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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Music. Souad Massi meets the “Masters of the Word”

“The fruit of silence – an old Arab saying goes – is tranquillity”. But if silence is broken, art might reveal itself, one could reply after listening at El Mutakallimun, Souad Massi’s latest album. A word that can be translated as “the speakers” or, more freely, as “the masters of the word”, El Mutakallimun is…

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Brazil. The living sign of mercy

The visits to prisoners are one of the works of mercy, the theme of the Jubilee Year. Msgr. Carlos Varzelletti, Bishop of Castanhal in the State of Para, Brazil, describes his experience in thirteen prisons of his diocese. Our Church of Castanhal has recently celebrated its tenth birthday. Many efforts have been made but there…

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Iran, Saudi Arabia: the Tragic Dawn of 2016

The sudden muscled escalation between the Saudis and the Iranians at the beginning of 2016 is frightening. Not only due to the possible worsening of the conflicts in Syria, in Iraq and in Yemen – where Riyadh and Teheran are already fighting using their respective allies – but due to the possibility of a direct…

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Dominican Republic. Network of participation

Political and economic inequality. Narco-trafficking and violence. The Church answers by organizing people to face these challenges through a Pastoral Plan. Those who visit the country can see big avenues, high buildings, beautiful  houses. The city of Santo Domingo, looks like a western metropolis. But data show that the distribution of wealth is unequal and…

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The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church arrived in this land with St Justin de Jacobis, (affectionately known as Abune Yacob by the local people). A native of Naples (Italy) and member of the Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul, he reached Eritrea and northern Ethiopia in 1839. This was fifty years before the Italians established…

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Rwandan president to seek a third term

There is no more suspense over Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s intention to stand for a third term in 2017. After his path was cleared of legal hurdles following a successful referendum last December in which the Yes to the constitutional change won 98.3 per cent, Kagame said he had accepted the people’s call to continue…

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South Sudan. Between tenderness and testimony.

A Comboni missionary living in South Sudan, a conflict-torn country, talks to us about the importance of the signs of mercy during this Jubilee Year. Under the shade of a tree in the woods, fifty catechists are listening carefully to Father Jose Javier Parladé, a Comboni missionary, who has left Yirol, the parochial center in…

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International conferences. Are they a tool of advocacy?

A special pan-African five-day conference on land grabbing and just governance in Africa was held in Nairobi, Kenya last November (22nd to 26th), just a few days before the arrival of Pope Francis. It was the first initiative involving bishops, priests, religious, lay people, non-governmental organizations and experts in this field. It was organized by…

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Burkina Faso. Labour in the gold mines …

Thousands of people labour in the gold mines of Burkina Faso. Working conditions are miserable and many children risk their lives. The sun has not risen yet and Jean Pierre is already walking along the dirty road that leads to the mine. Another day has just started. Five years ago he left his village to…

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Benin. The Gelede masks: a treasure of tradition

Masks, magical movements, singing: the wisdom of the village is passed down from generation to generation, year after year. It is a warm March morning, all the inhabitants of Lanta Kope, a small village in southern Benin, have gathered to attend the Gelede festival which takes place when the dry season ends and when the…

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Islamic investors eye opportunities in Africa

Donors and businessmen from the Islamic World are increasingly determined to explore investments opportunities in Africa. Africa is increasingly seen as a land of opportunities. After the large emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil, member countries from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which groups 57 countries including 22 African states, are increasingly…

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Africa. Vernonia amygdalina. The bitter leaf

Vernonia amygdalina, (family Astaraceae) is a medicinal herb commonly known as bitter leaf. This plant is indigenous to tropical Africa and has enormous medicinal uses and is regarded as a gold mine by many African communities. The plant is normally found along rivers and lakes, in forest margins, wood land and open grass land in…

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Advocacy

Meetings and Words empower advocacy.

From the 16th to the 19th February, 2017 took place in Modesto, California first U.S. regional World Meeting of Popular Movements (WMPM).  Even though, Popular movements have…

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Baobab

The Goodness of Rice

A long, long time ago, on the island of Java there were no rice plants. The people of the earth had only grown cassava for their…

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Youth & Mission

God of Nonviolence.

Thank you for the gift of your love and your peace. Give me the grace to live the life of Gospel nonviolence that I might be…

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