Bishop’s Monthly Letter
My dear Fathers,
It is heartening to note that the programmes, for the second year of St. Joseph Vaz to deepen the faith of our people in order to bear witness, inspired by our beloved Apostle are gathering momentum.
Already two of the programmes empowering the laity were held at regional level one at Ampitiya on the 27th of June and the other was on the 27th of July in Nuwara Eliya. Both events were well attended and the enthusiasm of the laity gives us hope for the diocese. We are also planning to have a major event with the presence of Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran on the 9th of September. The venue and the other details will be notified later. Needless to say how important it is for us to continue our programmes to empower the laity and give them opportunities to be involved in the different Apostolates in our Diocese.
At the renewal committee, held at Gatambe on the 26th of July, we had the opportunity to listen to the Directors of various Apostolates and movements as regards the ongoing programmes of formation. We should all endeavor to do the maximum this year to deepen our own spirituality as well as to guide our faithful towards a profound renewal inspired by the indefatigable zeal and heroic sanctity of St. Jospeh Vaz.
As you are aware, the Annual Retreat is an item in our agenda that is of great importance. All the diocesan Clergy are expected to follow the Retreat as the dates have been given well ahead of time. The preacher will be Rev. Fr. Alvin Peter Fernando. It is only for a really valid reason that a priest can make his own Retreat and that with the personal permission of the Bishop. We shall begin the Retreat on the 20th August and conclude the same on the 25th with Holy Mass in the morning. The venue of the Retreat will be Fatima Retreat House, Lewella.
The Holy Childhood seminar , held at Fatima Shrine, Padiwatte on the 7th of July was an eye opener as we have so much hope in inculcating the missionary dimension in the minds and the lives of our children. I wish to congratulate our diocesan director, Rev. Fr. Timothy Gnanapragasam for his commitment and dedication in promoting the Pontifical Mission Societies and specially the Holy Childhood. I wish to urge all the parish priests to revitalize Holy Childhood cells and encourage the cell leaders and animators to regularly conduct programmes for our children.
The transfer list is being finalized and it will be announced by me at the end of the Annual Retreat namely on the 25th of August. All transfers will take effect on the 1st of October (Monday). I would earnestly solicit your fullest co-operation to ensure the smooth handing over and taking over of the pastoral assignments by keeping ready the inventories of all movable and immovable properties belonging to each parish and institution. I am grateful to all those who have completed their terms of five or more years in the various parishes and institutions. Your zeal and commitment is deeply appreciated. Please note that the date of transfers, coming into effect namely 1st of October is not negotiable, as even a slight change would inconvenience so many others. Your collaboration in this regard will be greatly appreciated.
Once again I wish to appeal to all of you to look after your spiritual well being and also physical health. It is only when we face an unexpected illness that we begin to realize how important it is to look after one’s health.
Wishing you God’s blessings.
Yours devotedly in the Lord,
Bishop Vianney Fernando,
Bishop of Kandy
Bishop’s Engagements in August
3rd – 08.30 am – Holy Mass for the donors of St. John Mary Vianney Clergy House at Bishop’s Office Chapel
11.30 am – Rev. Fr. Sunil Rupasinghe SSS
4th 09.00 am – Confirmation Service at Matale
5th 07.00 am – Holy Mass for the inauguration for the Chapter of the Sisters of the Cross of
Chavanod at the Provincialate Chapel, Peradeniya
6th 09.30 am – Board of Management Meeting at Caritas– Sri Lanka
05.00 pm – Advisory Board Meeting of Caritas, Sri Lanka
7th, 8th, 9th – Bishops’ Conference Sessions at Balcombe Place.
11th 08.30 am – Confirmation Service at Digana Parish
16th 10.00 am – Presbyteral Council Meeting at Gatembe
03.00 pm – Episcopal Council Meeting at Gatembe
18th 09.30 am – Holy Childhood Day at Ampitiya
20th – 25th – Annual Clergy Retreat at Fatima Retreat House, Lewella
The Feast of St. John Mary Vianney, Clergy House & the Requiem Mass for the souls of #
Dr & Mrs. Daviot (the donors of this House)
Date: 3th August 2018
Place: Bishop’s Office Chapel
Time: 08.30 a.m
St. John Mary Vianney , pray for our Priests
The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention for August Universal : That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity
GAUDETE EXSULTATE: More than worth reading An anthology, selected from Pope Francis’ daily homilies, which he delivers in the chapel of Saint Martha’s House, and collected into in a single easy-to-read document: this is how we would describe the apostolic exhortation about the call to holiness in today’s world. For those who regularly follow and read these homilies, the themes discussed in the exhortation will be very familiar.
“Rejoice and be glad” (Mt 5:12), is Jesus’ answer in his Sermon on the Mount to those who are humiliated and persecuted. It is the title of this exceptional exhortation that sets us on the road to a deeper spiritual life, a life of holiness. For everyone is called to holiness, and everyone can become holy in their own way and in their own specific life situation. It was the call that sounded in the council constitution ‘Lumen Gentium’, it was the call that Francis de Sales wrote down in his ‘Introduction to the Devout Life’, and it was Saint Therese of Lisieux’s dream, which she expressed very poetically: “Every flower blooms in its own way.”
The starting point of this call to a holy life is the word that God spoke in Leviticus: “You have been sanctified and have become holy because I am holy” (Lv 11:44). This call is not just for priests and religious, but for everyone. We must find and live this holiness in our daily tasks and duties. Holiness is not achieved through personal efforts alone; above all, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not depend on how long we stay in church and how much time we spend on prayer. Prayer is essential, it forms the basis for our holiness, but it must form a unity with our daily activities and make our relationships fruitful. The biggest problem we can have with our spiritual life is that it shuts itself in our so-called spiritual dimension and has no influence on our lives as such. The call and growth towards holiness will manifest itself in the way we deal with each other, in the way we assiduously fulfil our daily activities, in the way we can put up with and forgive each other.
It comes down to doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way, to which various saints attested. It is Jesus in person who must be our example, by taking over different aspects of Jesus’ life in our lives. Jesus must become the ultimate touchstone in our lives and that is why it will ultimately be about the love that we allow to grow in- side of us. And just like Jesus, we will have to go up the mountain regularly to be alone with the Father and then come down the mountain to experience God’s love visibly and tangibly among the people.
The Pope is very sensitive to two so-called enemies of holiness: Gnosticism and Pelagianism. These are two heresies whose tentacles still reach far into our time. Gnosticism reduces faith to an abstract doctrine that develops a very own view of what is considered perfect. Holiness then becomes the perfect imitation of this doctrine that arose from intellectual reflection and that is lacking in spiritual footing. Think of the scribes who only had an eye for the letter of the law and regarded themselves as the only ones who were perfect because of it. Pelagianism is the conviction that we can achieve holiness solely through personal commitment, in which we completely cut ourselves off from God’s grace. The danger here is that people will arrogantly withdraw in complacency, whereas holiness involves nothing but humility and the acknowledgement that we cannot do it our- selves, but that everything is the work of grace. The Pope felt compelled to make a connection with contemporary Pelagians, who shut themselves in their own frame of thinking, take one point of the doctrine, and then lose themselves in the criticism, while they turn away from the true beauty and joy of the Gospel and close their eyes to the many who long for our love and commitment.
The heart of the exhortation is a reflection on the Beatitudes, considered our Christian identity card, in which we can discern the true face of Christ as a guide to our daily life. Every beatitude holds a clear call to holiness, and shows us the way to sanctify our lives. “How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” We are invited to break free, like Jesus, from an exaggerated material anxiety and the illusion that possession can fulfil our lives. On the contrary, we must develop a holy indifference, which Saint Ignatius of Loyola taught us, which will grant us inner freedom and the confidence that God will provide.
“Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance.” Jesus himself explicitly stated that He was gentle and humble of heart. Meekness is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit, but is often regarded as a weak- ness in today’s society. It therefore requires courage not to follow in the mentality that encourages us to always be strong and sufficiently assertive.
“Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.” This beatitude is at odds with the world’s view, as well, where only pleasure counts and all suffering of the self and of others is regarded as a disruption of this pleasure. Accepting one’s own suffering and experiencing more depth in life because of it, and thus receiving the capacity to become a truly compassionate neighbour to the other is a fruit of this beatitude.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill.” It is so easy to be swept along in unjust practices and even corruption, which has become almost a system in certain places. By contrast, we have to allow space for true justice to grow, and keep our ground. “Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.” Mercy always involves compassion and granting forgiveness. We have God as an example who calls himself infinitely merciful. This should be the ex- tent of our mercy, as well.
“Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.” Here, we are called to look at reality with pure eyes and to purify our intentions further and further.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognized as children of God.” In a world where conflicts occur at every level, where slander disrupts so many relationships among people, bringing peace and experiencing peace in the heart is the key to a more peaceful world. “Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” The Apostles were pleased to be subjected to humiliation and suffering because of their imitation of Jesus Christ. If we truly want to imitate Jesus, we too will have to face opposition and even persecution in the world. These eight Beatitudes find fulfilment in Matthew’s 25th chapter, when Jesus indicates the judgment criteria. Because, ultimately, it is all about this: that we are loving to the poor, the sick, those who are abandoned, refugees, and that we remain uncomfortable when social injustice persists or even grows. We must always allow this commitment to the poor to be rooted in prayer. Our own spiritual life, our own prayer life must find its reflection in the way we deal with our neighbours, in the way that we show attention and love for the poor. Here too, the Pope discusses a point that he particularly wanted to draw attention to from the beginning of his pontificate: that treating each other ethically should not be limited to a number of strictly ethical problem areas, but should be opened up to our whole reality, with today a special attention for the many refugees. Leaving them out in the cold is an equally severe ethical shortcoming as the lack of respect for unborn life. In order to make the Beatitudes and the judgment criteria become truly tangible in our daily lives, the Pope then gives us some of what he calls “spiritual attitudes”, which he wants to put next to daily prayer, the celebration of the sacraments, the development of personal devotions, and spiritual guidance.
He calls them expressions of love for God and the neighbour, and they can form a strong counterweight to our personal fears, the negativism that can arise in us, and the growing individualism and consumerism with which we are increasingly confronted today.
We are called first to cultivate the virtues of patience, perseverance, and meekness. The Pope consciously uses these three virtues together so that they would form a unity with our actions in the world. To have patience in the conviction that good will ultimately prevail and that we must over- come evil with good. Perseverance, even though the results of our commitment are not forthcoming. And all this in a spirit of meekness and humility. Very special attention is paid to the humiliations that we sometimes suffer, which actually increase our humility. Here, we literally follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who, through the greatest humiliation of the cross, opened the way to salvation. It is the kenosis to which we are all called.
As a second path, the Pope presents joy and a sense of humour. How often does Scripture mention a message of joy? Maria sang with joy. And Jesus promised that pain would turn to joy (Jn 16:20). For Chris- tians, it is important to cultivate that pro- found joy in life, the joy of the resurrection that resounds so strongly at Easter and is actually indestructible. And this joy should go hand in hand with a profound sense of humour, being able to put things in perspective, and in particular being satisfied with what we have and who we are. The third path is boldness and passion. It is ‘parrhesia’, so often used by spiritual writers. “Don’t be afraid,” (Mk 6:50) Pope John Paul II spoke when he started his pontificate. We have to go the way of sanctification with boldness and passion, fearless of an environment that sets other values and not inclined to seek safe havens and to revert to individualism, dogmatism, pessimism, and nostalgia for a past that is gone. God is eternally new and always bigger than our plans and projects. The Church will not be served by having officials and bureaucrats, but needs passionate and enthusiastic missionaries who want to live their lives to the full.
We must do all this as a community. To grow in holiness is a journey that takes place in the community, never alone. Jesus shared everything with his disciples, as well, and fully lived life with them. Together with others, in the family, in the community, we are invited to share the simple daily life lovingly with each other and to know that the Lord is in the smallest details in life.
The final piece remains prayer, the invitation to pray ceaselessly, to have God’s presence and his love shine upon us continually. We should all be contemplatives, contemplators of God, who seek and find God in everyday life. All forms of our prayer must always be focused on this love of God, praising, imploring, supplicating, thanking God. Every day we have to make time to listen to the Word of God, and in the Eucharist we find nourishment in his living Word.
The Pope ends his exhortation with a call to arm ourselves against the forces of evil. Life is a battle against the devil. This re- quires spiritual combat, vigilance, and the gift of discernment. Here speaks the Jesuit whose spirituality is built on this discernment. Very strikingly, the Pope repeats that we should never mythologize evil, but continue to regard it as a reality in our lives. And the devil takes different shapes and is very smart to try and have us in his power. That is why spiritual discernment is required whereby we fundamentally open ourselves up to God’s grace. For only with God’s grace will we overcome evil and walk the way of holiness.
After Pope Francis discussed the major social problems starting from the Evangelical message in previous encyclicals and exhortations, he now gives us a glimpse into his own spiritual life and the way he him- self goes to progress in holiness every day. That is why this is a very personal letter in which he wanted to approach readers and call on them in straightforward language. We can summarize this call with words from Léon Bloy, which the Pope himself cites in his introduction: “The only great tragedy in life is not to become a saint.” By: Bro. Rene Stockman
Taken From : CARITAS DEUS EST, Magazine—Vol 18 / June 2018 Superior General, Brothers of Christy
Saint John Mary Vianney, The Patron Saint of Priests (Feast day on 04th August 2018)
Seldom has a priestly life been so holy, so self-sacrificing, so fruitful of good for the salvation of souls as the life of the Cure’ of Ars in France, Saint John Mary Vianney, who died August 4, 1859. It is a distinct honor for the Third Order of St Francis that he was one of its members. Saint John Vianney was born in Dardilly, not far from Lyons, of simple and devout parents. Very early his pure heart experienced a burning desire to consecrate itself to God in the priestly vocation, and to win very many souls for our dear Lord. His talents were very meager; but his diligence and piety helped him to overcome all obstacles so that he was ordained in 1815.
Three years later John’s bishop sent him as curate to Ars, a little village in the diocese of Lyon. His parish was at the time in a very pitiable condition. The fear of God and the practice of virtue were rare things there. Attendance at divine services and the reception of the sacraments were quite generally neglected, and the young folks were mindful of nothing but amusement, a dance taking place practically every Sunday.
It was, therefore, with a heavy heart and yet with great confidence in God that the curate entered upon his duties. Saint John Vianney realized that God’s help was his first great need. Throughout the entire day he knelt before the blessed sacrament and prayed for his erring sheep.
This zeal at prayer was soon noticed, and the grace he had asked for continued its work. The people were astonished at the devotion Saint John Vianney displayed while celebrating holy Mass. His very mortified life made a deep impression upon them. His love for the poor and the sick, his mild word to everyone soon won for him all hearts. Saint John Vianney invited them to pray, in the morning to attend Holy Mass, in the evening to recite the rosary. He also introduced a Eucharistic confraternity. He strove to eliminate the dangers to which the people were exposing themselves by their weekly dances.
When a certain person, who was earning his livelihood by means of these dances, said to him, “But a person must live,” the priest replied, “True, but one must also die.” Saint John Mary Vianney conducted the divine services with all possible solemnity, and this proved at attraction for the people. By means of frequent instructions, especially in catechism, he taught his parishioners about virtue and vice, and portrayed in vivid terms the reward God has reserved for the good and the punishment that will be inflicted on the wicked.
It was well known that the saint was a miracle worker. One night, while reciting his prayers, he was seen to rise into the air with his features transfigured, an orb of light encircling his face.
This good saint was tireless in administering the sacrament of penance, always showing not only great zeal but also practicing meekness and charity in an extraordinary degree. In a few years the parish was completely transformed. The few dissenting voices were entirely ignored, and their worldly attractions were not heeded.
The fame of the blessed success and the holy life of the priest of Ars spread rapidly. Strangers came in ever increasingly numbers in order to have their consciences set aright and to obtain advice and consolation in every type of need.
From the year 1828 the concourse of people took on the semblance of organized pilgrimages; the number of strangers was estimated to be at least 20,000 annually. Numerous conversions of a most remarkable nature occurred, and many sick persons were miraculously restored to health. These cures the humble pastor ascribed to the intercession of St Philomena, who was venerated in his church.
The demands made upon the servant of God were, naturally, very great. He spent from 16 to 18 hours a day in the confessional. Besides, he conducted a catechetical instruction in the church each day, and led the rosary every evening. Along with these superhuman exertions he also practiced rigorous mortification, fasted almost constantly, and slept on a board.
In his way he spent himself in the fullest sense of the word as a good shepherd, and labored for the salvation of souls until he was 74 years old. Completely worn out, Saint John Vianney collapsed at the last day of May, 1859, and died peacefully in the Lord without any agony on August 4. His body was exhumed in 1859 due to the impending beatification, and was found to be incorrupt. His heart, later removed, was placed in a relizuary and is kept in a building known as the Shrine of the Cure’s Heart. Pope Pius X beatified St John Vianney and Pope Pius XI canonized him and made him the patron of all priests who have the care of souls.
from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, ofm., https://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/saint-john-vianney.html
Preparation for the Holy Childhood Badge Ceremony
A seminar preparing the children of the Kandy deanery for the Holy Childhood Badge Ceremony was held on the 7th July 2018, at Fatima Shrine, Padiwatte. 461 children and 46 animators from 9 parishes participated in this seminar. The programme was conducted in Tamil and Sinhala by Rev Fr. Gabriel Nicholas the Diocesan Director P.M.S Ratnapura. All the children and animators participated actively. The programme consisted of spiritual awakening with scriptural references, praise and worship services and many activities, which were useful for all. We thank all the parish priests for encouraging the children, the animators who took the trouble to bring the children, the sponsers who helped generously providing meals , snacks and water bottles for all, and all the priests who were personally present. The programme ended with the Eucharistic blessing. Let us praise and thank the Lord.
Rev. Fr. Timothy Gnanapragasam, Director—PMS & the Organizing Committee
Fr. Nandana, Defender of Justice Wins Prestigious 2018 Gwangju Human Rights Award
Written by Sen Nguyen Photographs by Adam Travis and courtesy of Fr. Nandana Manatunga
B”TH – Rome, Diploma in Human Rights Training… diploma in Youth Pastoral & Faith Education… diploma in Foundations for Pastoral Renewal… diploma in Development Dynamics… diploma in Leadership…
So reads the educational background of Father Nandana Manatunga – winner of the 2018 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. This award is an annual dedication to the people’s spirit of the May 18 Democratization Movement hosted by the May 18 Memorial Foundation.
As I was waiting for Manatunga’s response , I was sitting on a bench with a cup of coffee in front of the Yongbong-gwan building at Chonnam National University. This was where the student protest started that led to the Gwangju Uprising in 1980. As a human rights activist myself, I am curious about how others got started in the same relentless fight against social injustice. For Manatunga, the impetus was seeing his compatriots being tortured, burnt, and killed on the roadside and thrown into the river. Fr. Nandana explains about his work to local students.
It was during the second year of his priesthood in Sri Lanka that the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Youth Insurrection – also known as the 1989 Revolt – hit its climax. It was organized by the left-wing nationalist Sinhalese JVP against the Sri Lankan government under President J. R. Jayewardene. Occurring from 1988 to 1989, the unfortunate incidents resulted in over 60,000 deaths, including many who did not have any connection with the JVP. Many people “disappeared” or were killed by security forces and paramilitary groups who operated under the authorization of the government.
Fr Nandana decided to do something about it. He visited several police stations and army camps to get some of the youth released and provide security for those who were being searched for by the security forces. Fr Nandana recounts the incident that changed his life: “Once when I was traveling alone in my van, a man stopped me, got into my vehicle, and asked me to speed up. The stranger then got off at the bus stop and only then revealed that he had been taken to the cemetery to be shot, but he managed to escape.” And thus commenced Fr Nandana’s career as a human rights defender. With his brother and sister being lawyers, he had a already a legal background as well.
Father Nandana sharing the joy of Christmas with children of the victims of torture. Sri Lanka has left this dark past behind, but corruption still cripples the system, making it impossible to establish sound law enforcement units. This, coupled with widespread public apathy, has given rise to numerous cases of human rights abuses, particularly in the form of rape and torture. A rape occurs every five and a half hours in Sri Lanka, according to police statistics. The wrongdoers often beat the rap or get away with mild sentences. The fact that rape and torture are perceived as commonplace and that a culture of victim-blaming exists only rubs salt in the wound.
Fortunately, the situation is improving, according to Manatunga. “Because of the recent incidents of cruel, inhuman acts of rape and murder, people have changed their perception and are condemning crimes to the extent that civil society has campaigned to implement capital punishment for criminals of rape and murder,” he said.
The work Fr Nandana has put forward is not to be overlooked. His holistic three-body approach, called “Victim-Centered Activity,” involves providing security for young abuse victims to restore their sanity and lives.
It also includes surrounding victims with assistance from a professional support group (including counselors, doctors, lawyers, and foster parents), and using Fr Nandana’s post as a religious leader along with the media to transform public attitudes. His organization, Human Rights Office Kandy, is not the only one that provides legal assistance to victims in Sri Lanka, but his organization’s holistic assistance is still unique. As a result, Fr Nandana’s model has had a profound impact on countless victims of rape and torture, and has revolutionized the landscape of human rights work in other countries.
Father Nandana participating in a street campaign against torture in the streets of Kandy, Sri Lanka. Not only are former victims witnesses of institutional injustice – they can also be agents of change. Fr Nandana told me about the stories of two such people. The first was a young man named Vivodan, who was arrested as a suspect under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in the north of Sri Lanka. He was severely tortured by the police but was later released after his persuasive negotiations. But Vivodan’s battle did not stop there – his brother was arrested, too. “Since [Vivodan] got his freedom, he has joined us and exerted ferocious efforts to free not only his brother, but also other political prisoners and all torture and rape victims in all our campaigns,” Fr Nandana said.
The other victim who later became an agent of change was a police officer named Anton Perera, who was arrested on fabricated charges and ended up being tortured and imprisoned. Fr Nandana’s team managed to free Perera, provide him with counseling, and restore his dignity. Perera is now an activist who supports other victims of torture by accompanying them to court. Unfortunately, his activism has also rendered him a target of law enforcement agencies. “[Perera] was followed by police officers when he accompanied a torture victim to an outstation high court, but he managed to escape,” Manatunga said.
Working as a human rights defender is like dicing with death – one has got to batten down the hatches. “In 2008, one of our victims was shot dead and our task was found to have become even more difficult with the PTA,” Fr Nandana said. “After the civil war, the police have all the powers to label any person as a terrorist and make them disappear.” Providing protection and security to torture victims is the biggest challenge that he and his team have faced. As the perpetrators invariably happen to be running from law enforcing units, protecting the victims is a difficult task. As daunting as it is, their will withers not. Father Nandana with Dr. Shin Gyonggu, Director of Gwangju International Center on his recent visit to Gwangju.
“Despite notes of warning, we accompany the victims of torture and continue to do so until the perpetrators are convicted in court,” Manatunga said. “Most cases have been going on for 12 to 15 years.” The very first cases in which Manatunga’s team provided shelter, security, medical care, counseling, and education were in 2001. The high court case was finally concluded in December 2015. He emphasized the enormous sacrifice the victims had to bear to seek justice while the perpetrators lived free and happy lives. Regarding his view on the future of human rights in Sri Lanka, Fr Nandana is convinced that problems will persist if the leaders in his country carry on entertaining impunity and corruption. “As long as we have a defective justice system, justice is going to be delivered with impunity and rife with loopholes,” Manatunga said. “The perpetrators of crime and corruption will rule the country, and human rights issues will remain.”
The future looks rather bleak, and the need for a strong, charismatic leader who stands for truth, justice, and integrity is urgent. Fortunately, the city of Gwangju has now recognized Fr Nandana as one such leader. The 2018 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, presented to Father Nandana Manatunga by The May 18 Memorial Foundation.
As the laureate of the 2018 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, Fr Nandana dedicated the award to all the victims, survivors, members of support groups, and human rights defenders whom he has worked with. He hopes that the award will inspire many other activists, as well as religious leaders, to defend and protect the rights of the people, even if it means taking on unforeseen risks.
Fr Nandana is an astoundingly qualified academic, a revered Father, and a courageous hero who commits to building a harmonious society in his country and inspires humanity. He does not speak to us from an ivory tower, but rather keeps it real, confronting the predicaments in the trenches by supporting thousands of victims of torture and rape, and by educating myriad human rights activists.
We can all learn something from him. I know I did, as I was sipping his lessons into my consciousness while taking in the aura of the place where history began and human rights triumphed.
The Author Sen Nguyen is a graduate student and a vigorous reader, whether it is a book or people. She comes from Hanoi, Vietnam, but her home is wherever her heart is.
Taken from : Gwanglu and South Jeolla International Magazine GWANGJU News June 2018
PERSONS ARE GIFTS
Persons are gifts, Some are wrapped very beautifully: They are very attractive when we first see them. Some are wrapped in very ordinary wrapping paper. Others have been mishandled in the mail, Once in awhile there is a “Special Delivery”. Some persons are gifts Which come very loosely wrapped, Others very tightly. But the wrapping is NOT the gift: It is so easy to make this mistake. Sometimes the gift is very easy to open up: Sometimes we need others to help. Is it because we are afraid? Does it hurt? May be they’ve been opened up before and thrown away. I am a person; therefore, I am a gift too. A gift to myself, first of all, God the Father gave myself to me. Have I ever really looked inside the wrapping? Afraid too? Perhaps I have never accepted the gift that I am. Could the Father’s gift be anything but? I love the gifts which those who love me give to me: Why not this gift: myself – from God the Father? I am a gift to other persons.
Am I willing to be given by the father to others? A person – for – others? Or do others have to be content with my wrappings, Never permitted to enjoy the gift. But a gift without a giver is not s gift: It is a thing devoid of relationship to a giver or a give. Friendship is a relationship between persons Who see themselves as they really are- Gift of the Father to each other for others-brothers and sisters, A friend is a gift not just to me But to others through me. When I keep my friend, possess him, I destroy his “giftness”. If I save his life for me, I lose it; If I lose it for others, I save it. Persons are gifts; gifts received and gifts given… Friendship if the response of the person – gift To the Father – giver.
Sent by Fr. Bala Rajendram
Which Fruits Have the Most Sugar
Mangoes Fruit’s good for you! It has fiber and other nutrients you need. But it also has natural sugar, and some have more than others. For example, one mango has a whopping 45 grams of sugar — not your best choice if you’re trying to watch your weight or how much sugar you eat. Maybe enjoy a couple of slices and save the rest for later. Grapes A cup of these has about 23 grams sugar. That’s a lot for something that’s so easy to pop in your mouth. You might eat them more slowly if you slice them in half and freeze them. They’ll be waiting for you as a refreshing summer treat that takes a bit longer to eat. Cherries They’re sweet, and they have the sugar to show for it: A cup of them has 18 grams. If you fill up a large bowl with them, you can lose track of how many you eat. Measure your snack beforehand so you know exactly how much sugar you’ll get. Pears One medium pear has 17 grams of sugar. If you’re trying to cut back, don’t eat the whole thing — just put a few slices in some low-fat yogurt or on top of a salad. Watermelon A medium wedge of this summer treat has 17 grams of sugar. As its name suggests, it’s loaded with water, and it has special minerals called electrolytes that are just what your body needs to recharge after some time in the sun. Just keep it to a slice or two. Figs Two medium-size ones have 16 grams. If you’re trying to keep an eye on your sugar, maybe slice a couple and spread some goat cheese on them for a protein-rich treat, or use some in a sauce to add some zip to lean meats like skinless chicken. Bananas One medium banana has 14 grams sugar. If that seems like more than you bargained for, slice half of it into your morning cereal or smash a small piece in the middle of your peanut butter sandwich. Less Sugar: Avocados Not all fruits are loaded with the sweet stuff. A whole avocado — yep, it’s a fruit — has only half a gram of sugar. Put it in a salad, spread it on toast, or make some guacamole. But while they’re low in sugar, they’re high in calories, so it might not be a good idea to make them a daily habit. Less Sugar: Guavas Each one has 5 grams of sugar and about 3 grams of fiber, too — more than you’d get from a serving of brown rice or a slice of whole-grain bread. You’ll get even more fiber if you add guavas with the skin on to your smoothies. Less Sugar: Raspberries These pack a serious punch of fiber with 8 grams per cup — and only 5 grams of sugar. The fiber is good for digestion and can help you feel fuller with fewer calories. They’re the perfect size to savor one at a time, and they’re not bad with some fresh whipped cream and a spoon, either. Less Sugar: Cantaloupe It’s kind of amazing that the flavor and satisfaction packed in a single medium wedge can come from only 5 grams of sugar — and only 23 calories. Try it with some cottage cheese and a sprinkle of salt. Less Sugar: Papayas Here’s a good one to add to your shopping list: Half of a small one has 6 grams of sugar. Even a small one is pretty big, so half is plenty to eat at one time. You can add a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of sea salt — or a dollop of frozen yogurt for a tropical treat. Less Sugar: Strawberries A cup of whole strawberries has only 7 grams. Add them to a salad for some vibrant color and a touch of summer.
Taken from MedicineNet.com Sent by Fr. Jayanath Perera
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