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My People

Vol. 30, Issue 6, June 2017

"If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land." — 2 Chronicles 7:14


Tending Crops

(photo: Lyons Photography)

Love Is Key To Family Life

The next World Meeting of Families will be in August, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. Pope Francis sent a letter dated March 25 to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family, and Life. His letter follows:

"At the end of the Eighth World Meeting of Families, held in Philadelphia in September 2015, I announced that the subsequent meeting with Catholic families of the world would take place in Dublin. I now wish to initiate preparations, and am pleased to confirm that it will be held from August 21-26, 2018, on the theme 'The Gospel of the Family: joy for the world.' Indeed, it is my wish for families to have a way of deepening their reflection and their sharing of the content of the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

"One might ask: does the Gospel continue to be a joy for the world? And also: does the family continue to be good news for today's world? I am sure the answer is yes! And this 'yes' is firmly based on God's plan. The love of God is His 'yes' to all creation and at the heart of this latter is man. It is God's 'yes' to the union between man and woman, in openness and service to life in all its phases; it is God's 'yes' and His commitment to a humanity that is often wounded, mistreated, and dominated by a lack of love. The family, therefore, is the 'yes' of God as Love. Only starting from love can the family manifest, spread, and regenerate God's love in the world. Without love, we cannot live as children of God, as couples, parents, and brothers.

"I wish to underline how important it is for families to ask themselves often if they live based on love, for love, and in love. In practice, this means giving oneself, forgiving, not losing patience, anticipating the other, respecting. How much better family life would be if every day we lived according to the words, 'please,' 'thank you,' and 'I'm sorry.' Every day we have the experience of fragility and weakness, and therefore we all, families and pastors, are in need of renewed humility that forms the desire to form ourselves, to educate and be educated, to help and be helped, to accompany, discern, and integrate all men of good will. I dream of an outbound Church, not a self-referential one, a Church that does not pass by far from man's wounds, a merciful Church that proclaims the heart of the revelation of God as Love, which is Mercy. It is this very mercy that makes us new in love; and we know how much Christian families are a place of mercy and witnesses of mercy, and even more so after the extraordinary Jubilee. The Dublin meeting will be able to offer concrete signs of this.

"I therefore invite all the Church to keep these indications in mind in the pastoral preparation for the next World Meeting.

"You, dear Brother, along with your collaborators, have the task of translating in a special way the teaching of Amoris Laetitia, with which the Church wishes families always to be in step, in that inner pilgrimage that is the manifestation of authentic life. My thoughts go in a special way to the archdiocese of Dublin and to all the dear Irish nation for the generous welcome and commitment involved in hosting such an important event. May the Lord recompense you as of now, granting you abundant heavenly favors. May the Holy Family of Nazareth guide, accompany, and bless your service, and all the families involved in the preparation of the great World Meeting in Dublin."

Cholera, Famine Strike Africa

(Editor's note: This report was provided by Caritas Internationalis.)

"We are overstretched and as we speak we are receiving more patients," said Dr. Mohamed Dahir, who as a medical doctor in Somalia is struggling to cope with high levels of malnutrition.

There is a massive influx of people into the region of Gedo in South Central Somalia where he works. They are fleeing drought. This has led to high levels of hunger in the area. The assistance available is not enough to keep up with the need.

Drought and civil conflict have led to food crises across East Africa and in the Lake Chad Basin. Some areas such as parts of South Sudan are already experiencing famine. The humanitarian situation in Somalia is rapidly deteriorating. Spreading disease is complicating matters.

Increased cases of Cholera combined with the famine is making Dr. Dahir's work more difficult. "Reduced access to water contributes indirectly to malnutrition by increasing the risk of infection and especially acute watery diarrhea. The current water stress reported in the region continues to increase the risk of Cholera outbreak spread," he said.

He works in Luuq Hospital, one of the medical facilities supported by Caritas in Gedo. The hospital provides basic primary health services, runs an in-patient department, including a stabilization center, and maternity services with a functional operation theater for caesareans.

Caritas organization Trocaire works across Gedo supporting seven facilities and three outreach health and nutrition programs. Nutrition centers treat severely malnourished children, such as the health facility at Akara IDP Camp. It provides integrated health and life saving nutrition services. It's one of Trocaire's main primary health centers providing outpatient therapeutic and supplementary program services.

Idil Abdi Hassan is a 30 year old mother of a 2 year old boy, Mohammed Ahmed Hassan. She is visiting the Akara Health Center. Her child is emaciated. She says that the drought is making the situation worse because she does not have enough to feed her son. She relies on the food supplied by the center. "If it was not for this plumpy nut then my boy would really be in a worse situation," she said. "Thanks to this help my boy's health has improved."

Mothers are streaming to the outpatient therapeutic center, one of the few in Gedo.

"In addition to the therapeutic feeds, we are also providing UNIMIX a corn soy blend flour to the affected families," said Mary Wamuyu, the Nutrition Coordinator. "We usually use it as a family protection ration. The plumpy nut is for the malnourished child, the UNIMIX is mainly for the other family members including the children who are not malnourished".

The idea is to prevent the sharing of plumpy nut for malnourished children with those who are not malnourished and also to prevent those not malnourished from becoming malnourished. It's fortified with micronutrients which are often missing in the children's normal diet.

"The famines we're seeing here in Kenya and Somalia are truly weather related. They're not caused by the political conflict that we see in the other countries," said Lane Bunkers, a Nairobi-based Catholic Relief Services official responsible for the agency's efforts in Kenya and Somalia.

In South Sudan, where famine has been declared in parts of the country, CRS communications officer Nancy McNally writes that the crisis is a man-made disaster.

In 2011, South Sudan was a hopeful new nation that had just gained independence from Sudan. In 2013, civil war broke out. Although there was a brief cease-fire, it collapsed in July 2016 and more violence erupted.

Even before the most recent conflict, less than half of all South Sudanese had access to safe drinking water. And only 1 in 10 people has access to sanitation, in many cases a pit latrine.

Cholera, an often-fatal disease-especially among weak, hungry people-was first detected in the capital, Juba, in June 2016. More than 5,000 cases have been found across the country since, all in areas with high concentrations of people living in camps for the displaced. The camps have limited health services and hygiene. More than 100 people have died of cholera, in addition to those who have died from famine, which has been declared in two counties. Famine could affect much wider swaths of the country by the peak of the lean season in June and July.

One hundred thousand people are facing an imminent risk of death from hunger unless there is an immediate response of emergency food and water to the worst-hit zones. In a few months, 5.5 million people-or nearly half the country-will be struggling to survive extreme hunger. Weakened by lack of nutrition, they will be more vulnerable to opportunistic diseases like cholera.

Although there has been a drought, it hasn't been nearly as bad as in other countries in East Africa. But in South Sudan, lack of security prevents people from planting any crops.

With the renewed violence, many students left St. Kizito Primary School in Juba last year. But other students displaced to Juba arrived. Catholic Relief Services quickly refurbished existing pit latrines, built latrines specifically for girls, and added more latrines to accommodate teachers and students. CRS also drilled a borehole so the school now has access to clean water. Hand-washing stations were set up near the latrines and at the entry to the school canteen.

"When we first came here, the school was having water brought in by trucks," said Willie Kiarie, education program manager for CRS South Sudan.

"Those trucks bring in two types of water: treated and untreated, but it's hard to know which is which. Some of the water comes straight from the Nile, meaning people can get any number of sicknesses," he said. So far, Juba has not had an outbreak of cholera from the river, but it's a very real risk.

Six Catholic schools besides St. Kizito are benefiting from similar infrastructure improvements and hygiene education. "Even though we've only been working a short time, we can already see a clear trend that cases of illness, such as diarrhea and typhoid, are going down," said James Okello, CRS hygiene promotion officer for the Catholic schools project funded by Latter-day Saint Charities. He says that cases of malaria should also decline, since mosquitoes are attracted to dirty latrines.

At St. Kizito, the program also supported creation of a school health club, a 20-member group elected by the school. Members share lessons on hygiene at school and at home with family members, including younger siblings. This helps maximize the benefits of our hygiene promotion activities in schools.

Clara Esther Peter, a health club member, says she sees positive changes at home. "It might be small things, but important things," she said. "We always have soap at home now to wash our hands, but before we didn't think it was so important." She says her family appreciates knowing ways to protect themselves from sickness.

In You, Through You

by Leiann Spontaneo

They always say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. What about God? We can do nothing without Him.

So, if you are in a funk, do something good for someone else. You will automatically feel better letting God's goodness go in you and through you. The bible even says you will get double for your trouble.

What are some popular ways?

1. Pay it Forward

This is a wonderful idea, but some of us do not always have the money to do so.

2. Random Acts of Kindness

This is another wonderful idea, not always requiring money but about being creative.

In you through you photo photo: luiek41, pixabay

3. Volunteering

There are hundreds of ways to volunteer. Looking for something specific? Search on-line.

What are some lesser known ways?

1. Extreme Couponing

This is the latest craze! Look up the phrase "Extreme Couponing" on YouTube attached with your favorite dollar store name for more instruction. Even if you cannot use an item, get it for free or close to free and give to someone in need.

2. Yard Sales

Every summer, people go wild at these events. Do you see something you could buy to give to a person in need?

3. Go Through Your Personal Closets and Cupboards

Do you have gently used clothing? Do you have canned goods not past their expiration dates? Give the clothes to the Salvation Army. Give the canned goods to your local food pantry.

Let God be your family physician, not the devil. Now do you feel better?

Entertainer Witnesses

by Michael Halm

Paulina Cerrilla lives out her Catholic faith while starting a multi-faceted career. Although a redhead and fair-skinned, both her parents were immigrants from Mexico, and became citizens last November.

Her favorite saints are St. Jude, a good patron for an aspiring actress, and Mexico's Our Lady of Guadalupe. Having visited the shrine in Mexico City several times, the faith of the other pilgrims has inspired her.

Because her first language was Spanish, teachers mistook her accent for a speech impediment. "I do a lot of my praying in Spanish. My grandmas are so intensely Catholic, like let's-have-ten-children Catholic, Catholic-Catholic."

"Cerrilla began singing at three and began acting at nine. "I've known what I've wanted since day one. It's one of those childhood dreams I never let go."

Since she sang on "The Voice," she has gotten more than 28 million views of her music videos. Her debut single "Homebody" can be found on iTunes. Her Christmas song "Melting Waters" got translated into Korean and sung by Girl Generation.

She has played Rachel in the zombi apocalypse web-series "Paul and Adam Save the Whole, Entire Apartment Complex" and songwriter Aurora in "String Theory." After playing the title role in "Narcissa," an updated retelling of the Greek myth, she became CoverGirl's "beauty guru."

Working with Family Theater Productions on faith-based projects, however, was different than her other acting jobs because of Fr. David. As national director, Holy Cross Fr. David Guffey is responsible for Family Theater, including both media production and spiritual out reach activities. His "Hollywood Prays" ministry includes monthly Prayer and Pasta gatherings, RCIA classes, Going Deeper, Faith & Film Bible Study, and Theology of the Body workshops, daily Rosary and Mass and the weekly Eucharistic Holy Hour.

"We wanted ... to create a truly wonderful, impactful project." Cerrilla says, "That's what made working on this series of films so special, because it wasn't necessarily for us." Before working there she says, "I didn't understand what it was like to have a day-in, day-out relationship [with Jesus]. Whatever I end up doing or being portrayed as in the media, I'm going to fight very hard to maintain my integrity. I want people to know that there can be a person just like them fighting the fight and trying to be a good person."

In "Family dinner" she plays dark-haired Christina, a young Christian woman, whose parents won't let her go out with a potential boyfriend until they can meet him at the family dinner. She has to work with both family members and the boy to make it work.

"40 Hours" has Christina turning faith into good works at a soup kitchen, based on André House in Phoenix, started by the Holy Cross fathers. She makes friends with fellow volunteer Kat, who soon become a friend in need.

In "Down from the Mountain" Cristina befriends aspiring musician Adam McGlin. Adam renews his relationship with God and the Church, but finds his new faith challenged after the retreat.

Family Theater administrator Tony Sands says, "No one ever knows, but some people kind of have 'it.' And I would say she does."

"As long as I've been in the business," her manager Richard Ellis says, "I've never been as excited to work with an artist ... a really good kid who happens to have a lot of talent."

"I decided, after thirty-plus years in the music industry," Ellis continues, "that putting my expertise to good use to create the pathway for her to become a world-wide music star was well worth my time and effort."

She plays Ally Martin in the yet-to-be-released "Tell Me I Love You," a love story set in the electronic music industry and Brittany Crowder in "Hail the Apple Blossom Queen." Paulina wa selected for this latest role after auditioning via nationwide online casting call to which thousands responded.

Light to the Nations

(A Christian Perspective on World News)

DNC Pledge Extreme, Disturbing

WASHINGTON – Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, reacted to the announcement by the Democratic National Committee's chair pledging support only for pro-abortion candidates. Calling the pledge "very disturbing," Cardinal Dolan urged party members to "challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position."

Full statement follows:

"The recent pledge by the Democratic National Committee chair to support only candidates who embrace the radical unrestricted abortion license is very disturbing. The Democratic Party platform already endorses abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy, even forcing taxpayers to fund it; and now the DNC says that to be a Democrat-indeed to be an American-requires supporting that extreme agenda.

True solidarity with pregnant women and their children transcends all party lines. Abortion doesn't empower women. Indeed, women deserve better than abortion.

In the name of diversity and inclusion, pro-life and pro-'choice' Democrats, alike, should challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position."

(Source: USCCB press release)

religious freedom is fundamental

WASHINGTON – Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued a response to President Donald J. Trump's executive order signed this morning (May 4).

Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:

"Today's Executive Order begins the process of alleviating the serious burden of the HHS mandate. We will engage with the Administration to ensure that adequate relief is provided to those with deeply held religious beliefs about some of the drugs, devices, and surgical procedures that HHS has sought to require people of faith to facilitate over the last several years. We welcome a decision to provide a broad religious exemption to the HHS mandate, but will have to review the details of any regulatory proposals.

In recent years, people of faith have experienced pressing restrictions on religious freedom from both the federal government and state governments that receive federal funding. For example, in areas as diverse as adoption, education, healthcare, and other social services, widely held moral and religious beliefs, especially regarding the protection of human life as well as preserving marriage and family, have been maligned in recent years as bigotry or hostility - and penalized accordingly. But disagreement on moral and religious issues is not discrimination; instead, it is the inevitable and desirable fruit of a free, civil society marked by genuine religious diversity.

We will continue to advocate for permanent relief from Congress on issues of critical importance to people of faith. Religious freedom is a fundamental right that should be upheld by all branches of government and not subject to political whims. As president of the Bishops' Conference, I had the opportunity to meet with President Trump this morning in the Oval Office to address these and other topics."

(Source: USCCB press release)

call for health care reform

WASHINGTON - After the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called on the Senate to strip out the harmful provisions of the bill when the chamber takes it up for consideration.

"Even with efforts to improve the bill before passage, the American Health Care Act still contains major defects, particularly regarding changes to Medicaid that risk coverage and affordability for millions; it is deeply disappointing that the voices of those who will be most severely impacted were not heeded," said Bishop Dewane. "The AHCA does offer critical life protections, and our health care system desperately needs these safeguards. But still, vulnerable people must not be left in poor and worsening circumstances as Congress attempts to fix the current and impending problems with the Affordable Care Act."

Since discussions about repealing the Affordable Care Act began, the U.S. Bishops have repeatedly called for Congress to honor key moral principles in health care reform. Among them are: access for all people to comprehensive, quality health care that is truly affordable, including extra consideration for pre-existing conditions; respect for life by preventing the use of federal funds for abortion or to purchase health care plans that cover it; and conscience protections. Prior to Thursday's vote, Bishop Dewane urged House members to insist on changes, especially for the sake of those who are struggling.

"When the Senate takes up the AHCA, it must act decisively to remove the harmful proposals from the bill that will affect low-income people-including immigrants-as well as add vital conscience protections, or begin reform efforts anew. Our health care policy must honor all human life and dignity from conception to natural death, as well as defend the sincerely-held moral and religious beliefs of those who have any role in the health care system," said Bishop Dewane.

(Source: USCCB press release)

Edge To Edge

Edge to Edge

Pray The News

Because we are sons and daughters of God, saved by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we do not merely read the news but make the news. We direct the course of world events by faith expressed in action and intercession. Please pray for the stories covered in this paper. Clip out this intercessory list and make it part of your daily prayer.

  • We pray for the victory of the civilization of love and life over the culture of death.
  • We pray for an end to hunger and famine throughout the world and especially in Africa.
  • We pray we will grow in love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
  • We pray for all fathers to be strong men of faith.
  • We pray for those in authority to be open to the Holy Spirit and for the gifts of wisdom and discernment.
  • We pray for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost.
  • We pray for the Bible Institute to lead to much growth and many conversions.
  • We pray for all marriages to grow in faith and in love of God.
  • We pray we will share the "good news" of the Gospel.

The cost of this publication is a donation. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit what amount He would have you contribute.

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Cincinnati, OH 45211
Phone: (513) 662-5378

Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378,



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