Catholic Church Takes Aim at Human Trafficking

Evangelization: Our call to shine the light of Christ in all corners of our world.

Written by Barbara J. Fraser - 2009
In the bustling commercial town of Nueva Cajamarca, Peru, young women in tight skirts and midriff-baring tops watch curiously as a van bounces slowly down the dusty, rutted road. Catching sight of a local official in the vehicle, they dart into the open doorways of local bars.
Inside, women -- including some adolescents -- sit at wooden tables drinking beer with customers. The more a man drinks, the higher the woman's percentage. If the man wants sex, that is for sale, too. Read more:
See the website in the right column of this weblog.

Making Movies to Change the World

We all know the influence of the media. Here are some movies that were made to change the world through human and Christian values.

Making Movies to Change the World

First World Day for Social Justice: a prayer network on February 20

Rome (Agenzia Fides) – On February 20, many countries of the world will celebrate the first World Day for Social Justice, instituted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. The “Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation” Commission of the USG/USIG (Unions of Superiors and Superior Generals of Religious Institutes) have written a message expressing their hope that all consecrated persons, men and women, from all over the world will be aware of this Day and unite themselves in a common prayer for Peace and Justice. In the letter written by the “Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation” Commission presenting the initiative, the religious say: “we feel the need to contribute as a group, with decided effort, in the cause for justice and peace, and to demand that our governors assume responsibility in all their international affairs.” In promotion of the initiative, the commission has prepared prayers inspired by the Catholic Church's Social Doctrine. The text is open to changing, according to the various situations and cultures: in art, song, and other modes of interpretation. The Commission invites the religious to verify the operation of their own governors, that they may create concrete initiatives in building a “society for everyone,” as is established in the resolution with which the World Day of Social Justice is instituted. They themselves have promised to promote greater equality in salaries and access to resources and equal opportunity among all people. The hope is that the first “World Day for Social Justice” may be celebrated with activities, creative ideas, and real openness to hope. (DV) (Agenzia Fides 19/2/2009)

Confronting Global Poverty as Evangelization

he United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) call on Catholics in the United States to confront global poverty. Advocate with us to end hunger, disease, conflict, and other issues that affect the lives of our brothers and sisters worldwide.
In response to the Holy Father's 2009 World Day of Peace call "to fight poverty to build peace," USCCB and CRS will re-launch its global anti-poverty campaign on February 23 as the Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative. The goal of this initiative is to educate and mobilize U.S. Catholics to defend the life and dignity of people living in poverty throughout the world.
Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me. - Matthew 25:40

Plus Justice For Immigrants Campaign

Movie Complex for Religious Education

On Sunday, February 8, Sr. Hosea and I, along with Sr. Armanda and Sr. Donna from Redwood City, had the honor of being part of a prophetic “event”: the dedication of a movie theater in a new religious education center complex in the diocese of Oakland. Please visit my blog for all the details and photos. Feel free to pass this link on to anyone you feel might be interested. What impressed us the most was how much the deacon emphasized the role of our Lights, Camera, Faith series in making this relevant and sacred “space” a reality.

Sr Rose

Northeast Media Literacy Conference This is a great conference. I attended last year with the Novices and Sr Karen Marie.

Dangerous Illusions

"The fast pace of party politics, and the illusion that politics rules the 'commanding heights' of our society and can fulfill our Christian social obligations, makes political life very addictive," he said. "And this illusion gets dangerous when defending the unborn child is too closely identified with any particular politician or, even worse, one specific party."The more pro-lifers tie themselves to a single political party, the less they can speak to society at large," Archbishop Chaput said. "In the United States, Catholics -- both on the right and the left -- have too often made the mistake of becoming cheerleaders for a specific candidate."

Charles Chaput was born in Concordia, Kansas, to Joseph and Marian Helen (née DeMarais) Chaput. His father was a French Canadian directly descended from King Louis IX, and his mother was a Native American of the Potawatomi tribe; his maternal grandmother was the last member of the family to live on a reservation and Chaput himself was enrolled in the tribe at a young age.

The Ladder of Faith Hope and Love

Benedict XVI spoke about the work of John Climacus and his treatise on the spiritual life, the Ladder of Ascent with its thirty steps. He said that this teaching “written by a hermit monk who lived 1,400 years ago” could say something to us today: “such a monastic life is only a great symbol of the life of the baptized, of Christian life. It shows, to say it one way, in large letters what we write every day with little letters. It is a prophetic symbol that reveals what is the life of the baptized, in communion with Christ, with his death and resurrection. For me, it is of particularly importance the fact that the culmination of the scale, the last rungs are at the same time the fundamental, initial, simplest virtues: faith, hope and charity. These are not virtues accessible only to moral heroes, but are the gift of God for all the baptized. In them our life too grows. The beginning is also the end; the starting point is also the arriving point: The whole path goes toward an ever more radical fulfillment of faith, hope and charity. In these virtues, the ladder is present...Let us use, therefore, this ladder of faith, of hope and of charity, and we will thus arrive to true life.”

The Role of Mass Communications in Evangelization

NEA CONFERENCE: The Role of Mass Communications in Evangelization Dallas, TX, USA - January 30, 2009 - (program)
I would like to begin my talk this afternoon with two quotations from the recently deceased Cardinal Avery Dulles. The first quotation sees Dulles grappling with the inner mystery of the Trinity: The Trinity is communication in absolute, universal perfection, a totally free and complete sharing among equals. In generating the Son as word, the Father totally expresses himself ... the Holy Spirit completes the intradivine process of communication. (The Craft of Theology, From Symbol to System. 1992). The second quote finds Dulles teasing out the implications of his understanding of the Trinity for the life of the Church: The entire work of creation, redemption, and sanctification is a prolongation of the inner processions within the Trinity. Creation is ascribed to the Father, who thereby fashions finite images and vestiges of his Son. Redemption is attributed to his Son, who communicates himself to human nature in the Incarnation. Sanctification is appropriated to the Holy Spirit who communicates himself to the Church, the communion of saints. The mystery of divine communication, therefore, permeates any area of theology … Because Christianity is the religion of the Triune God, it is pre-eminently a religion of communication. (The Craft of Theology, From Symbol to System. 1992).
Read the entire presentation:

Being Mystical Builders in the Body of Christ

“Paul was entirely for Jesus in order to be, like Jesus, for everyone. ... In him, so closely bound to the person of Christ, we recognize a profound capacity to unite spiritual life and missionary activity. In him, these two dimensions support one another. And thus, we could say that he belonged to that group of 'mystical builders,' whose lives are a blend of contemplation and action, open to God and brethren, in order to carry out an effective service to the Gospel.” Benedict XVI on World Day of Consecrated Life

Living in a profoundly fraternal way

"The pursuit of the goals and, in the end, of development and social cohesion requires not only financial aid, but the effective involvement of people", said Archbishop Migliore, going on to recall the words of Benedict XVI in his Message for the World Day of Peace 2009: "The problems of development, aid and international co-operation are sometimes addressed without any real attention to the human element, but as merely technical questions - limited, that is, to establishing structures, setting up trade agreements, and allocating funding impersonally. What the fight against poverty really needs are men and women who live in a profoundly fraternal way and are able to accompany individuals, families and communities on journeys of authentic human development".

Play on Paul "Am I Not Free?" in Queen of Apostles Santuary, Rome

click on the playbill to enlarge.
In preparation for the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Velletri Prison’s Compagnia Il Ponte Magico (The Magic Bridge Company), in collaboration with the FSP Center for Culture and Communications, will perform the play “Am I Not Free?” in the Queen of Apostles Sanctuary, Rome, on 18 January.
After about 2 years of theater training within the prison prescints, the Company, thanks to the understanding and collaboration of prison director Dr. Giuseppe Makovec and the Department for Prisoner Supervision, is now ready to stage public performances that show how important and even essential the theater can be in helping prisoners reinsert themselves in society.
Antonio Lauritano, the director of the Company and author of the script, says that the purpose of his play is not to present a historical account of the life of St. Paul but rather to establish a dialogue between the Apostle and people today that brings to the fore the doubts, questions, desperations and uncertainties of every human being and the compelling answers offered by this great evangelizer, revealing the timeliness of his words for contemporary individuals in their concrete situations.
Besides the special meaning of a play of this type performed by prisoners, it is interesting to underscore another aspect of the initiative, namely, the collaboration between the FSPs and the national detension system to stage this performance. In fact, the costumes used in the play were all created by prisoners in the Latina zone, a first step toward expanding participation in this artistic endeavor and improving it by creating a “joint venture” between the prisons of this region and the FSP Center for Culture and Communications. Besides the play’s cast and technical production staff (all prisoners), the performance has been enriched by the contribution of many excellent musicians such as Maurizio Vatania, Federico Carra, Ilaria Innocenti, Terry Gisi, and the help of Rita Gisi, Silvia Venti, Rocco Duca and Alessandro Morbidelli.

Mary, Servant of the Word and Star of Evangelization

Mary is not a myth, but a real woman, with a personal history, even though we can only glean certain traits of her personality from the New Testament and not a proper biography.She lived at Nazareth, an insignificant Galilean city. She belonged to a working class neighbourhood; she was betrothed to Joseph the Carpenter, thus becoming a member of the tribe of David. She was actively involved in everyday life: she visited an aging relative, she went in pilgrimage to Jerusalem, she intervened in a wedding feast. She knew how to listen and reflect; but also knew how to speak out and take courageous decisions. She contemplated the marvels of God with awe and awaited justice for the oppressed, in the manner of the spirituality of the poor of JHWH.She sought to understand his will and was ready to place herself at his disposal as a humble "servant of the Lord", (Lk.1,38): and this is the only title she attributes to herself. She laboured tirelessly in trying to understand her son Jesus; she followed him with a maternal care and an heroic faith; she shared with him the poverty of Bethlehem, the exile in Egypt, the hidden life of Nazareth, the agony of Calvary. Finally, at Jerusalem, in the heart of the first christian community, she prayed for the coming of the Spirit of Pentecost: "All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers", (Acts 1, 14).