Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (December 9 - 15, 2018)


A quotation of Ohiyesa or Charles Alexander
Eastman on 'silence,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Artwork  by Andrea Mary D'Costa (at the age of 1½ years: Sept. 18, 2012)

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Relation Between Fewer Sex Partners and Happier Marriage



Image courtesy: Institute for Family Studies via www.theatlantic.com/

Nicholas Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah, finds that Americans who were involved in sex with their spouses are happier in their marriage. Those who had more sex partners reported being less happy. 

To know more, please read Fewer Sex Partners Means a Happier Marriage (Oct. 22, 2018)



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Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (December 2 - 8, 2018)


A quotation of St. Francis of Assissi on 'healing the wounded,
uniting the fallen, and bringing home the lost ones,'
compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A play of lights: March 30, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Squirrel Nests in Toronto


Squirrel nests in Scarborough of Toronto

(To see the photo on an enlarged form, click on the above image)
Photo (April 2, 2018) © Jerome D'Costa

To read our earlier blog post on the same subject, click on Squirrel Nests Add Beauty To A Denuded Tree



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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

NATIONAL POST: A Publication of Toronto


National Post -- a daily newspaper -- from Toronto
This national daily provides news, features, articles, and opinions on Canada and world by covering politics, economy, business, personal finance, investing, science and technology, entertainment, fashion, environment, religion, real estate, automobiles, careers, media, health and fitness, homes, jobs, food and drink, arts, lifestyle, books, horoscopes, sports, and more. 

It's also available online at: National Post

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

H (HOLR): A Publication of Toronto


H (HOLR) -- a bimonthly magazine -- from Toronto
This magazine provides features, article, and photos and videos on latest fashion, culture, lifestyle, relationships, beauty, skincare, grooming, wellness, personalities, health, food and nutrition, music, real estate, travel, and more. 

Email contact: letters@holrmagazine.com

It's also available online at: H (HOLR) Magazine

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (November 25 - December 1, 2018)


A quotation of Mary Anne Radmacher on 'courage,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Artwork (A bee) by a child

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Student-To-Student Abuse And Sex Abuse Scandal At St. Michael's College School in Toronto


St. Michael's College School Sports Arena
Photo courtesy: ca.news.yahoo.com/

St. Michael's College School, a prestigious private Catholic institution, run by the Basilian Fathers of Toronto, drew international media attention in the second and third week of November when four videos -- one after the other -- appeared showing cases of student-to-student abuse and sexual abuse. This generated an outcry for in-depth and impartial investigation and appropriate punishment of the students involved in abusing fellow students. 

So far, six boys have been arrested and charged by police. Among the arrestees are two boys aged 14 and four boys aged 15 years. 

The school principal Greg Reeves and president Father Jefferson Thompson, C.S.B., resigned on November 22 to allow an independent investigation into the offenses. 

To learn more, please read the following:

(Updated on Nov. 25, 2018)



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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Two Books By Subash Celestine Rozario of Bangladesh


Shomobye Reendan Shomity: Shebakaje Anondo O Bedona
(Cooperative Credit Society: Joy and Sorrow of Community Services)
-- a book by Subash Celestine Rozario

Shomobye Reendan Shomity: Shebakaje Anondo O Bedona (Cooperative Credit Society: Joy and Sorrow of Community Services) is the first Bengali-language book of Subash Celestine Rozario, published by himself in 2016. Originally, from Bangladesh, now settled in Maryland, USA, Mr. Rozario has an extensive working knowledge and experience in Dhaka as a teacher of St. Gregory's High School and an executive of the Caritas Bangladesh and Christian Cooperative Credit Union Ltd., Dhaka. 

This 144-page book provides some background information on cooperative movement in Europe and then Bangladesh, highlighting Christian cooperative credit union movement with its structures, functions, laws, advantages, services, and persons involved in it. He gives some important information on the role of American Holy Cross priest, Father Charles J. Young, CSC, played in raising the consciousness of some Christians in Dhaka for the need of a cooperative credit union and their role in it. As a result, the Christian Cooperative Credit Union, Ltd., Dhaka, came into being in 1955 and in next decades saved hundreds of local Catholics and Protestants from falling into the grip of non-Christian money-lenders charging exorbitant rates of interest on loans. Following its example, some other Christian cooperative credit unions came into being in different Catholic parishes of the Bhawal and Atharogram of Dhaka as well as some parishes in Mymensingh and Dinajpur dioceses.  

This book also speaks of the formation and activities of the Cooperative Credit Union League of Bangladesh Ltd. (CCULB) and the Metropolitan Christian Cooperative Housing Society Ltd. 

Mr. Rozario's personal involvement and witness to many events make this book more authentic. He emphasized the importance of following cooperative principles and rules strictly and having honest, enthusiastic, and self-sacrificing leadership in different types of cooperatives. 

This writer was also forthright in mentioning some weaknesses of leadership in some of these organizations that brought shame as well as raised the question of transparency and financial accountability in some of the straying executives and leaders.

Shonar Khanchar Dingulo: St. Gregory High School and Caritas Bangladesh (Enchanting Days)
 -- a book by Subash Celestine Rozario
Shonar Khanchar Dingulo: St. Gregory High School and Caritas Bangladesh is the second book of Subash Celestine Rozario published in August 2018. 

In this book, he mentions his active participation as a teacher for 16 years in St. Gregory's High School in Dhaka, 11 years as an executive in Caritas Bangladesh and five years as the head of CORR -- The Jute Works. 

In addition, he provides a historical background of the city of Dhaka as well as of St. Gregory's High School, Caritas Bangladesh, and CORR -- The Jute Works. He also gives detailed accounts of activities of these institutions and organizations. His eye-witness accounts are fascinating to read. 


Subash Celestine Rozario,
the author of the above-mentioned books

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Evolution of Photography



Evolution of Photography 
-- from Camera Obscura to Digital Photography
Image courtesy: 24 Hours (Toronto: Nov. 8, 2006)

(Click on the above image to view and read it in larger format)

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Quotation of the Week (November 18 - 24, 2018)


A quotation of Herbert Gardner on 'making people laugh
and make them listen to anything,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Caricature © Ujjal Peter D'Costa (Toronto: 2003)

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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/
the-best-72-african-wise-proverbs/
, compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Image ("Massai Tribesmen") courtesy: A calendar published by 
the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Toronto

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Request For Immediate Solution To Leadership Struggle in The Christian Cooperative Credit Union Ltd., Dhaka


Father Charles J. Young, C.S.C. -- founder of
The Christian Cooperative Credit Union Ltd., Dhaka
Image courtesy: The Daily Star, Dhaka

The Christian Cooperative Credit Union Ltd. (CCCUL) of Dhaka, once a beacon of hope and a shining example of success in alleviating financial constraints of Christians – both Catholics and Protestants – is now mired in controversy and division among its members, numbering about 40,000.

Having its influence and clout all over Bangladesh and South Asia, it has drawn international attention regarding its controversial election, on January 25, 2017, of its Governing Board members. The disgruntled opposition group is said to have uploaded a documentary video later in the Facebook accusing the board members of “corruption and abusing power.” The Credit Union Secretary said that the documentary is a part of “smear campaign to spread false and misleading information to defame the organization.” On a complaint on the part of the elected board members, police arrested five persons under the Information and Communication Technology Act of 2006. For details, kindly read the Sept. 12, 2018 report here: Catholics arrested for 'defaming' Bangladeshi cooperative. The arrested persons are still in jail. In addition, the same credit union election also gave rise to a serious division among members of another organization, Bangladesh Christian Association, which got bifurcated.  

Many of the Dhaka-based Bangladeshi Catholics abroad are sad to learn of this unexpected outcome from an election and they are wondering what is happening in Dhaka. They are hopeful that, both the parties involved in this controversy and struggle, come to their senses as Christians and reach a solution on give-and-take basis. The power-struggle and infights among Christians give a wrong picture of the teaching of Jesus Christ. They also hope that Pope Francis’ call for brotherhood, mercy, and forgiveness in the Catholic Church will find its way in The Christian Cooperative Credit Union, Ltd., too. They also plead that both the Catholic and Protestant church leaders play a decisive and vital role in the solution of this problem and bring about the fraternal peace and love among the credit union members.

Mr. Isaac Gomes is an Associate Editor with the Church Citizens' Voice website, published from Kerala, India. Based in Kolkata, Mr. Gomes made the following comments recently in the UCANews website report, mentioned above, on the controversial election and subsequent sad outturn of Dhaka’s credit union:

“As a Catholic, I feel proud of the achievements of CCCUL. However, the ongoing infighting in the Dhaka-based Christian Cooperative Credit Union Ltd. (CCCUL) is very sad and a poor reflection on the Laity of Bangladesh. Christians preach and practise settlement of grievances through dialogue instead of fisticuff and court cases. Even if CCCUL has filed a case, why should it put its own Christian brothers behind bars? For more than a month, they have been languishing in jail, with their family members running from pillar to post for their release. This is unheard of. Is too much money the cause of extreme arrogance on the part of CCCUL governing board? I plead the office bearers of CCCUL to eschew their egos, show compassion to their fellow brothers and see to it that they are released. Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario and Father Albert T. Rozario, convener of the Justice and Peace Commission in Dhaka Archdiocese, instead of sitting on the matter, must be proactive to bring peace and reconciliation among the vibrant 1% Christian Community of Bangladesh. May CCCUL go from strength to strength by fostering unity among Christians through transparency and accountability in its operations.” (To learn something about the Church Citizens' Voice website, click here)

To learn more about the myriad of activities of the CCCUL, please click on the following: The Christian Cooperative Credit Union Ltd., Dhaka


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Monday, October 22, 2018

Polish Movie 'Kler' Stirs Up Debate in Poland


Polish-language movie 'Kler' (clergy or priest)
Image courtesy: www.imdb.com/

A recently released Polish-language film, Kler (cleric or priest), with the main theme of how some Catholic priests deal with money, power, and sexuality, has generated hot debate in Poland. Conservatives have slammed it for smearing the Church with negative stereotypes and giving a wrong image of the priesthood in Polish Catholic Church. Others have praised the film for portraying the truth. Some viewers told a news agency that Poland needed this moment of truth. 

Directed by Wojciech Smarzowski, an established Polish film-maker, the Kler portrays three priests -- the first one, an alcoholic priest, falls in love with a woman and encourages her to have an abortion, the second priest is accused by his parishioners to be a pedophile, and the third one is an archbishop, having connections with political higher-ups in Poland, lives a life of luxury, corruption, and blackmail. The film has been inspired by the biblical message, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves" (Matthew 7:15).  

Film Director Smarzowski said: "... I guess the most important factor is that I am not the only person in Poland who is disturbed by the fact that the Church is above the law... I consulted priests and former priests, who aided us at every stage of the production. They helped me with the script, the choice of locations, the costumes, the on-set work and, later, the editing process. Those who want change in the Church shared their experiences and other observations. They liked the film and considered it to be Christian, and they said it didn't insult the Christian faith...."

For more on the film, click on the following: 



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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: pixabay.com/

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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