Aleppo

Our Carmelite 'neighbours' in Schaarsbergen near Oosterbeek sent us a link to the Carmelite community in Aleppo giving a shattering image of the suffering in this war~stricken Syrian city.

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Priesthood

On the Feast of John Vianney, the curé d'Ars, the Jesuit website Thinkingfaith presents a number of excellent reflections on the priesthood. Have a look!

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Cross-Cultural Approach: Universality of Mission and Cultural Relativism

I will take Clifford Geertz widest possible definition of culture as the totality of values, institutions and forms of behaviour transmitted within a society, as well as the material goods produced by the people. This wide concept of culture covers world view, knowledge and attitudes towards life. Culture is part of our personality as it is the source of world view and provides one with values and interests in life and means to pursue them. The above thus explains ethnocentricity; tendency to regard ones “world view” as the ideal norm. So, any other “world view” becomes “not the norm”. Remember culture defines how we see the world, interpret it and how we react to it.

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World Youth Day Diary

The sun is shining brightly . It is going to be a scorcher. It was difficult waking up this morning to rush to the parish Church for a small English mass. Bishop Joseph Francis Kwaku Essien, the bishop from Wiaswo Diocese in Ghana was my co-celebrant. We had breakfast together afterwards in the attached presbytery where he was staying. He has been a bishop for seventeen years having been a military chaplain most of his life. He is very concerned about his country in Africa and feels it is going backwards. I congratulated him for bringing 120 Ghanians to the youth days. He said

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World Youth Day Diary Final Instalment

It is called World Youth Day but in fact it lasts a week! As an old timer, or better still 'foreign missionary' -who is on a constant learning curve about the ways of the people we try to serve, it has taken me a full week to catch up with the way the youth do things! My dear Polish hosts gave me the correct cable for my phone and at last I was able to tune into the FM app. I also started reading the pilgrim book which we got on registration and it threw light on many of the mysterious things I was hearing about. But one thing I didn't achieve was registration as a priest and so I forewent the privilege of concelebration in the big mass once again.

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World Youth Day Diary

The third and last catechesis in our local church was given by Archbishop Kurt from Louisville Kentucky who is the Chairman of the United States episcopal conference. He was a jovial and sensitive man asking us where we all came from: America, Australia, Ghana, Malaysia, Great Britain and Poland. Hands up those who could understand his accent - and we all could! He said today we are going to deal with handing out mercy as a development on receiving it. He quoted the contribution of St John Paul 2 in Gaudium et Spes which says we do not assert ourselves so much in the world as Christians but we make a gift of ourselves.

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World Youth Day Diary

Fr Jim Fanning with Youth Light members Well after four hours of sleep I was up and headed for the local church for a few quiet moments of prayer. The Church of our Lady Queen of Poland was the first consecrated by the young Archbishop Wojtyla who became Pope John Paul. But the place of silence was full with earsplitting singing from the groups from Hartford Connecticut. They were doing a lead-in for the English catechesis given by Archbishop Christopher from Canberra in Australia.

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