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Showing posts with the label Faith and Light

God bless you on your birthday, Louella 'Lala' Vicente!

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Lala, with Jordan
I first wrote this post in October 2008 and used it again in 2011 under the title Lala and Queen Elizabeth II. I have re-posted it a number of times, with variations, because Lala's story is one that should be told over and over again. This year I am re-posting what I posted last year, with a couple of updates on ages..Today Lala is celebrating another birthday. No doubt, the occasion is being marked at Punla, Ang Arko, where Lala lives, the only L'Arche community in the Philippines, in Cainta, Rizal, part of the metropolitan sprawl of Manila. 
The Pope's Universal Prayer Intention for September 2014 was:That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life. The truth is that persons with mental or learning disabilities can teach the rest of us about the dignity of life, as the photo above of Lala helping Jordan with his meal shows.
Let us show our service to the poor, then, with renewed ardour in our hearts, seeking out abo…

‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ Second Sunday of Lent, Year A

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Transfiguration, Fra Angelico 
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India )
Gospel Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV)
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no o…

Happy Birthday, Louilla 'Lala' Vicente!

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I first wrote the post below for the short-lived Negros Times in October 2008. I have re-posted it a number of times because Lala's story is one that should be told over and over again. Today she has been celebrating her 35th birthday on a pilgrimage to Lipa City, Batangas, south-east of Manila, with members of Faith and Light, which holds a pilgrimage every year on or near the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. 

No doubt, there will be something to mark the occasion at Punla, Ang Arko, where Lala lives, the only L'Arche community in the Philippines, in Cainta, Rizal, part of the metropolitan sprawl of Manila.L'Arche, which might be called the 'older sister' of Faith and Light, is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year.

The Pope's Universal Prayer Intention for September is: That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life. The truth is that persons with mental or learning disabilities can teach the rest of us about the dignit…

'This is my Son, the Beloved . . . listen to him!' Sunday Reflections, 2nd Sunday of Lent Year A

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Transfiguration of Christ Paolo Veronese, 1555-56 [Web Gallery of Art]


Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA) 
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)


GospelMatthew 17:1-9 (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada)








Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, Iwill make three dwellingshere, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved;with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”When the disciples heard this, they fell to the…

Happy Birthday, Lala, VERY IMPORTANT PERSON!

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I first wrote the post below for the short-lived Negros Times in October 2008. I have re-posted it a number of times because Lala's story is one that should be told over and over again. This evening she will be celebrating her 33rd birthday with a quiet dinner at Punla, Ang Arko, the only L'Arche community in the Philippines, in Cainta, Rizal, part of the metropolitan sprawl of Manila.


Lala, with Jordan Let us show our service to the poor, then, with renewed ardour in our hearts, seeking out above all any abandoned people, since they are given to us as lords and patrons.(St Vincent de Paul, used in the Office of Readings for his feast day, today.)
Both Lala and Queen Elizabeth II have have two birthdays, the real one and the official one. Lala’s official birthday is 27 September and she turns 33 today. Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday is celebrated in 53 Commonwealth countries, but not on the same date. Only the Falkland Islands observes her official birthday on her real one, …

Jean Vanier on hospitality

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While posting the link Misyononline link for today's Sunday Reflections on Facebook I saw there a link to a new video by Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche and co-founder with Marie-Hélène Mathieu of Faith and Light. He is speaking to a young fellow-Canadian, Maya Pot, a fifth-grader, about hospitality, which I had also focused on in Sunday Reflections, where a Filipino seminarian told me about the experience of hospitality that he had when he went to visit some workers from Kerala, India, living in an overcrowded labour camp in Dubai.
Marie-Hélène Mathieu
I've since discovered that Jean speaks to Maya in a number of short videos on hospitality, each directed to a different group. The one above is for parents. He speaks to teachers (below), to senior elementary students here, to junior elementary students here and to secondary students here.
Full post here.

Madonna House: The People of the Towel & Water

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Video made at Madonna House, Combermere, Ontario, Canada
I have visited the Madonna House community in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, a number of times, in 1985 and in 2005. One of many blessings was meeting and working with a priest of Madonna House, the late Monsignor Art Bukowski, from Michigan, USA, in Kentucky during the summers of 1969 and 1970, when I was a young priest studying in the USA. He was much older than me and when I first met him he had just finished 29 years as president of Aquinas College, Grand Rapids. He later, I think, spent some time in Latin America. He died in 1989. I remember him for his quiet, missionary zeal as a priest and his driest of the dry humour. I also remember the Madonna House cross that he wore.

Monsignor Arthur F. Bukowski
The video, which begins with part of the gospel for Holy Thursday, highlights the consecration of Catherine de Hueck (de HUEeck) Doherty and her husband to Jesus through Mary. This consecration comes form the teachings o…

The Gifts of Christmas: Will They Last?

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We do our best, as parents, to offer our sons a life of faith and fun. We talk to them about our beliefs and they see us living our faith, however imperfectly, every day in the ways in which we work and love and encounter friends and strangers. Will this faith "stick?" Will they learn to weave this ancient faith of ours into their hearts so it becomes their own? Will they come understand that Christ's birth is not a sentimental event but rather a daily reality?
Read more here....

The Passion of Saint Thérèse

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In June of 1895, two years before her death, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face made an "Act of Oblation to Merciful Love." She expressed her gratitude to God for the grace of suffering: "Since you deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in heaven to resemble You and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion." (The Story of a Soul, trans. by Fr. John Clarke, OCD, p.277)

In the mental and physical sufferings that St. Thérèse experienced in the weeks preceding her early demise, she came to resemble her Crucified Spouse very much. As the tuberculosis consumed her body, a trial of faith and hope, in which heaven and eternity seemed closed to her, tortured her soul. The coughing of blood and persistent sore throat led to a treatment of painful cauterization with silver nitrate. Eventually, "gangrene ate away her intestines and she lost blood two or three times a day. Drinking only intens…

Lala and Queen Elizabeth II

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This column, updated 28 September 2011, appeared inthe short-lived Negros Times 13-14 October 2008. The above was the picture that appeared with my weekly column. Yesterday, the feast of St Vincent de Paul, was Lala's 'Official Birthday'. I only remembered that today and thought of posting my three-year-old article here.
Both Lala and Queen Elizabeth II have have two birthdays, the real one and the official one. Lala’s official birthday is September 27 and she turned 32 yesterday. Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday is celebrated in 53 Commonwealth countries, but not on the same date. Only the Falkland Island observes her official birthday on her real one, April 21. In the United Kingdom the Queen’s official birthday can be on the first, second or third Saturday in June. She turned 85 on her last birthday.

While there’s no confusion about the date of birth of Queen Elizabeth, there is about that of Lala. The young Princess Elizabeth was born in a palace in London. Lala was…

'Can life still be something grand, even when suffering unexpectedly enters it?'

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For many years I've had some involvement with persons with disabilities. Last Sunday I officiated at a wedding for two Deaf people. I regularly celebrate Sunday Mass in Sign Language. I'm not very good in that language and find conversations difficult, since I'm poor at reading signs. I've asked a number of experienced interpreters and their experience has been similar to mine. When you are learning a spoken language you reach a point when you can understand far more than you can express. With Sign Language it is the opposite.
I've also been on the fringes of Faith and Life for many years. It is a movement, born from a pilgrimage to Lourdes in 1871, that is made up of 'communities made up of persons with an intellectual disability, their families and friends, particularly young friends, who meet together on a regular basis in a Christian spirit, to share friendship, pray together, fiesta and celebrate life'.
San José Foundation More here.