Wednesday, February 5, 2014

AMERICA'S ABORTION RATE DECREASES

Pregnant Woman Prostrate, Lying on the G by Black Photo Studio, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  Black Photo Studio 

Good news to all of us who are pro-life. Last February 3, 2014, Guttmacher Institute, an organization that works to advance reproductive health including abortion rights, and a former research arm of Planned Parenthood, reported on their site that "U.S. Abortion Rate Hits Lowest Level Since 1973".

The all-time highest abortion rate in the U.S. was in 1981 with 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women, but in 2011, the abortion rate was 16.9 per 1,000 women aged 15-44, which was a drop of 13%. Guttmacher also reported that the number of abortion providers decreased by 4% and the number of abortion clinics dropped 1%.

There was no concrete reason for the decrease of the abortion rate, but it was believed that the 106 pro-life laws enacted in 2008 to 2011 with the majority of the laws went into effect in late 2011 had something to do with the decline of the abortion rate.

I believe that this is the result of consistent prayers by those who value life. Let's just keep on praying and praying. God is working behind the scenes and He's not finished yet.

Monday, January 20, 2014

THE CHURCH'S NEW CARDINALS

Just recently, Pope Francis announced the names of the new cardinals to be formally instated at an assembly of cardinals led by the Pope called Consistory on February 22, 2014, the Feast of the chair of St. Peter.

The new cardinals:

Archbishop Pietro Parolin - Italy
Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri - Italy
Archbishop-Bishop emeritus Gerhard Ludwig Müller - Germany
Archbishop Beniamino Stella - Italy
Archbishop Vincent Nichols - Great Britain
Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes - Nicaragua
Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix - Canada
Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa - Ivory Coast
Archbishop Orani Joäo Tempesta - Brazil
Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti - Italy
Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli - Argentina
Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo Jung - South Korea
Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello - Chile
Archbishop Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo - Burkina Faso
Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo - Philippines
Bishop Chibly Langiois - Haiti
Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla - Italy
Archbishop emeritus Fernando Sebastian Aguilar - Spain
Archbishop emeritus Kelvin Edward Felix - St. Lucia

Source: 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CHOICE TWEETS FROM POPE FRANCIS FOR THE YEAR 2013

With the popularity of online social networking services such as Twitter, Vatican decided to use twitter to communicate further with the people around the world especially with the Catholics. So they created a twitter account - https://twitter.com/pontifex - for the Supreme Pontiff. The first pope who used the account was Pope Benedict XVI. But now he is replaced by Pope Francis.

Pope Francis started tweeting on March 17, 2013. As of December 31, the pope has over three million four hundred thousand followers worldwide, and these numbers are growing each minute.

Here are some of the tweets of Pope Francis that I find enlightening, inspiring and interesting with their corresponding dates:

March 19, 2013
True power is service. 

March 28, 2013
Support your priests with your love and prayers, that they may always be shepherds after Christ's heart.

March 31, 2013
Accept the risen Jesus into your life. Even if you have been far away, take a small step towards him: he awaits you with open arms.

April 7, 2013
Let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God.

April 14, 2013
Let us not forget: if we are to proclaim the gospel of Jesus, our lives must bear witness to what we preach.

April 26, 2013
Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!

April 29, 2013
How marvelous it would be if, at the end of the day, each of us could say: today I have performed an act of charity towards others!

May 1, 2013
Dear young friends, learn from St. Joseph. He went through difficult times, but he always trusted, and he knew how to overcome adversity.

May 3, 2013
It would be a good idea, during May, for families to say the Rosary together. Prayer strengthens family life.

May 15, 2013
It is God who gives life. Let us respect and love human life, especially vulnerable life in a mother's womb.

May 16, 2013
We cannot be part-time Christians! We should seek to live our faith at every moment of every day.

May 23, 2013
On the feast of Mary Help of Christians, I join the Catholics in China who trust in the protection of Our Lady of Sheshan and I pray for them.

May 24, 2013
Miracles happen. But prayer is needed! Prayer that is courageous, struggling and persevering, not prayer that is mere formality.

May 24, 2013
We all have in our hearts some areas of unbelief. Let us say to the Lord: I believe! Help my unbelief.

June 3, 2013
Sometimes we know what we have to do, but we lack the courage to do it. Let us learn from Mary how to make decisions, trusting in the Lord.

June 9, 2013
With the "culture of waste", human life is no longer considered the primary value to be respected and protected.

June 16, 2013
Let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.

June 17, 2013
Are you angry with someone? Pray for that person. That is what Christian love is. 

July 9, 2013
Christians are always full of hope; they should never get discouraged.

July 10, 2013
If we wish to follow Christ closely, we cannot choose an easy, quiet life. It will be a demanding life, but full of joy.

July 24, 2013
Never forget, young friends: The Virgin Mary is our Mother and with her help we can remain faithful to Christ.

July 25, 2013
May sports always be a means of exchange of growth, never of violence and hate.

August 25, 2013
Don't be afraid to ask God for forgiveness. He never tires of forgiving us. God is pure mercy.

September 3, 2013
With utmost firmness, I condemn the use of chemical weapons.

September 9, 2013
We ought never to lose hope. God overwhelms us with his grace. If we keep asking.

September 13, 2013
Jesus is the sun and Mary is the dawn announcing his rising. 

September 25, 2013
God's forgiveness is stronger than any sin.

October 11, 2013
When we encounter the cross, we turn to Mary: Give us the strength, Mary our Mother, to accept and embrace the Cross!

October 14, 2013
Dear young people, do not be afraid of making decisive choices in life. Have faith; the Lord will not abandon you!

November 21, 2013
To be saints is not a privilege for a few, but a vocation for everyone. 

December 14, 2013
This is Christian hope: that the future is in God's hands.







Sunday, December 29, 2013

POPE FRANCIS: TIME'S PERSON OF THE YEAR

My personal copy

Last December 11, 2013, Time magazine named Pope Francis as the 2013 Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year). This is not the first time that a Supreme Pontiff was accorded with such honor. In 1962, Pope John XXIII was Time's Man of the Year, while Pope John Paul II was Time's Man of the Year in 1994. Interestingly, Pope Francis is scheduled to canonize his two predecessors next year. 

Why Time chose Pope Francis?

According to Time, Pope Francis has quickly captured the world's attention in just nine months in office.

     "And in a very short time, a vast, global, ecumenical audience has shown a hunger to follow him. For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world's largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is TIME's 2013 Person of the Year." 
- Nancy Gibbs, Time

Aside from being Time's Person of the Year, he is also the most well regarded religious figure in America. According to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, the Pope's approval rating is high in America; three in four Americans view him favorably.

Last November 12, Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor reported that Pope Francis is the most talked-about person on the planet according to the 14th annual survey from the Global Language Monitor.

And the most unexpected of all, even atheists admire him for his unpretentious humility, simplicity and closeness to people from all walks of life, especially the poorest of the poor and the needy.

Personally, for me, Pope Francis has sincerely showed God's mercy and kindness to the world most particularly to those who are in most need of mercy and kindness. Instead of being a leader, he is more of a loving father not just to Catholics but to everyone regardless of who they are, and that's what makes him Person of the Year

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

ABOUT POPE FRANCIS


- Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936 in Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- His father, Mario Jose Bergoglio who worked as an accountant in the railways was an Italian immigrant from Portacomaro, in the Asti Province of Italy. He left Italy to escape the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. His mother, Regina Maria Sivori, who was also of Italian origin, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- Pope Francis is the eldest of five children. Of his siblings, only his sister Maria Elena is still living.

- He had his elementary studies at a Salesian school in Ramos Mejia. He attended the technical secondary school at the Escueta Nacional de Educacion Tecnica. He graduated with honors in Chemistry.

- He felt that he was called to the priesthood on the feast of St. Matthew on September 21, 1953 at the age of sixteen. He studied at the Inmaculada Concepcion Seminary in Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires.

- Bergoglio entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus on March 11, 1958, and after two years, he made his first religious profession. He completed his studies in Humanities in the country of Chile. He graduated with a degree of Philosophy from Colegio de San Jose in 1963.

- He taught Literature and Philosophy at the Immaculate Conception College and Colegio de Salvatore in 1964-1965 and 1966, respectively. From 1967 to 1970 he studied Theology and obtained a degree from Colegio de San Jose.

- On December 13, 1969, four days before his thirty-third birthday, he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Ramon Jose Castellano.

- In 1970 to 1971, he went to Spain to complete his training and formation at the University of Alcala de Henares. He finally made his perpetual vows with the Jesuits on April 22, 1973.

- In Argentina, Bergoglio was a Master of Novices at Villa Barilari, San Miguel; and a theology professor. He was also the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits from 1973 to 1979, and a rector to his alma mater Colegio Maximo of the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology in 1980 to 1986.

- In 1980, he studied English for three months at the Jesuit Centre in Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin, Ireland. And in March 1986, he completed his doctorate in Theology in Freiburg, Germany. 

- On May 20, 1992, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires. Seven days later on May 27, 1992, he received his episcopal ordination. He became Archbishop, Primate of Argentina on February 28, 1998. He was also appointed as Ordinary for the Eastern Catholics (autonomous self-governing particular churches) in Argentina who don't have a prelate of their own rite on November 6, 1998.

- Pope John Paul II appointed him as Cardinal on February 21, 2001. Later in October of that same year, he was made General Relator to the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Episcopal Ministry. From 2005 to 2011, he served as president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference.

- As required by Canon Law, Bergoglio who turned 75 on December 17, 2011, submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires to Pope Benedict XI.

- On March 13, 2013, Bergoglio was chosen as the 266th Pope after Pope Benedict XVI resigned from the Papacy on February 28, 2013.


Reference:
- www.vatican.va
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_francis