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Giving Tuesday – 29 November

Giving Tuesday is a Movement that Unleashes the Power of Radical Generosity Around the World.

Giving Tuesday reimagines a world built upon shared humanity and generosity.

Our global network collaborates year-round to inspire generosity around the world, with a common mission to build a world where generosity is part of everyday life.

Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts, and everyone has something to give.

Source: Text & Image (right):     Image (left): Journée mondiale

World Prematurity Day – 17 November 2023

World Prematurity Day is observed worldwide on 17th of November every year to raise awareness of preterm births that include prematurity-related fatalities, challenges, and affordable ways to prevent them.

On this day, various national and international organisations, including the World Health Organisation(WHO)/ Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the March of Dimes, hospitals, non-profit organisations and healthcare professionals, come together to conduct activities and special events to increase awareness of the difficulties and burdens of premature birth worldwide.

Importance of World Prematurity Day

Prematurity is the broad category of newborns born before 37 weeks of gestation. The most significant cause of newborn mortality and the most prevalent reason for prenatal hospitalisation is preterm delivery. The three leading causes of death for premature newborns born with birth weights less than 1000 g are respiratory failure, infection, and congenital deformity.

Preterm birth can occur for a number of reasons. The majority of preterm births occur naturally. However, some are caused by medical reasons like infections or other pregnancy issues that necessitate early induction of labour or caesarean birth.

According to a new report launched by the United Nations agencies and partners, an estimated 1.34 crore babies were delivered prematurely in 2020, with roughly 10 lakhs dying as a result of preterm complications. It equates to approximately one in every ten newborns born prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) worldwide.

According to the study, only one out of every ten extremely preterm newborns (28 weeks) survive in low-income nations, compared to more than nine out of ten in high-income countries. Even in high-income countries, disparities in race, ethnicity, poverty, and access to excellent care influence the likelihood of preterm birth, mortality, and disability.

Preterm birth has become the most prevalent cause of infant death, accounting for more than one-fifth of all deaths in children under the age of five. Preterm survival may endure long-term health repercussions, including a greater risk of disability and developmental delays. World Prematurity Day intends to create awareness and to work towards preventing preterm birth.

World Prematurity Day 2023 Theme

This year, 2023, the World Prematurity Day theme is « Small actions, BIG IMPACT: Immediate skin-to-skin care for every baby everywhere ». The theme emphasises that skin-to-skin contact (Kangaroo care) benefits all infants, especially premature babies. Initiated right after birth, skin-to-skin contact contributes to the baby’s awareness of touch and affection and plays a vital role in maintaining breastfeeding.


Source: Text & Image:

International Dog Day – 26 August


The International Dog Day is observed annually on August 26 to honour all dogs – no matter shapes, sizes, age and breeds – and encourage adoption to all those who have yet to find a home and a family forever.

It is a good and symbolic occasion to celebrate man’s best friend and to remember that every dog around the world should deserve a better life: a life of joy, love, protection, care and respect. A special day to raise awareness about dog adoption because if you are looking for a life’s companion, shelters are full of four-legged friends who are waiting for their chance and will bring just happiness to your days.

Today we also want to give special thought to all dogs that are still left behind in many parts of the world because people, government or local authorities do not care. We should remember all dogs killed, abused, mistreated, but also those who live homeless, in suffering with no care and need to be helped and rescued.

This day was created in 2004 by Colleen Paige, a pet and family lifestyle expert and animal advocate who chose to celebrate the day on August 26 as it was the date that her family adopted their first dog ‘Sheltie’ from an animal shelter home.
Since the first celebration in 2004, National Dog Day has grown in popularity and is now celebrated across the world as International Dog Day.


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34th Sunday of Year A – Feast of Christ the universal King – 2020

In many areas of Quebec Province, countless orange cones raise their heads – they seem to be everywhere.
We are used to their presence, used also to seeing near them a familiar road sign which reads:

The 1st reading of today’s Feast of Christ the universal King brings to mind another sign that could read:

You are surprised? Yet, the text of the reading suggests this rather forcefully (Ez.34:11-12,15-17):

“This is what the Lord says: 

 I will search for my sheep and look after them.
I will look after my sheep.
I will rescue them… I will gather them.
I will bring them in their own land.
I will pasture them.
I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down.
I will search for the lost.
I will bring back the strays.
I will bind up the injured.
I will strengthen the weak.
I will shepherd the flock with justice.”

This is the picture of God who is indeed… very active, full of concern, caring in so many ways.
He goes literally out of his way to make sure that we are safe.
He takes all necessary means so that our needs are provided in every way.

Quite the opposite of how men have sometimes described God: quietly resting in his heavenly mansion waiting for the praises and sacrifices of human beings!
GOD AT WORK – no doubt about it!
And in the lives of each one of us in a very personal way. 


Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at:


Source: Images :   Christian Cohort

World Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September

History of World Suicide Prevention Day
It’s a tragic situation, with the death toll coming in at 42,773 people committing suicide each year in the United States alone, and for each one of those 25 people made the attempt. Over the world it’s even greater, an estimated 800,000 people commit suicide each year throughout the world, which is one every 40 seconds. What’s incredible is that just like the US statistic, it’s estimated that 25 times that attempt it, 4 million people over the world every year. There’s something of a ripple down effect that happens as well, those bereaved by the loss of a loved one to suicide are themselves more likely to commit suicide.

Thankfully there are organizations like the World Health Organization who fight to combat this epidemic. With the philosophy of ‘Connect, Communicate, Care’ they work to create a world in which suicide rates are reduced or even eliminated.

How to celebrate World Suicide Prevention Day
Celebrating World Suicide Prevention Day involves working to help fight suicide. One of the most effective techniques for this is following the ideals listed above. Connect with those who you discover may be in some form of emotional distress or considering suicide. Let them know they aren’t alone, and feel free to share bits of yourself in return, true connection requires a sharing, and those who are considering suicide are often adept at detecting false ones.

You also have to open the venues of Communication, to be able to truly let others feel like you’re a safe place they can come to and be taken seriously without judgement. Too often are those suffering from real debilitating depression and suicidal ideation met with comments like “You’re just making it up” or “You’re being melodramatic”, when in fact their struggles are very real. World Suicide Prevention Day encourages you to truly care about those around you, and to work to help end the epidemic before it claims someone you love.

Source: Text: Image:


23rd Sunday of Year B


A COMMUNICATION department might easily choose
such an illustration to advertise a coming workshop.

And, waiting for the lecturer, a scene such as this one
may be… well, the norm!

Nowadays, for many people, communication refers mostly to the ‘tools’ of communication but it is a simplified definition indeed.

The gospel text of this Sunday (23rd Sunday of Year B – Mk.7:31-37) helps us to reflect on COMMUNICATION in a different way.
The text presents us with the scene of Jesus healing a man who is deaf and who has a speech impediment.
His situation is one of being deprived of the ability to hear and the power to speak properly –
a sad condition indeed.

I like to imagine the condition of this man once he has been cured by Jesus…
It seems to me that he would delight in listening, he would pay attention to the sounds and voices.
And, slowly learning to speak, he would probably utter words with care while anticipating the outcome of what he is going to day.

Delight, attention, care, anticipation… are these not important ingredients of a good communication?

  • Delighting in what we can hear…
  • Paying attention to those who speak to us…
  • Being careful in what we say so as not to hurt…
  • Foreseeing what may result from the words spoken…

The gesture of Jesus is one healing and of liberation –
liberation for the give and take of sharing among people.
In this parable, perhaps there is more than meets the eye!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at:

Source: Images:


21st Sunday of Year B

Making choices, taking decisions…
Not easy when the choice is … Someone, and when the decision is for a lifetime!

This is the situation we see in the 1st reading of this Sunday (21st Sunday of Year B – Jos.24:1-2.15-18)
where the people of Israel are told by their leader, Joshua, to make such a choice and take such a decision.
What prompts them to answer without hesitation?
They look back, they remember, they recall what happened…

“Was it not the Lord our God who brought us out of Egypt…
who worked those great wonders before our eyes…
and preserved us all along the way we travelled
and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed?

In other words: the past is a guarantee for the future –
If God has cared, sustained, protected in the past, how could he fail to do so in the future?

I pause and think of my own experience: I, too, look back and recall…
Before making the next important, life-changing decision…
I will make a list – a list of what the Lord has done in my own life.

That should be enough of a guarantee for me!
What about you?…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at:

Source: Images: iStock   Bullet Journal

16th Sunday of Year B

The relationship between a shepherd and his flock is not something one is used to in our society.
A text that would describe this would belong to literature and…
one could venture to say that there is a touch of sentimentality about it!

The Bible offers us such a description and, in the 1st reading of this Sunday (16th Sunday of Year B – Jr.23:1-6)
through the prophet Jeremiah, God speaks movingly about how precious to him his flock is.
For us, people of the 21st century, what is meaningful is perhaps not the description but the evocation that such a text provides.
What comes to mind and what speaks to the heart is the care and concern involved in such a relationship.

Care and concern…

  • New-born and children need that.
  • Teen-agers do too, reluctantly of course!
  • The sick, the handicapped, the weak…
  • Those who experience distress and loneliness….
  • Those struggling with misfortune, failure, despair.

And… when all is said and done, do WE not ALL need a caring friend, or a concerned relative?
Someone who shows understanding and empathy when we need them most.
Someone who will take time and trouble to come to our help when we can no longer cope.

I wonder, yes, I do… how many people are aware that God himself offers us precisely that:
care and concern born of a compassion beyond words.
The very compassion we hear about in today’s gospel (Mk.6:30-34) as we read:

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them,
because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at:

Source: Images:

World Aids Orphans Day – 7 May

Children orphaned by AIDS are just a fraction of the problem, as millions more have been made vulnerable. Behind the statistics are millions of stories of human suffering. The AIDS crisis has a catastrophic impact on households and communities – deepening poverty and exacerbating hardships. More than 95 percent of children affected by AIDS, including orphans, continue to live with their extended families. However, these families are increasingly overwhelmed by poverty and struggle to protect and raise the children in their care.

Despite progress in funding, preventing and treating AIDS, the world is ignoring the basic needs of millions of vulnerable children. Few resources are reaching the families and communities that provide the front-line response, even though they provide the vast majority of care and support to orphaned and vulnerable children. A generation will be lost if we do not take urgent measures to support the basic rights of children and the families and communities that care for them. We can fight AIDS if we organize a long-term response supported by a strong political will.

10 percent of all HIV/AIDS funding should be urgently directed to support AIDS orphans and vulnerable children.

Background on World Aids Orphans Day (WAOD)
WAOD was initiated in 2002 by Albina du Boisrouvray, FXB founder and president emerita, to bring attention to the millions of children affected by AIDS. Every May 7, FXB organized a grassroots campaign to bring attention to the plight of children affected by AIDS and advocate on their behalf.

FXB initiated a worldwide coalition of mayors who engage their constituencies to respect and lobby for the rights of the most vulnerable children. To date, over 800 mayors and elected officials from 41 countries have joined this coalition.

WAOD advocates ask their home governments to direct at least 10 percent of all HIV/AIDS funding to support orphans and children made vulnerable by the pandemic.

Source: Text & Image:

World Malaria Day – 25 April

World Malaria Day gives people the chance to promote or learn about the efforts made to prevent and reduce Malaria around the world. It is observed on April 25 each year.

Good healthcare is important to prevent and treat diseases such as Malaria. Good healthcare is important to prevent and treat diseases such as Malaria.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. About half of the worlds’ population is at risk of malaria, particularly those in lower-income countries. It infects more than 500 million people each year and kills more than one million people, according to WHO. However, Malaria is preventable and curable.

The World Health Assembly instituted World Malaria Day in May 2007. The purpose of the event is to give countries in affected regions the chance to learn from each other’s experiences and support one another’s efforts. World Malaria Day also enables new donors to join in a global partnership against malaria, and for research and academic institutions to reveal scientific advances to the public. The day also gives international partners, companies and foundations a chance to showcase their efforts and reflect on how to scale up what has worked. 

Source: Text:  Images: MalariaWorld