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The Alphabet of Lent – Letter Q

Q for Questions

 Questions – they are part of our life in many forms.
From our childhood, we learn to use them in all kinds of situations:
Where? When? How? Who? What? Why?

We want to know, to learn, to understand.
We ask questions from people around us and they do the same themselves.

But have you ever thought of the questions that… God addresses us?…
The first chapters of the Bible present us man being asked questions by God:
“God called to the man: ‘Where are you’?” (Genesis 3:9) – an existential question if ever there was one…

In the gospel, we see Jesus using this form of communication to arise the attention and sometimes provoke people around him.

“Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit,
will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”
And they could not answer Him regarding these things” (Luke 14:5-6)

 “When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?”
But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest” (Mark 9:33-34).

On an other occasion, Jesus challenges his apostles by asking them a question about himself:
“What about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15).

These questions represent:
a challenge,
a call to become aware,
an interrogation inviting to a relation…

Then, one day, to those who shared life with him from day to day, Jesus asked a series of questions
that called them to see themselves as they were:

“Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” (Mark 8:18).

You possibly see this as shock therapy!
Jesus probably saw that his apostles needed this…
Could it be that we, too, sometimes need this?…

And God’s method of searching with questions may bring us back to ourselves… and to him!


Source : Image: (Matt Walsh)

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day – 17 May 2023

Least developed countries need digital investment

Over the past decade, the connectivity challenge has become more complex and demanding. Bringing everyone online is no longer enough. Meaningful connectivity – the possibility to enjoy a safe, satisfying, enriching, productive and affordable online experience – is the new imperative. For least developed countries (LDCs), this remains a major challenge. The digital divide between LDCs and the rest of the world shows little sign of narrowing. The risk is all too evident. As the world becomes increasingly adept at leveraging the Internet for value creation, LDCs risk falling further behind.

This year, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) focuses on “Empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies.” The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) calls on the public and private sectors to make pledges for universal connectivity and digital transformation in these countries through its Partner2Connect Digital Coalition.

Mid-way through the agenda to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the least developed countries (LDCs) remain the world’s greatest untapped resource, whose needs must be addressed to achieve the SDGs. Investment in these young, vibrant countries can drive sustainable growth for generations. Together, let’s make 2023 a year of progress for digital transformation in the least developed countries.


Source: Text & Image:

2nd Sunday of Easter, Year A – 2023

In this day and age, surveys are commonplace.
People want to know what others think about different subjects.
They want to be aware of how their fellowmen and women feel about many topics.
So, journalists, reporters, and others involved in the media, submit questionnaires –
questionnaires asking about the opinions and reactions to the headlines that make up the news.

What if someone came to you and asked: “What is FAITH for YOU?”

Some people may refuse categorically to answer what they see as a personal question.
Others may say that they do not believe, so they consider this question irrelevant.
There are some who will reply that they believe, that’s all – they do not feel the need to articulate what believing means.
A few may admit that… they do not know the words to explain what faith is really about.

The gospel texts of the Easter season can be a challenge to our faith.
At times, the narratives differ from one another as they present events and people in ways that vary.

This presents us with the option of becoming aware of what our faith is about.
Is it about a series of facts that we consider reliable?
Is it about a list of principles that we hold as true?
Is it about some teachings received long ago and accepted without question?
Is it about a set of values and attitudes that we see worthy of adoption as a way of life?

Or… is it the acceptance of someone we trust and rely upon, sure that he will never deceive us?
Someone we are convinced is truthful, reliable, and concerned about us personally?
Someone who, we dare believe, can never fail us, whatever the situation we find ourselves in?

Someone we are ready to commit ourselves to… for better or for worse?

To this someone, we are ready to say the words of the father of the epileptic boy:
“I do have faith, help the little faith I have.”  (Mark 9:24)


Note: In the following video, Arnold Rodriguez personifies Thomas, the apostle, who tells us what happened to him:

Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at:…/ 

Source: Image:


World Day of Migrants and Refugees – 25 September 2022

This year, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on 25 September. Catholics worldwide are called upon to remember those displaced by conflict and persecution.


The last Sunday of September of every year is the Vatican’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

The World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) is always an occasion to express concern for many different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for the challenges and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.

Pope Francis chose “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees” as the theme for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.


Source: Text:   Image:


International Day of Charity – 5 September

The International Day of Charity was conceived as a Hungarian civil society initiative supported by the Hungarian Parliament and Government in 2011, to enhance visibility, organize special events, and in this way to increase solidarity, social responsibility and public support for charity.

September 5 was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 « for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace. »

Source: Text: Wikipedia

In the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015, the United Nations recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

The Agenda also calls for a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. It also acknowledges the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth in the Agenda can be grouped into six critical areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. They have the potential to transform our lives and our planet by providing the framework needed for philanthropic institutions to enable all people to contribute to the betterment of our world.

Source: Text: UN Image:


World Day against Trafficking in Persons – 30 July

On the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the UN aims to create awareness about human trafficking and worldwide efforts to defeat this scourge.

In 2013, the UN member states adopted a resolution which designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. They declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”

The Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons was adopted in 2010 and urges governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to defeat human trafficking in all its forms. The UN plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programs to boost development and strengthen security worldwide.

Many Children Are Trafficked
Almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide are children, according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released in December 2016 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Women and girls comprise 71% of human trafficking victims, the same report states.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), around 21 million people are victims of forced labor globally, and of these, a significant number are also trafficking victims.

The UN plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programs to boost development and strengthen security worldwide.

Serious Threat to Human Dignity
The UN resolution also states that trafficking in persons, especially women and children, constitutes an offense and a serious threat to human dignity and physical integrity, human rights, and development. Despite sustained measures taken at the international, regional, and national levels, trafficking in persons remains one of the grave challenges facing the international community, which also impairs the enjoyment of human rights and needs a more concerted international response.

According to the 2016 UN report, women and girls tend to be trafficked for marriages and sexual slavery, while men and boys are typically exploited for forced labor in the mining sector, as porters, and as soldiers. It also states that refugees from war and persecution are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking.

Source: Text & Image: TimeandDate


World Sea Day – 28 September 2023

The World Sea Day has been marked since 1978 by decision of the 38th session of the International Marine Organization of November 1977, initially celebrated on March 17. Since 1980 it’s been celebrated on one of the days of the last week of September. The goal of the World Sea Day is drawing the community’s attention to problems, connected with the pollution of water basins, global warming and illegal fishing.

The sea always fascinated people. Many poets and artists worship the sea in their works while people of all walks of life annually dream about a holiday at the seaside.

At the same time, according to the UN, annually about 21 million barrels of oil leak into the ocean causing death of tens of thousands of seabirds and mammals.

Over the last 100 years 90% of the world reserves of tuna and codfish have been fished out.
The global warming has led to the rise of the world ocean water level by 10-25 cm. The myth that the global water resources are inexhaustible has seriously affected the biodiversity of the world ocean, Alexei Knizhnikov, the coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund’s department for the environmental policy in oil and gas sector, says.

« Just two examples. Whale fishery has almost killed some species of whales. The classical example for Russia is the gray whale in the Okhotsk Sea. It had been considered to be extinct way back in 20th century. But in the end of the 20th century a hundred of these whales was detected and now we are doing our best to preserve the population of these whales. The second example is the extinction of sturgeon because of very aggressive fishing. »

The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in April when an explosion of an oil rig led caused a huge oil spill showed how terrible the negative impact of human beings on the environment can be, the expert says.

« That oil spill has halted the industrial fishing in the water area which size is equal to the size of Greece. The environment disasters are now getting country-scale and the next step is a continent-scale. »

Source: Text: IDEA International Dialogue for Environmental Action Image:




World Day of Migrants and Refugees – 18 December

The theme chosen by Pope Francis for 2016 is “Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy.”
“The tragic stories of millions of men and women daily confront the international community as a result of the outbreak of unacceptable humanitarian crises in different parts of the world,” writes Pope Francis.
“Indifference and silence lead to complicity whenever we stand by as people are dying of suffocation, starvation, violence and shipwreck,” he continues. “Whether large or small in scale, these are always tragedies, even when a single human life is lost.”
“The Church stands at the side of all who work to defend each person’s right to live with dignity, first and foremost by exercising the right not to emigrate and to contribute to the development of one’s country of origin. This process should include, from the outset, the need to assist the countries which migrants and refugees leave.         (Vatican Radio)

The head of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has urged European leaders to set up a « massive » refugee settlement programme. Antonio Guterres was speaking as a new UN report warned that the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide would « far surpass » a record 60 million this year.     (Source: BBC News email, December 18, 2015)