Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Brother Ronald F. Drahozal, CSC, Is No More

Brother Ronald F. Drahozal, C.S.C., the pioneer of treatment
and rehabilitation of drug addicts in Bangladesh
Photo courtesy: Prothom Alo (Bengali daily)

The Congregation of Holy Cross Brother Ronald F. Drahozal, C.S.C., with decades of service to the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, especially street drug addicts, in Bangladesh, died on October 15 at Dujarie House of Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame, Indiana, USA. He was 81.

In 1988, Brother Drahozal founded BARACA (Bangladesh Assistance and Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts) in Dhaka. It is now a Caritas project run by Holy Cross Brothers. In 1994, he founded APON (Ashokti Punorbashon Nibash -- Drug Rehabilitation Residence) in Dhaka, and later in 2007, it moved to a new and spacious facility in the district of Manikganj where hundreds of male and female addicts receive service. 

This American Brother's selfless service drew the attention of many in Bangladesh and abroad. He received several accolades. Recognizing his service, the Bangladesh government awarded him a medal and granted him citizenship of Bangladesh. 

For details on him and his work, please read the following:

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Washington, D.C., Capuchin Priest Arrested For Child Sexual Abuse

Father Urbano Vazquez, OFM, Cap.,
in his Washington, D.C., parish church
Photo courtesy: nbcwashington.com/

Father Urbano Vazquez, OFM Cap., parochial vicar of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in northwest Washington, D.C., was arrested on November 7 of a charge of second-degree child sexual abuse. He was later released after his court appearance. 

According to the Catholic News Agency (CNA) report, he was accused of placing his hand down the shirt of a 13-year-old girl on two occasions and had touched her bare chest in May 2015. According to court documents, the girl's mother had complained of the abuse to the shrine's pastor Father Moises Villalta, OFM Cap., in 2015, but he failed to inform the police. 

The Archdiocese of Washington, after learning of the first allegation on October 26 from Capuchin Order of Friars Minor, removed Fr. Vazquez from the parish, suspended his priestly faculties in the diocese, and informed local police who then arrested him. After his arrest, the archdiocese received additional allegations against Fr. Vazquez. 

The Fox News reports additional two cases, where one 16-year-old girl was forcefully kissed by Fr. Vazquez in 2015 and her mother walked in during the alleged incident. The girl and her mother both reported it to the church twice in September 2015 and in January 2016. The third victim was a 15-year-old girl whose lower thigh was stroked by this priest during confession. 

For more, please read the following:

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Two Poems On The Remembrance Day Of Canada

A poppy field in remembrance of the Canadian war dead
Artwork (Toronto: November 2018) © Mary D'Costa

Canadians, at 11 a.m. on November 11 every year, observe a moment of silence in honour and remembrance of the dedicated soldiers who gave their lives and the living ones who continue to serve in the army during wars and conflicts. Those who died fighting for freedom and peace in the First World War (1914-1918), Second World War (1939-1945), Korean War (1950-1953), and Afghanistan War (2001-2014) are especially remembered.

To learn more, please read the following:

On the occasion of the Remembrance Day in Canada, we present below Adrian D'Costa's two poems. 

Blood Soaked Poppies

By Adrian D’Costa

Armistice Day was it. So, they call it.
A break from the war.
Then again, the barrage of fire started.
Our boys and girls fought there at the Flanders Fields.

The blood that gushed out of their body
Filled the emptiness left behind by enemies.
Enemy soldiers were killing whoever was on their way.
Each day’s bloodshed grew new poppies in the field.
Poppy grew one after another. And another. And another.
Soon they make the field red.

Bloody was it. The field was red blood.
The roads were blood-soaked muddy.
But our boys stayed strong.
Our girls stayed steadfast.
They knew what they were there for.
They knew it from the beginning.
So, they sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice.

Now they are written in the stone walls of the world.
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 
we cease to exist and remember them out of respect.
History will repeat again
If we forget the past over and over
And the same mistake will emerge out of darkness.
Will eat our lives alive.
So, we bow our heads in silence for two minutes.
Lest we forget.

Peace In A No Man’s Land

By Adrian D’Costa

Peace. What is the true nature of Thou
in thy own poppy field?
Are you the melted poppy in the Flanders Fields
or are you the old forgotten poppy in
the Arlington Cemetery?

Then why do I bow my head
on the Remembrance Day?
If the poppy reminds us the
wet, muddy and bloody war history
then why do we bear weapons 
against our brethren and sisters?

After every soldier’s fall
the 21-gun salute
rings from one end of the earth
to another.
Then on the next second why
another one drenches his
suit with the red blood of his own?

Why the canon ball rises high up in the air
and doesn’t strike our moral conscience?
Peace, are you that fragile?
Are you a being or an innate object
played by monstrous monstrosity?

Why the decapitated mind of falsification
hides the truth from the fact?
Why Peace lies to humanity repeatedly
and tries to make amend for the errors made before?

I lie here and try to fathom
the diluted mind of anguish.
After a lot of soul searching
I define peace to be a part of the moral compass
that each and everyone possesses
to make this world a better place.

It’s not the fault of the peace though,
that the world is in entropy and in disarray.
The war in the field, the mines in the battleground --
They are not part of the peace.
They are what they are.
They are absolute wretchedness of social autocracy.
I can be superior to them.
That’s the pride.
And that’s the first reason in the causal effect.

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The Quotation of the Week (November 11 - 17, 2018)

A quotation of Karl Augustus Menninger on 'children reciprocate
what's done to them,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Image: A handprint of a child (October 1998)

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (November 4 - 10, 2018)

A quotation of Pope Francis on 'apologizing to the gay, poor,
exploited women, and children,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (a handcrafted placemat in a store in Toronto: Aug. 31, 2018) © Jerome D'Costa

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

'Shomporko': A Publication of Toronto

Shomporko -- a quarterly magazine from Toronto
This bilingual (Bengali and English) quarterly print magazine, edited by a lady editor, recently debuted in Toronto. It covers Canada, Bangladesh, and the world.

It provides news, views, features, and articles on the Bengali-speaking community in Canada, politics, economy, business, lifestyle, family, arts and culture, education, fashion and beauty, entertainment, literature, food, sports, and more. 

Email contact: shomporko.magazine@gmail.com

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (October 28 - November 3, 2018)

A collection of African proverbs (@ courtesy of http://afritorial.com/
, compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Image ("Massai Tribesmen") courtesy: A calendar published by 
the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Toronto

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