Fr. Jacob celebrates the 40th anniversary of his Pallottine consecration

On 31 May, Fr. General Jacob Nampudakam celebrated 40 years of being a Pallottine. Below he recounts his story.
1. Matthew 4:1-3a: Jesus spent 40 days in the dessert: What have been some of your greatest trials in 40 years?

Two main trials:
First, I am always in favour of life. Following Deuteronomy 30, 19-20, I had to make a choice between blessing or curse, life or death.

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South Sudan – First Impressions  

Just  on  six  weeks  ago,  an  old  friend,  Allan  Drummond  from  Australia,  arrived  to  spend  an  extended  period   in  South  Sudan  assisting  our  Solidarity  mission.  After  he  was  several  weeks  in  Juba,  I  asked  him  to  make  a   familiarization  visits  to  some  of  our  ministries.  Allan  has  published  many  books  and  is  an  insightful  and   creative  author.  So  I  asked  him  to  write  about  some  of  his  first  impressions.  This  is  what  he  wrote:     Continue reading

New Cardinals of Pope Francis Tell Their Stories in ‘All the Men of Francis’

Some woke up in the middle of the night, others warned by relatives and friends with a text message. Someone even informed while he was at the airport, or at lunch with friends, when the pope announced a Consistory. It is the surprise effect of Francis, who has ‘upset’ the lives of 61 men of the Church, coming from the four corners of the earth, ‘created’ cardinals in the four consistories held by Pope Francis until now Continue reading

Fr Bruno Cadore, “Dominicans must promote conversations with the new knowledge and technologies”

The editorial team of the annual magazine (Veritas) of the student brothers of the Province of India sat down with fr. Bruno Cadore, the Master of the Order for a conversation during his last visitation to the Province. We were touched by his genuine interest in listening and sharing his thoughts on various issues even though he had a busy schedule. Here is the transcript of this conversation with our Master General. Continue reading

Refugee stories: firewood, a source of conflict between burundian refugees and local residents

The following interview was done by Olivier Lungwe Fataki, a member of the Young Peace Journalists. This story is about the experiences of Nizeyimana Edouard, a Burundian refugee living in DR Congo. It is the latest entry in the Young Peace Journalists project featuring the stories and voices of refugees. 

Interviewee Identity
Name: Nizeyimana Edouard Continue reading

Timothy Radcliffe: Fragile joy returns to Iraq

Driving into Baghdad from its fortress airport a few weeks ago, I was greeted by innumerable Santa Clauses and, ironically in this desert land, forests of plastic Christmas trees. Sometimes my Dominican brethren gather with Shi’a Muslim friends around the trees and together remember the birth of Christ, but for most people in Iraq the image of Santa with his snowy white beard and red coat does not evoke the charitable bishop saint from the Middle East, St Nicholas; Continue reading

Ecumenism: Mirvet’s Choice

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25) is provides an excellent opportunity to know one another better. The story of a young Syro-Orthodox Christian who discovers in the Focolare a way to contribute toward unity with her own life.

Mirvet Kelly’s grandfather was a deacon: “I remember going with him every Sunday to the Syro-Orthodox Divine Liturgy. I was proud to watch him all dressed in white as he recited his portion of the prayers at the altar.”

There are several Christian Churches in Homs, Syria, where Mirvet grew up: Armenian Apostolic, Greek Orthodox and various Catholic Rites, Maronite, Melkite and Syro-Catholic. Before the war, even though we were linked to our own Churches, the faithful attended other Churches without any problem.

“As I grew older,” she went on to say, “a lot of things changed: Grandfather died and the Divine Liturgy seemed long and outdated. I was the only Christian at school in the midst a lot of Muslims. At Christmas and Easter I’d be the only one absent and, when I returned, I was bombarded with questions: ‘Why are there so many Churches? Why was your Jesus crucified and rising from the dead on different dates in different Churches? Some friends and I decided to no longer belong to one Church or another, but to be Christians and that’s all. Like many of them, I stopped going to my own Church.”

After a while, Mirvet met a group that was trying to live the Gospel according to the Focolare spirituality. “Through them, I discovered that God is the Father of everyone and that we’re all loved by Him as sons and daughters. My life began to change. Every time I tried to love, going to visit an elderly person or a poor person, for example, my heart would be overcome with peace and joy.

One day, I came across a sentence in one of Chiara Lubich’s writings: ‘We should love the other person’s Church as our own.’  Not only did I not love the other person’s Church – I didn’t even love my own Church, which I had criticized and abandoned.

At that point, Mirvet’s life, which was already very fruitful both personally and ecumenically, took a new leap. She felt God calling her to give herself entirely to Him. “In the Focolare communities I’ve lived in,” she explained, “I found myself to be the only Orthodox among Catholics of all ages, countries, languages, cultures, Churches and ways of thinking. Trying to live in unity with all the different ideas about things is always a challenge, because each of us has her own tastes and ideas down to the smallest details.

But when we try to appropriate the other person’s reality as our own, we experience that the differences become an enrichment. We often pray for each other’s Churches, in an ongoing growth in the faith and in the relationship with God. And almost without realizing it, we bring the fruit of our communion into our respective Churches, to our jobs and into our daily lives. It seems like a drop in the ocean, but even the tiniest steps united to those of many others in the world, can make a difference.

In the countries of the Middle East where I lived, for example, I saw priests helping people, without ever asking what Church they belonged to. They did projects to help out different Churches, to help them meet their needs whether they were Christian – or even Muslim. Last year, Catholics and Orthodox celebrated Easter on the same day. Two Syrian friends who now live in Vienna, Austria, recently reported to me how they and many other Syrians have been helped by a parish priest and some Catholic women focolarini to look for a house, medicine and work. They formed a group in which they live and help each other to share their common Christian experience.

In the United States there are more than fifty Syro-Orthodox Christians who meet regularly, once in the Orthodox churches and once in the Catholic churches. They experience that God is always with us and that we have to pray, to live and to love so that Jesus’s testament ‘that all may be one’ is fulfilled as soon as possible.”

Source: focolare.org

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AFRICA/TOGO – A nun: “To be artisans of peace, thanks to the courage that comes from faith”

“The year that just ended was marked by severe moments of tension due to the socio-political crisis in the whole country and in particular our central region of Togo. It is not easy, in the face of unrest and unprecedented violence, to be artisans of peace. We try to be peacemakers in our small way, in our daily life”: says Sister Antonietta Profumo to Agenzia Fides from the community of Our Lady of the Apostles, head of the health center in Kolowaré (see Fides 18/9/2017). Continue reading

From Caracas to Rome: The Story of Arturo Sosa

sousaAn interview with the new Superior General of the Society of Jesus Rome, October 16, 2016. Two days after his election, the communications team of General Congregation 36 sat down with Father General Arturo Sosa to discuss his life and thought. The conversation introduces the new Superior General in a way that is more personal, to Jesuits and the wider Ignatian family around the world. On being elected General of the Society Like all the electors, I arrived at the congregation asking myself who would be Continue reading