker in 1986, the MGL congregation has been formally recognised by the Pontifical Congregation of Religious Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life to become one of only a tiny handful of Catholic religious congregations in Australia that has not evolved or a part of a European or other overseas religious order.
Even congregations in Australia that operate independently from their founding order, nevertheless retain close links to these religious institutions along with their traditions as well as their shared history.
Over the past 175 years or more, there have only be two or three religious congregations that been founded in Australia by Australians. The most famous of these is the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart which was founded by St Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison-Woods in 1866 and approved and recognised by the Vatican in 1874.
"There have been one or two other religious congregations for men, I believe that were established in Australia and which the Vatican formally recognised, but I understand these have died out," Fr Ken says.
The Moderator as well as founder of MGL, Fr Ken says recognition of the Missionaries of Love by the Vatican was given almost two years ago. But the formalities at Canberra's St Christopher's Cathedral had to be delayed after the Most Rev Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn was appointed Archbishop of Brisbane and his successor, the Most Rev Christopher Prowse was not installed as the seventh Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn until just over two months ago.

MGL founder Fr Ken Barker
The MGL brotherhood was established by Fr Ken Barker when three fellow members of Canberra's  Disciples of Jesus Covenant community approached him independently, expressing a call to the priesthood while also wishing to remain part of the community.
Ordained as a priest in 1974, Fr Ken later attended the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, graduating with a PH.D in religious education. Returning to Australia he visited old friends and came into contact with Australia's charismatic covenant communities.
"I was impacted by the way this charismatic renewal and commitment was being lived on in people's lives, whether they were single, married or consecrated, and after hearing a testimony from a priest who told me how his life had changed, I realised this was the way I wanted to be involved with the Church and with God," he says.
But when the young men from the Disciples of Jesus Covenant community, told him they wanted to become priests, Fr Ken and the three would-be priests agreed to pray together for a year. For 12 months the four prayed together before the Blessed Sacrament, as well as individually seeking direction from the Lord and His plans for them.
Through prayer and in particularly through the communal prayers of the four men, it gradually became clear to Fr Ken and the others that the Lord wanted him to form a Brotherhood to evangelise young people, preach the Gospel with passion and joy and to help and live among the poor.
An MGL fraternity house was established in Canberra where the brotherhood sought to live the Gospel in a radical manner by imitating Jesus in his poverty, and developing a strong life of prayer.
From the start, the brotherhood had a strong commitment to contemplative prayer, adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and charismatic worship which empowered and enabled them to bring God's love to others, especially the marginalized and alienated. Through the grace and outpouring of the Holy Spirit the brotherhood was also determined to enable people to know Christ personally.
"The importance of knowing Jesus personally was something I had never come across before," says Fr Chris Ryan of his first contact with MGL in 1992. "No one had explained it to me before. And when I learned about this, it had a very big impact on me."
Today Fr Chris Ryan is an MGL priest and Director of Mission at MGL's John Paul II Formation House in Melbourne. But at the time he first discovered the importance of knowing Christ personally, he was in his final year at school and had been taken on a retreat by one of his teachers who was also a member of the Disciples of Jesus Covenant community.
Joining the MGL brotherhood in 1994, Fr Chris was ordained a priest in 2002, and is well known to  thousands of Australians as the young priest in charge of the WYD Cross and Icon and the 12 month journey he made to every corner of Australia in the lead up to World Youth Day in 2008.

Fr Chris Ryan
Embracing MGL's mission to live a radical life for God of evangelisation and helping people, especially young people, find God in their lives, Fr Chris says the most memorable moments of his life continue to be the chance to talk with, listen to and pray with young people, and help them in some way encounter the love of God.
"That's what gets me out of bed in the morning and what brings me the most joy in life," he says.
While priestly vocations have decreased among some traditional religious congregations, MGL continues to expand. More than 28 years since MGL was founded, the congregation has more than 60 members, 19 ordained priests, one ordained deacon, one who is about to be ordained a deacon and a third who is a consecrated brother.
In addition there are 18 men nearing the end of their priestly studies at John Paul II Formation House and a further 15 novitates and pre-noviates in initial formation in Canberra.
MGL also has missions not only in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne but in Darwin where chaplaincies minister to Indigenous communities and in Manila where MGL priests and brothers live amongst the desperately poor in the squatter settlements of North Quezon City.
Next month MGL will celebrate a further milestone when a second overseas mission will be established in Indonesia.
At the Mass at St  Christopher's Cathedral next Saturday MGL's priests and brothers will make their perpetual vows public and a similar number will renew their initial vows.


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday addressed participants at the Plenary meeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, saying their task is to ensure that people receive the faith in its purity and its entirety.

Quoting from his Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis said right from the earliest times of the Church there has been a temptation to consider the doctrine in an ideological sense or to reduce it to a series of abstract and crystallized theories. But in reality, he said, the doctrine’s sole role is to serve the life of God’s people and is meant to ensure a solid foundation to our faith. There is a great temptation, he continued, to take control of the gifts of salvation that come from God to domesticate them, maybe even with good intentions, according to the views and spirit of the world.

However, safeguarding the integrity of the faith, the Pope went on to say, is a very delicate mission entrusted to them, always in collaboration with local Pastors and with the Doctrinal Commissions of the Episcopal Conferences. It serves to safeguard the right of all the people of God to receive the depository of the faith in its purity and entirety. In their work, he said, there is always a need to maintain a constructive, respectful and patient dialogue with the other parties and show charity and fraternal help.

The Pope concluded his address by thanking the participants for their work in handling serious crimes, especially cases involving the sexual abuse of minors by clergy. He urged them to think of the wellbeing of children and young people, saying they should always be protected and sustained in their human and spiritual growth. The Pope said in this regard they are studying a possible link between the work done by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the special Commission for safeguarding children which he has set up and which is intended to be an example for all those wishing to promote the wellbeing of the young.

Text from  Vatican Radio website 


Renowned Vancouver-based developmental psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld spoke to the IMFC about the importance of healthy attachment between children and parents. In part two, he spoke further about the nature of child development. In part three, he spoke about bullying.
Why are some kids such bullies? How can they change? And what should schools be doing about this terrible problem?  Dr. Gordon Neufeld gets to the heart of the matter in this video interview. The good news is that bullies can change. They can even be transformed into protectors. The bad news is that we've been going about it the wrong way. We're battling the symptoms instead of getting to the root of the problem.  Most often, a bully's own parents aren't even aware that their child bullies. But there are signs that parents can and should watch for. We hope that you will enjoy this final installment of our video interview with Dr. Gordon Neufeld. Better yet, share it with other parents, teachers and school principals. Because essentially, the problem of children bullying can only be addressed through adult intervention.


YOLA January 28, 2014 (CISA) -Suspected insurgents armed with guns and explosives killed at least 62 people in northeast Nigeria, including at a church service, in a region where Islamist sect Boko Haram is resisting a military crackdown, witnesses said on Monday January 27.
They killed 22 people by setting off bombs and firing into the congregation in the Catholic church in Waga Chakawa village in Adamawa state on Sunday January 26, before burning houses and taking residents hostage during a four-hour siege, witnesses told Reuters.
On Monday January 27, a separate assault by suspected members of the shady sect killed at least 40 people in Kawuri village, in remote northeastern Borno state, security officials said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack.
President Goodluck Jonathan is struggling to contain Boko Haram in remote rural regions in the country’s northeast corner, where the sect launched an uprising in 2009.
Boko Haram, which wants to impose sharia law on a country split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, has killed thousands over the past four and a half years and is considered the biggest security risk in Africa’s top oil exporter and second largest economy after South Africa.
Its fighters’ favourite targets have traditionally been security forces, politicians who oppose them and Christian minorities in the largely Muslim north.
The spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Yola, Reverend Fr Raymond Danbouye, confirmed 22 people killed in the church were buried at a funeral on Monday.
Waga Chakawa is near the border with Borno state, in which the second attack occurred that killed at least 40 people.
“The whole village has been razed by Boko Haram and there were still loud explosions from different directions as I left, with bodies littering the village,” said resident Bulama Kuliri, who narrowly escaped.

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