Friday, November 19, 2010

Colleagues List, November 20th, 2010

Vol. VI. No. 12


Edited by Wayne A. Holst


Colleagues List Blog:


My Book Notice:

"My Search for My Great Grandfather"
 by colleague Mathew Zachariah


My Published Review:

"Going Missional"
 Faith Today
 Nov/Dec 2010


Colleague Contributions:

Martin Marty:

Closing comment in the final issue of "Context"
(His newsletter completes publication after 41 years)


Doug Matacio:

"Overview of Religion in Canada"


Net Notes:

No 'Quick Fix' for the Irish Church
Myanmar Rejoices as Suu Kyi is Released
Philip Yancey: A Living Stream in the Desert
BC Court Decision & New Westminster Response
Evangelical Christians in Manitoba Leadership
Lord's Prayer is 'Totally Jewish' Says Crossan
US Catholic Accord with Four Protestant Churches
Christians Protest Blasphemy Sentence in Pakistan
Canadian Anglicans & Lutherans Celebrate Ten Years
Ticking Time Bomb - Lay Ownership of Catholic Parishes


Global Faith Potpourri:

11 stories from Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Sr. Jeanne Jugan
Mpho Tutu & Desmond Tutu
St. Teresa of Avila


On This Day (Nov. 18th)

Nov. 18, 1976 -
Spain a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship

Nov. 19, 1863 -
President Abraham Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address


Closing Thought - Bill Cosby



Dear Friends:

Welcome to my latest issue of Colleagues List!

I hope that this mailing finds you well, and that
you will benefit from time spent with this material.

This week I introduce writing from a faithful
Colleagues List reader and writer. Mathew Zachariah,
emeritus professor in the Education Department of
the University of Calgary shares the story of:

"My Search for My Great Grandfather"

His quest takes him from India, to England and home
to Canada where he and his wife Saro have lived as
citizens for about four decades.

Thank you for sharing your proud family story with
us, Mathew!


Published Review:

Several weeks ago, I shared my pre-edited review,
written for "Faith Today" editor Bill Fledderus.
Now, I offer the finished, electronic product
from the current FT November/December issue.

The book is entitled "Going Missional" and relates
conversations with 13 Canadian churches who have
embraced the missional life - in other words - they
seek to be contextual, outward-looking communities
of faith.

To my mind, this book reflects a maturing of
evangelical Christianity in Canada today.


Colleague Contributions:

This week I received the final edition of a professional
newsletter to which I have subscribed for forty years.

Martin Marty - who has provided the material for "Context"
for 41 years - using 4 million words -  and he writes his
final message, suggesting how we can continue keeping in
touch with him through his continuing "Sightings" newsletter
on Mondays (Context)

Thanks, Marty!


Doug Matacio - a professor of the Canadian church at
Canadian University College, a school of the Seventh Day
Adventist Church - re-issues an article on religion in
Canada which I first read and shared with you my readers
last July 1st (Virtual House, EFC)

Thanks, Doug!


Net Notes:

"No 'Quick Fix' for the Irish Church' - a visit from
an American prelate who 'knows' about such things,
advises Irish Church leaders on the way ahead

"Myanmar Rejoices as Suu Kyi is Released" - once more,
Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest, and again,
her fellow-citizens have welcomed her warmly
(Cathnews.Asia, the Tablet, UK)

"Philip Yancey: A Living Stream in the Desert" - a
favourite writer to appear on these pages, Yancey shares
some surprizing views after a visit to the Near East
(Christianity Today)

"New Westminster Responds to BC Court Decision" - the
high court has spoken, and rewarded four church buildings -
whose clergy and members have voted to leave the Anglican
Church of Canada - to members wanting to remain in the ACC
(Diocese of New Westminster Web-Statement)

"Evangelical Christians In Manitoba Leadership" - a
new generation of Christians - other than Catholic and
Mainline Protestant, but Evangelical Protestant - are
emerging visible leaders in Manitoba (Christian Week)

"Lord's Prayer is 'Totally Jewish' Says Theologian" -
John Dominic Crossan explains why the most famous of
Christian prayers is actually a Jewish prayer
(Jerusalem Post)

"US Bishops' Accord with Four Protestant Churches" -
Ecumenical discussions continue, in spite of an apparent
slowdown in ecumenical activity. American Catholics are
officially recognizing the baptisms of Christians which
have occurred in Protestant churches (ENI & Zenit News)

"Christians Protest Blasphemy Sentence in Pakistan" -
A Christian woman faces death for blasphemy, and many
are very upset about it (UCAN News)

"Canadian Anglicans & Lutherans Celebrate Ten Years" -
This week, Anglican and Lutheran bishops in Canada released
a pastoral letter acknowledging ten years of co-operation
which encouraged a deeper, fuller, future relationship.
(ELCIC and ACC Church News)

"Ticking Time Bomb of Lay Involvement in Catholic Parishes" -
We have observed this development for years. A growing
number of Catholic parish staffers are laypersons. Lay people
know their theology even as clerical numbers dwindle.
Joan Chittister comments on the situation.
(National Catholic Reporter)


Global Faith Potpourri:

11 stories provided this week from
Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Sr. Jeanne Jugan, Mpho Tutu & Desmond Tutu and
Saint Teresa of Avila offer their spiritual wisdom
this week.


On This Day (Nov. 18th)

On-the-scene stories provided by the New York Times:

Spain a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship (1976)
President Abraham Lincoln delivered Gettysburg Address (1863)


Closing Thought - Bill Cosby ends with some humour.

We are drawing to the close of the church year.
Blessings to you as you tend to such endings and
prepare for the new beginnings that Advent offers.




Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



Created and maintained by Colleague Jock McTavish




We plan a 15-day tour of special Celtic sites
in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England -
April 26th - May 10th, 2011.

A highlight of the tour will be a visit to
St. David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire. Choir
members from our group will sing at various
informal cathedral events through the day
and at Evensong, on Saturday, May 7th!

Chorister selection is currently taking place.
An organizational meeting will occur in
Novemgber, and rehearsals start, early January -
led by our music director, Brent Tucker.

Details are presently being finalized with
the St. David's cathedral dean, Jonathan Lean.

We are also planning to sing while visiting
Iona, Scotland and the Church of Mary Immaculate
in Inchicore, Dublin, Ireland.


We have a waiting list for this trip; also an
interest list for other, future tours!

Let me know if you have an interest in exciting
spiritual tourism!

Did You Know?

According to legend, the leek became
the national symbol of Wales in
tribute to a hard-won battle in
640 AD where Welsh soldiers
wore leeks on their helmets to
distinguish them from their Saxon

“The legacy of
heroes is the
memory of a great
name and the
inheritance of a
great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli

- discovered by Marlene Holst



Introducing our New Fall Program at St. David's:

Follow this series by clicking:

A Celtic Spirituality (Philip Newell)

Including background material from the book:

THE CELTIC WAY (Ian Bradley)



Join our ten week Monday Night Study, which runs
from September 20th through November 29th

Special Guest:

Monday, November 8th - 7-9PM - Completed!

Excellent response to the evening.

Dr. Wayne Davies, Department of Geography, U of C.
is a native of Wales. He spoke with us at one session,
introducing us to his homeland, and explaining some
of the important sites we plan to visit to maximize
our appreciation of the tour.

This program was made available for all
Monday Night study-folk plus those planning to
take the tour of Celtic Lands next spring.

40 persons, representing tour and non-tour participants
are currently registered for this ten-week series and
we have been experiencing our best attendances ever!

This study program is part of our St. David's fiftieth
anniversary celebrations and is available to all!



Announcing our Autumn Series:

"The Book of Genesis"

Primeval and Patriarchal Stories -
Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel
Abraham, Covenant, Ishmael & Sodom.

Join us Wednesday mornings, 9-10 AM
October 6th through December 1st


Students, faculty and staff

"Becoming Human" by Jean Vanier
 (the 1998 CBC Massey Lecture Series)

Thursdays, Oct 21 through Nov 25, Noon-1 PM
Native Centre, Small Boardroom (MSC 390)

Oct 21 – Loneliness, Chapter 1
Oct 28 – Belonging, Chapter 2
Nov 4  – From Exclusion to Inclusion, Chapter 3

[skipping Remembrance Day]

Nov 18 – The Path to Freedom, Chapter 4
Nov 25 – Forgiveness, Chapter 5



A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted since 2000 can
quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents a decade of
Monday Night Studies at St. David's, plus extra courses too!

You are welcome to use our course outlines, class notes and
resource pages in your personal and group reflections.



The Venerable Oommen Mamen,
Archdeacon of Mavelikara of the CMS
(Church Missionary Society)
Anglican Church of India (1830-1904)

Self-published by Mathew Zachariah, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Education
The University of Calgary,
Calgary Alberta Canada

Author's Words:


It would be very helpful if you could put a brief
notice about my new book, adding that copies are
available for a donation of $25. CAD for a very
worthy cause. I have set up a separate bank account
for each entire contribution. It will be used to
support the education of Muth Wilson.

Muth Wilson was admitted to the Pushpagiri Hospital
Tiruvalla, in Kerala, India Nursing program as a
B.Sc. nursing student. Her admission is a matter of
much satisfaction for me and my two brothers -
George and Alex - because Muth is the first person
in four generations in her branch of our paternal
family who has received a First Class in her Plus Two
(after secondary school) Exam. She is also the first
person in her family who has been admitted to a
professional degree program. Her young, widowed
mother Usha, is not financially able to support
Muth's expensive education ($3,200 CAD a year) so
relatives are helping the family.


(See below for book order details)


My Comments:

I continue to look for books to introduce on my
Colleagues List that may not be discovered elsewhere.


Oommen Mamen, great grandfather to Mathew Zachariah, was
born in 1830, and was the second native of India to be
ordained archdeacon in the history of the Christian
Missionary Society (CMS, later the Anglican Church of
India). He had already been a Christian, because he was
baptized into the ancient Syrian Orthodox Church of
Kerala State, South India.

His name - Mamen - was derived from the name - Thomas - the
Apostle of Jesus, who is widely believed to be the founder
of that ancient church in India. Mamen responded to the
work of Anglican missionaries during the mid-19th century,
while Great Britain was the imperial power in his country.
He did this because he believed the CMS stood for Christian
principles he found missing in the church of his baptism.

The CMS missionaries he encountered sought to help with
the renewal of the ancient Syrian Orthodox Church but,
because their efforts were rejected, they proceeded to form
the Anglican Church of India which later became part of a
very successful ecumenical experiment - the Church of South
India -  a union of many Anglican and Protestant churches.

Mamen and his fellows - the English missionaries - were
very committed to the proclamation of the Gospel among all
the people of India. They did not want the church to remain
the enclave of upper caste people, as the Syrian Orthodox
Church had become.

Zachariah provides a biographical chapter - written in
Mamen's own words - which the author tracked down in the
Church of England Archives in Birmingham, UK almost two
decades ago.

Manen's conversion to a deeper form of Christianity was
aided by his readings of famous books like "Pilgrim's
Progress" by John Bunyan (spelled 'Banyan' in India).
He progressed through stages of Deacon, Presbyter, and
finally to Archdeacon, only a few years before his death
in 1904.

"Mamen was infused with devotion to God," says Zachariah.
His devotion to the Christian Gospel is evident in the
summaries he makes in his diary of sermons which was made
available to the author. His preaching evidenced a twinning
of the spirituality he had learned from his fellow Syrian
Christian priests and the CMS missionaries. He was very
scrupulous in his behaviour, even though, like Gandhi,
his treatment of his wife at various stages of their marriage
seems to have left something to be desired. Still, we read
these stories from a distance and from hindsight.


The author's quest to discover the spiritual roots of
his great grandfather has helped him to situate himself
in both the ancient Christian tradition of his family
in India as well as his Anglican community in Canada.

Zachariah links his archival findings with discoveries
he makes from modern writers like Elaine Pagels (The
Gospel of Thomas) and of colleague Lamin Sanneh (the
trans-cultural communication of the Gospel).

It is important to note that Zachariah is a professional
pedegogist, not a theologian; but his lifelong association
with the church and with Christians of the East and West
make his teachings invaluable to global Christian readers.


When I read a brief study like this one (39 pages) I am
reminded of how important it is for those of us in the
"Christian" West to be reading the faith insights of those
who have made a "Christian" transition across time, place
and culture as Mathew has done.

Recently, Gary Mason wrote an article in the Globe and Mail
(November 18th, 2010): "Bringing smart people here can only
help." In this article Mason writes about how important it
is that the Canadian government and its universities bring
foreign students from around to world to study here. Whether
they remain in Canada or return to their homes overseas is
beside the point, say Mason. The exposure we and the students
get will be invaluable and are significant human investments.

Almost fifty years ago, a bright young student from Kerala
State, India, came to study in the USA. He completed his
doctoral work in Colorado, and accepted a teaching position
in the the Education Department at the newly formed University
of Calgary. Mathew Zachariah has made invaluable contributions
to education and to the church in Canada. In Mathew's case,
we have an example of how four decades of experience can add
perspective to the modern opportunity Gary Mason describes.


For those who are interested in mission history, as well as
those who appreciate cross-cultural family narratives,
first-hand, this book would be rewarding to obtain and read.

Add to that, the window on the future of faith this book


Purchase the book, make a donation:

Mail or email your request to:

Dr. Mathew Zachariah,,
25 Simitar Heath NW
Calgary, AB. T3L 2E1

Cost of the book: $25.00 CAD.



"Going Missional:
 Conversations With 13 Churches
 Who Have Embraced Missional Life"
 by Karen Stiller with Willard Metzger

click this link, then click to enlarge:



Hats off to you, Marty!!

Final Context Issue

December, 2010

Context: Martin E. Marty on Religion and Culture
December 2010, Part B
Vol. 42, No. 12

Putting it all in Context

I have never been one to claim that "words fail me," but
after four million of them--give or take--imparted through
these pages over the past 41 years (exactly half of my life
to date!), succinct summation of CONTEXT is impossible.
That being said:

It has been a good run. I want to extend my gratitude to
my hosts, the Claretians, who will continue to publish the
best popular Catholic magazine in the country (U.S. Catholic).
And I want to thank the series of exceptional editors they've
assigned to massage these pages over the years--most recently
Heather Grennan Gary, with whom it has been a joy to work.
Naturally we owe an incalculable debt to the countless writers
and editors whose work benefited us all through these pages;
we trust that we were able to return the favor by bringing
some measure of attention and audience to their observations
and labors.

But most of all I leave this "moonlighting" post with nothing
but thanksgiving for the constancy of the family of subscribers.
The conversation cultivated over four decades through these
printed pages (and through related correspondence) has been
remarkable. As I travel I am regularly refreshed by CONTEXT
readers I encounter, and first through mail and later through
e-mail I've developed a strong connection even to the many of
you I haven't met in person.

Editing CONTEXT has been an enjoyable task, part of my vocation
to relate religion to culture in current affairs, just as I
treated the longer-ago times in my profession as an historian.
As a person of faith, I have to say, I have often been fed
spiritually along the way, and readers assure me that they
too have feasted on both the secular and the spiritual
offerings shared here.

My longtime assistant (and son) Micah, who made the selections
for these last four issues from his reading of the first 25
years of CONTEXT, tells me that even in the pre-computer years
of assembling this newsletter I very rarely reused items (when
I did, it was usually inadvertent). But he found that two small-
but-memorable gems appeared twice or more over the years--a
deliberate repetition, as I found both passages particularly
meaning-filled. Rather than striving for fresh eloquence I
choose to close with them here.

The first I have had posted on my home-office door for years
so that I see it multiple times every day. This concise advice
was penned by 19th-century philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel;
perhaps it will find its way to a place where you will view
it often: "Life is short and we have not much time for
gladdening the hearts of those who travel the way with us.
Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind!"

The second is a short prayer by Cardinal John Henry Newman,
containing what some say is the most beautiful phrasing in
the English language: "May He support us all the day long,
till the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the
busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and
our work is done. Then in His mercy may He give us a safe
lodging, and a holy rest and peace at the last."

And now let us say, "Amen."

God's benisons,

Martin E. Marty

P.S. Even though this particular vehicle of expression
has run its course, I'm not shutting down. For continuing
information on all things MEM - including how to subscribe
to my e-mailed commentaries, Sightings - feel free to pay
a visit to



Canadian University College
Seventh Day Adventist,
Lacombe, Alberta

Canadian Faith
A Reflection on our nation's faith stance and
the need to respect each others' religious traditions:



American Leader Talks from Experience

America Magazine
Nov. 19th, 2010


Writer is freed from years of house arrest

Nov. 15th, 2010


"Beauty and the Beasts"

The Tablet
Nov. 19th, 2010


How the Christian faith will become a force
for liberation in the Middle East's Arab states

Christianity Today
November 5th, 2010



Ecumenical News International
November 19th, 2010

Canadian court rules dissident churches
must abandon property

Toronto  (ENInews). An appeals' court has ruled
in favour of a Canadian Anglican diocese in a parish
property dispute with those opposed to same-gender
blessings. In a unanimous decision released on 15
November, British Columbia Court of Appeal Justice
Mary Newbury, writing on behalf of herself and two
fellow judges, dismissed an appeal by four breakaway
parishes against a 2009 lower court ruling. The diocese
has begun to replace the clergy of the four Vancouver-
area churches, whose properties are worth an estimated
20 million Canadian dollars (US$19.6 million). One of
the churches, St John's Shaughnessy, is widely considered
one of Canada's wealthiest parishes. Clergy and trustees
of the four churches, which split from the Anglican
Church of Canada over issues of same-gender blessings
and the interpretation of the Bible, had asked the court
to give them control over the properties.


New Westminster Responds:

Anglican Journal News
November 18th, 2010


Protestants hold key positions locally and nationally
November 17th, 2010


Christian Prayer is Actually Not - Says Biblical Scholar

The Jerusalem Post
Nov. 17th, 2010


Catholics to respect other churches' baptisms

Ecumenical News International
November 19th, 2010

US Catholics approve baptism accord
with Reformed churches

Baltimore, Maryland  (ENI news/RNS). The U.S. Roman
Catholic bishops on has approved a mutual agreement
with four Reformed Protestant denominations to recognize
each others' baptisms as valid, a pact that was six years
in the making. Gathered here for their annual autumn
meeting, the bishops voted 204-11 to approve the baptism
agreement with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the
Reformed Church in America, the Christian Reformed Church,
and the United Church of Christ, Religion News Service
reports. Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, chairman
of the ecumenical and interfaith committee of the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the agreement
a "milestone on the ecumenical journey."


The Catholic Perspective

Zenit News from Rome
November 17th, 2010


Strong reaction to court ruling against woman

Nov. 12th, 2010



Joint pastoral letter issued this week
to celebrate a decade of co-operation


Laypersons becoming increasingly influential

National Catholic Reporter
November 18th, 2010

by Joan Chittiser



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
15 November 2010

Malawi Presbyterian leader criticises
Catholic pastoral letter

Blantyre (ENI news). The Blantyre synod of the Presbyterian
Church of Central Africa, in Malawi, has criticised the
country's Roman Catholic bishops for issuing a pastoral
statement critical of the government. The synod represents
most of Malawi's Presbyterians, who make up the country's
second biggest church after Catholics. It says the bishops'
statement lacked protocol and was disrespectful to the head
of state, President Bingu wa Mutharika. Blantyre synod
moderator the Rev. Reynolds Mangisa told journalists that
the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, representing the
Catholic bishops, could have raised the contents of its
letter with the government and President Mutharika
privately before making it public.


Tradition hits Israeli barrier as
Palestinians try to harvest olives

Bethlehem, West Bank (ENI news). Though the olive branch is
a symbol of peace, harvesting olives for Palestinians, when
they have to pass through a military-manned barrier to get
to their land in an occupied area, is a point of conflict.
Against this background and for the seventh year, the Joint
Advocacy Initiative, a programme of the East Jerusalem YMCA
and the YWCA of Palestine, has hosted a group of 75
international volunteers to assist Palestinians with their
traditional olive harvest. Whereas in the northern West
Bank Palestinian farmers face the threat of attacks and
damage to their trees from Israeli settlers, in the
Bethlehem region the farmers lack free access to their
land. JAI campaign officer Baha' Hilo says this is
because of the Israeli barrier that separates many of
the farmers from their land.


16 November 2010

German rights group pleads for
'world's largest' swamp

Nairobi, 16 November (ENI news). A German church-backed
human rights organization is pleading for action to
save the Sudd, one of the world largest swamplands,
located in southern Sudan, which the group says is
threatened by oil extraction activities. Klaus Stieglitz,
the vice chairperson of Sign of Hope, which is backed by
Roman Catholic Church organizations, said his group had
seen evidence of remarkable pollution by companies
drilling for and extracting oil. Stieglitz asserts this
has put the lives of thousands of people at risk. "The
oil companies responsible are about to destroy the Sudd,
the world's largest swampland, by discharging their
waste practically untreated," Stieglitz told a press
conference in Nairobi on 16 November, after a six-day
visit by a Sign of Hope team to the Unity, Al Nar and
Toma South oilfields in southern Sudan. "We strongly
condemn these practices … and urge the companies to
change their environmental behaviour," Stieglitz said.


British Muslims and Christians
jointly condemn Iraq church attack

London, 16 November (ENI news). Christian and Muslim
leaders in Britain have joined in support of Christian
communities in Iraq following the latest attack by
extremists in the name of Islam, which resulted in
the death of almost 60 worshippers at Our Lady of
Salvation cathedral in Bagdad. A statement issued by
Britain's Christian Muslim Forum, following a meeting
two days earlier at the Al-Khoei Foundation Mosque in
London attended by representatives of Christian,
Islamic and Jewish bodies, "condemned in the strongest
terms, all criminal acts committed by terrorists who
seek to hijack the high values of Islam". In Antelias,
Lebanon, Aram I, who heads the Catholicosate of Cilicia
of the Armenian Apostolic Church, told of how the
ancient local churches of the Middle East, which had
been rooted in the region for more than 17 centuries,
"have contributed to its economic, intellectual, and
cultural development".


U.S. activists lobby against U.N. defamation resolution

Washington DC, 16 November (ENI news/RNS). Religious freedom
advocates are urging members of the United Nations to vote
against the latest proposal from Islamic countries to combat
"defamation of religions." For the last decade, the
Organization of Islamic Conference has successfully
sponsored similar resolutions as a way to address
religious persecution. But U.S. religious liberty activists
increasingly say the resolutions actually do more harm than
good, Religion News Service reports."The OIC-sponsored U.N.
resolutions on this issue instead provide justification for
governments to restrict religious freedom and free
expression," the U.S. Commission on International Religious
Freedom said in a policy statement.


17 November 2010

Holy Land Jews and Muslims pray together for rain

Jerusalem (ENI news). Unseasonably dry weather in the
Holy Land region, with no predictions of rain in the
near future, has led a group of about 60 local Jewish
and Muslim religious leaders, plus one Christian, to
join in praying for rain. Rabbi Yehuda Stolov of the
Interfaith Encounter Association, which helped organize
the gathering, said that the prayers on 11 November
were not only a plea to God for much-needed rain but
also showed the commonality that the residents of the
region shared. The Christian involved was a Roman
Catholic priest from Bethlehem. "They are joint needs.
They [the people] need the same things, and they ask
for them from the same God," Stolov told ENI news.


Polish church ready to unveil
world's largest Christ statue

Warsaw (ENI news). A Polish bishop has invited fellow
Roman Catholics at home and abroad to attend an unveiling
on 21 November of the world's largest statue of Christ.
The statue stands in a town on the plains near the German
border. On its mound, it rises to 65 metres (213 feet),
and is visible for at least 16 kilometres (10 miles) in
any direction. "This is an act of homage, through which
we seek to honour the saviour, and recognise his
universal reign," Zygmunt Regmunt, bishop of Zielona
Gora-Gorzow, told members of his western diocese.
"Being full of trust in Christ, the faith cannot remain
only an internal act. It should also be expressed
externally; firstly, through a life worthy of the
Gospel. The faith also needs certain material signs
to give it testimony, and this monument is just such
a testimony of faith."


18 November 2010

At 50th anniversary of Vatican ecumenism,
new energy 'needed'

Rome (ENI news). Ecumenism, which seeks global church
unity, is in need of new energy, top Roman Catholic,
Orthodox and Anglican leaders have said at
commemorations to mark the 50th anniversary of the
founding of a Vatican group to help bring about
Christian unity. On 5 June 1960, the day of Pentecost,
as part of preparations for the 1962 to 1965 second
Vatican council, Pope John XXIII established a
secretariat for promoting Christian unity. In 1988,
John Paul II changed the name to the Pontifical
Council for Promoting Christian Unity. "Today, some
people believe that this journey has lost its impetus,
especially in the West," the Vatican Information
Service quoted Pope Benedict XVI as saying. "Thus
do we see the urgent need to revive ecumenical
interest and give a fresh incisiveness to dialogue."


EU commissioner questions Polish-church bar on gay teachers

Warsaw (ENI news). A European Union commissioner has rejected
claims by a Polish government minister that her country's
Roman Catholic schools can refuse to employ gay and lesbian
teachers. "The commission fails to see how a teacher's sexual
orientation could reasonably constitute a genuine and
determining occupational requirement," said Viviane Reding,
who is the EU's justice commissioner, and comes from Luxembourg.
"Organizations whose ethos is based on religion or belief are
allowed to take a person's religion or belief into account,
where necessary, when recruiting personnel, and to require
their personnel to show loyalty to that ethos," said Reding.
"It is made clear, however, that any difference in treatment
should not justify discrimination on grounds other than of
religion or belief."


Priest denounced for Hong Kong 'devil'
tycoon words feels betrayed

Hong Kong (ENI news). A Hong Kong Roman Catholic priest,
who at a Halloween party likened the richest man in the
city to a "devil", says he feels betrayed after his
diocese said it regretted his remarks. The priest, the
Rev. Thomas Law, told the South China Morning Post
newspaper on 13 November that the feeling of betrayal
came when his diocese issued a statement about his
remarks, without consulting him. Law, a liturgical
expert, said at a Halloween party in his parish on 31
October that ghosts were not that terrible when
compared with the "real devils", such as Li Ka-shing,
reputedly the richest man in Hong Kong.


19 November 2010

Philippines Protestant leader
renews appeal to free 43 detainees

Manila (ENI news)an appeal for supporters to help
persuade President Benigno Aquino to free 43 detainees,
most of them church-based health workers detained for
more than nine months, and whom the military has accused
of being communist rebels. "Another day in prison for
the 43 is another day of justice denied," said the
Rev. Rex Reyes Jr, general secretary of the National
Council of Churches in the Philippines, in a 9th of
November statement, that repeated an earlier appeal.
Reyes appealed for support from local and global
church organizations, human rights advocates and
civil libertarians.



Provided, thanks to Sojourners Online

November 15th, 2010

"Go and find Jesus when your patience and
strength give out and you feel alone and helpless.
He is waiting for you in the chapel. Say to him,
'Jesus, you know exactly what is going on. You are
all I have, and you know all. Come to my help.'"

- Sr. Jeanne Jugan, Founder of the Little Sister
  of the Poor (1972-1879)


November 17th, 2010

"Don't struggle and strive so, my child./ There is
no race to complete, no point to prove, no obstacle
to conquer for you to win my love./ I have already
given it to you./ I loved you before creation drew
its first breath./ I dreamed you as I molded Adam
from the mud./ I saw you wet from the womb./
And I loved you then."

- Mpho Tutu and Desmond Tutu, "Made for Goodness"


November 18th, 2010

"It would be well for us to consider that our Lord
has taught [the Lord's] prayer to each one of us,
individually, and that [our Lord] still teaches it
to us at this very moment. The master is never so
distant that [the] disciple need raise [his or her]
voice to be heard."

- Saint Teresa of Avila



Nov. 18, 1976 - Spain a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship


Nov. 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered Gettysburg
Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the
Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania.



"Gray Hair is God's Grafitti"

Bill Cosby


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