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Saturday, 22 May 2010

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Life - sacred gift of God

If you are attacked, as adults you may counter attack in the name of your own safety. Nobody; even animals do not like to be attacked. We love to be free from dangers. We love to enjoy our freedom. We have the right to do so. If we value freedom why should we hinder others' freedom?


Most Rev. Dr. Norbert Andradi

Imagine when an innocent foetus full of life in the womb of a mother is attacked by forceps and needles; the helpless infant cannot counter attack. He struggles for life but the needles and the forceps are more powerful than the helpless baby.

How brutal it is! That is the most brutal inhuman act or sin a person can commit in his lifetime, Most Rev. Dr. Norbert Andradi, Bishop of Anuradhapura made this comment at 'Shanthi Uyana' at Knuckles recently while addressing the participants of the annual retreat conducted by "Daham Pahana".

His Lordship further enlightened the faithful thus; 'Life is the most precious and the sacred gift all of us have received from God Almighty. If our parents aborted us offering a number of excuses what would have happened? If my parents would have done so, would there be Bishop Andradi? Our parents had the Christian values. They loved their children. They value large families thinking that it was a blessing. What about the families of the present generation? Do they consider children a gift from Above? Do they value large families? Yes there are some parents who gladly welcome many children to their families but unfortunately there are some who do not welcome any. Worse part is some people entertain abortions. What a crime!

During the break I noticed a person crying bitterly while calling some one over his mobile phone. Since I knew him personally I thought I could help him. This is what he had to tell me.

Responsibility

"I came alone for the retreat leaving my three children and the wife at home as I had been entrusted with a great responsibility of the retreat. I loved to come with the family but she is pregnant and she gets morning sickness.

As you know I run the family without a proper job and without a fixed income. The cost of living does not leave room for providing the children with proper meals. They are starving." (Tears tricking down his cheeks)

"When I cannot feed the four mouths, how can I afford to have one more? We did not want to see another baby suffering. So I had suggested that the unborn be aborted after my return home. But after listening to His Lordship I thought that God spoke to me through His Lordship's talk. I realized the danger of our decision.

I rang up my wife and told her what the Bishop said and made up our minds to let the baby live. We take care of the new born. God will look after us."

It is quite ironical that when some couples go to any length or to foreign lands to seek babies for adoptions some parents do anything humanly possible to kill their unborn babies. How long would it take such couples to understand this harsh truth?

Human beings

We human beings love to offer excuses without fulfilling our duties and responsibilities.

When we think of abortions people who are reluctant to have children or abort their infants offer economic, social, cultural or physiological reasons but such reasons in the Christian context are unreasonable. Remember you have no right to kill anybody.

But still people have wonderful excuses to defend themselves for killing the unborn. Here are some of the situations where people advocate abortions.

Would you consider abortions in the following cases? Say 'Yes' or 'No' to yourself to the following situations.

1. There is a preacher and his wife who are living in abject poverty. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she is pregnant with the 15th. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you recommend she gets an abortion?

2. The father is sick with sniffles, the mother has TB. They have got four children. The first child is blind; the second is epileptic; the third is deaf and the fourth has TB. She finds she's pregnant again. Given the extreme situation would you recommend an abortion?

3. A white man raped a 13-year-old black girl and she got pregnant. If you were her parents would you recommend an abortion?

4. A teenage girl is pregnant. She's not married. Her fiance is not the father of the unborn and he is disappointed. Would you recommend an abortion?

Do you think society would be better off without them?

You have already said 'Yes' or 'No'. If you have said 'Yes' to any of those situations now read the following and understand why your answers are wrong.

1. In the first case you have just killed John Wesley, one of the great Evangelists of the 19th century.

2. In the second case you have killed Beethoven, the great musician.

3. In the third case you have killed Ethel Waters, the great gospel singer.

4. If you said 'Yes' to the fourth case, you have just declared the murder of Jesus Christ.

UNO Human Rights emphasizes that every human being born or to be born to this world has human dignity and right to live.

Any sane person would now understand the civilized society especially the Catholic Church does not permit abortions under any circumstances because life is precious and sacred and the parents are not the creators of the baby but they are the caretakers.

So they have no right to kill the baby but to help live.

If someone entertains abortions he or she is answerable and accountable before God, the Giver of Life.


Massive gathering in support of Pope at Vatican

Tens of thousands of pilgrims flocked to the Vatican on Sunday in a rally of support for Pope Benedict XVI as he battles a paedophile priest scandal.


Pope Benedict XVI

Police estimated the crowd which filled St Peter's Square and Via della Conciliazione, the broad avenue leading to the holy city, at more than 150,000.

Some bore banners of support for the embattled head of the Roman Catholic Church saying "Together with the Pope" and "Your Holiness, you are not Alone, the whole Church is with you."

The demonstration of support was organised by the Italian Episcopal Conference, two days after Benedict's return from a four-day visit to Portugal which was marked by huge crowds.

"Today you show the great affection and profound closeness of the Church and the Italian people to the Pope and your priests because, in the commitment to spiritual and moral renewal, we can always do better," Benedict said, addressing the crowd from the balcony of his Vatican apartment.

"The real enemy to fear and to fight is sin, spiritual evil, which at times, unfortunately, also infects members of the Church," he said.

In what may yet be seen as a watershed in his battle against the Church's biggest crisis in decades, a penitent pope said last week en route to Portugal that the problems it faced came not from its enemies, but from sin within the institution itself.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Bishops Conference and Archbishop of the northern city of Genoa, led a group prayer focused on the meaning of purification, solidarity, forgiveness and justice. AFP


Church Medical Centre caters to needy

Donation of medical equipment:

St.Lawrence's Church, Wellawatte has been running a Free Medical Clinic since 1971.

The then Parish Priest late Rt. Rev. Monsignor Manik Muthukumaru realized the need of the marginalized parishioners and opened a free medical clinic catering free medical treatments and distributing free medicine and vitamin tablets to the needy.


Parish Priest Rev. Fr Bob Rodrigo OMI after receiving the donation.

This dispensary is manned by four voluntary qualified doctors, two nurses and by experienced and dedicated staff of four from the Parish. Their services are to treat patients and dispense medicine and insulate injections and test Blood Sugar on every Sunday morning.

An average of 120 patients without any discrimination of caste race or religion receive their treatment and medicine free of charge and a free cup of milk tea with Milo and Biscuits for nourishment.

Sunday, May 9 was a happy occasion to remember by the Parishioners when The Lions Club of Grandpass District 306 B2 members visited The Free Medical Clinic and donated a set of medical equipments for the use of the dispensary- one Stethoscope, one pressure meter and a one touch Ultra Blood Sugar testing Meter. Rev Fr. Bob Rodrigo OMI Parish Priest of St Lawrence's Church receiving the kind gifts of medical equipments from parishioner Lion P.J. Kulendrarajah who was instrumental in organizing the donation along with his club members Lion A. Raveendran and Lion S. Sathees thanked them profusely for having presented these valuable equipments which are expensive and are in urgent need.

The doctors and staff were overjoyed and thanked the members of Lions Club of Grandpass District 306 B2 for the thoughtful gifts which will be of immense help.

This project which has been a boon to the people of Wellawatte and even to outsiders a project which has stood the test of time in the spirit of Caring and Sharing for nearly 39 years. The funding of this project has been partly by the Parish and the rest by donations from well-wishers.

Parish Priest Rev. Fr Bob Rodrigo OMI graciously provides the necessary funds and assistance for the smooth functioning of the Free Medical Clinic without any complains. Your generous contribution by way of medicines, equipments and by cash will be much appreciated.


Public Lecture on St. Mark's Gospel

The next lecture on the Gospel of St. Mark will be delivered by , Professor in Sacred Scripture at the National Seminary, Ampitiya Very Rev. Father Nilendra Gunasekere, Monday, May 24 at 6 pm in the Colombo YMCA Forum Hall.

The lectures are conducted at the invitation of the Colombo YMCA Bible Study Institute.


The everlasting ecstasy:

An end of a Mother's Odyssey

My son had risen from the dead. I was jubilant.

"Days passed. My dear friends brought me many unforgettable and happy incidents that had taken place after Jesus rose from the dead. How Thomas Didemar who had not believed about my Son's resurrection and was told by Jesus to touch Him. Thomas had then said My Lord and My God." Then Jesus had said "You believe because you touched me. Blessed are they who have not seen me but believe in me." I was so happy. He blessed the generations to come. What a beautiful gesture by my son.

The Scribes, Phariseas and the priests were pleased. The trouble maker was dead. My Sons resurrection was kept a secret. I also came to know that Pontius Pilate was a depressed person after my Son's death. He had confided in a few, that he really admired some of Jesus' saying - about calling the scribes and the rich, as hypocrites and off-spring of vipers.

He too had not endorsed their concept of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Pilate left for Rome. I wander what his thoughts were when he set sail for Rome. He was a good person.

Many became followers of my son. Forty days after the sad and happy events, the most wondrous of happenings. Yes, we were all there. He spoke to all of us. Embraced me. I felt that something unique was going to happen. On this day my beloved Son ascended into Heaven. All of us raised our hands in joy and awe as He rose bodily upward.

He ascended into Heaven. His father's kingdom. Tears of joy and sadness were falling down my cheeks. He had gone to His father, whom He had taught us to pray in times of joy and sorrow.

A prayer, I know that will be said by so many in the years to come.

I prayed that I be with Him, my Joseph and my parents very soon.

Now, while sitting on my favourite armchair made by dear Joseph long years back, caressing the tiny garments that Jesus had worn, my mind goes back from Bethlehem to Calvary.

The day He rose from the dead and the day He ascended into His permanent home.

Beautiful memories, finding Him in the Temple, discoursing with the elders, His baptism in the river Jordan by John, his cousin, changing of water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana. I can picture the scene, when He said.

My time has not yet come. I smiled. I knew that His time Had come. He smiled at me as it to say "All for my lovely mother." He healed so many, gave life to two, for gave many sinners. What beautiful memories.

What was my role? I was the mother of one of the greatest persons who walked this land.

Yes! rocking on the chair both old and feeble I wonder. I understood the agonies, a mother has to undergo for her children.

My mother too must have suffered much as a grandmother. I think of the infants who died as said in the Holy Book. During the time of Moses, Herod's massacre of the innocents. Mother suffered most.

How many mothers will cry. And walk with their babies in later years.

Walking, walking, walking with babes clinging to their breasts, walking to unknown lands as refugees. Like our flight into Egypt. It is wonderful to be a mother. A mother for all generations. Remember me only as a mother.

A mother of all, as said by my Son from the Cross. I am no lady, I am no Queen, but just a mother who had suffered much.

I shall always intercede on your behalf. He will listen to me and do what is good for you. All for you my darling mother.

He would say. My last thought is - How many will change their lives because of His teachings? How many will lay down their lives in His name."


Pontiff's interest in Virgin Mary sect

Pope Benedict XVI, a bookish theologian, holds a deep-rooted interest in the popular cult of the Virgin Mary, which will be on display during his visit to the shrine of Fatima in Portugal. "Contrary to what one could imagine, Benedict XVI has a very positive opinion of demonstrations of popular faith like the one you can see in Fatima," Vatican expert Sandro Magister told AFP. The pope heads to Portugal on Tuesday to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the beatification of young shepherds who claim to have seen the Virgin Mary appear. As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the pope - then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - dealt thoroughly with apparitions and miracles. AFP


Educational and social services institute of Grandpass opened a new three storeyed building May 16. It was opened by Bishop Ponnaiyah. Joseph Vaz Association members and Principal Subashini hands over a photograph to Vice Bishop Ponnaiyah Rev. father Ajith Perera and Hasim Omar also in this picture. Picture by Ashraff A. Samad-Dehiwela Mount Lavinia Special Correspondent

 


Most Rev. Dr. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo on his first official visit to Dalugama Parish planted a Naa tree sapling at the church premises and also celebrated a special holy mass. Rev. Fr. Dr. Camilus Fernando, Parish Priest, Dalugama, Messrs Marcus Jayasinghe, Secretary of the Parish Council and Neville Abeyratne Leading Lawyer and the Legal Advisor of the Parish Council are also seen here. Picture by Edward Weerasinghe - Kelaniya Group Correspondent

 

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