One of those very uncommon nights, I managed to watch television. And as autumn started bringing cold winds, my son felt the need to cuddle up to me with his blanket and pillow. As we relaxed, we were flicking through the television channels and happened to watch a documentary about abortion with a person showing the audience a bottle of what seemed to be remnants of several foetuses.
As my son knows that he is adopted (as per Australian government’s requirement), he consciously knows that he was born while both of his biological parents had their own families.
Every year, just before mother’s day, I get reminded of myself being a mother. However, each year, I am also reminded that I am a mother of adopted kids and that makes me an imperfect mother and parent.
When we applied for our first adopted son, I asked my husband, a few times, to remove our application. I thought, if God did not give us children, it could be because I cannot be a perfect mother or a perfect parent.
After fifteen years (15) years and two adopted sons later, I still feel like an imperfect mother. I still think that our boys could have been better persons if they were raised by another woman.
Easter Sunday is a day celebrated by all Christians. Jesus is risen from the dead. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16) Jesus lives! He is not dead! He has conquered death.
For Christians, life on earth is the first phase of a journey. The greater part of life is to be lived with God, with Jesus Christ in eternity. We prepare ourselves in this world for a future of love and eternal joy and peace with Jesus where pain and suffering will be no more, “Where every tear will be wiped away.” (Rev 21:4) A state where we shall experience real love and real joy!
In an imperfect world, a Christian always lives with hope because Christ has conquered death and all the evil it brings. The evil that happens to us in this world – which seems to conquer us with death - is never going to have the final word. We are but in a journey to eternity. This, in a nutshell, is the message of Easter.
Today, aside from thanking our colleagues in the other agency for their friendship, support and for journeying with us daily at work, I also briefly shared the meanings of the Holy Week, Easter and the Hot Cross Buns.
As someone who grew up in Southeast Asia, I never knew about the existence of these sweet buns. After a brief research online, I found Wikipedia offering this description: “a hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the British Isles, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and India.
Every Christmas Eve, I would see one of my husband’s friends, Daniel (not his real name), attending the Christmas Eve Mass at our parish church with his sons. All of his Catholic friends attend Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. But I was always puzzled at the fact that Daniel is neither a Catholic nor a Protestant. He is not even a Hindu. He could be classified as an unbeliever. When asked why he comes to Mass every Christmas, he simply says, “to honour Jesus because I admire him” or something to that effect. He just wants to celebrate with everyone. And he feels comfortable doing that as he knows that no one from the Catholic church will ask him why he is there. Except me! And that’s only because we knew each other from Lion's Club.
As the world is reeling from the shocking terrorist attacks in the highly visible and admired city of Paris, a family of five arrived in the relatively quiet city of Perth. This family from Homs, a city in Western Syria, is the first of the 12,000 Syrian refugees who will be resettled in Australia. They will be engaged in English language training and proficiency. They will also be assisted to find employment and have immediate access to welfare support.
In Australia, we celebrate Adoption Awareness Week each year in November to raise awareness, provide education, and advocate about adoption.
Adoption in Australia is tightly controlled by the government and overseas adoption follows strictly the The Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). It basically aims to protect children and their families.
After graduating from his civil engineering degree, my father migrated to the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines to work in the mines. As a young professional, he was willing to learn new skills in the mines and the culture of the people in the area. He gradually learned to adapt to the place, met my mother (a local primary school teacher), got married and raised a family of four children there.
After working in a government department for many years, he wanted to look for greener pastures. He got a job as a Project Manager in a huge construction company in Manila. At 16 years old, I wanted to stay behind to complete my high school studies and be with my grandmother. Of course, my father wanted to bring all of us with him so we all migrated to the capital city. As migrants from the south, my brother and I used to get teased at school because we spoke a different dialect. I am not sure how my younger siblings were treated at their primary school.
This month of August, we would like to feature Saint John Bosco, commonly called Don Bosco (Father Bosco in Italian) as many Catholic schools, parishes and youth centres around the world are celebrating his 200th birth anniversary. He was canonized as a Roman Catholic Saint by Pope Pius XI in 1934.
St. John Bosco was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who dedicated his life to educating street children, kids with family issues and other disadvantaged youth.
His strategy involved gathering the neighbourhood children around himself and becoming a one-boy circus. He observed the travelling circus performers, jugglers and magicians and taught himself acrobatics, tightrope walking and other tricks.
He would lead them in prayer before he started showing his juggling skills.
Mercy and hope are two very important foundations of life. In order for us to have a meaningful and profound existence as human beings, we need to have mercy and be able to forgive others as well as ourselves. Only when we can honestly and sincerely forgive can we ever be able to have hope and peace in our lives.
In the midst of face readings, palm readings, chakra readings, and the smell of aromatherapy oils and candles, a bright and unique booth stood for the first time at the MindBodySpirit Festival at the Showground, Olympic Park, Sydney.
When the idea of having a catholic spirituality booth hatched, it was thought that people who are searching for a certain kind of new age spirituality would come to this festival.
Lent calls us not only to refrain from doing things but also to do things. To pray more often, to give more often and to fast more often. It also calls us to get to the bottom of why we do these things.
A few weeks ago, someone called the office to say how confused he was with the rules on abstinence on Fridays. We explained to him the Bishops’ position on this but he still insisted that these practices are so confusing. Every time we gave an explanation, he had another question. It was quite a lengthy volleyball of emails.
A unified sigh of relief echoes throughout the world, Christmas is over. The sigh is misguided because actually - newsflash - Christmas starts on Christmas day and continues for a week in what is known in the Church as the Octave of Christmas. But you don’t need to hold your breath again, a repetition of Christmas day celebrations with family and friends is not required, but we do have permission to continually remember how God became Man and why we are Christian.
And not many would be unfamiliar with the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, but few would be familiar with its origins. The song is more than about gift giving (and unusual gifts these would be, anyone want a French hen) but was a coded Catholic song during persecution of Roman Catholics in England. Each item and number symbolises a part of the faith and My true love is the One God. I read that if you were to buy all the items on the list literally it would amount to $30,000. Yet for the Catholics of this time, their faith came at a greater cost – their lives.
|There was nothing more exciting for me as a child than to wake up on Christmas day and open ALL the presents underneath the tree. And there was nothing less exciting for my father than all his kids waking him up at 7am to do this. Children make the equation that Christmas equals presents. Gift giving is a nice gesture but eventually in our lives we need to move past the present equation and childish Christmas notions and draw into a deeper understanding of Christmas.|
My grandfather kept a hobby farm in Malta. On one occasion I overheard my grandparents discussion something and I regularly heard the word ‘shitta’. Rather unfortunate near-homonym for rain. You see the soil needed to be dry for about a week after the seeds were planted, they wanted to prepare well so they could receive well an abundant harvest.