Daily Archives: January 5, 2018

USJ PUBLIC LECTURE — Pope Francis: The First Five Years


The Faculty of Religious Studies of University of Saint Joseph is organizing a public lecture entitled “Pope Francis: The First Five Years” at the Auditorium of Saint Joseph’s Seminary, 9th January 2018 at 18:30.

On 13 March 2013, the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church stunned the world by electing Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to succeed Benedict XVI as pope. There were several reasons for the world to be stunned. Bergoglio was a member of the Society of Jesus, a Jesuit, and the first Jesuit ever to be elected pope. Born in Latin America, he was the first non-European to be elected pope in 1,300 years and the first from the “New World” of the Americas.

What Fr Bevans shall propose to explore in his lecture is how Pope Francis does indeed embrace the process of inculturation. He will reflect only on three of Pope Francis’s major documents—Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si’, and Amoris Laetitia—and then briefly comment on his 2015 address before the United States Congress, the Motu Proprio “Magnum Principium,” and his 2017 trip to Myanmar.



MARIAN APPARITIONS (49) — Sichem, Belgium

Source: James Fitzhenry
Roman Catholic Saints

The shrine in Brabant in the duchy of Louvain, is a replacement of the one below Mount Garizim, Israel. Hadrian restored the temple on Mount Garizim and dedicated it to Jupiter. A small Christian community settled there; and on several occasions they suffered greatly at the hands of the Samaritans. In 474 the emperor, to avenge an unjust attack on the sect, gave Mount Garizim to the Christians, who built on it a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.

After the Mohammedan conquest, Christianity practically disappeared from the district. The French made amends by erecting a shrine to Mary in the duchy of Louvain. The ancient statue of Our Lady of Sichem, or as Our Lady of ‘Montaigu’, which is the title more commonly used today, has been venerated in Belgium from very early times. The Mother of God rewarded the faithful magnanimously for their pious attention.


The Macau Diocese has invited the nine local parishes to participate in the “Christmas Nativity-Scene Award,” which runs until next January 21.

Speaking to O CLARIM, Bishop of Macau Stephen Lee Bun-sang said, he’s impressed by the parishes to put a lot of effort to decorate the mangers, which adds the Christmas atmosphere to the churches. “This contest also motivates families to create and decorate mangers at home,” he mentioned, adding that he has been receiving some interesting manger designs from the Internet.

Msgr Stephen Lee thus wishes to build up a culture that focuses on the spiritual and salvific value of the Advent and Christmas. The material value, on the other hand, could be centered to the preparation of the manger.

Macau Diocesan Social Communication Center Director of Performance Events and Project Division Agnes Wong told us the winner will be known after Bishop Lee and the Macau Diocesan Commission for Social Communication’s decision is announced.

However, the public in general can vote in their preference through the website: https://goo.gl/geZqr9. The most voted parish will receive a contest certificate.


P.D.O. with B.K.I.



Lord, Every Nation on Earth Will Adore You!


Is 60:1-6; Eph 3:2-3, 5-6; Mt 2:1-12

Edmond Lo


For a Gentile like me, who has benefited much from Christianity – a faith that traces its lifeline and origin to the “root of the olive tree” (Romans 11:17), namely the faith of Israel – the theme of the Epiphany of the Lord is particularly overpowering and enticing: salvation, revealed and promised by God from time immemorial through Israel, God’s chosen people, has come to the Gentiles, making them “co-heirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Eph 3:6).

The Revelation of the Face of the Father (Lord’s Baptism)

Fernando Armellini SCJ

Claretian Publications


It all started at the Jordan, a river that flows peacefully in the plains of Jericho. There, all the inhabitants of Judea flocked to be baptized. One day, Jesus also appeared among the sinners. He was sharing their condition, accompanying them in their exodus from slavery to freedom.

God revealed in Jesus is not distant, in the sky, who controls and orders and punish those who violate them. He becomes one of us, in solidarity with humanity except in sin but bearing its consequences.

All the evangelists give importance to the baptism of Jesus, drawing our attention to the revelation from the sky. “He came out of the water and he saw the heavens opened.”  Mark here refers to a famous text from the prophet Isaiah.

CHURCH FATHERS (10) — Fragments of Papias




Let us look now at another enigmatic document coming from our Fathers in the faith, people who were closer than we are to the Lord himself and to his first brethren, the apostles and the disciples. This document is known as Fragments of Papias.

Papias was probably a disciple of Saint John and Saint Polycarp. It is said that he was a follower of some doctrines that were not really orthodox (as millenarism). This may be reason why Saint Eusebius had mixed feelings about him.

Let us see this passage about Papias from a quite recent scholar: “Papius is known to us through St Irenaeus and Eusebius. He was bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, a friend of St Polycarp, and, having conversed with the immediate disciples of the Apostles, belonged, at the latest, to the third generation of Christians. Critics are still debating whether the John, whose disciple he was, was St John the Apostle, or a presbyter of that name. Eusebius speaks of Papias as a feeble man of limited mental power. Papias composed only one work, the Explanation of the Sayings of the Lord, in five books. This treatise not only explains the words of Christ but also deals with His life. The author does not take the sayings of Christ from the Gospel text alone but relates parables from oral tradition, which Eusebius thought queer, reports a number of special utterances of the Redeemer, and a few stories which are pure fables. Among the latter are to be classed certain realistic descriptions of the millennium, in which Papias was a fervent believer. According as they see in John the presbyter, with whom Papias conversed, the Apostle John, or another personage of the same name, critics assign the composition of the Explanation to an earlier or a later date. Zahn places this composition in A. D. 125-130; Bardenhewer, 117-138; Harnack, 140-160; Batiffol, c. 150. Of the work of Papias we possess only a few short fragments given by St. Irenaeus, Eusebius, and Apollinaris. The two most important relate to the gospels of St. Mark and St. Matthew” (J Tixeront, A Handbook of Patrology, 1920).

GREAT FIGURES OF THE MISSIONARY WORK — The Siam of Domingos de Seixas (1)

Joaquim Magalhães de Castro


Debut, with pomp and circumstance, in August 2001, The Legend of Suriyothai is considered the most expensive film in the history of Thailand. With a budget of more than 400M bahts (US 9M) the film has a historical character, report on the aurous period of Ayutthaya, the Odia to the Portuguese chronicles. As expected, the film’s debut was a success. The box office on the first day of opening to the public sold 100,000 tickets, despite its high price.

The film was intended to have the Portuguese mercenary Domingos de Seixas as narrator, who in the 16th century lived in the Siamese capital for 25 years, before returning to Lisbon. This did not happen, as we shall see below.

The Legend of Suriyothai relates the heroism of Queen Suriyothai who in the mid-16th century took command of the army of the kingdom of Ayuthaya, after her husband, King Mahachakrabhat (1548-1569) had succumbed in a battle against the invaders of Pegu (Burma). An episode that, moreover, is reported by Fernão Mendes Pinto in his book Pilgrimage. Over the course of three hours, the film by the director and Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol manages to bring to the screen the splendor of ancient Ayuthaya, the customs of the time, the bloody battles where the elephants stood out, true war machines to join others introduced by the Portuguese merchants and mercenaries. They were the ones who supervised the management of these same weapons that would radically alter the rudimentary defense system of the time.

TERRORISM OF THE TONGUE — A look back (and forward)


Aurelio Porfiri


At the end of a year and the beginning of a new one, we are always hopeful to improve our social, economical, health conditions. And certainly we want to improve also our spiritual condition, so important for our true wellbeing.

Now, to get all these things, a healthy habit is to look honestly at what was not working in the past. I think we can all think what went wrong in 2017, not only for us, but also for society. We may be looking only in our family. But it is not bad, given the great flow of information we have, also to look at what happened around the world, because some of the diseases that maybe have not yet touched us may be waiting to enter our living space at any moment. Better to know, so as to avoid.

I cannot talk of everything bad that happened in 2017. I can only isolate one (very) bad thing and offer some thoughts about it. You may expect that I will start to talk about wars, homicides, pollutions… yes, there are many of these around us, but I want to dwell on another topic that is very dear to me. This is the topic of gossip.

Christmas gathering

The Holy House of Mercy of Macau celebrated their Christmas party on the 8th of December together with its members and honorable guests. Canon João Evangelista Lau, Procurator of the Macau Diocese was among the main celebrants, together with the president of the Holy House António José de Freitas.






Pope Francis visited Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI for Christmas

(Aleteia) Pope Francis visited his predecessor on the Thursday before Christmas, stopping in to bring his Christmas greetings to Benedict XVI in his home at the Mater Ecclesiae convent. The Vatican press office reported about the visit on Tuesday.

The pope and pope emeritus prayed together briefly and then visited for about a half hour, the press office said. Francis visits Benedict at least at Christmas and Easter, and also accompanies the new cardinals when they go to visit the retired pope after receiving their red hats.



Egypt says at least 11 killed in attacks on Christian church, business

 (Crux) At least 11 people, including eight Coptic Christians, were killed after unidentified gunmen opened fire outside a church and a Christian-owned business in a south Cairo suburb, Egypt’s Health Ministry spokesman said Friday. It was the latest attack targeting the mostly Muslim country’s embattled Christian minority.

Late Friday, a local affiliate of the Islamic State in Egypt claimed responsibility for the assault through its Amaq news agency, though it provided no evidence for the assertion.

Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said the attack outside the Coptic Church of Mar Mina left at least one policeman dead and eight others wounded, including two critically. The attack took place when two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire outside the church, he said.

Egyptian security officials said earlier that two policemen were killed in the shootout and the discrepancy was not immediately clear. The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Egypt’s Christian minority has been targeted by Islamic militants in a series of attacks since December 2016 that left more than 100 dead and scores wounded. The country has been under a state of emergency since April after suicide bombings struck two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday in an attack that was claimed by the local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population, have long complained of discrimination in the Muslim-majority nation, and say authorities have often failed to protect them from sectarian attacks.