October 12, 2011

World Food Day reflection from Bangladesh

By |12 October 2011|

By Bishop Theotonius Gomes CSC, President of Caritas Bangladesh  One essential aspect of the mystery of the human person is its union of the earthly body and the heavenly soul, a union on earth destined for eternity. On earth, the body has to be a true home for the eternal spirit; in eternity the soul has to be home of the risen body. On earth, food assists the body in its essential function to keep “body and soul together” towards the fulfillment of that mystery of the human person. Thus ‘food security’ is hardly a mere earthly affair, it has eternal overtures. The Lord’s Prayer is no common petition. It is the prayer for the coming of the Kingdom of God. In it we pray for the “daily bread”, the everyday food of the poor leading to the eternal bread of tomorrow for all. Scripture refers to food as the basic earthly need: At creation, no [...]

July 7, 2011

South Sudan: Preparing for independence

By |7 July 2011|

By Kim Pozniak When I arrived in South Sudan’s future capital Juba yesterday, the joyous preparations for independence were immediately apparent. Landing at the airport, another passenger pointed out the newly installed lights along the runway to allow for night flights. Everywhere you look there are small signs of progress. Driving along Juba’s bumpy, dusty roads, you see women cleaning the streets. Signs for the long expected independence have been put up along small storefronts, on crumbling walls and white washed tree trunks. Spending my first day in Juba, I spoke with many people about their hopes and dreams for the new nation. I want to tell you about two of them. Taban Benneth, 25, works as a driver for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and plans to see the celebrations firsthand so he can tell his children and grandchildren that he was there when the flag was raised for the first time. “I’m really happy [...]

June 22, 2011

Prayer and Novena for Republic of South Sudan

By |22 June 2011|

Novena for South Sudan South Sudan emerges as a new nation on 9 July 2011. The Catholic Church in Sudan is inviting all people of goodwill to take part in nine days of prayer for the future of the new state. This novena begins on  June 29, 2011 and ends on July 7, 2011. Day One: Dignity of the Human Person Day Two: Common Good Day Three: Rights and Responsibilities Day Four: Preferential Option for the Poor Day Five: Solidarity Day Six: Integrity of Creation Day Seven: Reconciliation Day Eight: Subsidiarity or Participatory Government Day Nine: Peace Prayer for Republic of South Sudan God of Mercies, We thank you for your great love for us. We ask you to guide all our leaders in the process of nation building. Grant them your wisdom, compassion and fortitude. Loving God, give us courage to reject ethnic resentment as well as ethnic conflicts. Through the intercession of St. Josephine Bakhita, help us to overcome hurt, hostility and bitterness in our hearts so that we become [...]

Prayer vigil for African migrants lost at sea

By |17 June 2011|

Caritas and other NGOs and church bodies have organised a prayer vigil in Rome to remember the migrants who have died trying to reach Europe. Other vigils are being held in Spain and Belgium. Don Andrea la Regina from Caritas Italiana was at last night’s gathering. They say that over 1,800 people drowned at sea while trying to reach Europe in the first five months of this year. That’s what they say, but in reality we can’t know the true figure as many people are clandestine and their bodies aren’t always found. Sometimes these people are whole families: mothers and fathers and their children. Last night’s vigil in the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere was called “To die of hope”. The hope of many is to find a better life. They leave war-torn countries and places of hunger to take a chance on life in Europe. Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglió from [...]

December 21, 2010

Sudan votes: a boat of prayers for peace

By |21 December 2010|

Caritas asked for prayers as part of the 101 days of prayer campaign for the people of Sudan and the challenges and possibilities that lie ahead of them in the hope that they will achieve a lasting peace. The idea was to spread an encouraging word of peace as wide as possible, reaching all the people of Sudan, without any distinction between southerners and northerners Caritas supporters in parishes and schools around the world joined justice and peace groups, religious congregations, and many others in taking part in the prayer campaign. Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference Seceretary General Fr. Santino Maurino Morokimomo said, “We are grateful to the solidarity shown with the people of Sudan throughout the 101 Days of Prayer campaign. It’s been really important knowing that there are many thousands joining in prayer with us around the world for a new dawn of peace in Sudan. It has given us hope [...]

October 4, 2010

101 days of prayer for Sudan

By |4 October 2010|

Africa could get a new country in 2011; or an old country could be torn apart by strife. On January 9th, up to eight million Sudanese in the south could vote to decide whether to stay united with the north or to secede and become independent. View photo gallery of Sudan in the run up to the referendum 2011 The south is slowly being rebuilt after decades of war ended in 2005. People who fled came back to their destroyed houses and their lands. Many of these people are hoping for a new country as the next step in the long road to peace. But peace is fragile, with reports of conflict throughout the south. If war returns, the outcome could be disastrous for the lives of millions. Caritas thinks that if people have the instruments for peace then they will take that path rather than one of violence. In the run up to [...]

April 26, 2010

Canticle of the Sun – Prayer for climate justice

By |26 April 2010|

by St. Francis of Assisi  O most High, almighty, good Lord God, To you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing! Praised be my Lord God with all creatures; And especially our brother the sun, Which brings us the day and the light; Fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor: O Lord, he signifies you to us! Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, And for the stars, Which God has set clear and lovely in heaven. Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind And for air and cloud, calms and all weather, By which you uphold in life all creatures. Praised be my Lord for our sister water, Which is very serviceable to us, And humble, and precious, and clean. Praised be my Lord for brother fire, Through which you give us light in the darkness; And he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty, And strong. Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth, Which sustains us and keeps us, And yields [...]

March 1, 2010

Faith helps Filipinos face typhoon tragedies

By |1 March 2010|

The residents of Mary Grace neighbourhood in Bulacan, Philippines, are used to adversity. Most lived in slums by the railroads for years before being relocated by the government to a new riverside neighbourhood. From time to time, the river rises and floods their homes. While inconvenient, they say prayers to God for keeping their families safe and look to the Catholic Church for spiritual and physical support. But on September 26, 2009, the flooding caused by Typhoon Ketsana was unlike anything they had ever seen. “People ran to the church, but water started to rise there too,” says Father Vic Robles, a local Catholic parish priest who has helped poor residents in the area to build homes over the years. “We prayed, and three hours later the water went down.” Most residents stayed in the nearby school overnight before returning to see what had happened to their houses. They were in for [...]

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