We are called to ‘sail against this wind of division and inequality’ by making cause with the poor, the vast majority of the world’s population today.
Mission & Money: A Truly Poor Church
In This Issue
A former Korean ambassador to the Holy See spoke of the effects of Pope Francis’ recent visit to South Korea, saying that all of Asia now feels a long-term challenge to imitate his humble ways. “All the media in Korea are already speaking of ‘Francis syndrome,’” former Ambassador Thomas Han said. “The Korean people, having been deeply impressed by Pope Francis’ person and his lifestyle, seriously reflect upon the meaning of their lives and seek to see the things in life that really matter.”
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says access to food is becoming a major concern for many people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The three countries have suffered the worst of the Ebola virus disease outbreak. Neighboring countries are not faring any better foodwise.
“The U.S. is indirectly responsible for what is going on in Iraq as it said it would ensure democracy and the well-being of the people but 10 years have passed and, on the contrary, we have gone backward,” Patriarch Louis Sako told reporters at Beirut’s airport.
In 2013, the world witnessed the largest displacement of religious communities in the world. Millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs. Out of fear or by force, entire neighborhoods are being emptied of residents. Communities are disappearing from their traditional and historic homes and dispersing across the geographic map. In conflict zones, in particular, this mass displacement has become a pernicious norm.
In Mexico, approximately 45,000 children and young people have been abducted and are victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking of organs. This is the complaint made by the Foundation for the Research of Missing and Abducted Children.
“Action now will save lives, build a solid foundation for sustainable development far beyond 2015 and help lay the groundwork for lasting peace and human dignity,” the Secretary-General said at a special event at the U.N. Headquarters in New York.
Catholic social teaching is, unfortunately, the Church’s best kept secret.
The gem of Christianity seems to be very much alive in the Muslim enclave of Northern Arabia. Bishop Camillo Ballin, a Comboni missionary, had made it his own choice to serve in Arabic countries. After an enriching experience in Egypt and the Sudan, he is now shepherding the Catholic flock, as Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, & Saudi Arabia – a distinct mission full of challenges, with the clear aim of doing good to all.
Money, as depicted in media, is the root of evil. Even Jesus, during His public ministry, went head on against the evils of money. Money, however, has a positive side to it, especially if it is used to feed the hungry and to aid those who need it the most. Digging deeper into Jesus’ teachings helps us to understand that it is not the evil of money itself that we are up against, but our desire to accumulate more, as well as our failure to distinguish what matters more in life… and after this life.
In a highly-capitalistic society such as ours, it seems that making a profit is the end-goal of everyone who possesses money. History has been witness to this, prompting even the major religions to lay down rules to discourage profiteering. It is, therefore, very odd to encounter persons or groups who lend out money to the needy, even without profit. However, keeping at heart the things that matter the most in this world, as Jesus continually reminds us in the Gospels, helps us to see money,
not through greedy eyes, but through the economics of faith.
In many of his pronouncements, Pope Francis has constantly clamored for a “church of the poor.” Although many members of the clergy and laity are beginning to follow the Holy Father’s lead, many are still confused about which direction the Church should take because of the existing structures and values within the Church. Only with an overhaul and reorientation of these values can the Pope’s dream of a truly poor church be eventually realized.
The family has always been regarded as the nucleus of society, the “domestic Church” in the Catholic manner of speaking. Values, education, and how children eventually turn out in life depend on how solid a family is. These days, however, a new and evolving concept of the family is emerging, founded on the pretext of gender equality and human rights, and compounded by “new winds of doctrine”
or simply the erosion of traditional values. Recognizing the need to address the changing tide as well as the needs of Catholics who, although they may be in a situation deemed sinful, sincerely want to participate in the life of the Church, Pope Francis has convened the bishops of the world to find out how best to resolve these challenges – through the standpoint of doctrine and the eyes of mercy.
“None of you can be My disciple unless you give up everything you have,” says Jesus (Luke 14:33). What does it mean to give up everything? Is it to be understood literally or only symbolically? The call is universal but it is answered differently. It is a call
to greater freedom or detachment – from goods and people.
Throughout his career, Jose Maria V. Zaragoza manifestly used his talent in architecture for the glory of God. His structures combined modernism and Filipino traditional motifs and styles. Although he played a prominent role in the reconstruction of post-war Philippines, particularly Manila, which was ravaged by the Second World War, his deep faith and talent were most noticed in places of worship he designed, like the Santo Domingo Church, which is considered his masterpiece, and countless other churches. A daily communicant, his personal foundation and original inspiration was his love for the Virgin Mary. He prayed much while he worked and was totally devoted to the Blessed Mother. José Maria Zaragoza was declared National Artist for Architecture posthumously by President Benigno Aquino III in June 2014. Although he has passed on, his legacy will long be remembered – because it is cast in stone.
“The jailer brought up Paul and Silas into his house.” – Read Acts 16:16-40
Strategies for Evangelization
October 2023 Issue
The latest issue is reserved for paying Subscribers only.