December 9, 2014

Such courage.

Sixteen Women

I never want to be defined by what someone has done to me. Yet at the same time, I have no shame about what I’ve lived or who I’ve become because of what was done to me. I am a strong, passionate, caring, empathetic, powerhouse woman. It’s important that the suffering ends with me. I tell my girls all the time that the world is good. I won’t allow anyone to take away my passion for life. And that is my greatest victory.

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A look at the faces of the #AmINext campaign

Global News

MONTREAL — An online campaign to raise awareness about the large number missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada is gaining traction on social media.

READ MOREBy the numbers: Missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada

Those concerned about the perceived lack of political response to the issue are posting a selfie with a three-word question for Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

“Am I next?”

Inspired by the Inuktitut term of endearment ain, Holly Jarrett launched the “Am I next?” campaign on Sept. 5 in order to build support for a public inquiry into the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

Jarrett is the cousin of Loretta Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuit student from Halifax whose body was found in New Brunswick earlier this year.

READ MORENo endorsement…

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The gathering of the Eastern Christian Churches in Canada

Aid to the Church in Need

To make a donation to ACN for refugees To make a donation by please call: (514) 932-0552 or toll free 1-(800) 585-6333
or click the image to make a secure on-line donation.

Click on the image to make a donation for Syria or Iraq


Maronite, Catholic and Orthodox Syriac, Greek-Melkite Catholic, Antiochian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic and Orthodox, Coptic Catholic and Orthodox, Chaldean, Protestant,

Invite you to a peaceful massive rally in solidarity with the victims of violence in Syria and Iraq, the persecuted religious minorities, especially Christians of the Middle East.

Canadians of all backgrounds and faiths, you are invited to share these moments to denounce this religious genocide.

Date: Sunday, August 24, 2014

From 17:30 to 19:30

Location: St-Sauveur Cathedral

10025 Boulevard de l’Acadie


– Prayer.

– Walk To Marcelin-Wilson Park.

– Vigil with candles continues until 7:30 p.m.

Ps: Only Canadian flags, candles and posters prepared by the organizers will be allowed.

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Sudanese woman sentenced to death gives birth in prison

He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:46-47)

Dear Benefactors,

Finally, the week has arrived for Pope Francis to visit Jordan and the Holy Land. In order to encourage you to stay united in prayer with the Pontiff, we are offering you a text which tells the story of Msgr Marcuzzo, the Vicar of Israel’s Latin Patriarch, while he was a seminarian 50 years ago and when Paul VI visited the Holy Land.

United through prayer for the poor and suffering Church,

Robert Lalonde & the ACN Canada Team

The Holy Land

“Pope Francis is a real model of the priesthood”

By Oliver Maksan, ACN International

When Pope Paul VI visited the Holy Land, Auxiliary Bishop Marcuzzo was still only a seminarian. But to this day he remains impressed by the visit. Now, 50 years later, other seminarians are preparing for the visit of a new Pope.

Returning to the sources – this was the goal Pope Paul VI had set himself when in 1963 he revealed to the astonished Council Fathers his plan to visit the Holy Land. “The pilgrimage of Pope Paul VI was the key to the understanding of the Second Vatican Council, and conversely, it is not possible to understand his visit without the Council. The return to the beginnings, to the Holy Places of the Faith, to the simplicity of the Gospel – all these things are expressed in his pilgrimage and in the Council.” This is the conviction of Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, who was speaking recently to ACN.

Weekly broadcast schedule

Friday at 9:30pm ET (6:30pm PT)

Saturday at 1:30am ET (Friday at 10:30pm PT)

Saturday at 12:00pm ET (9:00am PT)

May 23
Aid to the Church in Need – God in Tibet
Where God Weeps – Nigeria – The disease is injustice, violence is the symptom

May 30
Aid to the Church in Need – Cuba: A Light in the Shadow
Where God Weeps – South Sudan: Overcoming violence through Christian education
To stay informed about the difficult situation of Christians around the world, and to hear poignant testimonials which cannot be heard anywhere else, we invite you to tune into our program VUES D’AILLEURS, broadcast every Wednesday evening at 7pm – and re-broadcast the following Thursday night at 11:15pm – on Radio Ville-Marie.
Next week on the program VUE D’AILLEURS, more about the Pope’s visit and an interview with Msgr William Shomali, Auxiliary Bishop of Jeresualem who will talk to us about Pope Francis’ visit. See you then!

Global News

A Sudanese woman sentenced to death after marrying a Christian man reportedly gave birth to a girl in prison, a month earlier than her due date.

The condition of her Meriam Yehya Ibrahim’s newborn daughter is not known.

The Omdurman women’s prison where the 27-year-old is being held in isolation has only a basic clinic.

According to the Guardian, Ibrahim has been held in shackles at the facility, in Khartoum, since her conviction.

Ibrahim was convicted of apostasy — or renouncing of religious (Muslim) faith — earlier this month and sentenced to death by hanging.

She was also convicted of adultery for marrying a Christian man, and was handed a punishment of 100 lashes (she was charged with adultery because it’s prohibited for Muslim women to marry Christian men under the country’s strict Islamic law).

Her lawyer is hoping for an appeal against her sentence, which Sudanese officials say won’t be…

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Reposted article from Pax Romana – Education of Pakistani Christian Students – In Danger

Education of Pakistani Christian Students – In Danger

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela asserted. But how can one think about changing the world when your right to education has been taken away from you?

It has been happening in Pakistan with Christians for a long time. But now it is becoming an issue for public agitation and Christians have come out on the streets to draw attention to this discrimination.

Education is the key to success in life. It unlocks many doors of growth and provides opportunities.  Without it, there can be no progress and a bleak future for those deprived of it.

Pakistan is a country rich in culture and religion. Islam is the major religion but along with it, there are minority religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Christians are the largest minority community in Pakistan. They constitute about 1.6%of the Pakistan’s population.

Despite some of the most eminent educational institutions owing their origins to Christian missionary organizations, the Christian community of Pakistan ranks lowest among the educated in the Pakistani population. An assortment of up to date facts, provided by Dr. John Patrick, reveal that:

  • 6% Pakistani Christians have primary education.
  • 4% Pakistani Christians have High School education
  • 1% Pakistani Christians have a College education
  • 0.5% Pakistani Christians have a Professional education


Moreover, under the present constitution, the poor standard of education among Christians is intensified because the political system in which Pakistani Christians live is undemocratic. It ensures their voices will never be heard. Under the prevailing system, the Christians of Pakistan do not have equal political rights or socio-economical status, and they do not have equal access to available opportunities in playing a role in national life. Though Christians consider themselves to be first class citizens of Pakistan, the present political system believes that Christians are second-class citizens and are, for all practical purposes, at the lowest level.

They are constantly reminded at every level that it is not their country. Constitutionally, no Christian is allowed to become President, Prime Minister, Chairman of the Senate, or the Speaker of National Assembly (Parliament) of Pakistan. Following the Constitutional lead, all government and judicial functionaries ignore and neglect Christians everywhere and at all levels of business and administration. Employers and political leaders at lower levels have adopted a rule that means no higher position or rank is given to Christians.

Before independence, Christian educational institutions were run by Churches. But they were taken over by force and nationalized by the Bhutto government in 1972. Now, there is no more Christian character to these Islamized institutions. After the Bhutto government, many of these previously non-Muslim institutions were denationalized and given back to their owners. But no Christian institution was denationalized. These institutions were the basic centers for learning, social and cultural gatherings, and spiritual development for Christians. Christian teachers, professors, or students are not seen there anymore.

In 1987 the government passed an ordinance to give 20 extra marks to Muslim students who are Hafiz-e-Quran (Muslims who have read and learnt the Holy Quran fully). This ordinance not only contradicts the statements and claims of equal rights for minorities by all the Presidents, Prime Ministers and Ministers of Pakistan. It is also against the constitution of Pakistan and violates individuals’ human rights and the international treaties signed by the government of Pakistan.

This ordinance distinguishes between Muslim and non-Muslim students and also diminishes the chances for non-Muslim students in obtaining admission in colleges and universities. Consequently, non-Muslim students are deprived not only of educational opportunities but also of their access to jobs that can follow gaining qualifications.

Until 1956, there was a 5% quota that meant that this percentage of for non–Muslim students had to be among those gaining access to educational institutions. But with its abolition nine years after Independence, the chances for non-Muslim students to gain admission to colleges and universities have declined.

Even though Christian missionary schools were integral to the establishment of education in Pakistan, Christians are deprived of education. At the time of establishment of Pakistan (1947), these Missionary schools were the foremost source of learning and vocational training. With the passage of time, government-owned schools started to outdo these admired institutions.

In 1972, the Bhutto Government made Islam the state religion and the government took responsibility for running Christian educational institutions. The nationalization of Christian schools broke the educational backbone of the Christian community. At Independence in 1947 the Christian Missionary Schools were the primary source of education for Pakistan.

Nonetheless, today missionary institutions like Convent, Cathedral and Convent of Jesus and Marry schools are still highly esteemed institutes in the country. They are owned and run by Religious Congregations and dioceses.

On 12 December, 2013, Christians protested in front of Lahore Press Club against land lords who, with the support of leading political parties, illegally occupied land that had been home for Lahore’s St. Francis Boys’ High School. The protestors wanted the government not to allow the school buildings to be demolished but rather be returned the school and access to it given to the Christian community. The school was started by missionaries in 1842 and is one of the oldest Christian schools in Lahore.

In late 1990s, it was appropriated by the Government for construction purposes. Subsequently a Muslim Principal and Muslim staff were appointed and employment at it was open only to Muslims. All Christian staff were made redundant. Now the government is allowing the demolition of the school to make way for a Shopping Mall.

Although the school was de-nationalized in 2004, it was not given back to Christians. Moreover, less than 1% of students in the school are Christians. Even admitting that education is a universal right, it is a violation of that right in that Christians are deprived of rights to access what was founded as a Christian school. Indeed, if non-Muslims can study in Christian Institutes, then why are Christian Students not given the right to study in Muslim institutes?

Christian parents are reluctant to send their children to this school because of discrimination and because there is no Christians Religious education offered and only a Muslim syllabus is provided.

Schools/colleges/universities like Kinnaird College, Aitchison College, GC University, LUMS are those institutes that were founded and led by missionaries and are now led by Muslims, charging fees that Christians cannot afford. The reality is that only the high officials in government and the military along with rich people can send their children to these schools.

In these circumstances, many questions arise:

  • What is the future of Christian students in Pakistan where they are forced to study Islamic studies, invited and sometimes forced by Muslims with lethal threats to abandon Christianity and adopt Islam?
  • What is the future for Christian students when they are not given their right to education, obstacles are placed in the way of Christians seeking employment in a country where there are many extremist led organizations who will not hire Christians? Even moderate and educated Muslims do not like the thought that a Christian might come up to their level or position.
  • What prospects are there for Christians in a country where Christians are routinely tortured, harassed and taunted by being told that “Since you are Christian, you are not Patriotic or cultured. In fact you belong to the Americans, the British or the GORA People who kill our Muslim brothers/sisters”?
  • The worst thing for Christian students is that when they apply to study abroad. they are not admitted, despite their good grades, because they do not have enough money to pay for themselves.


Where do Pakistani Christians have to go in this world to find place to call home? We are Christians for Muslim states and so not welcome in them. We are Pakistanis for other countries and so not welcome in non-Muslim countries either.

Source:  Pax Romana

We Wait in Hope

Touching and tender words by CND Sheila Sullivan about Sister Gilberte Bussière, also a CND who was recently abducted in northern Cameroon along with two Italian priests. We wait and hope and pray.

My Weekly Reflections

Gilbert Bussière_2013

My heart is heavy as I begin to write this blog. It has been four days since we learned the very sad news that one of our Sisters and two Italian priests had been abducted in northern Cameroon. We continue to wait in hope and to pray for our Sister, the priests, their respective families, our Sisters in Cameroon, and those responsible for this deed, that their hearts will be touched with compassion. The news of this event has shocked and saddened all the Sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame, but it has also brought us together. Like all “families” we sometimes have our differences. Personality and cultural differences can create tensions, but when one of our members or an area of our Congregation suffers, we all suffer. This was true at the time of the Tsunami in Japan, and it is very real now. There is a…

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Chanting a Christmas countdown

CNS Blog

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis gave a plug for the “O Antiphons” in his homily today, urging people to recite these beautiful expressions of longing for the coming of the Messiah.

He said these prayers get people in the right spirit of humility, to empty their hearts of “sterile” pride, so they can be filled with God’s grace.

The  “O Antiphons” are seven prayers that are recited on the days immediately before Christmas, beginning Dec. 17. They introduce the Magnificat, or canticle of Mary, at evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.

The prayers — scriptural texts just a few lines long, begin with “O” and include the desire for Christ to come.  He is addressed by a different traditional title for the Messiah on each of the seven days to connect the coming of Christ with the prophetic writings of the Old Testament.

This video offers a running…

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Joins the World, in Wishing our





Papacy began 13 March 2013
Predecessor Benedict XVI
Ordination 13 December 1969
by Ramón José Castellano
Consecration 27 June 1992
by Antonio Quarracino
Created Cardinal 21 February 2001
by John Paul II
Personal details
Birth name Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Born 17 December 1936 (age 77)
Buenos AiresArgentina
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