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World Day of Peace – January 1st

Pope Francis has chosen “Nonviolence: A style of Politics for Peace” as the theme for the 50th World Day of Peace, commemorated each year on January 1st . This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace. Inspired by both St. Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in terris and his own encyclical Populorum progressio, Pope Paul VI introduced the commemoration of the World Day of Peace in 1967; it is now celebrated every year on the first day of January.

Source: Text & Image: Collaborative Center for Justice, USA

«Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace». This is the title of the Message for the 50th World Day of Peace, the fourth of Pope Francis.

« I wish peace to every man, woman and child, and I pray that the image and likeness of God in each person will enable us to acknowledge one another as sacred gifts endowed with immense dignity. Especially in situations of conflict, let us respect this, our “deepest dignity”, and make active nonviolence our way of life.

This is the fiftieth Message for the World Day of Peace. (…) On this occasion, I would like to reflect on nonviolence as a style of politics for peace. I ask God to help all of us to cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values. May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life. When victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promoters of nonviolent peacemaking. In the most local and ordinary situations and in the international order, may nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms. »

Source: Text: Vatican, Libreria Editrice Vaticana

World Television Day – 21 November

world-television-day-e1416427368614-764x382The first World Television Forum was staged by the United Nations in the mid ’90s, and it was out of this event that World Television Day was born. The forum brought together leading figures from the media industry to analyze the growing impact that TV had on decision-making and public opinion when it comes to issues of peace and security around the planet.

The History of World Television Day

In December 1996 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the 21st of November World Television Day, the same year the first World Television Forum was held. According to the United Nations, this decision was taken in order to give recognition of the increasing impact television has had on decision-making by bringing various conflicts and threats to peace and security to the world’s attention, as well as its coverage of other major issues, including economic and social.

World Television Day is not meant to be so much a celebration of the electronic tool itself, but rather of the philosophy which it represents–a philosophy of openness and transparency of world issues. Television has long been thought to represent communication and globalization in the contemporary world. However, not all of the government representatives present saw matters quite that way.

The delegation from Germany said, “Television is only one means of information and an information medium to which a considerable majority of the world population has no access… That vast majority could easily look at World Television Day as a rich man’s day. They do not have access to television. There are more important information media and here I would mention radio in particular.”

Source: Texte & Image: DAYSoftheYEAR

World Science Day for Peace and Development – 10 November

2015 UNESCO SCIENCES Calendrier chevalet (final).inddScience is highly diverse. Each year, World Science Day for Peace and Development offers an opportunity to demonstrate why science is relevant to people’s daily lives and to engage them in debates on related issues. In 2016, the celebration focuses on science centres and science museums to highlight their important contribution to science communication.

Citizens’ participation in governance is the core of democracy and an indispensable prerequisite for the empowerment of people. Science communication is crucial for public participation and engagement and in this regard, science centres and museums’ role goes beyond providing information on scientific issues. They are places where people can come together and explore the very mysteries that make up our world. They are fostering creativity, increasing scientific literacy, supporting teachers to inspire their students in STEM, improving the quality of science education and promoting learning experiences within a social context, as well as changing possible negative perceptions of the impact of science on society, thus attracting youths to science careers and encouraging them to experiment and expand our collective knowledge.

Proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference (Resolution 31C/ 20) in 2001, the World Science Day for Peace and Development is an annual event celebrated all over the world to recall the commitment made at the UNESCO-ICSU World Conference on Science (Budapest 1999).

The purpose of World Science Day for Peace and Development is to renew the national, as well as the international commitment to science for peace and development and to stress the responsible use of science for the benefit of society. The World Science Day for Peace and Development also aims at raising public awareness of the importance of science and to bridge the gap between science and societies.

Source: Text & Image: UNESCO

World Day Against Terrorism – 11 September

1e4ea7a20070514114138741“This Sunday, September 11, marks the 15th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in the history of the United States. On that fateful day, terrorists staged attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and were only prevented from completing another attack by the heroism of the passengers on United Flight 93. The images of that day are forever imprinted on our memories.

“The events of that day also revealed the character of ordinary American citizens who demonstrated their courage and willingness to sacrifice for their fellow men and women. Who can forget the first responders who dashed into buildings on the verge of collapse, the service members who rescued the burned and injured in the Pentagon, or the passengers who fought to take control of their doomed plane over Pennsylvania?

As we recall the events 15 years ago, let us renew our commitment to do all that we can, wherever we may be, to honour the victims of those attacks, as well as the others who have been harmed by terrorism in the years since September 11, 2001. We must defeat terrorists and all that they represent, and at the same time work tirelessly to promote dialogue, peace, and reconciliation in order to resolve the complex problems that we face in an interdependent world.

Source: Text: Victoria Ojeme, Read more at: Image: Perspective Monde

World day in memory of abolition of the slave trade – 23 August

220px-Marcus_Garvey_1924-08-05The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) is a black nationalist fraternal organization founded by Marcus Mosiah Garvey. The organization enjoyed its greatest strength in the 1920s, prior to Garvey’s deportation from the United States of America, after which its prestige and influence declined.

According to the preamble of the 1929 constitution as amended, the UNIA is a « social, friendly, humanitarian, charitable, educational, institutional, constructive and expansive society, and is founded by persons desiring to do the utmost to work for the general uplift of the people of African ancestry of the world. And the members pledge themselves to do all in their power to conserve the rights of their noble race and to respect the rights of all mankind, believing always in the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God. The motto of the organization is ‘One God! One Aim! One Destiny!’ Therefore, let justice be done to all mankind, realizing that if the strong oppresses the weak, confusion and discontent will ever mark the path of man but with love, faith and charity towards all the reign of peace and plenty will be heralded into the world and the generations of men shall be called Blessed. »

The broad mission of the UNIA-ACL led to the establishment of numerous auxiliary components, among them the Universal African Legion, a paramilitary group; the African Black Cross Nurses; African Black Cross Society; the Universal African Motor Corps; the Black Eagle Flying Corps; the Black Star Steamship Line; the Black Cross Trading and Navigation Corporation; as well as the Negro Factories Corporation. By 1920 the association had over 1,900 divisions in more than 40 countries.

Source: Text & image: Wikipedia

Palm Sunday, C

Some years before, they had come to make him king. It was after the multiplication of the loaves. Imagine someone feeding a huge crowd with 5 loaves and two fish – this is the kind of king they wanted, the kind of king they needed. With him the social problems of their people would be solved in no time. So, in what we would call today a ‘populist movement’ they wanted to take him and crown him by force. But he had escaped to the mountain and spent the night there, praying (Jn.6:15).

Later, during some discussion with the Jews, he had told them: “Human approval means nothing to me” (Jn.5:41). But he knew that they did not believe his words and he told them clearly: “Nothing I say has penetrated into you” (Jn.8:37).

And then, unexpectedly, he sends two of his apostles to a village telling them to fetch a donkey, yes, a donkey. He sits on it and enters Jerusalem surrounded by a crowd crying out with joy: “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Lk. 19:38). Strange, this time he not only accepts this manifestation but he has, somehow, ‘stage managed’ it, people would say nowadays.

A king, on a donkey? Which earthly ruler would accept to be seen on such a mount?TriEntry3
A king without a territorial kingdom to claim as his own?
A king without soldiers to wage war in his name to spread his fame and his rule?
A king without servants – nay, a king who is THE servant?!

What does this mean?
What does it mean to his people?
What does it mean to HIM?
What does it mean to US?

In four days’ time, only 4 days, he will be seen doing the work of a slave, washing the feet of his apostles (Jn.13:2-11).
The following day, the crowd that had cried so loud: “Blessings on the King… ” (Jn.12:13) will now shout: “Crucify him!” (Jn.19:15).

When asked by Pilate if he is a king, he will not deny it but he will make it clear what kind of a king he is: the one who came to witness to the truth – not what the Roman prefect expected to hear – in fact, he did not even listen to the answer (Jn.18:33-38).
He is a king who brings peace to the world – the chants of the people have recognised this.

SERVICE – PEACE – TRUTH, perhaps this is the deep meaning of Palm Sunday…
The deep meaning of what we pray every day: “Your kingdom come…”

Source: Image:


Christmas, C

CHRISTMAS, a time to rejoice and to celebrate. We somehow move a short distance away from our routine tasks and daily activities. We try to take time – time to reflect, time to look at things, situations, and people, in a different way. Strange, but it seems that those very things, situations and people that are part of our daily lives suddenly take on, is it a glow? Or a meaning? that was not there before… It is as if things around us now have a special quality, a special depth, drawing our attention, perhaps even our admiration.

NativityReflecting on this, I started looking at the texts of the Christmas liturgy. Different aspects struck me: the light, the simplicity, the newness, the peace, that a birth – THE birth – of this God-Child brought into our world. It happened long ago, but the effect is enduring, permanent!

Then, one short text came to my mind. It stood out, not of those beautiful Christmas readings, but it appeared suddenly from the often-repeated ritual of the daily Eucharistic celebration. The words are spoken by the priest when he addresses us, saying: « The Lord is with you. »

A new meaning dawned on me and I know that, when I hear these words during the Christmas celebration, I will be tempted to reply: « HE IS ! » « Yes, indeed, HE IS, ‘GOD-WITH-US’! »

This is in fact, the meaning of all that happens during this season, what people call « the reason for the season »! It is announced at the very beginning of the gospel of Luke and it is confirmed at the end of the gospel of Matthew by that Child who has become a man who promises: « Behold, I am with you until the end of time! » (Mt.28:20) This is Christmas for me…



globe peace

PEACE be yours, peace be ours.

« I know the plans I have in mind for you – it is the Lord who speaks – plans for peace, not disaster. »    (Jr.29:11)

Something to receive, something to share, something to build, something to care for, something to preserve.

Are we ready to receive, to share, to build, to care for, to preserve?


Remembrance Day – November 11

red poppyEvery year, November 11 sees us ‘remembering’ – remembering the end of this tragedy of a terrible carnage: killing, maiming, destroying.  Wearing the red poppy as a symbol of all those who gave their lives, we remember and we say: « NEVER AGAIN! »

white poppy

And yet . . .
Who would say that PEACE has prevailed in all corners of our world? The daily news broadcast displays every day much violence, fighting, killing, unimaginable suffering of so many innocent people.

As a symbol of our yearning for a world where, at last, people will have learned to live together in peace, many have started wearing a white poppy. May PEACE prevail indeed!