Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ACN News - Iraq – Silence and passivity will encourage IS to commit more tragedies

The Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako has warned of the spreading violence of Islamic State (IS), saying, “Silence and passivity will encourage IS fundamentalists to commit more tragedies.” The question must be asked, “Who will be the next?”  

In a letter that has reached international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), he urgently calls for “effective international support.”

At the same time, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church complains that since August 6, “until now there is not yet an immediate concrete solution for the crisis we are facing,” while “on the other hand the flow of funds, arms and fighters continues to the IS.”

The actions taken up till now have produced “no real change,” and “the fate of the affected people is still at stake, as if these people are not part of the human race.” 

He emphasizes that the international community, principally the United States and European Union, “due to their moral and historic responsibility towards Iraq, cannot be indifferent.”

In his view, “the world conscience is not fully awake to the gravity of the situation”.

The Patriarch pointed out that now, with the emigration of Christian refugee families, the “second phase of the calamity” has begun.

In his words: “Iraq is losing an irreplaceable component of its society. (…) We do respect the decision of those who wish to migrate, but for those who wish to remain, we underline our long history and deeply rooted heritage in this land.”

“God has His own plan for our presence in this land and invites us to carry the message of love, brotherhood, dignity, and harmonious co-existence.”

However, according to him, the full safety of the people in this region can only be guaranteed with the cooperation of the international community along with the Central Government of Iraq and the Regional Government of Kurdistan.


To support the $1M ACN-USA campaign on behalf of Iraqi and Syrian Christians, please visit www.churchinneed.org/helpIraqandSyria or call (800) 628-6333.


Editor’s Notes:




Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.

For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Holy Indifference



According to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, in order to achieve sanctity, one must practice holy indifference.

There is a good explanation on what holy indifference is by Father Broom. Basically, it "means a total openness to the will of God in one’s life."  

The exercise of holy indifference in our daily life will not only make us more patient, joyful, less stressed but ultimately, we will become a saint.  So the next time we are hot, let us be content and abstain from turning on the air conditioner or sitting next to the fan.  The next time our spouse is snippy, let us keep silent.  If we didn't do anything to provoke him or her, we have nothing to defend.  However, it may be more difficult to remember holy indifference when bad things happen such as losing our job, the death of a loved one, betrayal of a friend, but maybe, the more we practice it, the better prepared we will be when these trials and tribulations come our way.  Maybe for the love of God, we will really leave it to him and be content.


Friday, August 22, 2014

ACN News - In South Korea, Pope Francis answers a country’s longing for ‘fatherly leadership’



By Johannes Klausa


Seven days have passed since a chartered Alitalia-flight touched ground at Seoul Air Base, and a humble and empathetic Pope arrived, reaching out to a whole continent and offering balm for the soul of a county that is deeply divided—and not only between north and south.

When the Holy Father landed in Seoul Aug. 14, expectations had already soared enormously. Not only some 5.4 million Catholics eagerly awaited their beloved “Papa,” but most everybody in Seoul—regardless of his or her belief—was curious what this gentle and unpretentious spiritual leader of the western world would have to say. Most people strongly anticipated the visit would be “the event of the year.”

For the past week, it seemed as if all Korean newspapers displayed nothing but cover stories and pictures of Pope Francis. The key words “Pope,” “warm comfort,” as well as “peace and reconciliation” were most searched for and talked about on social media and the internet, according to the analysis of the big data company TAPACROSS.

But why is it that the whole country was electrified by the presence of religious leader who only represents a minority of roughly 3.4 percent of the Asian population?

Today, the Republic of South Korea is a highly modernized, competitive and wealthy society. After overcoming the hardships of the Korean War and its aftermath, and thanks to an unprecedented economic development owing to the hard work and sacrifice of two generations, Korea has joined the club of the world’s leading economic powers; Korean youth now enjoy the amenities of a modern and prosperous lifestyle.

There is downside to this miracle: if a society develops too fast, it is in danger of losing its humane substance. Many Koreans are truly obsessed with success, fast money, power, and status symbols. You need to show off what you have, and it had better be a Mercedes Benz, a Coco Chanel label, and a son at Harvard University.

Obviously, it is impossible for the majority to live up to such exaggerated expectations; so many people feel like losers—or pile up insurmountable debt.

Also, the country is still deeply traumatized by the tragic sinking of the ferry boat “Sewol,” an accident claiming the lives of nearly 300 people, most of them children, and revealing a disastrous crisis management and the ruthlessness, greed, and ignorance of those who were responsible.

Politically, Korea’s society seems irreconcilably divided in two. Both camps are full of hate and mistrust for the other side. One only knows friend or foe, nothing in-between. Unfortunately, not even the Korean Catholic Church is untouched by that split. It too is divided, along political lines, into progressive and conservative groups.
Finally, there is the division of the Korean Peninsula herself. A nation, technically still at war with their brothers and sisters on the other side of the Demilitarized Zone.

 Such was the difficult setting of the stage for the Pope, but he knew how to act on it with remarkable poise and moral authority, touching the hearts of millions.

Francis had accepted an invitation by the Bishop, Lazzaro Heung-sik You of Daejeon to attend the Asia Youth Day. This opened a door for the Pontiff to address and meet not only the Korean faithful, but the whole Catholic church of Asia. Pope Benedict had never traveled to Asia, in spite of the incredible growth of the Asian Church and the continent’s growing political and strategic importance.

Pope Francis also came to preside over the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs.

He met Asian and Korean youth on many occasions and addressed them directly and from the very bottom of his heart. He carefully listened to their problems and questions and responded to them in a language they could understand. He said they were not only the future, but also the present of their Church; and he reminded them of their rich Asian cultural heritage.

He entreated them to get actively involved with their society and contribute the values of their Catholic faith. Further, he urged them to resist egotism and naked materialism and to fight for fairness in order to build up a society that protects and supports its weakest members.

The Holy Father emphasized that Korea is one country and one family and asked Asia’s youth to offer silent prayer for its unification. "Pray for our brothers in the North. Just as in a family, there ought to be neither winners nor losers (…) Korea is united in a common language. When we speak the same tongue in a family, there is always hope.”

Addressing President Park Geun-Hye and other Korean authorities, Francis stressed the fact that peace is a “fruit of dialogue.” He emphasized the lasting challenge for diplomats  to overcome walls of hatred and mistrust,  and he reminded his audience that diplomacy is “the art of the possible …, based on the firm and persevering conviction that peace can be won through quiet listening and dialogue, rather than by mutual recriminations, fruitless criticisms and displays of force.”

In the same talk, he also strongly appealed to Korean decision-makers to be mindful that in this globalized economy, “our understanding of the common good, of progress and development, must ultimately be written in human rather than merely economic terms.”

The Pope was also frank and outspoken in his words to bishops, religious and lay people, lauding the latter for their exceptional historical role in society and reminding the clerics that the Church ought to be a “church of the poor.” He warned against adopting “models of management, planning, and organization drawn from the business world” and a “lifestyle and mentality guided more by worldly criteria of success, and indeed power.”

In his meeting with religious, Pope Francis was quite bold, saying that “the hypocrisy of those consecrated men and women who profess vows of poverty, yet live like the rich, wounds the souls of the faithful and harms the Church.” 

However, even more than with all his carefully chosen words, Pope Francis won the love and respect of Koreans through small and spontaneous gestures, his honest empathy for the less fortunate and his modest appearance.

It was evident that he gave the same or even more time and importance to talking with the poor than with dignitaries. He met with families who lost loved ones on the “Sewol” on five occasions and wore the yellow ribbon he had received from them as a sign of solidarity for the rest of the trip.

He also found time within his tight schedule to baptize one of the fathers who had lost a son in the accident and who asked him for the sacrament when they first met.

On his way to the altar of the beatification Mass attended by a million people, he spontaneously got out of the car, in order to speak to another bereaved father who had gone on a hunger strike to demand that an investigation committee be established.

Before the Mass for peace and reconciliation, he met with religious leaders of other Korean faiths and spoke with “comfort women” who had been forced into sex slavery during the Japanese occupation.

He silently prayed in the “garden of aborted children,” spent time with the disabled, greeted North Korean refugees and never turned down a request, even posing with a smile for “selfies” with young people.

Rather than speaking words of pity, he simply listened, touched and hugged those approaching him, spreading an aura of love and true empathy.

Nowadays, within South Korean society’s bruised and distorted self-awareness, there is a deep-seated and honest desire for fatherly leadership—a warm-hearted and ‘true hero’ who really cares and gives guidance on the way through troubled waters.

Even though less than 11 percent of Koreans are Catholic, this notion now has a name: After the Pope’s five-day visit, Koreans of all religious affiliations call it the “Francis syndrome.”


Johannes Klausa is the director of the newly-opened office of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in Seoul.

With picture of Pope Francis in South Korea (© ACN)


Editor’s Notes:



Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.


For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

The Queenship of Mary


Picture source

O Virgin most pure, wholly unspotted,
O Mary, Mother of God,
Queen of the universe,
thou art above all the saints,
the hope of the elect and the joy of all the blessed.
It is thou who hast reconciled us with God;
thou art the only refuge of sinners
and the safe harbor of those who are shipwrecked;
thou art the consolation of the world,
the ransom of captives, 
the health of the weak, 
the joy of the afflicted, 
and the salvation of all.
We have recourse to thee, 
and we beseech thee to have pit on us.

Amen.

- St. Ephrem the Syrian

- The Prayer Book

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ACN News - “There is still hope for the Christians in Iraq, but only if we act now”



“If we do not want to be silent witnesses to the last chapter of the history of Christendom in Iraq, the international community must respond decisively now,” said Johannes Freiherr Heereman, President of the international aid organization Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), after returning from the Iraqi city of Erbil.

Heereman had traveled to Iraq on the invitation of the Patriarch of Babylon, Louis Sako, to obtain a picture of the situation and the needs of the more than 100,000 Christians who had been displaced and had now found refuge in Ankawa, the Christian quarter of Erbil, and in the villages in the north of Duhok and Zakho.

“The situation is dramatic. We met bishops, priests, nuns and volunteers who are working day and night to provide elementary aid. Temperatures are around 111 degrees. The people need a roof over their heads and medical care. There is still much to be done,” Heereman reports.

But as well as the necessary emergency humanitarian aid, there is also the question of how the Christians and the other minorities in Iraq can be helped to ensure that such a drama does not recur.

“Many of them have already traveled a long road of oppression and suffering. They are disheartened and only want to get away. They beg for help to obtain a visa for another country.”

“But there are also still many who wish to return to their homes, which have often been looted by their neighbors, back to the place where they have lived for generations and where their history and roots are.”

“They left everything behind when they fled, and yet they want to go back,” says Heereman.

“There is still hope for the Christians in Iraq, but only if we act now,” is the message from Patriarch Louis Sako to the President of ACN. The aid organization therefore appeals to the western world to take moral responsibility to aid the Christians and the other religious minorities who wish to stay by ensuring their protection and security.

“This cannot remain simply the concern of the Church in Iraq. We must not be silent witnesses to a destruction that is now reaching the scale of a disaster of civilization. One can certainly speak of an impending genocide.”

“The Church can alleviate pain and want, but questions of security and defense as well as the right to life and religious freedom are a political matter,” Heereman emphasizes. 

ACN has promised the Iraqi Christians, especially the refugees from the Islamist terror group IS (Islamic State), a second emergency aid package of $133,000.

The first emergency aid package of $133,000 was granted in June of this year.


With picture of mother and child refugees in Ankawa, Erbil (© ACN)


To support the $1M ACN-USA campaign on behalf of Iraqi and Syrian Christians, please visit www.churchinneed.org/helpIraqandSyria or call (800) 628-6333.


Editor’s Notes:



Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.

For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

Monday, August 18, 2014

ACN-USA News: Aid to the Church in Need delegation visits Christian refugees in Iraq

Aid to the Church in Need delegation visits Christian refugees in Iraq



Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Executive President Johannes Heereman, ACN Program Director Regina Lynch and the adjunct director of communications for the international Catholic agency, Maria Lozano just returned from a fact-finding mission to the capital city of Kurdish Iraq.

Their goal was to assess the needs of the tens of thousands Iraqi Christian refugees, who, to escape, the onslaught of the ruthless jihadist forces of ISIS, have sought refuge there.

In a telephone interview from Erbil, Ms. Lynch described to Vatican Radio what she called “a very, very desperate situation.”

To-date, ACN has provided some $400,000 in emergency funds to help the Iraqi Christian community of Mosul and the Nineveh plane.

Here follows a report by Ms. Lozano:

This morning (Aug. 14) we left Ankawa and Erbil with their concentration of refugees and drove with Archbishop Emil Nona of the Chaldean Archdiocese of Mossul to the area of Dohuk, north of Mosul, where the refugees are spread out over many villages. The archbishop, too, is a refugee, as he was caught outside of Mosul attending a youth meeting in another Christian village when ISIS overran the city in early June. Like so many of his faithful, he had to leave everything behind.

The normal way to Dohuk is through Mosul but with ISIS still occupying Iraq’s second largest city as well as surrounding areas, we took a more mountainous route passing at times less than 12 miles from ISIS forces. However, there were only a few military check-points through which we passed very easily. In the distance we could see the Christian town of Alqosh, which has for the most part been abandoned by its inhabitants in anticipation of the arrival of ISIS.

Our first visit was to the village of Mangesh just north of Dohuk. Twenty-five years ago this was an entirely Christian village and then Saddam Hussein brought in so many Kurds that the Christians became a minority. Today the Christian families number about 300 and they were joined recently by some 77 Syrian Orthodox families, who earlier this month fled their village close to Alqos. One of the men from the village had already gone out three days earlier in search of a safe refuge for these families and per chance discovered the village of Mangesh.

When these locals heard bombardments they took it as the sign to leave and they were very thankful when the parish priest of Mangesh, Father Yoshia Sana offered them the Catholic catechetical center as a temporary home. At the center, we met their Orthodox priest who expressed his gratitude to Msgr. Nona for the kindness and generosity his people have received. They are still in need of more tents and some ventilators and Msgr. Nona promised to get some for them.

Just as in Erbil, temperatures were soaring to more than 110 degrees and in one case 7 families were sharing one tent. One man told us that he wants this situation to end—“not for my sake but for the sake of my children.” One woman with three disabled children was crying, saying she wanted to go back to her village but she was afraid to return.

During the rest of the day, we visited several more villages with Father Yoshia and Father Samir Youssef, the pastor of a neighboring parish. We listened to the anguish of the refugees, who had fled from Mossul, Alqosh, Telkef, Telascof and so many others communities. We saw the cramped conditions under which they live and we heard of the generosity of other Christian families, who share their own often humble homes with one or two other families.

We went to one village, Baghere, where the priests had only just then discovered 47 refugee families. Among them were one-month old twins, who had come into the world as refugees. All these people told the same story of how they had left Mossul with nothing, often fleeing in panic once they realized that the 60,000 government troops had gone.

They spoke of their concern for their children – one man introducing us to his two daughters who have been studying at the university in Mosul. One of them was a medical student, who reported that there were 15 other Christian students in her class. Some 8,000 of the approximately 40.000 students at the university in Mosul are Christian. Will they ever be able to return?

Some of the refugees spoke about wanting to leave Iraq believing that they have no future there and being disappointed by the attitude of their former Muslim neighbors, who robbed their houses once they had left. Others said they want to stay, that they want to go back to their villages and home—but only if there is an international peace-keeping force to protect them.  This is a message that we heard frequently throughout the day.

One 15 year-old girl, Ronda, looked surprised when we asked her if she wanted to leave. “I want to stay in Iraq,” she said. “I love it.”


To support the $1M ACN-USA campaign on behalf of Iraqi and Syrian Christians, please visit www.churchinneed.org/helpIraqandSyria or call (800) 628-6333.


Editor’s Notes:



Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.


For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

Friday, August 15, 2014

ACN News - Gaza – Only the courageous ones come to Mass


"As a priest, I ask you above all to pray for peace in the Holy Land. I work where the Prince of Peace Jesus Christ was born. But we have no peace here."

With these words, Father Mario da Silva in Gaza recently approached the benefactors of international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

The Brazilian cleric works in the Catholic Holy Family Parish in Gaza City. He belongs to the order Institute of the Word Incarnate IVE, which originated in Argentina.

"We also need your material assistance to meet the most basic needs of the refugees, such as water, food and clothing. May God bless your generosity," da Silva continued.

About 900 refugees have found refuge in a Catholic school and are receiving support there.

At present, about 170 Catholics live in the Gaza Strip with its population of 1.8 million. Because of the war, pastoral care is difficult, according to Father Mario.

"In spite of the situation, we celebrate Holy Mass every day and perform Eucharistic adoration. But hardly anyone comes to the church at the moment. On Sundays, there are never more than five people.”

“Only the very courageous ones come. It's simply too dangerous.”

“Because of the bombings people don't dare go out onto the streets and they prefer to stay in their houses. We've therefore started a telephone pastoral service.”

“Every day the pastor and I call the faithful. We ask about the families, how they are, what they need, and we also attempt to give them spiritual courage."

In view of the continuing attacks, the people are desperate, Father Mario said. "The children in particular are very afraid of the bombs."

Alongside the two clerics there are also six nuns living in the parish from the community founded by the Blessed Mother Teresa. They look after mentally and physically disabled children.

ACN supports the Catholic Church in Gaza in its work. At the request of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, $66,800 in emergency aid has now been approved.


With picture of a boy among the ruins in Gaza City, taken during the ceasefire between August 5th and August 8th (© ACN)


Editor’s Notes:



Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.


For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

ACN-USA launches major campaign to support besieged Christians in Iraq and Syria


Responding to what Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic leader Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has called “a human catastrophe and the risk of a real genocide,” Aid to the Church in Need-USA (ACN-USA) has launched a major campaign to provide humanitarian aid to the Christian community in Iraq that has been terrorized by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for more than six weeks.

ACN-USA has made two initial grants, $135,000 for emergency aid for Iraq’s Christian refugees and $186,000 in support of the Christian community in Syria. There, continued fighting between the regime and the opposition, the devastation caused by the civil war to-date, and targeted attacks are causing enormous suffering to local Christians.

“Both countries are threatened with the extinction of ancient Christian communities,” said George Marlin, Chairman of the Board of ACN-USA. “Both Churches and governments in the West must do their utmost to prevent what has become a tragedy of historic proportions,” he added.

Marlin urges the West to intervene to stop the atrocities of ISIS in Iraq, which have been marked by “cruelties beyond words.” There have been reports of beheadings and crucifixions of Christians and other minorities. Water, food, emergency supplies and medicine “are the first order of the day,” he said, but in the long term a lasting solution must be found that guarantees Christians’ safe haven in both Syria and Iraq.

In the wake of Sunni-Shiite clashes in Iraq and the rise in Islamic extremism, the Iraqi Christian population has dwindled to some 150,000 from a high of more than a million. The Syrian conflict has sparked the exodus of almost a third of the country’s Christian population of 1.8 million, the majority of whom are currently stranded in Lebanon. In addition, at least several hundred thousand Christians are displaced within Syria itself.

ISIS forces—which overran Iraq’s largest city of Mosul in early June—have also taken control of the town of Qaraqosh and surrounding villages, the country’s largest Christian enclave. Its 100,000 residents fled “with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” reported Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad, who spoke in terms of “an exodus, a real via crucis.” 

The fate of Mosul’s Christian community—who were given a choice by ISIS to convert, pay a tax levied on non-Muslims, simply leave or die—left these latest refugees with no illusions. Only a handful of Christians remain in Mosul; most of the community has fled, robbed of their homes, all their possessions and their identity papers.

The bulk of the Christian refugees are making their way to Kurdish territory, where Church communities have a measure of safety. But an already overburdened local Church infrastructure will make life difficult for newcomers in Kurdistan, while the existing Kurdistan Christian community of some 100,000 is afraid ISIS forces may also attack that territory.

In Syria, ACN-USA will be supporting the Archdiocese of Homs, Hama and Yabroud and provide emergency relief for families in the country’s famous “Valley of the Christians,” which has seen some of the most intense fighting of the Syrian civil war.

 “Not only is the rich Christian patrimony of these countries at stake,” said Marlin. “Christians play a vital role in Muslim societies as a moderating force, playing an indispensable role in mediating between warring factions and maintaining relations with the international community.”

The commitment of the Christians in the Middle East to “education and democratic values across the board” makes them peace-builders, he said—and that is a “vital interest for the West.”

In response to these crises ACN-USA has pledged $1M to the persecuted and suffering Church in the region —a pledge its donors are asked to meet.


To support the $1M ACNUSA campaign on behalf of Iraqi and Syrian Christians, please visit www.churchinneed.org/helpIraqandSyria or call (800) 628-6333.


Editor’s Notes:



Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.

For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

The Assumption of Mary

by Peter Paul Rubens, picture via  Pinterest

"It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."
Saint John Damascene

Source: Munificentissimus Deus

Thursday, August 14, 2014

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe on the Miraculous Medal


Picture source

"...those who consent to wear the Miraculous Medal"
who come to love the Immaculata with all their
heart and fly to her in prayer in all their adversities and temptations,
will 
"quickly, and especially on her feast day, be prevailed upon
to make a confession.  There is much evil in the world,
but let us remember that the Immaculata is more powerful still."

- St. Maximilian Kolbe


Source:  Love One Another Catholic Magazine, 26th Issue

Become a member of the Militia Immaculata!