Wednesday, 29 April 2015

"Moving Dadaab Refugee Camp back to Somalia must go hand in hand with allocating more resources to Northern Kenya for it to succeed", says the Bishop of Garissa

            "Now that there is a government in Somalia, it is good if the camp is closed and the people are allowed to return back home", said His Exc. Mgr. Paul Darmanin, Bishop of Garissa, commenting on the announcement, by the Government of Kenya, of the upcoming closure of the camps of Somali refugees in Dadaab.
            The Diocese of Darissa, whose jurisdiction covers Dadaab, is still shaken by April 2 2015 terror attack on Garissa University College that left 148 people dead. Among the measures taken by the government in Nairobi after the massacre, is the closure within three months of the five camps in Dadaab, opened in 1991 to accommodate 90,000 people and has now become the largest refugee camp in the world, where today there are about 400,000 Somalis who fled the civil war that disrupts their Country.
            According to the government of Nairobi the structure contributes to insecurity in Kenya because inside there are hidden supporters of Shabaab. "The nature of our society is to protect family and friend. The people in the camps cannot report dangerous criminals among them because they are family. While the closure of the camp may not end terror attacks, it will see a reduction in the channels for recruitments and planning of attacks", said the Bishop to Kenyan Waumini Agency.
            For Mgr. Darmanin, the security situation in Somalia, although "not very good", would allow a return of refugees because the recent attacks of the Shabaab on Somali territory have targeted "government officials and institutions and not civilians", so, said the Bishop of Garissa, "it is better if these people return home and get assistance from there".
Mgr. Darmanin concludes with an appeal to the Kenyan government to bring development to the region of Garissa, inhabited by poor Somalis to the point that many of them have passed themselves off as refugees in order to be able to obtain assistance from organizations that assist the Dadaab camps. "Many Kenyan Somalis have registered in the refugee camp and go there regularly to get food rations and other disbursements, this is dangerous", concluded the Bishop. (Agenzia Fides)

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Holy Year of Mercy – Pope Francis
Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy. It is journey that begins with a spiritual conversion. For this reason, I have decided to call an extraordinary Jubilee that is to have the mercy of God at its center. It shall be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live this Year in the light of the Lord's words: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (cf. Lk 6:36)”

This Holy Year will begin on this coming Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will end on November 20, 2016, the Sunday dedicated to Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – and living face of the Father’s mercy. I entrust the organization of this Jubilee to the Pontifical Council for Promotion of the New Evangelization, that it might animate it as a new stage in the journey of the Church on its mission to bring to every person the Gospel of mercy.

I am convinced that the whole Church will find in this Jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time. From this moment, we entrust this Holy Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she might turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey. (Source: Vatican Radio)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Children are never a mistake,
The Pope calls adults to responsibility
Children are never a "mistake" and no sacrifice is too great for an adult to make so that children can feel their worth, Pope Francis said. Children are the greatest blessing God has bestowed upon men and women, he said. Yet, many children are "rejected, abandoned, robbed of their childhood and of their future," the pope noted, adding that it is "shameful" when people say it is "a mistake" to bring a child into the world. "Please, let's not unload our faults on children," he said. "Children are never 'a mistake.'"
The hunger, poverty, fragility and ignorance of some children "are not mistakes" but "only reasons for us to love them even more, with more generosity," he said. Pope Francis wondered aloud about the value of international declarations of human and children's rights if children are then punished for the mistakes of adults. "All adults are responsible for children and for doing what we can to change this situation," he said.
"Every marginalized and abandoned child, who lives by begging on the street for every little thing, without schooling or healthcare, is a cry to God," he said. Their suffering is the result of a social system, created by adults, he added.
Even in rich countries, "many children live dramas that scar their lives heavily" due to family crises or inhuman living conditions, he said. They suffer the consequences of "a culture of exaggerated individual rights" and become precocious, he added. And often, they absorb the violence they are exposed to, unable to "dispose of it," and "are forced to become accustomed to degradation," the pope said.
"In every case, these are childhoods violated in body and soul," the pope said. "But none of these children is forgotten by the Father in heaven. None of their tears are lost. "The pope also said children, too often, suffer the effects of their parents' precarious and poorly paid work or unsustainable work hours. Children, he said, "also pay the price of immature unions and irresponsible separations; they are the first victims." He underlined the social responsibility of each person and government toward children.
The pope offered a reflection on the Scripture passage when Jesus calls the children to him so that he can bless them, Mt 19:13-15. "How beautiful was the trust of these parents (to bring their children to him) and this response of Jesus," he said.

The pope said many children with serious problems benefit from "extraordinary parents, ready for every sacrifice and generosity." The church must accompany these parents in their efforts, he said. "The church places her maternal care at the service of children and their families," he added. "It brings God's blessing to the parents and children of this world, maternal tenderness, firm reprimand and strong condemnation. Brothers and sisters, think carefully: don't mess with the lives of children. (Source: Catholic News Service, April 8, 2015)

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Good Friday Quotes
1)   It's Good Friday. Good because 2000 years ago the events of today prove that we matter to God.
2)   Good Friday is a day of hope. It is a day where we look forward to a brighter tomorrow. Many things have happened to change the course of our lives, but it has not shaken our faith.

3)   "The cross was two pieces of dead wood; and a helpless, unresisting Man was nailed to it; yet it was mightier than the world, and triumphed, and will ever triumph over it."

4)   Good Friday is a day of sorrow mingled with joy. It is a time to grieve over the sin of man and to meditate and rejoice upon God's love in giving His only Son for the redemption of sin.