Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (October 21 - 27, 2018)

"Don't tell me we can't, just because we haven't." --Brent Butt (1966 -    : Canadian actor, comedian, writer, cartoonist)

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Canada Makes Recreational Use of Cannabis Legal

Cannabis (also called Marijuana)

Seeding of Cannabis plants
Photos courtesy:

Call it cannabis, or marijuana, pot, weed, drug, bud -- they usually mean the same. It was a prohibited item in Canada for the last 95 years. From today, October 17, 2018, cannabis is legal all over Canada, which, after Uruguay, is the second country in the world to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Previously, medical use of cannabis or marijuana was legal under strict conditions. Liberal Party's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the initiative to legalize cannabis use for the recreational purpose like smoking of cigarettes. 

This is a drug -- it has its good effects if used properly, but it also has serious ill effects if used irresponsibly. In Canada, only adults are allowed to use it recreationally. 

Parents and guardians with children are wary of this new legalization. They are not much aware of the physical and mental effects of this drug on children, adolescents, and early youths. What about persons getting allergic to cannabis? If, what will happen and what to do, by chance, children eat edible cannabis sold in the form of brownies, candies, etc.? What will the real effect be on driving under cannabis influence? They don't know. They also don't know the effect it will have on criminal activities if persons are high on cannabis. What about home and condo owners not willing to rent out rooms to cannabis smokers? 

As the days go by, the Canadian government has to be vigilant and responsible on these matters. 

To learn more about the pros and cons of cannabis and its use, please click on the following:

Lessons from Cannabis Legalization in Colorado State, U.S.A.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (October 14 - 20, 2018)

"If bishops, clergy 
and religious lose the personal 
relationship with God to which we are all called, careerism, clericalism and ways of life at odds with the Gospel often result. This diminishes or quenches the flame of love and life in Christ that we must have in serving the People of God. We can become spiritual operators, or worse, perpetrators of serious harm to others." -- 
Archbishop Alexander K. Sample, 
Portland, Oregon, USA 
(Sept. 2018)

A quotation of Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland, Oregon,
 on 'Bishops, clergy and Religious' relationship with God,' 
compiled by Jerome D'Costa

Above Design by Jerome D'Costa

(Updated on Oct. 15, 2018)

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Artwork by Andrea Mary D'Costa (Oct. 8, 2018)

The Thanksgiving Day is observed in Canada on the second Monday of October each year (in the U.S.A., it is observed on the fourth Thursday of each November). On this day, Canadians give thanks and celebrate the harvesting of different types of crops, and fruits and vegetables. They also share their celebratory meals with their relatives, friends, and neighbours. 

To know more, please read the following:

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Reactions of Members of the Catholic Laity and Clergy to Present Sexual Abuse Crisis

Reactions on the Recent
Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis Worldwide

The clergy sexual abuse cases that came to the limelight recently in a series of storms -- one more dreadful, shocking, and shameful than the next one. Some Catholics in the U.S. said, "How could this happen again?" Another person said, "Your faith is shaken." 

"I'm horrified," Ellen Ahmad told CNN of the Pennsylvania grand jury report. "It's so sad. As a Catholic, I'm ashamed."

In the U.S., some Catholic lay groups are demanding more responsibility to investigate clergy sexual abuse as the hierarchy has shamefully failed to address the crisis. 

Some big donors of the Catholic Church in the U.S. stopped their regular quota of donations. Some other wealthy Catholics decided to compile their "Red Hat Reports" on red-hatted American cardinals until the next papal conclave (election of the pope). In these reports, they will track which cardinals took appropriate measures on sex abuses and how many others failed to do so and why.

Some laypersons even started to sue the Vatican and certain U.S. dioceses on the issue of clergy sexual abuse.

For more on reactions, please read the following:

(Updated on Oct. 15, 2018)

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Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (October 7 - 13, 2018)

A quotation of Pope Francis on 'a bishop and a priest
who are for the people,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Design © Jerome D'Costa

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Father Richard J. Novak, C.S.C: A U.S. Missionary Killed In A Hindu-Muslim Riot In East Pakistan in 1964

A book on the life of U.S. Holy Cross missionary
Father Richard J. Novak, C.S.C. (1935-1964),
a professor at Notre Dame College, Dhaka 
Image courtesy:

Father Richard J. Novak, C.S.C. (1935-1964) was an American Congregation of Holy Cross missionary priest to the then East Pakistan (called Bangladesh after the independence from Pakistan in mid-December of 1971). On completion of his priestly studies in Le Mans, France, Dhaka's then-Archbishop Lawrence Leo Graner, C.S.C. ordained him there on June 29, 1961. 

In 1963, he went to East Pakistan as a missionary. After studying Bengali for a short time in Barisal, he began to teach Logic at Notre Dame College in Dhaka. From the beginning, he was deeply interested in the local people and their language and culture. 

"He was very friendly and likable and showed his unmistakable interest in people...He got around to more places than most of our men who have been there for many years. People everywhere still remember him. I used to worry about him, though, because it seemed to me that his liberal spirit was liable to get him into trouble sooner or later," wrote Father Richard Timm, C.S.C., a fellow missionary, and professor at Notre Dame College, on Feb. 6, 1966. 

 In early 1964, there was a Hindu-Muslim riot in India and Pakistan. In East Pakistan, the riot was severe in Hindu-populated Narayanganj and Khulna. Some Hindu riot victims were being treated at Holy Family Hospital in Dhaka. On January 15, Father Novak went to the hospital and wanted to extend his assistance. When a Hindu nurse-trainee at the hospital asked an American nun if there was anyone to help locate her father in Narayanganj where he worked at the Dhakeswari Cotton Mills, Father Novak was told of the request. Next day, on January 16, Father Novak, risking his life, bicycled 10 miles distance to Narayanganj and tried to cross the river on a ferry to reach the mills. On the boat, some Muslim youths attacked him and, on reaching the other side, killed him with lethal stabs and threw his corpse to the river. 

From that day news on his whereabouts was unknown in Dhaka for eight days. Then, some local Muslims from Narayanganj came to Dhaka and gave the Notre Dame College priests the terrible news. 

On the occasion of the remembrance of Father Novak in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA, on January 27, 1964, Father Arnold A. Fell, C.S.C., wrote: "There is a sort of perfect unity in Father Richard's life in that, as far as we know, he also met death, like Christ, in the midst of the people he had come to help and succor. And from what we know he also met death on an errand of mercy, trying to help those who were threatened by the communal Hindu-Moslem riots that were raging in and around the fuller, deeper sense of the word, 'a martyr is one who dies giving witness to Christ.' In this full, deep sense Fathe Richard Novak died a martyr." 

For more on Father Richard J. Novak, please read the following:

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