Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Best wishes!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Namrata's Christmas

(by Nirmala Carvalho, AsiaNews) Bangalore, India, 12/15/2008 15:25 - Namrata Nayak is a 10-year-old Dalit from the village of Sahi Panchayat, near Raikia (district of Kandhamal, Orissa). Three months ago, at the outbreak of violence against the Christians, the little girl's face was disfigured by a bomb thrown by Hindu extremists. After 45 days in the hospital, she has healed, and is happy. "Christmas is joy and peace," says Namrata, "and I am so happy here: so many people take care of us; so many are praying for us and for peace and justice in Kandhamal." Namrata, together with her mother Sudhamani and 20 other people, have gone to Bangalore from the refugee camps in Orissa, thanks to the efforts of the Global Council of Indian Christians.

The little girl was disfigured on August 26. When she arrived in the hospital of Berahampur, she had lesions on 40% of her body. Now she is practically healed. "For me," Namrita tells AsiaNews, "Christmas is a time to thank the Baby Jesus who saved me from the fire and saved my face, which was disfigured and wounded. I am one of the few fortunate ones who escaped death, although I had to spend a long time in the hospital. I feel very loved by the people of India, and by so many people in the world who have seen my photo and have prayed for me.

"In Kandhamal, there is so much pain and suffering, and I don't know how long the special forces will protect us. But Christmas is a time of gratitude. I am afraid that my people will still be attacked, but this is our life. If God has saved me, he can save other Christians too."

The radical Hindus have promised to organize another strike on Christmas, if those responsible for the killing of Hindu leader Swami Laxamananda Saraswati are not arrested. His assassination began the pogrom against Christians last August 23. The Churches are afraid that the gatherings of radical Hindus could break out into uncontrolled violence again. "Christmas is also a time of forgiveness," says Namrata, "and we forgive the Hindu radicals who attacked us, who burned our homes. They were out of their minds, they do not know the love of Jesus. For this reason, I now want to study so that when I am older I can tell everyone how much Jesus loves us. This is my future. The world has seen my face destroyed by the fire, now it must come to know my smile full of love and peace. I want to dedicate my life to spreading the Gospel."

Namrata's parents (Akhaya Kumar, 45, and Sudhamani, 38) are agricultural day laborers. Their three daughters and one son are students. In order to supplement the family's meager income, the oldest daughter, Trusita (18) also works as a maid in the home of a Hindu convert, Harihar Das. When the violence against Christians broke out, Akhaya and Sudhamani fled to the forest, sending their children to hide in the home of Harihar Das.

On the night of August 26, the Hindu radicals entered the house, breaking down the door and destroying and burning everything. The family of Harihar Das and Namrata and her sisters hid in a little bathroom. Before they left, the Hindu fanatics left a bomb in a dresser. After the attackers had gone, the occupants came out of the house, but little Namrata was curious and stayed behind to look at the damage. The bomb exploded, burning her face, while some of the shrapnel wounded her face, hands, and back.

Sudhamani continues the story: "The next day, I and my husband came out of the forest, running to the house of Harihar. We saw everything burned, and feared that everyone had died in the flames. Instead, thanks to God, everyone was safe. Only that my daughter had been wounded. But Jesus took care of her. We took her to the hospital in Berhampur, still unconscious and badly hurt. But after 45 days of care, she's well now."

"My hope," she tells AsiaNews, "is that we can still have a future in Raikia. We possess nothing, and we could still leave, but in Sahi Panchayat we have some relatives, and our neighbors. If we leave, we will be wanderers.

"Christmas brings hope, hope is our only treasure now: we were poor, and now even the little we had has been destroyed. But Christmas means that Christ is born, and every birth means a new life. Jesus came down from heaven to save us from this misery, from the pain, from abandonment, from our homelessness. His power fills us with hope, love, and forgiveness."

To help Namrata and her family
, just go to, fill the form to send the donation via credit card (or select other ways of payment) and write "India, Orissa, Namrata" in the space provided (bottom of the page).

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Evidence for immortality of the soul

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Monday, November 24, 2008

To Eluana's father

ROME, November 14, 2008 ( – (By Hilary White, Rome Correspondent) - The highest Italian court has cleared the way for a young disabled Italian woman to be dehydrated to death at the request of her father - the first decision of its kind in Italy. In a decision released last night, the Court of Cassation upheld the ruling of a lower court that the assisted food and hydration keeping Eluana Englaro alive may be removed, thereby ensuring Englaro’s death by dehydration and starvation.

Englaro, who is now 37 and is not on a ventilator, has been in a state of diminished consciousness since being in a car accident in 1992 at age 20. She has lived with the assistance of a feeding tube. Her father, Beppino Englaro, has been petitioning courts to remove his daughter's assisted nutrition and hydration since 1999.

In June this year, the lower court had ruled that doctors could withdraw food and water, a decision that was challenged by the state. Should Eluana die by court-ordered dehydration, this would be the first case of its kind in Italy. Legal experts have said that Eluana’s death would mark the first steps toward legalised assisted suicide and euthanasia in this once strongly Catholic country.

In the whole story about Eluana, that dramatically came up again on newspapers headlines and is igniting discussions, there are two things that strike me most.

First: mutual indignation. Those who defend Eluana's right to live - and I am among them - , and therefore are opposing to the interruption of food and hydration, and calling it a murder, are outraged. But, surprisingly, those who on the contrary are asking to give death as a "deliverance" to Eluana, are even more outraged: they are accusing us of being cruel and heartless. Both groups use almost the same words to invoke two diametrically different solutions: and those more "spiritually inspired" seem to be the euthanasia supporters, because they describe Eluana's body as a prison in which she is unfairly and painfully retained, as she was someone different from her body. But when that body will be dried out and destroyed for good, where will Eluana be? And if she simply ceases to be, what good will she get from her "deliverance"?

Second, and more important: her father's stance. I'm writing this post while being almost certain that he won't read it, becuase he is understandably fed up with following all these diatribes. A few weeks ago he declared that "he would now let everybody say what they want about his decision", as if to say that he was not going to listen anymore, or answer anymore, all the more so now that he feels he eventually won the best for her daughter. The best.

If he could read me, however, I'd like to tell him: you suffer more than her, and I have more compassion of you than of her. The pain you bear every day is certainly worse than what she will suffer while dying. You once said you have been living as in hell, and you are right, because hell is deprivation of love. Eluana is loved by many but not by you, although you would like to be able to love her. You can't, because your heart is devastated by her condition, so that you impose an absurd block to yourself: somewhere in your heart, you decided you could not give love to her anymore, not food and water anymore, not life anymore. You forbid yourself to love her! You gave life to her, years ago, and now you take it back, while being submerged in your harsh, constant pain.

Truth is, you don't want to see her anymore. Truth is, you hope that if she dies, she takes away with her that hell-like impossibility to love her that you have in your heart. But instead, she will go, and your ice-cold heart will not find peace.

During all this time I've been praying for you more than for her, and I will keep praying for you - no matter how this story goes - that you can really get out of your hell, and learn to love again.

Please, look at those who love Eluana. Not at us, comfortably sitting in front of our keyboards, and welcoming our perfectly healthy children as they get back home from their entertainments. Look at the nuns, who care about her, wash her, dress her, feed her every day, and who have been begging you to be able to keep doing so. Eluana does not freeze their hearts. They love her. They accept her as she is. You, I, we all in this world want to be loved exactly this way: just the way we are. Look at them. You see? It is possible to love Eluana. You can love her. She does not need the deliverance of death: she needs love, as everybody else does. Give her your love, too.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Beautiful pictures of Siena, by a very special blogger and photographer, with a beautiful song by Enya as a background. Christian catholic culture and sensibility actually created and permeated those streets, buildings, works of art so evidently that they tell more about christianity than many books can explain.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

China's Internet Users Surpass U.S.

China's Internet Users Surpass U.S. - Recent research has placed the number of Internet users in China at 220 million, a few million more than the number of surfers in the U.S. (estimated at 217 million). Even if we quibble about the numbers, by the end of 2008 China is expected to have 280 million Internet users. With just over 300 million Americans in the total population, there's no way the country's Internet users could approach 280 million currently. The U.S. has held the number one spot (until now) since the development of the Net. - Friday March 14, 2008
This is a great responsibility for western world Catholics. Sometimes freedom will be given to Chinese people to access information as they like, and they will eagerly look for truth, and internet will be the main source of their research, together with books (Chinese people are strong readers too). Let's pray and prepare ourselves to do for them what st.Peter urges us to do: giving the reasons for our hope!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Saint Michael the Archangel Organization: Sign Up

REGISTER AS A PARTICIPANT By clicking below on the word "here," you are indicating that you (or someone you know) plan to participate in the Saturday, May 3rd, 2008 ONE MILLION ROSARIES FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event which means you will be praying the Rosary within a certain hour(see times below) for the following intention: FOR AN END TO THE SURGICAL AND NON-SURGICAL KILLING OF UNBORN BABIES

Click Here to register

From 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for people in the Eastern Time Zone
From 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. for people in the Central Time Zone
From 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. for people in the Mountain Time Zone
From 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. for people in the Pacific Time Zone
From 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. for people in the Alaska Time Zone
From 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. for people in the Hawaii Time Zone

Monday, January 14, 2008

In love

Science class, this morning. A couple of students - boy and girl, aged 14, he's in love with her - were presenting their poster research about the solar system. I added something about the way a star gets old, saying that when the sun is about to die, it will get bigger and bigger, swallowing the planets around it. Someone said "Let's hope we are not here anymore!" and I replied "Don't worry, in fact it will happen in 5 billion years, so by then we'll all be dead and turned into dust since a very very long time". And the boy said "No! How is it possible that such a beautiful girl dies?"
I just replied that we are all going to die for sure, sooner or later - rather predictably, I admit.
But later on, at home, I thought that the romantic pimply boy had said something deeply true. How is it that her fair, delicate girlfriend may die? His heart knows this is absurd.
A loving heart knows best. He can see that there is something deeply un-human in death. That we all are created to live, created for life.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Something about me - as a teacher

I am 45 years old and I live in Milan, Italy. I have a degree in biology and a Ph.D. in molecular biology, because I wanted to be a researcher, but things went differently. Just when I finished my studies - and I had just got married - my husband fell ill and was not well for the following 8 years. Obviously I had to quit research, because that's a job that has no time table and no guaranteed income; at least in Italy things go this way.
I started teaching science in Samara, a small private school for teenage help-cooks-to-be (I have no idea of how to say it in english: they prepared to help professionally in cooking for restaurants, hospitals etc.) and it was a great teacher's training for me. Our girls used to choose that school exactly because they didn't like to study, and with that school they could start working after 2 years only. Well, I was in a team of teachers so enthusiastic and skilled that most girls decided to go on studying (in high school) after the second year! and they did very well afterwards.
My colleagues taught me to handle pupils one by one, to look at them straight in their eyes, to trust them, even if they seem they don't deserve it: they will, when they realize you count on them. These are still the basics of my method. They always work.
After 5 years' experience in Samara I felt ready for "real" public schools, and I started doing substitutions in high school, science classes. After 1 year of short substitutions, I spent 4 years more being exclusively a support teacher for special need students. Some of them were seriously disabled, and had severe psychiatric problems besides the physical ones. It was very hard work, though very beautiful. I came home exhausted every day, mostly emotionally. It resembled my childhood dramatically: I have only one sister, 1 year younger than me, who is disabled, and the first part of my life has been heavily conditioned by her presence. Everybody said that I was "instinctively" good at managing special need students, but I knew the reason... I had done that job since I was a toddler! And that had cost me a lot!
During the last 2 years I was back doing substitions on my subject, science, and that has been wonderful. I regularly fall in love with my class groups, and they rather like me in return. I have a great time teaching. Real fun. We laugh a lot, and still, we work really hard. I was very lucky, also, because I got very long substitutions, lasting almost the whole school year. The down part is that I change school every year, but that's not too bad. Different schools have different people, different methods, different perspectives. Big experience for me.
In the meanwhile I never got the opportunity to have my ABILITAZIONE, which is the piece of paper saying that you are officially a teacher and you can stop being a substitute. What's it called in english? Well, after a long wait , finally a course came out: I am currently attending it, with lessons, exams, thesis and everything... In march '08 I should get my ABILITAZIONE. Let's say that I could hopefully get a steady teaching job around 2012. By that time I will be 50...
Long story! But now you can understand that I really love my job, even if it wasn't what I had originally chosen. Now I think research was not good for me. But that's another story.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

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