While her peers were mostly busy playing games and watching cartoons, Katherine Commale from Pensylvania was already taking part in a global campaign that helped save millions of people around the world from the malaria disease.
Katherine started young and started to collect funds to donate to the United Nations affiliated philanthropy campaign called Nothing But Nets—a global campaign to raise awareness, funds, and voices to fight malaria. She became aware of the terrifying consequences of malaria when her mother, Lynda first told her about the documentary that she watched the night before. She was only 5 years old at that time.
Lynda watched “Malaria: Fever Wars” and told Katherine that a child died from malaria every 30 seconds. She recalled her daughter was curled up in the sofa started counting, when she counted to thirty, she said with a look of horror, “Mom, an African child died, we must do something!”
She tried to use her money for snacks and Barbie dolls to buy nets instead but it’s still not good enough for her. She tried selling her old items in flea market but she was disappointed at how little she can gather from there.
With the help of her family, together they came up with a diorama to explain to other children how a simple bed net can prevent malaria. They introduced it in Katherine’s Sunday school and the idea took off. The girl and her family sent $1,500 to the Nothing But Nets campaign to purchase mosquito nets, which typically cost at $10 a piece. Since then Katherine has been actively raising funds for this cause.
Vandalism, theft, arson and other increasing attacks on churches in France have led to debates about their causes, amid shock to the community, questions about the perpetrators, and debates over what the attacks might mean about French culture and the place of Christianity.
“Those downplaying the vandalism, which include most leading newspapers and politicians, point to evidence that the attacks are the small-bore crimes of small-time miscreants. Those concerned that the attacks pose a more serious threat expressly dismiss that perspective,” American journalist and author Richard Bernstein has said in an essay for RealClearInvestigations titled “Anti-Christian Attacks in France Quietly Quadrupled. Why?”
Manent told Bernstein there is a cultural attitude that the Church is “an obstacle to contemporary life,” and this attitude “nourishes a certain hostility.”
During the concluding session of the Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, that has taken place in Santiago de Compostela in these last days, the presidents of the European Bishops’ Conferences, members of the CCEE, have addressed a message to the whole of Europe.
Gathered to reflect on Europe, time to awaken? The signs of Hope, we have become more aware of the situations in which our countries live and of the different contradictions that exist therein:
– the desire for God, but at the same time the fragility of the Christian life;
– the desire for lives based on the Gospel, but at the same time ecclesial and human weakness;
– the desire for holiness, but at the same time without witness of life;
the desire for universal human rights, but at the same time the loss of respect for human dignity;
– the desire for harmony in society and with creation, but also the loss of any sense of objective truth;
– the desire for lasting happiness, but also the loss of a shared sense of the destiny to which humanity is called;
– the desire for inner peace and consistency expressed in a spiritual search, but also the denial of that search in many public discourses.
“There are still many people in Korean society who do not know Jesus or understand his will. We must proclaim the Word of Jesus Christ and do our best to allow His will and His love to permeate every corner of our society”. This is the exhortation addressed to all the Korean faithful by the Bishops’ Conference of Korea on the occasion of the “Extraordinary Missionary Month”, announced by Pope Francis for October 2019, to celebrate the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV.
The Bishops recognize that “Korean Catholics have made an important contribution to the democratization of Korean society and the promotion of human rights. However, this is not the time for us to be self-satisfied: rather we should be fighting for spiritual growth”. “Just as Jesus showed his preferential love for the poor, the marginalized and the rejected of society – the note concludes – we too will have to bring his love to all corners of society, showing attention towards the most vulnerable. Through missionary societies, the words of Jesus will spread to the ends of the earth”.
Each of us has a different trap, a different “sin” that keeps us from living out of our True Self, which is Love. Brother Joseph Schmidt shared with us this paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (original author unknown). I invite you to read these statements and see yourself in them. Only when we face and embrace our false self with humility can we begin moving toward freedom and wholeness, toward being Love.
If I live my life to perfection, doing what is right and good on behalf of others, but act with compulsion and without love, then I am nothing at all.
If I take care of the needs of everybody in the world, especially the poor, because of my own need to help, but am without love even for myself, then I am nothing at all.
If I am efficient and successful in all that I do for the sake of justice, but act out of drivenness and without love, then I am nothing at all.
If I am cultured and refined, and in touch with the pain of existence, but am absent from the pain of persons in the present moment who need my empathy; and if I act without love and compassion, then I am nothing at all.
If I have the gifts of wisdom, insight, and understanding, but am not engaged with those around me in the present moment and am without a spirit of compassion and love, then I am nothing at all.
If I am faithful, loyal, and obedient, and never deviate from the law, but am judgmental and blaming, and am without love, then I am nothing at all.
If I live in a pain-free world of dreams and plans, enjoying optimism and pleasurable options, but am not addressing present problems and am avoiding people in actual distress and am without love, then I am nothing at all.
If I am strong and powerful, but lose my best self in a spirit of resentment, retaliation, and vindictiveness, and know nothing of the vulnerability of love, then I am nothing at all.
If I am settled and accommodating, holding onto a sense of distance and calm, but am not journeying inward to know and appreciate my weaknesses and gifts, and am neglecting my own legitimate calling to love myself, then I am nothing at all.
Love is always patient and kind;
it is never jealous;
love is never boastful or conceited;
it is never rude or selfish;
it does not take offense, and is not resentful.
Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in truth;
it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.
Saint Alexius, born in Rome in the fourth century, was the only son of parents pre-eminent among the Roman nobles for both their virtue and their great wealth. They were particularly noted for their almsgiving; three tables were prepared every day for all who came for assistance — pilgrims, the poor and the sick. Their son, fruit of their prayers, was married with splendid feasting to a noble young lady of the imperial family, but on his wedding night, by God’s special inspiration, he secretly left Rome, longing for a solitude where he could serve God alone.
Alexius went to Edessa in the far East, disguised as a beggar and lived as a hermit. He gave away all that he had brought with him, content thereafter to live by alms at the gate of Our Lady’s church in that city. His family, in the deepest grief, could not fathom the mystery of his disappearance, and would have been consoled if God had taken him instead through death.
It came to pass that the servants of Saint Alexius, whom his father had sent in search of him, arrived in Edessa, and seeing him among the poor at the gate of Our Lady’s church, gave him an alms, not recognizing him. Whereupon the man of God, rejoicing, said, I thank You, Lord, who have called me and granted that I should receive for Your Name’s name’s sake an alms from my own slaves. Deign to fulfill in me the work You have begun.Read More »