Thursday, September 26, 2013

ACN News - Hardship for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Saints Cosmos and Damian, pray for the persecuted church in Syria.

Local Catholic leaders described the hardship faced by Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the destabilizing effect the conflict is having on the country.

The President of the Lebanese organization Caritas, Monsignor Simon Faddoul, explained to international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that the American threats to attack Syria led temporarily to a rise in the numbers of refugees in Lebanon.

Speaking on Friday, Sept. 20th, he noted, "Now that the military strike has not materialized after all, the number of refugees have returned to their original level."

The Lebanese government, Faddoul continued, estimates the number of Syrians in Lebanon at about 1.4 million.

Of these, 1.1 million are refugees, while the rest had already been in the country when hostilities broke out.

"If it comes to the decisive battle for Damascus, there will be a refugee disaster," Msgr. Faddoul said.

The Caritas head also explained how the large number of refugees in Lebanon was already having a destabilizing effect in the country: "The latest report of the World Bank showed what a disastrous effect the Syrian war was having on Lebanese society, security and economy."

According to the most recent estimates by the World Bank, the loss suffered by the Lebanese economy due to the conflict will amount to $7.5 billion by the end of the coming year.

On top of this, Faddoul lamented the social and security problems, "In this respect, the future is a somber one."

This priest of the Maronite Church stressed, however, that the number of those refugees who refused to register with the United Nations had fallen "considerably."

"Many have recognized that registration is the only way to obtain medical aid. Whereas previously 40 per cent failed to register, the figure is now 20 per cent," according to Faddoul.

To date, Caritas has cared for close to 125,000 refugees in the country, and this has been partly thanks to support from Aid to the Church in Need.

About 10,000 of these were Christians, while the remainder were Muslims.

Faddoul was also concerned about the approach of winter. "We need everything: blankets, heating oil, clothing, food, hygiene articles, financial assistance for housing and so on. Our resources are never enough. But we are doing our best with what we can get."

Sister Georgette Tannoury from the Community of the Good Shepherd (Bon Pasteur) also expressed her concern to ACN about the destabilizing effects of the Syrian conflict.

Also supported by ACN, she heads a walk-in clinic for refugees in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. The clinic looks after more than 150 Syrians daily, mostly women and children.

"The number of Syrians is very large," according to Sister Georgette. "Children fill the streets and run between the cars begging. We've never experienced so many robberies and other crimes in the country as in the present year.”

“The result is increasing frustration in Lebanon in the face of the many refugees. One lady reported to me that she was afraid of sending her daughter out onto the street to do the shopping."

Unlike in Jordan, for example, Lebanon has no reception camps, and so the refugees are spread throughout the country. "They often live in garages. Families who lived in large houses in Syria suddenly find themselves in a room with 15 other people. Their children reject this and prefer to live on the streets."

The hardship, according to Sister Georgette, often forces people to take desperate measures. 

"One woman told me that her husband had forced her into prostitution to feed the family. Another father had sold his 13-year-old daughter to a 60-year-old man to get money.”

“I hear stories like these all day long. May God take pity on His people. I thank Aid to the Church in Need for their support. We will continue to help the poorest of the poor."


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 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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Educating the Hawaii Catholic Christians About the Reality of Same-Sex Marriage

In recent years this blog has not been a forum for political issues. However, there is a Hawaii bill that is scheduled to be heard in a special session that will detrimentally change marriage forever. I recently posted about it here.

The Hawaii Republican Assembly has been closely watching other states dealing with the push for same-sex marriage. It is important to know just how dangerous same-sex marriage is to society. Please read "What same-sex “marriage” has done to Massachusett"s put out by and then be sure to let others read it too. You can read this informative booklet HERE.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Spiritual Father of the Blue Army

Statue of St. Padre Pio, Blessed Sacrament Church, Paterson, NJ

"I will accept all who sign the Blue Army Pledge as my 'Spiritual Children,' provided they live up to the pledge."


Dear Queen and Mother, who promised at Fatima to convert Russia and bring pace to all mankind, in reparation for my sins and the sins of the while world, I solemnly promise to your Immaculate Heart:

1.  To offer up every day the sacrifices demanded by my daily duty;

2.  To pray part of the Rosary+ daily while meditating on the mysteries;

3.  To wear the Scapular of Mount Carmel as profession of this promise and as an act of consecration to you.

I shall renew this promise often, especially in moments of temptation.
+Usually understood to mean at least five decades daily.

Note:  This pledge is not a vow and does not bind under sin.  Nevertheless it is a promises:  your wod to your heavenly Mother.

(Your signed pledges will be taken to Fatima)

The pledge can be submitted online via the World Apostolate of Fatima website.

NOTE:  If you live in Hawaii and would like to become a member via the World Apostolate of Fatima, Hawaii Division, please contact me either by leaving a comment or by email.

The Blue Army (World Apostolate of Fatima)
PO Box 976
Washington, NJ 07882