Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Poem of the Month (June, 2011): AMBIVALENCE


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Photo Meditation of the Month (June, 2011): SPORTS


A suomo wrestler in a wrestling position
Painting (Toronto: May, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa


Suomo is a popular sport and entertainment in Japan. Suomo wrestlers challenge each other and demonstrate their strength by wrestling and trying to defeat their opponents. Years of preparation, special dieting and practice make these wrestlers what they are. Although it is mainly a Japanese sport, it is gradually being practised in other countries, too.

Each culture and ethnic group of people in the world have their own typical sports, devised by them and practised for centuries. These sports represent these cultures and their pride.

Sports unite people -- sports persons as well as their spectators -- so fast and successfully that no other form of entertainment can surpass it. Sportsmanship is a special gift of God. We all should encourage and sponsor clean and ethical sports for increasing friendship, unity and peace in our communities, countries and the world.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (June 26-July 2, 2011)


A wooden plank with two "eyes"

Photo (Toronto: June 16, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Self-Improvement Tips: IT'S ALL ABOUT CHARACTER


A headless taal (palmyra) tree at Dakkhin Rajnogor
Village of Gazipur District, Bangladesh

Original photo (1981) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bangla (Bengali) Calligraphy: BANANA


Kawla, the Bengali word for banana, is written
at the bottom of the plant

Calligraphy (Dhaka: Feb. 28, 1992) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (June 12-18, 2011)

A baby with all the wonders in its eyes

Photo (Toronto: May 22, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bishop Lahey Admits Possession of Child Pornography, Father Marshall Goes to Prison for Child Sex Abuse

Bishop Lahey proceeding to the Ottawa court
through a throng of journalists

Photo courtesy: The Montreal Gazette

Bishop Raymond Lahey, 70, on May 4, pleaded guilty to importation and possession of child pornography and voluntarily offered himself to live in Ottawa prison while waiting for his sentence hearing on June 24. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of one year in prison and a maximum of ten years, reports The Catholic Register of Toronto.

Raymond Lahey, the former Bishop of Antigonish Diocese in Nova Scotia province, was arrested in late September, 2009 and later released on bail when he landed in Ottawa Airport after his travels to several countries in Asia and Europe infamous for child-sex tourism and production of child pornography. In the initial check of his laptop computer, some of the pornographic images caught the attention of some customs inspectors.
Later, during the elaborate forensic investigation of his laptop, separate hard drives and USB devices, police detectives found a total of 588 pornographic images and 60 videos where young boys, as young as 8 to 10 years, engaged in sexual acts with each other as well as with adult males. Besides, there were a number of visual stories showing adults sexually humiliating, degrading and torturing young boys.

Bishop’s defense counsel Michael Edelson told the court that day, “My client feels very deeply and profoundly remorseful for what he has done. He is asking to be incarcerated this morning to signal to the court the sincerity and genuineness of his remorse.”

The Vatican, in a statement, condemned sexual exploitation in all its forms, particularly, crimes against minors. The statement also said, “Although the civil process has run its course, the Holy See will continue to follow the canonical procedures in effect for such cases, which will result in the imposition of the appropriate disciplinary or penal measures.”
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), in a statement, condemned “all forms of sexual exploitation, especially involving minors.” It also said, “It continues to work to prevent such behavior and to bring healing to the victims and their families.”

Bishop Raymond Lahey is believed to have been involved in possessing other forms of child pornography for many years, even from his priesthood days.

Father William Hodgson Marshall of Windsor, Ontario, Jailed for Child Sex Abuse

Father William Hodgson Marshall in Windsor
on the day of his sentencing

Photo courtesy:

In another case in Windsor of Ontario province, Father William Hodgson Marshall, 88, a retired priest – who was a math teacher and basketball coach in Catholic schools – has been sentenced to two years in prison for a number of sexual assaults against boys, dating back to the 1950s, reports the CBC News.

A member of the Congregation of St. Basil, also commonly known as Basilian Fathers, Father Marshall pleaded guilty on June 8 in the court to 17 counts of sexual assaults against 16 boys and one woman in Toronto, Windsor, Cambridge and Sudbury of Ontario. Between 1952 and 1986, Father Marshall molested his victims in their homes and in schools and churches.

After his two-year prison term, Father Marshall’s name will be added to the sex-offender registry and his DNA sample will be taken by police for future reference.

In the court, it was also revealed that Father Marshall himself was a victim of sexual abuse by a teacher when he was nine years old.

After his guilty plea, the Basilian Fathers, through their spokesman Father Timothy Scott, issued a statement saying, “The Basilian Fathers wish to express our deep shame that one of our members has acted this way. These criminal acts against children are a violation of our religious vows and are grievously sinful…This should never have happened,” reports the Toronto Star.

For about 60 years, none of the victims reported Father Marshall’s sexual abuses. Only in May of 2010, a 43-year-old Windsor man was the first person to lodge a complaint with the police. Then other victims came forward with theirs.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Raycrafts of Saskatoon In A Bind With Their Book Rescue Efforts


Shaunna Raycraft is now puzzled with here rescued books
in Saskatoon of Saskachewan Province, Canada

Photo courtesy:

When an elderly gentleman suddenly died five years ago, leaving his avid collection of 350,000 books weighing over 30 tonnes, his widow saw the only way to get rid of them is by burning. All these books were packed in a three-storey house. The gentleman had collected them for many years from library and school discards, charity book sales and the like.

Hearing the news of the intended burning, Shaunna and her husband Orion Raycraft, both being book lovers, vowed to rescue the books from the malfire, reports the Toronto Star. They offered their savings of $800 to the widow and took over the books.

The trouble started when the Raycrafts wanted to get all the books from the elderly person’s house. They had to pack them in more than 7,000 cardboard boxes. But where to store them? They then took a loan of $10,000 to buy a 1,200 square feet wooden house and kept the boxes from floor to ceiling. In the last few years, the weight of the books is causing the wooden house gradually give way. It may collapse any time.

In the mean time, the Raycrafts tried to sell some of the books but need a big help in sorting them and evaluating the whole collection. The books range from textbooks, biographies, classics, ordinary fictions, how-to-books and a 30-year collection of Canadian monthly Chatelaine magazine.

Some third world countries literally cry for good books. Who will send these there? Religious missionary organizations, both Catholic and Protestant, having educational institutions in those countries, may be of help in sending some of these books there.

To get an idea of the amount of the books rescued, you may visit here.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bangla (Bengali) Calligraphy: THE PRATIBESHI


Pratibeshi (neighbour) -- the repetition of the name of
the national Catholic weekly in Bangladesh

Calligraphy (Dhaka: November 22, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (June 5-11, 2011)

A fire hydrant, also called water hydrant, on a roadside in Toronto

Photo (May 11, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa

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Friday, June 3, 2011

A Toronto Man Arrested for Cruelty to Animals


A pair of raccoons. In search of food, raccoons can create
quite a havoc in people's homes, garbage bins, and gardens
Photo courtesy:

On a complaint of a neighbor, the police in Toronto have arrested Dong Nguyen, 53, on the charge of cruelty to animals and possession of a dangerous weapon, reports The Toronto Star.

Roddy Muir, the neighbor, near Bloor Street West and Lansdowne Avenue, hearing child-like screaming, came out of his house and saw Dong Nguyen attacking some baby raccoons with a spade. He shouted at him and told him to stop this madness, but the man refused to do so.

When asked why he was doing it, Don Nguyen said raccoons were destroying his garden. His refusal of stopping and the agony of the raccoons impelled Mr. Muir to call the police, who came soon and arrested his neighbor, who was later released pending his appearance in court.

Other neighbours of Mr. Nguyen had good things to say about him. Don Westacott, 53, who knew Mr. Nguyen for the last several years, found him to be a pleasant person. “He’s always out looking after his plants – they’re like his kids.”

Mr. Westacott said raccoons, in the neighbourhood, were pests that were getting into garbage.

One badly injured baby raccoon was taken to the Toronto Animal Services and later to Procyon Wildlife Veterinary and Rehabilitation Services in Beeton, Ontario.

Mr. Nguyen is scheduled to appear in court on July 13.

Animal Rights and Cruelty to Animals Are Foreign Ideas to Immigrants’ Home Countries

Dong Nguyen is most probably an immigrant to Canada from Asia. Before condemning him, one must understand the background and culture of immigrants in their home countries.

In most of the third world countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, animal rights and cruelty to animals are foreign ideas. From their childhood, people are so used to seeing or doing cruelty to animals that it hardly strikes their conscience. If wild animals do any damage or harm, killing it instantly is the norm in those countries.

In the villages, one can see farmers beating cows or oxen for being slow or lethargic during plowing lands. They do so, may be due to their sickness or hunger, but farmers are too concerned about getting the work done than wondering as to why the animals are behaving differently. From their childhood, people, in villages as well as in cities, are used to seeing the necks of live chickens cut by hand or standing cows or bulls being slaughtered for beef by cutting their necks in public.In some cultures, people regularly kill pigs for meat by piercing their hearts with long lances.

Dog meat is a delicacy in many cultures. Dogs are eaten in China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Polynesia.

So immigrants, after coming from those cultures to Canada, may hear of animal rights and laws of cruelty to animals, but it will take quite some time for them to realize the importance of these laws.

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