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CONVERSATIONS AT THE CENTER THE ADVENT-CHRISTMAS MYSTERY PDF Print E-mail

On the Second Sunday of Advent (December 5, 2010), the residents and guests at the Assumptionist Center in Brighton shared their diverse backgrounds, experiences and rich insights into the Advent-Christmas mystery.

In the predominantly Buddhist country of China, where Catholics represent 5% of the population and non-Catholic Christians are10%, the government keeps a tight control on matters of race and religion. It is difficult to live the faith openly, so religious practices are more often personal and insular. Following the reception of Confirmation, many people become lapsed in the living out of their faith. In addition, there is still much ancestral worship taking place.

Reflecting on the Advent/Christmas experience of the people in the Philippines, which is a predominantly Catholic country, it is common to celebrate this season from October through February. This time focuses on the family, with parents emphasizing the importance of sharing, though this is not easy among the poor. A particularly strong cultural and religious tradition is to prepare for Christmas beginning on Dec. 16th where by an early morning Mass each day gains momentum as the 24th approaches. This tradition which gathers families and extended families evokes life-long happy memories.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 09:05
 
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter VIII PDF Print E-mail

Assumption School, OsakaA full days in Osaka, Japan. After celebrating Mass with the sisters, Dinh and I  set off on different paths - Dinh to Kyoto to visit a friend and Sister  Christina and I making the rounds of the RA ministries in Minoo, an upper middle class area, and in Osaka City, where a community of RA's serve the large  homeless population there.  The first stop was a brief talk to the Junior and Senior High girls at the Assumption school in Minoo at their student assembly. This is a K-12 school, all girls except for the kindergarten, with a decided minority of Catholics and Christians, reflecting the demographics of Japan (.03% Christian).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:22
 
Assumption's work in the East and the reality of the Oriental Church PDF Print E-mail

The Plovdiv CommunityThe site assomptionorient.altervista.org is addressed to brothers, sisters, and friends of the Assumption who would like to know more about Assumption's work in the East and the reality of the Oriental Church.

Besides, it is addressed in a special way to the brothers and sisters of the Assumption who are in the East, who have as their goal to be a locus of exchange and sharing for all.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 December 2010 10:18
 
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter VII PDF Print E-mail

Old train station, DalatMonday was the day Dennis and I spent time together in Dalat. I wanted time to chat with Dennis about what we had done so far. From what you have read, it seems that we had a good time eating, sightseeing, visiting from place to place, etc as tourists. Yes, we did all of that but we worked as well. We had specific work to do and we have accomplished some of it. Time and again, surprises and our concrete experiences on site pushed us to reflect more on the mission of our trip.

We began the day with wet weather. It rained softly with a heavy fog at first, then heavier and heavier but not heavy enough to allow farmers to rest. They still had to go to their gardens to water the vegetables. Besides, it is the season of the coffee harvest.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:21
 
An Assumptionist bishop in northeast Brazil PDF Print E-mail

An Assumptionist bishop in northeast BrazilThe Diocese of Juazeiro is situated on the edge of the San Francisco River in the heart of the “polígono de la sequía” ("drought sector"). It covers approximately 23,000 square miles, with a population of more than 500,000. Currently it is divided into 14 parishes. There 23 priests (several of whom are quite old and infirm), 15 full-time lay pastoral assistants, many part-time assistants, and 2,000 catechists.

From its establishment, some 50 years ago, the Diocese has fostered the full and harmonious development of the human person, giving priority to the neediest, seeking to educate, organize, and support all men and women, whether in the country or in town. Thus it is that various social ministries (Ministry of the Land, Ministry of Fishermen, Ministry for Marginalized Women, Ministry for the Aged, Prison Ministry, ....) arose to address the needs and urgent demands of our society.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 December 2010 09:21
 
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter VI PDF Print E-mail

 Lac Duong countrysideMy Sunday began with my return to Lac Duong to serve as a deacon. I rode a motor scooter at 5:15 a.m. and arrived at 5:40 a.m. It was nice to see all the people praying in the Lat language. I tried to pray along with them; but my mind wasn’t there. People were very surprised at my appearance.

The pastor “reintroduced” me to the congregation and we began the first Sunday of Advent. During the mass, I tried to focus on the mass and to recall my knowledge of the Lat language. It has been 9 years since I have spoken it. After the mass, I greeted people and chatted with them. My Lat language came back slowly. I was happy that I could speak it again.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:20
 
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter V PDF Print E-mail

Fr. Dennis Gallagher, AA, regional Superior, USAEntry for November 29, 2010

Less than an hour away from departing Dalat, the second leg of our Asian journey.  It's been a most enjoyable and instructive time.  The enjoyable part begins with the climate which, on account of its elevation, is much cooler than Saigon.  It's a city built along the slopes of a mountain - before 1975 in a manner that respected the natural beauty of its setting, after 1975 in a more careless and haphazard way.   A heavy dose of sadness has been a companion these days, especially in viewing what was done to Dinh's family home here, but overall in the culture-destroying depredations of the regime. Call it the "shabbification" of a lovely city.   I recall the rhetoric in the mid-seventies in the US along the lines of "our long nightmare being over".     For the South Vietnamese it was just beginning, and the consequences for the Church and for the society at large have been devastating.   Since the early 1990's, ideology has given way to maintaining power and riches, and to that end there has been a loosening of the reins.  University students still spend at least half of the first two years studying the history of communism and other fascinating anacronisms, but the standard joke is that Ho Chi Minh is mostly known as the face of the currency.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:20
 
2010 d'Alzon Pilgrimage Participants Reflect on Unforgettable Experience PDF Print E-mail

The year 2010 marks the bicentennial of the birth of Father Emmanuel d’Alzon, founder of the Augustinians of the Assumption, who sponsor Assumption College.

In order to commemorate this anniversary, Assumption College recently sponsored a pilgrimage to the various sites associated with the life and work of Father d’Alzon.  Walking “In the Footsteps of d’Alzon,” the 24 pilgrims, including alumni, trustees, students, former faculty and friends of the College, made their way to Paris, Nimes and Rome, not as tourists, but as pilgrims with hearts open to discovering who this man was who inspired so many men and women in his day, and continues to do so, through the apostolates sponsored by the  Assumptionists throughout the world and the extended Assumptionist family.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 10:13
 
A Vietnamese Diary: Chapter IV PDF Print E-mail

Minority peopleSunday has  come and gone and these lines will let you know what went on...

I went to bed very late; actually it was very early in the  morning after what I described in my last diary entry concerning the very special tour of my SWEET HOME here at the seminary. It took place in the darkness of the tropical night. The tour in which I was the tourist guide and the only one who registered for the tour. It began a few hours after a conversation we had during a late supper and ended before just before dawn. I woke up “very early in the morning of the same day” and realized that my eyes had been closed for only an hour and 23 minutes.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:19
 
AN ADVENT REFLECTION PDF Print E-mail

AN ADVENT REFLECTIONPROGRESS OR ADVENT?

Here in the early 21st century we’re still a good deal more inclined to think in terms of “Progress” rather than in terms of “Advent.”  Despite the terrible experiences of the 20th century that ought to have sobered us up a bit, we still want to see ourselves as engaged in the great civilizational project of making the world “better”… by which we mean making ourselves more secure and comfortable as we build, restlessly, the vast social and technological systems we rely on now for just about everything.  John Locke, the English political thinker said it a long time ago:  our goal would be “comfortable self-preservation.”  It’s a low goal but one about which most people can agree and make “progress” toward it more or less, on into the future…so long as we don’t pause to think too much about it.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 November 2010 15:41
 
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