Thursday, 24 May 2012

Cameroon: Forests pressured as leaders welcome palm oil investors BY ELIAS NTUNGWE NGALAME

US agribusiness conglomerate Cargill plans to invest up to US$390 million in a 50,000-hectare oil palm plantation in Cameroon, an official at the Central African nation's investment agency said on state radio.
Yaoundé — Cameroon is inviting foreign companies to expand lucrative palm plantations, pitting the country's need for economic development against environmentalists who foresee the loss of important forests.
Since 2009 this West African country has witnessed a sharp rise in interest from companies seeking vast expanses of land for industrial palm plantations in response to increasing global demand for palm oil.
Six foreign-owned companies are currently trying to secure over 1 million hectares (about 2.5 million acres) of land for the production of palm oil in the country's forested southern zone, according to a coalition of environmental organisations.
Jean Kuete, who until December 2011 was Cameroon's minister of agriculture, told journalists last October that palm production is integral to the government's plans for growth, employment and poverty reduction.
"The industrial production of palm oil is a national priority and the many investors in this sector are welcomed," the minister said.
According to information from the agriculture ministry, there is particular interest in land on the flanks of West Africa's highest peak, Mt. Fako, where conditions are good for growing palms, as well as the cheap land stretching through the Southwest and Littoral regions of Cameroon.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Church leaders from all over the world, call on the EU to stop the multinational companies from depriving the developing countries of their right.

“God intended the earth with everything contained in it for the use of all human beings and peoples. Thus, under the leadership of justice and in the company of charity, created goods should be in abundance for all in like manner.”
(Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, 69)
We need transparency to fight corruption and tax dodging
Multinational companies deprive developing countries of nearly 125 billion Euros each year. We, church leaders from all over the world, call on the EU to stop this now.
As the crises hit our economies and societies harder every day and impact particularly on the poorest, citizens are asking for new rules to put more morality into the financial system.
The greed of a few threatens the very survival of the most vulnerable populations. To end this, new rules are urgently needed that ensure that the wealth produced, particularly from the exploitation of natural resources, is not monopolized for the sole benefit of a minority. These resources should benefit all equitably and in particular the local people who are directly impacted by the activities of production and/or extraction.
The implementation of the EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) was a first step towards a just and sustainable management of natural resources. This multi-stakeholder initiative is voluntary for countries and is designed to ensure transparency in the payments of the extractive industry to governments. It has shown in participating countries the benefits of transparency to enhance democratic governance and to fight corruption. The churches, which have participated actively in the implementation of this initiative, are partly responsible for this healthy development.
After ten years of experimentation, it is now time to go further by establishing ambitious and binding rules to promote transparency of all stakeholders in the extractive sector and in all countries.
The adoption in the United States of the Dodd-Frank Act in July 2010 marked a new milestone. All extractive companies listed on U.S. stock market will have to publish their payments to host countries. Burmese or Congolese citizens should be able to hold their governments accountable on the use of funds coming from extractive activities.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Please visit Eugene de Mazenod speaks to us

Situations vacant! I conclude these reflections on the 1818 Rule with the picture that Eugene gives of the qualities required in a prospective candidate to the Missionaries.

Friday, 18 May 2012




The cross of Jesus Christ is central to our mission…

This is the focal point of the spirit of Eugene, handed on to the Mazenodian family today.

Through the eyes of our crucified Saviour we see the world which he redeemed with his blood, desiring that those in whom he continues to suffer will know also the power of his resurrection (cf. Phil 3: 10).

CC&RR, Constitution 4

For this reason Eugene wanted the Missionary to have a special veneration for the symbol of the Cross, and to never be far from it:

They will often fix their eyes on this crucifix, take it in their hands, and while holding it direct toward it frequent short prayers.
They will kiss it in the morning when they hang it around their neck, and at night when they place it near their bed, before putting on and after taking off the priestly vestments, and every time they judge it appropriate to let someone else venerate it.

1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. Regarding other principal observances

Writing to his friend, Forbin Janson, he had said:

You would hardly believe the effect it produces and how useful it is. People accustomed to ecclesiastical attire are little impressed; but the crucifix to them is awesome. How often have I seen, even amongst libertines, some who, when they see it, cannot help removing their hats… It is useful to the priest in the confessional and, on the day of absolution, it helps the penitent, in whose hands we place it, to conceive sorrow for his sins, to detest them and even to weep because of them.

Letter to Forbin Janson, 9 October 1816, O.W. VI n. 14

”All that passes is raised to the dignity of expression; all that happens is raised to the dignity of meaning. Everything is either symbol or parable.”   Paul Claudel


Please visit Eugene de Mazenod speaks to us

It is said that the “habit does not make the monk” – but what Eugene is getting at in this article of the Rule is that our exterior appearance can be an indication of an inner attitude.

The missionary will never be allowed to curl his hair, or to wear buckles on his shoes, or rings on his fingers. Everything on and about him ought to be of the greatest simplicity.

1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. Regarding other principal observances

Years ago I remember the old-timer Oblates always expressing their amusement about the prohibition of having buckles on their shoes [it refers to the ornate silver buckles worn by the 19th century clergy who were affluent], and so it is with a smile that I put this in today. Fashions have changed in two hundred years, but the heart of this rule is still important.

What I hear Eugene saying is: do not imitate some of the ostentatious priests of his time, who were more concerned about their looks and keeping up with the fashions than with their inner state and the quality of their life and message. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33

Today’s Oblate Rule states the same principle:

We are to avoid all luxury, all appearance of luxury, all immoderate gain and accumulation of possessions. Subject to the common law of labour, and each in his own way contributing to the support of the community and its apostolate, we gladly accept the fact of not having at our disposal the comforts we might like.

CC&RR, Constitution 21

Source: Eugene de Mazenod speaks to us

“As I grew older, I realized that it was much better to insist on the genuine forms of nature, for simplicity is the greatest adornment of art.”    Albrecht Durer

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Please visit Eugene de Mazenod speaks to us

When an ambassador comes to a new country to represent his Head of State, he presents his “credentials” to the president or monarch of the new country where he is. For Eugene the Cross is the “credential” that shows that it is God who is sending the Missionary to be the co-operator of the Savior among the people to whom he is missioning.
The Oblate Cross

This crucifix will serve as the credentials of their ambassadorship to be carried out by them among different peoples to whom they will be sent. 
The “credential” is a sign to others, and a reminder to the Missionary himself of his status of being constantly sent by the Savior:
It will not only inspire with respect the people whom they have to evangelize, but it will also be a perpetual reminder to the missionaries themselves of the humility, patience, charity, and all the other virtues which they are called upon to practice in the exercise of their most holy and inspiring ministry.
1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. Regarding other principal observances
 Today, after a period of intense formation, the new Oblate receives his “credentials” to share in the Cross of Jesus, whose promises are his hope:
Novitiate formation ends with a free and faith-filled commitment in the Oblate Congregation. The novice, having experienced the Father’s love in Jesus, dedicates his life to making that love visible. He entrusts his fidelity to the one whose cross he shares, whose promises are his hope.
CC&RR, Constitution 59

“A witness, in the sense that I am using the word, is a man whose life and faith are so completely one that when the challenge comes to step out and testify for his faith, he does so, disregarding all risks, accepting all consequences.”   Whittaker Chambers
Source: Eugene de Mazenod speaks to us

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Can I forget the bitter tears that the sight of the Cross brought streaming from my eyes one Good Friday?
Tears of sorrow because:
I had looked for happiness outside of God and for too long with resulting unhappiness.
Tears that changed into expressions of peace and joy as he realized how much God loved him:
Blessed, a thousand times blessed, that he, this good Father, notwithstanding my unworthiness, lavished on me all the richness of his mercy.
Retreat Journal, December 1814, O.W. XV n.130
 With that experience of God’s love for him on the Cross, Eugene’s life was transformed. The symbol of the Cross became the vehicle of the invitation of Jesus Christ to give “all for God” and to invite others to that same love. The Cross was the invitation to oblation and the sign of oblation.
Consequently, the only distinctive sign possible for the Missionary was the Cross:
Their only distinctive mark will be the crucifix, which is proper to their ministry. They will always wear on their chest, inserted in the cincture and it hanging from a cord to which it is attached.
1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. Regarding other principal observances
 Today, “our only distinctive sign is the Oblate cross” (C64) because it was the only distinctive sign possible for Eugene:
The Oblate cross which is received at perpetual profession is a constant reminder of the love of the Saviour who wishes to draw all hearts to himself and sends us out as his co-workers.
CC&RR, Constitution 63
 It is beautiful to see that as people feel called to share in Eugene’s vision and mission as laity, as religious or as priests – it is the Oblate Cross that becomes the uniting and transforming symbol of their quest.
“Bear the Cross cheerfully and it will bear you.”    Thomas Kempis

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Vatican's Secret Archives? There's an App for that

May 5, 2012. ( For the first time, 100 documents from the Vatican's Secret Archives, have left the Vatican, to be on display in “Lux in Arcana.” But now, those who visit the exhibit can take the experience a step further, with a unique application for iPads and Android phones.
For example, among the documents in the exhibit, is the summary that deals with the execution of Giordano Bruno. He was a friar and scientist who was accused of heresy and burned to death at Rome's Campo de Fiori.
But, more than four centuries later, this is how Campo de Fiori looks now, through this application.
“We are in Campo de 'Fiori, where we have the statue of Giordano Bruno. This application allows you to leave the confines of the exhibition and follow a map that guides you through the streets of Rome. In this case if you place your i Phone, before the statue, the application recognizes the statue and shows an image that begins to burn, which is what happened to Bruno.”
There are also other sites that come to life, like the bridge that leads to Rome's Castel Sant' Angelo and the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.
“On the bridge of Castel Sant'Angelo we have the angels designed by Bernini. So, the application shows a block of marble that's carved until you see an angel.   The Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, is where Galileo developed his theory. So the application shows planets revolving in front of the church.”
It's an original way to use new technology to promote History and Art. It's just another reason why 'Lux in Arcana' is successful in both the virtual and real world.
Source: Rome Reports

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.