Colombo (AsiaNews) - "Praise" for the services performed in defense of the "dignity" of the country in a time when Sri Lanka was fighting the war against one of the most vicious terrorist groups in the world, "the rebel Tamil Tigers in the north (LTTE). These the words of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, celebrating the appointment of Cardinal Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo. The newly appointed cardinal has underlined: "The Catholic community is close to President Rajapaksa's efforts to eliminate the distrust between groups," to "unite all Sri Lanka eliminating terrorism."
President Rajapaksa was speaking during an official event, held last December 6 at the Bandaranayake Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo.The ceremony was organized to celebrate Cardinal Ranjith, after the consistory of November 20 when he received the cardinal's hat from Pope Benedict XVI. The event was attended by Mgr. Joseph Speteri, Apostolic Nuncio in Sri Lanka, bishops, priests, nuns, along with the Sinhalese premier, DM Jayaratne, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Chamali Rajapaksa Speaker of the House, as well as the opposition leader Ranil Wicremasinghe and the chief justiceAsoka De Silva. The appointment of Cardinal Ranjith, says the president is an "honor for the entire population", the cardinal has always "thought of the homeland", even during periods spent abroad. "His Eminence has extended his assistance - said Rajapaksa - to the less fortunate without expecting anything in return." He worked hard to build harmony between different religions in the country. Finally, the President wanted to send a message to the whole Catholic community, calling it a "brotherhood of peace" in the country and asked it to "provide the utmost care to protect and promote the newly won peace ".
Cardinal Ranjith said that the best way to resolve problems is through "dialogue and cooperation." "The Catholic community - the cardinal stated - is close to President Rajapaksa's efforts to eliminate the distrust between groups, and unite all Sri Lanka eliminating terrorism." The Archbishop of Colombo added that the most effective way to defeat the cells of the LTTE rebels abroad is "to create a civil administration in the north," confirming that "Catholics are committed to bringing prosperity to the motherland." He then warned "misled" priests who, working from abroad, promote "divisions" in the country, the cardinal expressed "regret" over this question and reciprocated "appreciation" for Rajapaksa’s efforts for peace in Sri Lanka.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith celebrated the first public Mass of Thanksgiving last December 4 in the cathedral of Saint Lucia in Colombo. The function, the first in his native land after the delivery of the cardinal's hat, was attended by more than 2 thousand people, including the papal nuncio, bishops, priests, nuns and lay people, including relatives of the archbishop. During the homily, the cardinal explained the appointment as an "opportunity" to better serve the universal Church and his homeland.
WASHINGTON (December 10, 2010)—A mini-documentary on homelessness by the seventh grade religious education class at St. John Vianney Catholic School in Kailua, Hawaii, won the grand prize of the 2010 Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops. The prize is being given today at the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry in New Orleans. Around 2,500 youth ministers will be attending the conference.
The submission, entitled “Family of Promise,” was produced by religious education students who researched the growing number of homeless people in Hawaii and the U.S. and then conducted interviews, wrote a script, shot and edited the video. The mini-documentary also profiles the Family Promise program in Hawaii, in which families volunteer to host homeless families a week at a time as they work to address the factors that have contributed to their homelessness. The video can be found online at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEkbZfODEwc
“This video reflects the reality that homelessness really can happen to anyone,” said Ralph McCloud, director of CCHD for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “The students involved initially thought homeless people were alcoholics and drug addicts but, after interacting with homeless families, found compassion and understanding. They learned about the causes of homelessness and how people can combat these causes. This greatly reflects the mission of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.”
The seventh grade students who produced the video were Maeve Gareghty, Christina Hill, Mia Hussey Kozlowski, Bailey Kahawai-Welch, Mark Kelley, Noah Kiakona, Shea Martinez, Jordan Johnson and Kolby Kahahawai.
Second place prizes in grades 10-12 and 7-9, respectively, go to Nina Fredericks, 12th grade, Father Ryan High School, Nashville, Tennessee, and Anthony J. Rojas and Maria P. Rojas, eighth grade, St. Andrew Catholic School, Orlando, Florida. Third place prizes go to Nicholas Guelda, 12th grade, St. Xavier High School, Louisville, Kentucky, and Gwyneth Sise, seventh grade, St. Mary’s Institute, Amsterdam, New York. Honorable mention goes to Paige Lysaght, 12th grade, Notre Dame Academy, Toledo, Ohio.
CCHD developed the Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest in 2001 to help schools and parishes engage youth in learning about low-income people in the U.S. who are addressing the root causes of poverty. It is open to students in grades 7-12 in Catholic parishes and schools. This year, students were asked to work from the theme, “Empowering Communities, Uprooting Poverty,” through visual arts, audio-visual means or literature. Original works were submitted to diocesan-level competitions. Local winners were forwarded to Washington for final judging.
CCHD is the domestic anti-poverty and social justice program of the Catholic bishops in the United States. With the support of Catholic parishioners, it has provided grants to more than 4,000 community and economic development projects over the past 40 years. The annual CCHD collection is taken up in most Catholic parishes in the United States on the weekend before Thanksgiving.
ALL AFRICA REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI will make a three-day visit to the West African nation of Benin in November next year.
A statement released following a joint press conference in Benin on Friday November 26 said the pope has accepted an invitation to visit the country extended to him by President Boni Yayi and the Catholic Bishops of the country.
The statement also said the November 18 to 20 trips will mainly be a pastoral visit to mark the 150th anniversary of the first evangelization in the former French colony and to present to the bishops of the continent the Apostolic Exhortation of the Second African Synod.
The post-synodal document will develop the theme of the Synod and will be a pastoral guideline for the Church in Africa in the coming years.
The statement further notes that, the visit to Benin will also give the pope an opportunity to recall late Cardinal Bernadin Gantin, with whom he shared many years of service in the Vatican.
Cardinal Gantin, a native of Benin passed away in 2008. He headed several Vatican offices from 1977 to 2002 when he retired as the Dean of the College of Cardinals.
Pope Benedict as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger succeeded him as dean.
Radio Vatican, while reporting on the issue said the visit to Benin will be the pope's second visit to Africa as pope. He visited Cameroon and Angola in March last year.
St. Damasus I
Feast: December 11
|Matthew 17: 9, 10 - 13|
|9||And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead."|
|10||And the disciples asked him, "Then why do the scribes say that first Eli'jah must come?"|
|11||He replied, "Eli'jah does come, and he is to restore all things;|
|12||but I tell you that Eli'jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands."|
|13||Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.|