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NEWS BRIEFS

Tej Francis

Uromi, Nigeria

Six kidnapped nuns liberated in Nigeria

(CNA/EWTN News) During a two day police operation, six women religious who were captured in Nigeria’s Edo state two months ago were released unharmed on Saturday, generating much joy from the Christian community.

The nuns were freed during a Jan. 6 police operation, but their captors were able to escape. They had been kidnapped Nov. 13, 2017 from the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Convent in Iguoriakhi. Taken by unknown gunmen, three of the women were professed nuns (Sister Roseline Isiocha, Sister Aloysius Ajayi and Sister Frances Udi), and the other three were aspirants. Sister Ajayi was released first, followed several hours later by the others

LAY PEOPLE ARE NOT OUR EMPLOYEES – Pope Warns Chilean Bishop Against TempTation of Clericalism

Linda Bordoni

(Vatican News) Pope Francis has urged bishops in Chile to be on guard against the temptation of clericalism.

Meeting his brother bishops in the sacristy of Santiago Cathedral, the Pope recalled the ad limina visit in the Vatican about a year ago and said he wished to reiterate some of the points made during that meeting in Rome.

“I can sum them up in the following phrase: the consciousness of being a people” he said.

MACAU HOST ITS FIRST CHRISTMAS “GIVING TREE” – Sending Love to Strangers

Jasmin Yiu

The first year of the “Giving Tree” was held in Macau during Christmas 2017, in order to promote a spirit of giving to those who are in need. Two “Getting Together” sessions took place at the Salesian School and Our Lady of Fatima Parish, on January 6 and 7 respectively.

DELEGATION FROM SEISA UNIVERSITY

A delegation from Seisa University, a private distance learning university in Hokkaido, Japan paid a visit to Colégio Mateus Ricci for an exchange of experiences on education, including religious education. Colégio Mateus Ricci principal Cheong Wai Ling led the group that welcomed the visiting educators.

BISHOP’S BLOG

In view of the increasing popularity of the internet, Bishop Lee has launched his personal blog to share his ideas and information in the Internet.

In his introduction to the website, Bishop Lee wrote that the theme of the web page is “Accompanying you, walking with you” to express the hope that through its contents, each of the faithful will feel that the Lord accompanies and walks with them. The bishop added that he, too, wants to accompany and walk with the faithful.

While the blog (www.bishopslee.com) is still in its incipient stage, it will offer content in Chinese and mainly share daily and Sunday homilies, spiritual articles and video clips, theology and formation materials, as well as a question-and-answer section for readers to table questions on Catholic faith to him directly.

WALK FOR A MILLION

The 34th Walk for a Million raised around MOP 17 M on the 10th of December. Canon João Evangelista Lau, on behalf of Bishop Stephen Lee, presided the opening ceremony. (BKI)

INVITATION

The associations of religious men and women of the Diocese of Macau invite everyone to a Mass for Religious Vocations with Bishop Stephen Lee as main celebrant on Friday, 2nd of February, at 6:45 PM at the Macau Cathedral, in order to ask the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers to his vineyard.

THERE’S A NEW SPIRIT IN THE CHURCH – Fr. Steve Bevans, SVD, on Pope Francis’ First Five Years in Office

Pedro Daniel Oliveira

Speaking to O CLARIM, American Fr Steve Bevans, SVD, is impressed with Pope Francis, reason enough to say that his work has been marvelous, not only for the Catholic Church, but also for the world. He also talked about the vices within the Roman Curia, namely clericalism and careerism, and pointed out the change of mentality under the current Holy Father. Not to forget the efforts made by Benedict XVI. 

OVERCOME FEAR AND WELCOME THE OTHER – Pope at Mass for Migrants and Refugees

Seàn-Patrick Lovett

(Vatican News) There was something even more international than usual about the celebration in St Peter’s Basilica this Sunday.

The sounds were those of the youthful and multilingual voices of the Hope choirs. The colors were those of the flags and multicultural costumes of the 49 nations represented.

Over 70 countries were present in the person of their Ambassador to the Vatican. And some 460 priests from all over the world concelebrated with the Holy Father.

Invitation and welcome

Pope Francis said he wanted to celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees with a Mass of invitation and welcome. He based his reflections during the homily on the episode in St John’s Gospel where the disciples ask Jesus where He lives, and He responds: “Come and see.”

This reply is addressed to us today, said the Pope: “It is an invitation to overcome our fears so as to encounter the other, to welcome, to know, and to acknowledge him or her.”


“Our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.”

Protect, promote and integrate

But authentic encounter doesn’t end with welcome. Pope Francis reminded us of the three actions he spelled out in his Message for this Day: “to  protect, promote and integrate”.

While new arrivals need to “know and respect the laws, culture and traditions of the countries that take them in”, local communities need to understand “the hopes and potential of the newly arrived, as well as their fears and vulnerabilities.”

Fear of encounter

It is not easy to enter into another culture, said the Pope, to understand the thoughts and experiences of people who are so different from us.

“Local communities are sometimes afraid the newly arrived will disturb the established order…and the newly arrived are afraid of confrontation, judgment, discrimination, and failure.”

Being afraid is not a sin

“Having doubts and fears is not a sin”, said the Pope. “The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection.”

The sin, he continued, “is to refuse to encounter the other.” Because every encounter is “a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord.”

Pope Francis concluded by expressing the hope that “we may all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves.”

Featured image: http://care4calais.org

APOLOGIA – 10 Can we believe that God governs the world?

Anastasios

Objection 1: There are many people who live as if God did not exist. Thus, they don’t recognize the primacy of God in their life and His power on them.

Objection 2: There are so many religions in the world, how we can make the distinction between a so-called “true God” and the others?

Objection 3: Things that are governed move towards an end. But in the world many things have no apparent end so it seems they don’t need to be governed by anyone.