Friday, 31 October 2014

All Saints' day

November 1, 2014
All Saints' Day
“After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.... [One of the elders] said to me, ‘These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9,14).
All Saints Day celebrates the lives of all Christians who have died in a state of grace. All Saints Day is a beautiful celebration. Therefore, Catholics should attend Mass on All Saints Day.
The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted this date in the ninth century.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Church is the Body of Christ - Pope Francis
October 22, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters:  
Just as our body is one, but made up of many members, so it is with Christ and the Church.  The vision of Prophet Ezechiel, in which God’s Spirit gives flesh and life to a field of dry bones, is a foreshadowing of the Church, filled with the Spirit’s gift of new life in Christ and united in fellowship and love.  Through Baptism we are made one with Christ in the mystery of his death and resurrection; all of us become sharers in the Holy Spirit and members of a mystical body of which the Risen Christ is the head.
Paul uses the image of marital love to illustrate this great mystery: just as a husband and wife are one flesh, so it is with Christ and the Church.  As members of the one body, we are called to live in unity, overcoming every temptation to discord and division.  Prompted by the Holy Spirit, may we work to build up Christ’s Body in love by accepting with gratitude his many gifts, valuing those gifts in others and always showing generous concern for our brothers and sisters in need.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Synod on the family

The Message of Extraordinary General Assembly
Of The Synod of Bishops
We, Synod Fathers, gathered in Rome together with Pope Francis in the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, greet all families of the different continents and in particular all who follow Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
We offer you the words of Christ: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). On his journeys along the roads of the Holy Land, Jesus would enter village houses. He continues to pass even today along the streets of our cities. 

We recognize the great challenge to remain faithful in conjugal love. This love spreads through fertility and generativity, which involves not only the procreation of children but also the gift of divine life in baptism, their catechesis, and their education. It includes the capacity to offer life, affection, and values—an experience possible even for those who have not been able to bear children. Families who live this light-filled adventure become a sign for all, especially for young people.
We recall the difficulties caused by economic systems, by the “the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose” (Evangelii gaudium 55) which weakens the dignity of people. We remember unemployed parents who are powerless to provide basic needs for their families, and youth who see before them days of empty expectation, who are prey to drugs and crime.
We think of so many poor families, of those who cling to boats in order to reach a shore of survival, of refugees wandering without hope in the desert, of those persecuted because of their faith and the human and spiritual values which they hold. These are stricken by the brutality of war and oppression. We call on governments and international organizations to promote the rights of the family for the common good.
The high point which sums up all the threads of communion with God and neighbor is the Sunday Eucharist when the family and the whole Church sits at table with the Lord. He gives himself to all of us, pilgrims through history towards the goal of the final encounter when “Christ is all and in all” (Col 3:11).

Monday, 27 October 2014

October 28, 2014
Saints Simon and Jude
Simon was a simple Galilean, called by Our Lord to be one of the pillars of His Church. "The zealot," was the surname which he bore among the disciples. Armed with this zeal he went forth to the combat against unbelief and sin, and made conquest of many souls for His divine Lord.
The apostle Jude, whom the Church commemorates on the same day, was brother of St. James. St. Jude preached first in Mesopotamia, as St. Simon did in Egypt; and finally they both met in Persia, where they won their crown together.

Saints Simon and Jude left the comfort and safety of their secure environment to go out into the world and to preach the gospel, converting many hearts. The Lord chooses the simple and the weak and empowers them with grace to do the "impossible." Let us pray that we, too, will be obedient to the Lord in the little tasks He calls us to do each day so that we, too, can carry out His will in our lives.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Pope Saint John Paul II

Pope Saint John Paul II
October 22, 2014
Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow, Poland, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. He made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Cracow. Ordained on November 1, 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology. 
Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching philosophy at Poland’s University of Lublin. 
Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Cracow in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Appointed as archbishop of Cracow in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later. 
Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations. In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people. 
He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope. 

One of the well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

“I Will Build My Church”

October 19, 2014
World Mission Sunday
World Mission Day is celebrated for building a better world for all of God's people, a world where everyone has all they need to live a dignified and fulfilling life. It is the day on which we reflect on the urgency to proclaim the Gospel in our times.
As we pray and respond on World Mission Sunday, we are sharing in those celebrations taking place in every parish, seminary, school and convent all over the world. Our brothers and sisters in the Missions themselves offer their prayers and sacrifices so that others may come to know Jesus!
This year, World Mission Sunday is celebrated on October 19, 2014; the theme is “I Will Build My Church” (Mt 16:18). 

Message of the Holy Father
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today vast numbers of people still do not know Jesus Christ. For this reason, the mission ad gentes continues to be most urgent. All the members of the Church are called to participate in this mission, for the Church is missionary by her very nature: she was born “to go forth”. World Mission Day is a privileged moment when the faithful of various continents engage in prayer and concrete gestures of solidarity in support of the young Churches in mission lands. It is a celebration of grace and joy. A celebration of grace, because the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, offers wisdom and strength to those who are obedient to his action. A celebration of joy, because Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, sent to evangelize the world, supports and accompanies our missionary efforts.
All the Lord's disciples are called to nurture the joy of evangelization. The Bishops, as those primarily responsible for this proclamation, have the task of promoting the unity of the local Church in her missionary commitment. They are called to acknowledge that the joy of communicating Jesus Christ is expressed in a concern to proclaim him in the most distant places, as well as in a constant outreach to the peripheries of their own territory, where great numbers of the poor are waiting for this message. On this day of grace and joy, let us pray through the intercession of Mary, the model of humble and joyful evangelization, that the Church may become a welcoming home, a mother for all peoples and the source of rebirth for our world.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Caritas Somalia

To be a part of the worldwide Caritas campaign “One Human Family, Food for All,” I pledge to one or more of the following activities:
1.       I will share food with my hungry neighbors during lean periods/food-scarce months.
2.       I will teach my children and family members not to waste food and instead to show solidarity with the hungry.
3.       I will focus on not wasting food myself.
4.       I will provide one meal each week or month to a person/family in need of food.

5.       I will initiate a group to transport excess produce to those in need.
6.       I will support government policies that help small farmers and the hungry.
7.       Every month, I will donate money, fresh produce, or nonperishable food items to a food bank or community meal program, or donate them to Caritas Somalia.

We are one human family and we cannot let one member of our family to go hungry; and it is our responsibility to give a helping hand to those who are hungry. Let us unite ourselves with Caritas Somalia.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

St Teresa of Avila

                                           October 15, 2014
St Teresa of Avila (1515 - 1582)
On October 15, Roman Catholics celebrate the Spanish Carmelite reformer and mystic St. Teresa of Avila, whose life of prayer enriched the Church during the 16th century counter-reformation.
As a child, Teresa felt captivated by the thought of eternity and the vision of God granted to the saints in heaven. When Teresa was 14, her mother died. At the age of 16, she joined the Carmelite Order. Teresa became a professed member of the order at age 20, but soon developed a serious illness that forced her to return home. She experienced severe pain and physical paralysis for two years, and was expected to die when she went into a coma for four days. However, she returned to the Convent, as soon as she was able, even though she remained in a painful state.
Teresa had always been accustomed to contemplate Christ's presence within her after receiving him in the sacrament of Holy Communion. God was, in fact, with her always, and had been all along.
Together with her close collaborator, Saint John of the Cross, she founded the Order of Discalced Carmelites. The reform met with fierce opposition, but resulted in the founding of 30 monasteries during her life.
St. Teresa of Avila died on October 15, 1582. She was canonized on March 22, 1622, along with three of her greatest contemporaries: St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Philip Neri.
In 1970, Pope Paul VI proclaimed St. Teresa as one of the first two women Doctors of the Church, along with 14th century Dominican St. Catherine of Siena.

Monday, 13 October 2014


Statement of the Conference of Latin Bishops of the Arab Regions (CELRA)
RAS EL KHAIMEH (EAU) – from September 30 to October 4, 2014, Bishops from the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Cyprus, Djibouti and Somalia had their annual meeting. Below is the communiqué they release at the end of the meeting.
 The Themes proposed in this meeting:

1)      Peace and Reconciliation
2)      Migration
3)      Family
1. We, the Bishops, share in the sufferings of our people in Gaza, Syria and Iraq who endured massive and extensive destruction, deaths and injuries in large numbers; and of those in Yemen and Somalia, where great political instability continues to prevail.  The information about the situation in these areas of conflict is horrible.
Therefore, we reiterate that:
–   There is no peace without justice and no justice without respect for the human rights, social and religious, and the dignity every person; there is no peace without forgiveness and reconciliation.  The Church prays and works that reconciliation may become a reality in the Middle East. Without true reconciliation based on justice and mutual forgiveness, there will be no peace.
–   Violence in the name of religion cannot be used against anyone because every human person has a right to be respected regardless of religious affiliation, ethnic or minority status. At this point, we wish to acknowledge the role of Churches and its agencies in the distribution of humanitarian aid no matter what religion the people belong to, as well as the heroism of many Muslims in condemning religious radicalism and defending persecuted minorities at the risk of their own life.
2. For a life with dignity, millions of migrants work in many countries. Majority of the workers give a testimony of peace and tolerance and expect reciprocity and respect for their human dignity and their social rights, more particularly the women. And so everyone has the responsibility to respect the other with one’s culture and tradition.
3. The crisis in married life and family is on increase due to individualization in the society; the Catholic Church invites us to build the domestic church by convoking the synod on family. Let us build the Body of Christ by building our families. 
 We look forward to many fruits from the upcoming Synod and we invite our faithful to pray for Pope Francis and the Synod Fathers, that the Lord may enlighten them to give responses appropriate to the challenges and risks that confront the institution of the family.

The Bishops of CELRA
Ras El Khaimah
October 4, 2014, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Church is our Mother

Church is our Mother – Pope Francis
In our catecheses, we have often noted that we do not become a Christian on our own, but by being born and nurtured in the faith in the midst of the People of God, that is the Church. She is a true mother who gives us life in Christ and, in the communion of the Holy Spirit, brings us into a common life with our brothers and sisters.  
The model of motherhood for the Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who in the fullness of time conceived through the Holy Spirit and gave birth to Jesus Christ.  Her motherhood continues through the Church, who brings forth sons and daughters through Baptism, whom she nourishes through the Word of God. 
 In fact, Jesus gave the Gospel to the Church to bring forth new life by generously proclaiming his word and winning other sons and daughters for God our Father. 

As a mother, the Church nurtures us throughout life by illuminating our path with the light of the Gospel and by sustaining us with the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist.  With this nourishment, we are able to choose the good and be vigilant against evil and deceit, and overcome the difficult moments of life with courage and hope.  
This is the Church: a mother who has at heart the good of her children.  And since we are the Church, we are called to live this same spiritual, maternal attitude towards our brothers and sisters, by welcoming, forgiving and inspiring trust and hope.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

St Daniel Comboni

October 10, 2014
St Daniel Comboni (1831 – 1881)
Daniel Comboni: the son of poor gardeners who became the first Catholic Bishop of Central Africa, and one of the greatest missionaries in the Church's history.
It is a fact. When God decides to take a hand and select a generous and open-hearted individual, things happen: great, new things.
Daniel Comboni was born at Limone sul Garda (Brescia - Italy) on 15th, March 1831, into a family of cultivators employed by one of the rich local proprietors. Luigi and Domenica, the parents, were very attached to Daniel: he was the fourth of eight children, but the only survivor: all the others died young, six of them in their infancy. Due to poverty Daniel attended school in Verona, in the Institute founded by Father Nicola Mazza. During the years spent in Verona, Daniel discovered his calling to the priesthood; after the completion of his studies of Philosophy and Theology, he was entranced by the mission of Central Africa, drawn by the descriptions of the missionaries who returned from there to the Mazza Institute. Comboni was ordained in 1854, and three years later left for Africa, along with five other missionaries of the Mazza Institute and with the blessing of his mother Domenica, who told him: “Go, Daniel, and may the Lord bless you”.
After a journey of four months Comboni reached Khartoum, capital of the Sudan. He helped suppress the slave trade in the region. He worked on several dialects. He spoke six European languages, Arabic, and several central African dialects.
From the mission he wrote to his parents: “We will have to labour hard, to sweat, to die: but the thought that one sweats and dies for love of Jesus Christ and the salvation of the most abandoned souls in the world, is far too sweet for us to desist from this great enterprise”.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Our Lady of the Rosary

October 7, 2014
The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

“The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.” - Saint Francis de Sales
On October 7, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the yearly feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Known for several centuries by the alternate title of “Our Lady of Victory,” the feast day takes place in honor of a 16th century naval victory which secured Europe against Turkish invasion. Pope St. Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was invoked on the day of the battle through a campaign to pray the Rosary throughout Europe.

Friday, 3 October 2014

St Francis of Assisi

October 4, 2014
St Francis of Assisi
On October 4, Roman Catholics celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Italian deacon who brought renewal to the Church through his decision to follow Jesus' words as literally as possible.
In a January 2010 general audience, Pope Benedict XVI recalled this “giant of holiness” as a “great saint and a joyful man,” who taught the Church that “the secret of true happiness” is “to become saints, close to God.”
He is a saint loved by all men and women; that is why people of different religions honor him and meet at his birth place, Assisi, to pray together for peace.

 Peace Prayer of St Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Moringa Nutrition and Income Generating Project

In Somalia, Caritas through a local NGO teaches widows how to grow moringa, a very nutritious plant. The women farmers learn about harvesting, cleaning, drying, grinding and packing moringa leaves.  After harvest, the women will sell moringa leaf powder and use the profits to feed their families.
One human family, food for all
In order to respond to the campaign “One Human Family, Food for All” we in Caritas Somalia decided to accompany the awareness campaign with some practical actions in the fields of development and relief. In answer to the campaign we financed the following project “Moringa Nutrition and Income Generating Project”  in Lower Shabelle Region.
Moringa Nutrition and Income Generating Project is about the introduction of the worldwide acknowledged tree – Moringa, as a source of nutritional value for the poor. The project commenced on April  2014 and it is a pilot project. A Moringa farm will be cultivated and Moringa leaves will be processed and used as a nutritional supplement.