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 I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything.
In Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis has issued an exciting call for pastoral conversion. Not just in the grassroots of the Parish but also in the ministry of the Papacy.
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"An evangeliser must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!"

With the decision to title his exhortation on evangelisation The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis makes it explicit that evangelisation cannot be without joy and he reminds us of this continually throughout the text.  So with this fruit as a central theme of the exhortation we decided to explore Joy as described in Evangelii Gaudium. 

 familyweb When I first moved out of my family home I found it strange how my housemates did certain things -like wash the dishes or set the table or did the shopping. I was a little amused at one of my housemates obsession with mayonnaise; it went on all her food!  Then when I moved to a different country and then it reached a different level of bizarre – they had different theories on how to drink wine, what to drink with lunch, the time of lunch and which meal is the biggest during the day. My stomach and I were perturbed by the different feeding habits; that’s not the way I was raised! These are little things but it shows how our family impacts the way we think and what we do.

CongestedCommute2So after this rant about trains it’s any wonder why I even bother getting on one every day. Why would someone bother visiting any place where no one talks to you, no one welcomes you and feels stagnant?

At least with trains I have an excuse, I need to get from A to B and its better than city traffic. The scary thing is if I read back some of these points and replace “train” with “church”, I get a unwelcoming reality check.

Friday, 09 May 2014 16:25

The Truth from a "close and reliable" source

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3rd Central Star Ferry Pier - Magazine Store“Conscious Uncouplings”, elusive bachelor finally getting hitched, on-again off-again relationships, weight loss-weight gain pictures (or is it a baby bump?); the news is filled with celebrity gossip. I have always been bewildered at how a whole magazine can be dedicated to such trivial nuisances, but I never fail to see less than 3 different gossip magazines standing on a supermarket shelf. Obviously this stuff sells otherwise people would not be writing it. Whether gossip really can be defined as news is arguable but if the media runs on numbers of readers not quality of content, it’s this stuff that gets hits so this is the stuff that gets published.

Friday, 02 May 2014 12:10

How to become a Saint of the New Millenium

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jp2 150The last two weeks has been very exciting. WHY? Well it’s finally Easter so I can re-indulge in sweet decadence. Secondly, I went on holiday and could rest. And lastly and most excitingly, the world celebrated the canonisation of not one but 2 Modern Day Popes! Last Sunday Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II were declared more than blessed, they were declared Saints!

Thursday, 17 April 2014 10:00

Suffering & Resurrection

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sufferingsqWe reflect especially on Good Friday on the suffering of Jesus. Jesus shared in this human experience. He was inflicted with cruelty and torture, suffering intense spiritual isolation and physical pain, bearing the weight of the wood he would be nailed to and then die. This, however, was not the end but rather the beginning of a new life – a resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus shows us that despite evil and death, there is life anew. His wounds still remaining on his flesh were glorified and this can give us strength in the knowledge that suffering can be transformed and become a sign of beauty, victory and glory for humanity.

Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:00

What we can learn from Rwanda 20 years on

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20140410 rwandan refugee camp in east zaire 150I have a friend from Rwanda. She grew up there but when she was a teenager she had to leave hastily. In 1994 targeted murder swept through the country; you needed to run from your own neighbour and people who were your friends became your enemy. She escaped but many people she knew and loved did not. She once said to me, “You know, I think about my country how we say we are Christian and there are so many faithful people, yet we do something like that! My country. I cannot believe it.”

20140405 3746142610 85125bc77a o 150Earth Hour (60 minutes where you turn off electricity) did not blimp my radar this year. Quite honestly, I had no idea that it was scheduled for last weekend so I never turned off any lights. I am quite sure that each member of my family ironically sat in front of 5 individual screens watching 5 individual programs. Just to add to the irony, I sat in front of a computer screen reading an online publication called, “Where Children Sleep” and was struck by the stark contrast between the living standards of people around the world; the overconsumption of some and the simplicity of others. If only one could give something like a book to another… ponders the girl sitting with a room full of books that she isn’t reading.

Friday, 28 March 2014 11:00

Why Everything isn’t Hopeless

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20140328 581px-frank bramley a hopeless dawn detail 577399789 150There are some things in life and in the world that seem impossible and too hopeless for us to change. How do we eradicate world poverty? How do we stop genocides and warfare? How do we cure the sick and dispel disease? How do we stop suffering? There seem to be so many problems, so much suffering in the world. Yet what am I meant to do? How can I help in a world with just way too much for an individual to handle or fix?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 11:00

MH370 and The Search for Lost Souls

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20140318 malaysia airlines 150The news of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 grows more and more mysterious every day. If you have not heard an International Flight from Kuala Lumpur never landed at its destination, Beijing. Nor does anyone know where it has landed, whether it crashed or was hijacked. News is breaking with different information, rumours and mixed messages with new satellite images and claims that plane wreckage has been found daily. In short, the plane is lost. 25 countries are now looking, but it is not so much for the plane but rather for the 239 people that were on board. Ultimately, it is a search for lost souls.

20140312 1 dsc 2062 150This time last year something extraordinary happened. Pope Benedict XVI gave up something unexpected for Lent, the Papacy. Providentially I was in Rome when the historical event occurred and I got to experience the chain of events that resulted from his resignation and the lead up to the election of a new Pope.

Tuesday, 04 March 2014 11:00

Sacrificing my Sweet Tooth without a Sour Face

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20140304 cake 150As a teenager Lent was not the most exciting time of the year. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, days of fasting and abstinence, I recall being, “Let your stomach grumble and you can eat all you want tomorrow” Day. My family was quite aware that part of Lenten discipline was fasting (the other two, almsgiving and prayer, seemed to slip our radar) and that meant giving something up. Usually it was chocolate and cake. I have spent many a celebration during Lent tortured over the temptation of sweet gold and subsequently tortured by my conscience. Then I discovered on Feast Days I could temporarily ‘break’ my abstinence. I looked for any excuse and was so very thankful that the parish feast day was during Lent.

20140226 girl-pray 150Recently I attended Mass with my 4 year old cousin. I was intrigued by her behavioural change and development of attitude during the Mass. Over a single hour she moved from distracting and restless preschooler to a pious and prayerful (dare I say it) Saint! What could possibly have instigated such a change in a short period of time? At one point during the Mass my cousin noticed “the girl” in front of her. The Girl was her age and I think my cousin noticed that the Girl was a princess and angel in comparison to her. I saw that childish competitive fire light in my cousins as if to say, “She knows what she’s doing and I look like I don’t. Well, I can be an Angel too.” And soon she was copying everything the Girl was doing; kneeling, praying and singing. As my cousin prayed through the Mass, I noticed that my cousin would make quick glances at the Girl firstly to reassure herself that what she was doing was correct and more importantly, if the Girl ever looked her way, that she was an angel too.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 11:00

To ‘Like’ and to Love?

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20140218 facebook-like 150Chances are you found out about this blog on Facebook. And if you are one of the few people in the world who do not have Facebook, the social network just turned 10. And to celebrate Facebook is allowing users to create their own video summarising their life – you can see your whole life flash before your eyes! For me, it seems bizarre and I’m cynical of the process of people downsizing their lives to 15 photos with the most ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ and publicising them to the world. It seems superficial. Are we just those photos and thoughts? Do we model ourselves on a popularity contest?

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