16 Notes & Comments

posted Feb 15, 2018, 11:50 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 15, 2018, 11:51 PM ]

Indian nuns fighting human trafficking


Feb. 8 was the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons. "It is fitting that the patron for the World Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking is St Bakhita, the African slave who became a Canossian sister," said Luke de Pulford, director of the Arise Foundation. "After all, women religious are the Church's principal weapon against this evil."

Speaking to AsiaNews, the director of the UK-based charity, which works closely with the Asian Movement of Women Religious Against Human Trafficking (AMRAT), said that in India, nuns "are the ones often risking their security to denounce the operations of organised crime in areas where such endeavours are dangerous."

In his view, "These are the people who, when there is a symposium or conference about this issue, should occupy the top table, and whose voices, together with those of survivors, should be heard loud and clear."

AMRAT held its annual convention last November, bringing together 105 sisters from all over India.

Founded in 2009 by Sr Jyoti SB, the group seeks to protect and promote the human dignity of vulnerable people. It is committed to identifying and bringing together other associations and institutions to create a network to fight human trafficking.


Attack on an Indonesian church: is extremism threatening Christians?

Agenzia Fides

Fear and consternation gripped the Indonesian Catholic community after an attack on February 11, during Sunday Mass on the church of San Lidwina, in the district of Selman, near Yogyakarta, a city in the centre of the island of Central Java. An unbalanced man (named Suliyono) entered the church, and wielded a cutting weapon with which he wounded a dozen faithful and a Jesuit priest of German origin - Fr Karl-Edmund Prier, who was celebrating mass at 7:30 in the morning.

"He was wielding a sword, and he hit me," said Permadi, the first victim, who was hit in the back. Other faithful were hit on the head, and the attacker managed to reach the altar, wounded the priest and destroyed some statues of Mary and Jesus. A parishioner called the police who tried to talk with him and tried to arrest him. At his refusal, an officer fired and severely wounded him. The man was taken to the hospital. Little is known about him, except that he is a resident of Banyuwangi, East Java. A police investigation is under way to ascertain the reason for the attack. 


Healing Ministry of the Church in India

Fr Mathew Perumpil, MI, mattersindia.com

Feb 11 is celebrated as the 26th World Day of the Sick, an observation introduced by Saint Pope John Paul II on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes.

It is an occasion to offer prayers for all those who are sick, thank those who care for the sick and reflect on the healing ministry of the Church as a powerful means of witnessing the Good News proclaimed by Jesus.

The Theme for this year's Day of the Sick is provided by the words that Jesus spoke from the Cross to Mary, His Mother and to John: "Woman, behold your son….Behold your mother." And from that hour, the disciple took her into his home." (Jn 19:26-27)

In his message, Pope Francis recalls that "Healthcare ministry will always be a necessary and fundamental task to be carried out with renewed enthusiasm by all, from parish communities to the largest healthcare institutions.

We cannot forget the tender love and perseverance of many families in caring for their chronically sick or severely disabled children, parents and relatives.

The care given within families is an extraordinary witness of love for the human person; it needs to be fittingly acknowledged and supported by suitable policies.

Doctors and nurses, priests, consecrated men and women, volunteers, families and all those who care for the sick take part in this ecclesial mission."