March 11, 2013
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www.sezariworld.com A WEEKLY FAMILY FAVOURITE Vol.22 No. 10
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Mumbai, March 11, 2013
My 77 Years Experience With Confession
At 7 years the Church thought that I had reached the Age of Reason and should be introduced to Sin...... In your working and married life confessions have to be made but they are not to a priest .... ...the Church has to move away from the confessional to public confessions, public reconciliation and retribution for our social sins of corruption, exploitation, lavish and wasteful life-styles, greed, destruction of the ecology... (Read on pg. 7)
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Catholic World Population Center Shifts to South
Prediction for Salesian Pope
Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga
Position: Archbishop of Tegucigalpa; President of Caritas Internationalis
Why He Might Be Elected: Maradiaga would become the first pope from Latin America, home to half of the worlds 1 billion Catholics. As President of Caritas, he has been an influential voice on social issues on the international stage and is a fierce social justice advocate. He has been described as a Latin American John Paul II due to his charismatic personality. Among 121 Salesian prelates listed in the SDB Elenco 2012 there are six cardinals, five of whom could be at the upcoming conclave for the election of a pope to succeed Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. If one heeds to speculations churned out in the rumour mills of Rome the chances for a Salesian cardinal to be elected pope are plenty According to Trophy DSouza, a London based author who intends to do a book on the Conclave, in the early rounds the ballots could be prolonged leading papabilies like Sandri (Argentinian) who satisfies the European-South American emphasis Hes also known as a reasonably good
administrator, and a fairly good Pastor, and also one the present-retired Pope promoted . He could get support from Italians / Europeans as well as of South Americans. He would seem to have a sort of edge even over the two Italian favourites: Scola of Milan [esp since Milan has recently provided Popes] or Ravasi one of the most kind of balanced ones in Italy, and quite a good administrator: perhaps the best candidate for Deputy Pope, ie. the job Bertone holds just now If the voting is aggressive . Sandri, or maybe, or just maybe Ravasi could stand out [this is how human pressure goes....and the Cardinals are human!!!]
The next pope, whether he represents church growth zones like Latin America or Africa or legacy regions where secularity and skepticism reign, will have a Catholic world in transformation to shepherd. Over the past century, the number of Catholics around the globe more than tripled, from an estimated 291 million in 1910 to nearly 1.1 billion in 2010, according to a comprehensive demographic study of the global church by the Pew Research Center. Pew reports that Catholics have made up a remarkably stable share of all people on earth during that time frame. In 1910 Catholics comprised about half (48 percent) of all Christians and 17 percent of the worlds total population. A century later, the Pew study found, Catholics still comprise about half (50 percent) of Christians worldwide and 16 percent of the total global population. What has changed substantially over the past century is the geographic distribution of the worlds Catholics. In 1910 Europe was home to about two-thirds of all Catholics, and nearly nine in ten lived either in Europe (65 percent) or Latin America (24 percent). But by 2010 only 24 percent of world Catholics were in Europe, and the largest share39
percentare now located in Latin America and the Caribbean. As a percentage of regional population, the largest growth occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, which went from about 1 percent Catholic in 1910 to 21 percent Catholic in 2010. The Catholic share of the population in the AsiaPacific region grew from 1 percent to 3 percent during this period. Meanwhile, the Catholic share of North Americas population grew from 16 percent to 26 per-
SIGNS OF THE TIMES cent.
In several countries with large Catholic populations, the share of the populace selfidentifying as Catholic has declined over the last decade. Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world, but the share of selfidentified Catholics in Brazil dropped from approximately three-quarters (74 percent) in 2000 to about two-thirds (65 percent) in 2010. Mexico, the country with the second-largest Catholic population in the world, went from about 89 percent Catholic in 2000 to 85 percent Catholic in 2010. The United States is home to about 7 percent of all Catholics in the world. As
of 2010, an estimated 23 percent of U.S. adults and 24 percent of the total U.S. population are Catholic. The U.S. Catholic population has lost more members than it has gained from denominational switching. In fact, one in 10 adults in the United States is a former Catholic, according to the Pew Research Centers 2009 report Faith in Flux. In addition, the Catholic population in the United States has been heavily shaped by immigration and includes a rising share of Latinos. More than half (52 percent) of all migrants to the United States are Catholic. Of the estimated 75.4 million Catholics in the United States in 2010, according to Pew, just over 22 million were born outside the United States (30 percent). By comparison, slightly more than 13 percent of the overall U.S. population is foreign-born. Three-quarters (76 percent) of Catholic immigrants living in the United States are from Latin America and the Caribbean, while about 10 percent each have come from Asia-Pacific and Europe. A Pew survey of adult U.S. Catholics finds that 60 percent are non-Hispanic whites, 33 percent are Hispanic and 7 percent are other minorities, including Asians.
March 11,11, 2013 March 2013
Conclave On March 11, Says Vatican Insider
Bangkok: A well-informed source close to the Vatican has declared March 11 as the date of the conclave to elect the next pope. Vatican Insider, a supplement produced by Italy's influential national newspaper La Stampa, named the date in an article published earlier on Monday. However, this has yet to be confirmed by
the official Vatican Information Service whose most recent announcement, issued on March 1, merely stated that the first Genereal Congregation of cardinals summoned to take part in the conclave will begin in the Vatican on Monday morning. Before this latest development, it was widely accepted that the conclave will take place around the dates March 9-11.
The New Pope
We are so worried about who is going to be the new pope. Many of us may want a goan to be the next pope. Will that enrich our religion ? Catholic religion has become a just another religion. Our mass is the same, our prayers are the same only more feasts have been added to the list and more donations. Our leaders want protocol and they love palaces and to become worldly king. I cannot understand one thing. Is this the religion founded by Jesus christ ? If yes where is the stable? where is the cross? where is brotherly sisterly love? If yes then why are our parents in home for the aged. Why are our children loitering the streets in search of love. why are there so many di-
vorces in Goa ? can anyone understand that ? why can there be no unity of all christian sects in the world . why are so many catholics leaving the religion because they find nothing worthy in this religion which works on money, worldly power, rich houses, and luxury at the cost of the poor. While the poor have to remain poor others can become rich. Why does our church not give us the exact money it collects from us ? Why is there a hidden agenda which is kept secret from the rest of the world ? who runs the catholic church and how ? who controls the finnance ? No body wants to answer because there is a scam in our church. Lord save us
Ana Maria Fernandes
Matchmaking Cannot Make Up For Gender Imbalance
Young Catholics join a matchmaking activity Wenzhou: Chinese New Year is not only a time for family reunions; it is also a time for parents to set up their marrying-age children when they make their annual trips home. In a parish in Wenzhou diocese, eastern Zhejiang province, a recent event for single Catholics illustrated all too well the serious gender imbalance among Chinese under 30. The 50 men who attended found they outnumbered their counterparts by a margin of 2:1. There are too many wolves but too little meat," one of the men said. "The competition is acute." The official media estimate there will be 30 to 40 million more marrying-age men than women by 2020. If every woman chose a husband, one out of five men would still fail to find a spouse. Chinas one child policy and traditional preference for male heirs has led to gender-selective abortions and adoption, considered to be the direct cause of the gender imbalance. According to official statistics, there are 13 million cases of abortion each year in China, ranking it the first in the world. The gender imbalance lets young women
be less concerned about getting married, but young men with poor family backgrounds or financial conditions have a hard time finding a wife, said Father Peter Xue Ronglei, the organizer of the singles event. Lucia Zhu, a matchmaker for over 10 years, confirmed the priests observation. There are now more boys than girls. The boys meet their potential
When Boys Outnumber Girls There are too many wolves but too little meat," one of the men said. "The competition is acute." partners one after another cursorily, and they still think there are many girls. Indeed, girls now become more treasured, she said. The choices for Catholics are even smaller, Zhu said, noting that both men and women have high expectations of their future spouse in terms of family background, physique and appearance. One participant, Joseph, told ucanews.com that he found a woman participant appealing but
he believed he has little chance because she is more academically capable than he is. John, another participant at the event, said, It will be okay for me if there is someone who likes me," when asked what his criteria is for his future spouse. P r i v a t e matchmaking arranged by parents and matchmakers is quite common in China, especially in rural areas, but gatherings like the one on February 17 are not yet popular across the country, even among non-Catholics. Yet that might change, as parents, especially those of young men, are trying their best to find daughters-in-law who share their religion. Some participants said they were coaxed and cheated by their parents to attend the activity. Maria Chen, one of the mothers at the gathering, said she insisted on finding a Catholic wife for her son because she knows other couples who suffered from conflicts because of their different faiths. These mothers maintained that sons tend to obey what their future wives say and will abandon their faith if their wives belong to another religion.
March 11, 2013
A WEEKLY FAMILY FAVOURITE
Vol.22 No.10 March 11, 2013
99, Perin Nariman Street, Fort, Mumbai - 400 001. Tel: 2269 35 78 / 2265 49 24 Fax.: 2264 0996 E-mail : email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sezariworld.com www.secularcitizen.com Editor-in-chief : LAWRENCE COELHO
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My 77 Years Experience With Confession
Editor: PHILIP MYABOO
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Life consists of not holding good cards but playing those you hold, well.
New Budget Leaves Christians Out In The Cold by John Dayal New Delhi: The governments newest budget has been panned by both the political right and the left, but it is religious minorities that have been most disappointed. The Christian community is particularly left out, as even the few government benefits are largely designed to benefit Muslims, a major political segment assiduously wooed by the government. The Union budget presented to parliament on Thursday by finance minister P Chidambaram allocates 415 million rupees (US$7.6 million) to some designated castes and 246 million rupees to the tribals money that cannot be diverted and must be spent for the designated purpose. The Ministry of Minority Affairs received a 12 percent increase over the last budget estimates, but that merely compensates for the rate of inflation, and until religious minorities get a special designation, similar to scheduled castes and tribes, there will be little directed funds for their development. Generally, government data shows large amounts of the allocations for religious minorities in the past have remained unspent. In the preparation of the 12th Five Year Plan, which becomes operational this year, Christian activists sought specific mechanisms to ensure funds reached needy people and areas in a transparent manner. There is little indication in the budget of how the government intends to ensure that the moneys are spent on the target communities, especially the Christian community, which has not received its fair share of these funds. The community must be assured that it will get its share of funding, especially in development and education. The Christian community is the least benefited by the Multi Sector Development Program in selected minority districts, a scheme that benefits only one minority group, the Muslims, who are euphemistically called a vote bank.' And even this has been reduced sharply from 108 million rupees in the 2012 budget to 88 million rupees in 2013. If the focus shifts, Christians including fishermen in coastal areas and marginalized farmers, will benefit in states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Possibly the only segment of Mr Chidambarams budget that can be welcomed wholeheartedly is the funding of 971 million rupees for women and a child budget of 772 million rupees. Women belonging to the most vulnerable groups, including single women and widows, will be to some extent helped. It is good that the Ministry of Women and Child Development had been asked to design schemes to tackle gender discrimination, especially in the work place. Our own experience of the situation of women and children in states such as Orissa and Madhya Pradesh show the plight of women and children in all aspects of life. The government has also allocated 1.6 billion rupees to the Maulana Azad Education Foundation, the main vehicle to implement education schemes and channelized funds to non-government organizations for the minorities, but this alone does not increase direct support to disadvantaged children. John Dayal is the general secretary of the All India Christian Council and a member of the Indian governments National Integration Council.
RNI No. 56987/92 Registered No. MH/MR/South-139/2012-14
I suddenly started to take notice of what Pope Benedict has been saying after he resigned as Pope. He found he could no longer effectively perform the functions of his position because of age and health. I pray that others in similar situations will emulate this example. One thing the Pope has also advocated is a return to confession. On reflection I am now his ardent supporter. However, at the start I would like to differentiate between Confession and the Confessional. My 77 years have shown me how change has taken place. Lets start at the very beginning a very good place to start. At 7 years the Church thought that I had reached the Age of Reason and should be introduced to Sin. At that age there were only two sins which I could commit disobey my parents or fight with my peers. Stealing and telling lies were out of the question the punishment far out-weighted any benefits and I was no good in either activity anyway. But why should disobeying my parents be a sin? I was now at the age of reason and I reasoned often that my parents demands were unreasonable. As for fighting with peers I was too small and weak to start a fight It invariably was in self defense. As training I was given a small note book in which to record what I did right and wrong each day. The practice ended in a few days. While confession was mandatory in those days, I really learnt what is right and wrong from the environment. My first recommendation is ensure that your kid is put in the right setting. Then came adoles-
cence. The bodily urges suddenly made me realize that I was floating in a sea of sin and temptation. The priests had to take me to their rooms and behind closed doors explain what Sex is all about. Thank God they were all holy priests. I didnt experience what the young boys of my times in other countries have gone through. Looking back I recommend that sex education should be open, transparent and held in groups. Sex life and marriages, I have discovered, would be more enjoyable if there was proper dialogue and discussion monitored by experienced, trained and understanding counselors. What is expected, what is possible, what is a relationship, what is companionship, why should children
- Francis Lobo be welcomed? Unfortunately, today providing this understanding and education is being left to the media, glitzy magazines, peer groups and mercenaries out to make a fast buck. To be able to differentiate between what is right and wrong and why takes time. The true counselor must have the patience to be able to answer all the questions raised by an inquisitive mind The few minutes in the confessional are not enough. In your working and married life confessions have to be made but they are not to a priest It may be to your boss, a court of enquiry, a peer group or to your wife and children. In the confessional you are protected by the oath of secrecy. No such protection is available in the ruthless outside world. You have to learn to create alibis, explain away mistakes, make smart replies and pose counter questions You
learn how to make Open Confessions through the School of Experience. It has become big business with lawyers prepared o prove your innocence for a hefty fee. This brings me to the real change the Catholic Church needs to make. I was invited recently to a Prayer Meeting to pray for Peace and Harmony in our society. The preacher quoted chapter and verse from the Bible and showed how the fault lay with us as individuals each one of us must change if society is to change. I thought that this went against my understanding of the Modern World. I got up and said, The problems we are facing are not created by any one individual. They are social sins. We are all accountable for subscribing to the basic doctrines, principles and theories that nurture corruption, exploitation, misery, sickness, greed. If society has to change it has to be a Mass Movement of the people, by the people and for the people. I was silenced by the preacher. This is not a political forum. This is a Prayer Meeting. Our Father - I realized then why there is no interest in confession We cannot discuss why there is evil in this world. Church attendance is dropping because the religious devotions are not in synch with the needs. I shall conclude by saying that the Church has to move away from the confessional to public confessions, public reconciliation and retribution for our social sins of corruption, exploitation, lavish and wasteful life-styles, greed, destruction of the ecology. Bless us O Lord for WE have sinned!
March 11, 2013
Crying In The Chapel Many of us fondly recall the nostalgic 70s Elvis Presley melody. In contrast to the community services held in the church, there is an oasis of silence in the chapel. We often go to the chapel to find peace for ourselves Pope Benedict XVI, in a farewell message, said, "In the world in which we live, it is almost a necessity to be able to regain one's strength of body and spirit, especially with our frenetic lifestyle, where the conditions of life, often feverish, leave little room for silence, reflection and relaxed contact with nature." This reflects the state of the world we live in. All of us, young and old, are subject to a stress filled life of tension from the womb to the tomb. "God speaks in the silence of the heart, and we listen. And then we speak to God from the fullness of our heart, and God listens. And this listening and this speaking is what prayer is meant to be...." - Blessed Mother Teresa. During Jesus earthly Life, He also was subject to these tensions. He Took Recourse to silent prayer and Meditation.
When they returned from their mission, they told Jesus what they had done and what they had taught. Come aside by yourselves, said Jesus, to a deserted place and rest for awhile. (Mark 6:31). In the chapel at St. Anthony, Saki Naka, there are two surrealist pictures. The meaning of one picture was explained to me by Cajjie, our ebullient Sacristan. It depicts the encounter of Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones. (Ezekiel37:1 -14.) The prophet Ezekiel was sent to encourage the Israelites, who were depressed and discouraged in their exile. Like the Israelites, we too are often discouraged by our repeated failures. We are without hope and purpose in life. We are like disjointed, spiritually dry bones, waiting for death. The valley signifies a low time in our lives. We are insensitive and are like moving skeletons. Without hope of a better future, we become dry and cracked up like dry soil. The moisture or water of the Word needs to penetrate our lives like rain penetrates dry soil and makes it fit for cultivation. The Word of God reinforces
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our hope of salvation. Our spiritually dry soul cries out for salvation and help as the parched soil cries for water. Again He said to me, Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. (Ezekiel 37 v 4) We all need spiritual resuscitation. Through the Word of God, the breath of the Holy Spirit will enter our lives and revive us. We will be reinvigorated. The other dry bones that come in contact with us will also be revived. When the prophet Elisha hid in a deserted cave, the skeleton that came in contact accidentally with the prophet came alive. Through the Word of God, the Lord Puts sinews of muscles, flesh and skin on us so that we can live. The sinews or muscles are the symbol of spiritual power that we gain when we meditate on the Word. The flesh is a symbol of our life work. The skin is a metaphor for the covering of faith that the Lord gives us. He will be as close to us as our own skin or even closer. We will be made spiritually whole and healthy. The different parts will function organically to fulfill Gods purpose in our
Relieved of our worries and pain, we emerge, joyfully
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March 11, 2013
The Plight Of Catholic Divorce On Children Each year thousands of Roman Catholic children in India experience the trauma of parental divorce . Children suffer many losses during the act when parents go through divorce proceedings. These emotional losses harbor the anger and sadness of parents as well, unable to share their love and attention. The action of children moving to a new home and school ; adapting to a new life environment. Fear that if parents stop loving each other they may stop loving them. Pope Benedict XVI said divorced people are not excluded from the love of the Church or from the love of Christ we love these people who are also suffering. The Holy Father expressed solicitude for divorced Catholics remarried outside the Church, with concern that their children must not suffer the deprivation of their Catholic faith. The annulment process aids divorced catholics with assistance from psychologists , therapists and others by explaining what the annulment is all about. For this effort many Catholic dioceses have Marriage Tribunals. Catholics divorced or thinking of divorce should meet their diocesan Tribunal. Parents should talk to their children. Tell them you have decided to appeal for a divorce. Make them feel they are still loved. Be straightforward with your young ones. Make the children understand it is not their fault. Let them know that many people will be upset. Do not argue each others mistakes or predicaments with the youngsters. Always keep things easy for them to comprehend.
An Open Letter To The 5 Indian Cardinals Respected Cardinal Electors,
Parents in turmoil are bound to have children in turmoil. Said Msgr. Patrick Armshaw. He went on to say
- Melvyn Brown that children need to be protected from the residue of their parents one-time-marriage. Children of divorced parents need to be guided properly , to be taught and shown ways to make good decisions in their own future lives. Divorce is a troublesome time when misunderstandings open up. Parents have their own disputes to solve and children often feel they should bring their parents back together. Lynn Casella , a writer, in the Catholic Digest made a statement that children grieve about divorce differently than their parents do. She adds, If your children refuse to talk about the separation or the divorce, honour their wishes. They may be defending themselves against emotions that seem overwhelming. Family break-ups could come about in several ways : for example by way of mental, physical or sexual abuse. It is always best in these events to get proper medical, legal or criminal help. Keep elbow-room with the children. Father John Catoir, in
his book The Dilemma of Divorced Catholics, said, Children bear the brunt of a failed marriage. But it is also true that children suffer when they are being raised in a dysfunctional family Sometimes a divorce is necessary to protect the children. Nevertheless, divorce is such a serious step. Both parents must try to weigh the consequences. .. The effect of divorce on children has been a sharp topic of debate in surveys and research across the nation. Dr.Constance Ahrons, researcher and author of the book, Were Still Family , says that divorce does not have to be devastating. She found that many parents divorces had a positive outcome on youngsters and parents alike. Read Mark 10:14-16. Jesus said to them. Let the little children come to Me ; do not stop them ;for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. In many ways, divorce is a glimpse into the frailty of human nature. Divorce is emotional suffocation. It must not take precedence over domestic struggle and the major issues of a Catholic marriage agenda which is to comfort , support and thrive in a fast changing world especially, for the growth and advancement of the children in the faith.
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It is a matter of great joy to our ancient land of India that 5 of its sons are among the 117 members of the Electoral College that will choose the next Vicar of Christ. I believe that India is now a global force, not just in the economic or political sphere, but also in the realm of religion. As a country we are, on the one hand intensely religious, and fiercely secular on the other. Our plurality and diversity has its own singularity and universality. Hence I feel happy and proud that you, our Indian cardinals, will play an important role in the election of the next Pope. Those who have studied church history, and that of the papacy, are acutely aware of several human factors that impacted various papal elections like nepotism, hedonism, simony, ethnic chauvinism and imperial interferences. There is obviously no room for such extraneous factors in todays globalised world, with its emphasis on transparency and accountability in public affairs. In its early years the Church was primarily concerned with the evolution of dogma, and guarding against various heresies and schisms. That era is long past. Vatican II ushered in an entirely new vision of how the church saw itself and related to the world, to other religions, the natural and behavioural sciences, pluralism, inculturation, social justice etc. At the same time, in an often fractured social fabric and moral bankruptcy, the Catholic Church stands out as the single largest organised entity, both as a rock of refuge and a beacon of hope. As such, the election of the Pope impacts not just the Catholic Church, but also the entire world. That being so, I humbly pray that you will elect a person who can lead not just the church, but also the entire world. We need a Vicar who has vast pastoral experience, not just theological or diplomatic experience. We need an apostle of peace, whose moral voice will be heard by warring nations. We need a Vicar who is sensitive to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged, who has heard the cries of hunger and disease, and can give heed to the legitimate aspirations of women and youth. We need a Vicar who can empathise with people in moral conflict situations, without being judgemental. We need to emphasise that the church is catholic (universal), and Roman is just an accident of history, which has since fulfilled its purpose. It is the believers of Latin America, Africa, and to a lesser degree Asia, that are the church of the future. For too long the Universal Church has been Eurocentric. It is time now to re-assert the universality of the Church, its true catholicity. It would best do so by electing a Pope from one of these continents. This would not be mere tokenism, but a signal and symbol to the world that the Universal Church embraces all in its bosom. I offer my humble prayers that the Holy Spirit may guide you and your colleagues in the Electoral College to choose a holy and humble pastor to guide and lead the Universal Church. Yours devotedly chhotebhai PRESIDENT Kanpur Catholic Association Former NATIONAL PRESIDENT Chhotebhai All India Catholic Union Former DIRECTOR International Council of Catholic Men
March 11, 2013
Benedict XVIÂ’s papacy comes to an end Vatican City: Bringing an end to a turbulent eight-year reign overshadowed by the sex abuse scandals, Benedict XVI yesterday bid farewell to his closest aides and left the Vaticanin a white helicopter emblazoned with the Vatican flag. The bells of St Peter's rang out to mark the historic event as the pope took leave in an emotional Vatican sendoff where he was applauded and cheered by priests and nuns as liveried Swiss Guards stood at attention. "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives,Â” the pope said in a final tweet sent from his pontifex Twitter account just before taking off. He is the first pope in 700 years to resign of his own free will due to deteriorating health. His final act was to wave a goodbye from the balcony of the papal residence before starting a life of retirement. After retirement, he would spend the first few months in Castel Gandolfo in a lakeside medieval town which has for centuries provided popes a refuge from Rome's sweltering summers. Church bells tolled to announce his arrival and thousands gathered to catch the last glimpse of Benedict as pop. His arms raised, the aging Benedict appeared at the balcony of the palazzo and said he was happy to be "surrounded by the beauty of creation" on this unique day. "I will no longer be pope but a simple pilgrim who is starting out on the last part of his pilgrimage on this
Yet Another View Point
have always been de lighted at the prospect of a new day, with a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning. Today was that day with promise of something is going to happen of special. Significance to me as I have, amongst other things, just completed filling of my tax returns. On the other hand, I feel what a tragedy that some publishers have apparently
with the slime and suggestiveness of ponographic materials. Those days have gone, but things can change in our current age. This foul atmosphere of literature and entertainment can be derailed. How do we conclude what is obscene? The answer is that God has given us the Ten commandments and a conscience. He has made perfectly clear the difference
- Marc de souza Earth," he said to cheering supporters gathered in a square outside the palace. The popeÂ’s Twitter account will now be suspended until a new pope is elected in a conclave next month. The Swiss Guards will leave their posts at Castel Gandolfo, having completed their official duty to protect the pope. The military corps, best known for its brightly colored uniforms, halberds and redplumed helmets, has protected the papacy since the 15th century. Back at the Vatican, the bells of St Peter's Basilica will peal once again, and, as tradition dictates, workers will seal the papal apartments and the lift that leads up to them - to be broken only once a new pope has been elected. Benedict is only the second pope to resign in the Church's 2,000-year history, and in his final hours as pope yesterday, he took the unprecedented step of pledging allegiance to his successor. "Among you there is also the future pope to whom I promise my unconditional obedience and reverence," the pope said. "Let the Lord reveal the one he has chosen," said the pope, wearing an erminelined red stole over his white cassock as cardinals doffed
their berettas and lined up to kiss the papal ring. The Vatican said pope will live in Castel Gandolfo for the next two months before taking up permanent residence in a former convent on a hilltop in the Vatican grounds overlooking Rome. The ex-pontiff will formally carry the new title of "Roman Pontiff Emeritus" or "pope emeritus" for short, although he will still be addressed as "Your Holiness Benedict XVI". The Vatican has said he can still wear the white papal cassock but without the doubled shoulder cape. The only other pope who resigned by choice was Celestine V, a humble hermit who stepped down in 1294 after just a few months in office out of disgust with Vatican corruption and intrigue. Commenting on the new arrangement, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said that Benedict "has no intention of interfering in the positions, decisions or activities of his successor". Benedict has said he will live "hidden from the world" but the Vatican indicated he could provide "spiritual guidance" to the next pope. Source: australian.com
decided bed-hopping and between good and evil. The providers of mayhead-hopping in the realism that the material must pos- hem and muck do understand and fear one word and sess to be marketable. The tragic deterioration that is boycott and they have of morals in so much of our already realised the effectiveliterature, television, films ness of this mighty weapon. In many ways our counand others is having a disastrous impact on the public. try is still one of the greatest Because of the fanfare ac- in the world, but has not the corded these areas, a de- silent majority been bullied mand for this sick material long enough? Encourage the talents of our youngsters and exists. In fact today's society adults to be channelled tois saturated with sex. It's in ward positive, healthy cultural the movies and music. It is pursuits. There are great auaccentuated in clothing thors, poets, musicians, costyles and fashions. It is used medians, actors, script writto advertise everything from ers out there, who have reautomobiles to zippers. It freshing ideas to present, to screams out from news- lift us from darkness into light stands and magazine racks. and from desolation into joy, Bold reference to it are em- but have not had the opporblazoned on T-shirts and tunity. It is a know fact our conbumper stickers. It is blatantly vulgarized by graffati ception of right and wrong has fallen all time low; in fact, in public places. Believe me, nothing is we have fallen out from the more precious than our chil- blue and gone way down into dren and our youth, and what the bloody red. Our morals are we allowing to happen? are so much on the decline, if These youngsters are being not altogether gone with the fed a steady diet of poison- wind! That's not only bad ous entertainment fare; news, it's a crying shame! which is threatening to de- We must stop that downward stroy their morals and impair side, we must start the upward climb immediately. their lives. Time is running out. We During the first few decades of this century literary cannot afford to procrastimen and women wrote with nate. Let us stand up and be beauty and human interest. accounted for and make ourTheir works contained dra- selves heard loud and clear. mas, comedy, tragedy, suc- It can make that day much cess and was healthy read- more rewarding when each ing. Their themes did not of us are called upon to accontain the odor of corro- count for our own stewardship. sion. It was the time when people did not feel the need to lock their (Trained at Vidal Sasson UK) doors at night. It was the time when Hair cuts, Colouring, Perm, women could enStraightening hair spa: joy shopping day (Beauty Packages for just Rs. 800/or evening, alone or with others, Includes Facial Waxing hands & legs, Manicure, Pedicure & Bleach) without fear of attack from some Contact: depraved indiCaroline D'Cunha vidual who had 9594728081 gouged himself
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March 11, 2013
All Mumbai Walking Pilgrimage Peace
The All Mumbai Walking Pilgrimage for Peace- The Pilgrimage of the Archdiocese of Bombay orgised by Marian Seva Sangh, will be held on 16th March 2013. From Cross Maidan-Dhobi Talao starting at 10.00 P.M and terminating at 5.30 A.M. at Mount Marys Basilica (with Mass). This the 25th Year of the Pilgrimage. The Diocesan Youth Centre, encourages the youth to join in large numbers. Felix Dias
China Catholics' Thank-you Letter To Pope Vatican City: A group of Chinese Catholic clergy and faithful have sent a heartfelt letter to Pope Benedict XVI to thank him for his attempts to improve ties between the Catholic Church and China. The Chinese Catholics bishops, priest, religious men and women, and laypeople, according to the Vatican say the February 11 announcement of Benedict's resignation came as shocking and sad news, in consideration of the special affection Chinese Catholics have for the now retired pope. Your Holiness has paid special attention to China and saved a special place for the Catholic Church in China in your heart, the group's letter says. You tried to promote dialogue and alleviate the cross we bear by showing concern and by blessing China and the Chinese people. In 2007, Benedict wrote a groundbreaking letter that attempted to bring a fresh start to relations between the Catholic Church and the Beijing govern-
ment. But his reconciliation efforts have been marred by renewed crises over bishop appointments and over the role of a government-backed Church association that is not recognized by the Vatican. We will never forget that, in the past eight years, there were only best wishes, friendly greetings and high hopes expressed in the messages you sent to China. No matter what conflicts and harm occurred, no matter how sad and disappointed we made you feel, you always embraced China and the Catholic Church in China with fatherly love, the group's letter says. Chinese Catholics also praise Benedict's free and unconfined attitude... in front of power, and his strong, persevering, humane response to various challenges. Their letter concludes: This not only moved the world, but also makes it difficult for us Chinese clergy and Catholics to say farewell to you."
Tattoos May Increase Risk Of Skin Cancer: Doctors NEW DELHI: Tattooing, so popular among the young, can increase the risk of skin cancer, say doctors. According to doctors, inks used in tattoos may contain toxic elements, which can cause skin cancer, especially blue ink, the ageold colour of choice for tattoo artists, which has cobalt and aluminum. Red ink may have mercurial sulfide and certain coloured inks often contain lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, titanium and other heavy metals. The equipment used in tattooing and body piercing, if contaminated with infected blood, can risk transmission of blood-borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C and various skin cancers like squamous cell, carcinoma and melanoma, Dr DJS Tula, consultant plastic surgeon at Delhis BLK Hosptial, told IANS. Everyone who gets a tattoo doesnt get skin cancer. But they have increased risk as most tattooists use ink which is arsenic. Many youngsters dont realise the damage tattoos cause to their skin. They want them for a lifetime. Certain designs are deep penetrated into the skin and damage muscles, Tula added.
Experts also say that a tattoo should not be done near a mole (nevus). One needs to know the changes occurring in a mole symmetry, border, colour, size, shape and texture. If there is a tattoo around it or on it, the key warning signs on the mole cannot be noticed and it might later evolve into melanoma or another skin cancer, oncologist Dr. Amit Kumar told IANS. One should choose a hygienic place for a tattoo where needles are properly sterilised. Tattoos between the mid ribs and upper shoulders should be avoided, said Jane Ruth, a dermatologist. Other fairly common skin risks associated with tattoos include allergic reactions to certain tattoo inks. But infection just after a tattoo can be treated with antibiotics. Experts also say that there are risks involved in re-
moving tattoos like hypopigmentation (loss of skin colour) and as hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) where the tattoo was. On the contrary, tattooists in the city claim that tattoos do not lead to skin cancer or other blood-borne disease. One should go to a professional tattooist. A professional will use only organic inks. The best inks are imported from the US, Britain and Australia. Some Chinese inks available at cheap rates in the market might be harmful, said Anu Singh, who owns Tattoo Empire of India. Aftercare procedures should also be followed to avoid infected on the inked skin. My clients have not had any cancer or skin disease. There might be a slight inflammation for a few days after the tattoo is made, Singh added.
Orlemites Attend In Large Numbers To Express Solidarity A well-attended meeting was organized by the Orlem Sabha Unit on Saturday 2nd March, 2013 in the School Hall of St. Annes, Orlem, Malad West to hear the three issues facing them as a community. The first presentations by SOUL (Save Our Land) activists were on the Notices for Land Acquisitions from the Catholic Institutions by the City Authorities. Mr. Lennon Miranda presented the case on behalf of the affected in Kandivali (Our Lady of Assumption Church and St. Joseph School) and Mr. Stanley Fernandez did the same on behalf of the affected in Malwani (St Anthony Church and School). The second round was of talks by Ms. Teesta Setalvad under the banner
of Justice for All to press for the tabling in Parliament of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, followed by Justice H. Suresh (Retired) who spoke on genocide. The third presentation was by Advocate Godfrey Pimenta of The Watchdog Foundation based in K/East Ward of Mumbai. He spoke on the unjust and irrational levy of Property Tax based on Capital Value. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Dolphy Dsouza, former president, Bombay Catholic Sabha and the Vote of Thanks was given by Mr.David of the Orlem Sabha Unit. Austin Nazareth, K.R.U.P.A.
March 11, 2013
Doctorate To Anthony M. Pereira The Bible University of Holy Spirit New Jerusalem and Bethlehem has conferred Honorary Doctorate in Biblical studies (Doctor of Philosophiae) To Shri Anthony Michael Pereira residing at Naglai Wadi, St. Thomas Parish, Sandor, Vasai on 5th December 2012. The Doctorate has been conferred for his deep Biblical studies (Word of God) in India and abroad since 1980. Besides he wrote 3 Marathi and English religious (spiritual) books. He is also conducting marriage preparation courses, Bible study courses, Preaching and Teaching word of God, Retreats, seminars etc. in Dioceses of Vasai, Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Nagarhavelli His six Books are : 1) Gateway to Heaven (English), 2) Freedom from sickness and suffering (English), 3) Abundant Peace (English), 4) Faldaye Novena (Marathi), 5) Swargat
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Janyacha Marg (Marathi), 6) Manavi Dokharvar Vijay (Marathi). Anthony Pereria will be completing 75 years on 6th July 2013. He says that his family fully supports him in his mission. He thinks Lord God Almighty has chosen him since 1980 for God's work in-spite of several learned and wise personalities. He enjoys the God's gift of writing spiritual books to spread the good news of the kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.
Artificial Ear Gives New Hope To Children Born With Congenital Deformity
Using 3-D printing and injectable molds, Cornell bioengineers and physicians have created an artificial ear that looks and acts like a natural ear, giving new hope to thousands of children born with a congenital deformity called microtia. In a newly published study, Cornell biomedical engineers and Weill Cornell Medical College physicians described how 3-D printing and injectable gels made of living cells can fashion ears that are practically identical to a human ear. Over a three-month period, these flexible ears grew cartilage to replace the collagen that was used to mold them. The novel ear may be the solution reconstructive surgeons have long wished for to help children born with ear deformity, said co-lead author Dr. Jason Spector, director of the Laboratory for Bio regenerative Medicine and Surgery and associate professor of plastic surgery at Weill Cornell in New York City. "A bioengineered ear replacement like this would also help individuals who have lost part or all of their external ear in
an accident or from cancer," Spector said. Replacement ears are usually constructed with materials that have a Styrofoamlike consistency, or sometimes, surgeons build ears from a patient's harvested rib. This option is challenging and painful for children, and the ears rarely look completely natural or perform well, Spector said. To make the ears, colead author Lawrence Bonassar, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and colleagues started with a digitized 3-D image of a human subject's ear, and converted the image into a digitized "solid" ear using a 3-D printer to assemble a mold. This Cornell-developed, high-density gel is similar to the consistency of Jell-O when the mold is removed. The collagen served as a scaffold upon
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Grooms on page 4
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which cartilage could grow. The process is also fast, Bonassar added: "It takes half a day to design the mold, a day or so to print it, 30 minutes to inject the gel, and we can remove the ear 15 minutes later. We trim the ear and then let it culture for several days in nourishing cell culture media before it is implanted." The incidence of microtia, which is when the external ear is not fully developed, varies from almost 1 to more than 4 per 10,000 births each year. Many children born with microtia have an intact inner ear, but experience hearing loss due to the missing external structure. Spector said that the best time to implant a bioengineered ear on a child would be when they are about 5 or six 6 old. At that age, ears are 80 per cent of their adult size. If all future safety and efficacy tests work out, it might be possible to try the first human implant of a Cornell bioengineered ear in as little as three years, he added.
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March 11, 2013
When Women Earn More Than Men
Choose Your Pain
lmost a third of work ing women nation wide now out-earn their husbands. It was inevitable, really. With more women than men going to college, with women taking less time out from careers to raise children, with more women choosing careers that only a few years ago were the province of men, better jobs and better money have become available to them. There are no rules for managing this change. At the present time, every couple in which the woman is the primary wage earner is very much on its own, inventing a family life that is radically different from that which they knew growing up. Often, the partners are surprised to find that each clings to their traditional role, even when such roles are no longer practical or even humane; a woman who puts in a 13hour day at the office simply cant come home and do the laundry too. And yet, redistributing roles and responsibilities in a family is not as simple as saying, you take out the garbage, Ill sweep the floor. It often gets down to peoples core beliefs about who they are and what they need to be doing to be a real grown-up man or woman. The reactions people have to such things are often distressingly irrational, even to themselves! People who study relationships are, of course, studying this phenomenon as well. They are finding that, although men with working wives are taking on more housework than ever before, they still lag behind by five hours a week! In families where there are children, the gap is even wider, with women spending 17 more hours per week doing childcare and home chores. It is only when a womans paycheck approaches an equal dollar amount to her husbands that the husband pitches in more. Curiously, some researchers have found that once a wifes income is actually greater than her husbands, he tends to be less and less involved at home and that couples are more likely to reassert traditional roles if the balance between earning power is tipped too much toward the woman. Perhaps women still need to think that they can rely on men to take care of
There are only one of two reasons why we change or transform ourselves: Pain or Pleasure Jim Rohn said we were free to choose our pain: * The Pain of Discipline * The Pain of Regret The future pleasure of our achievements, and the acknowledgement we'll receive in future from those we value; enables us to take up the pain of discipline, in the present. them. Perhaps men need to feel that they are still the head of household to feel like a man. The issue merits further study. Whatever the reasons, if you are the first couple in your familys history in which the woman out-earns the man, here are some tips to give you a hand: Remember that you are pioneers. Few people have been raised in families where Mom out-earned Dad or where Mom was a CEO while Dad stayed home with the kids. As a matter of fact, most people presently in the work force
... If you find yourselves getting into repeated and heated arguments about money, decisions, and household tasks, dont leap to the conclusion that the problem is your partner ... were raised in families where Dad not only made most of the money but also made most of the important decisions. Its true that a mans ability to single-handedly support his family was a point of pride a generation ago. It is also true that a perk that came with making the money was an assumption that the husband therefore had the right to a greater say in family life. However unhappy people were with the arrangement, there was a certain sense that Dad was supposed to be the head of the household and everyone elses roles fell into line behind his. Not so today. Even the most entrenched traditionalist knows, on some level, that such rigid ideas about who does what have to be reconsidered when the woman is slugging it out in the work-
place just like her spouse. As a culture, were still working this out. Keep in mind that the workload, not the players, is the problem. The most important attitude for a couple to maintain in this situation is that they are in it together. The problem is trying to manage the crushing load of two jobs, two kids, and a mountain of laundry. The problem is not who is making what salary. Work together to figure out what needs to get done each week to keep the children safe and happy and the household orderly and running smoothly. Get beyond what each of you thinks the other should be doing and focus on how you both will get everything done in a way that is fair to everyone. Keep money out of chore talk. Face it it doesnt matter if one partner is making Rs. 3,00,000 a year and the other is making Rs. 6,00,000. You are both working and you are both putting in 40-plus hours each week to get your paychecks. Hopefully, you are both doing something that matters to you. Probably neither one has more free time than the other. Keep talking! These problems dont get solved in a single conversation. Nor can you assume that the distribution of household chores, money, and decision-making power will just work itself out on its own. These issues are fraught with emotion. Each partner is consciously dealing with old role models, their own and their parents expectations for what it means to be successful, and their own and generations worth of opinions about what it means to be a real man or a real woman. This isnt easy stuff. And it
Stagnation occurs in the Zone of Comfort Growth occurs in the Zone of Discomfort Achievement occurs in the Zone of Pain Champions go all the way through discomfort and pain Are you going to be a spectator, commentator or champion? Make the right choice Every moment Your destiny depends on it
often comes out in frankly weird ways. You may think you are only talking about who is going to stay home with Junior, who has the chickenpox. But if the discussion gets heated, it becomes a forum for who is the better parent, who cares more, who has the less important job, or who is indispensable at work. Take a deep breath and try to own up to those more complicated feelings. Partners need to be friends who provide comfort and support as they both explore such deep and emotional territory. Talk about financial decision-making. In prior generations, moneymaking dictated who would make financial decisions. Pioneering couples need to discuss how financial decisions will be made preferably when there is no pressing decision on the table. Talk about how decisions were made in your own family of origin and the consequences of this approach. Take the time to outline some policy decisions about who has say about what kinds of decisions and about what kinds of dollar amounts.
What money belongs to whom? What bank accounts do you need? Who has access to what funds? How are bills to be paid? What kinds of decisions are left up to the individual and which need to be discussed by the couple? Again, if the discussion gets emotional, know that you arent talking about finances anymore. You are talking about much deeper issues. Dont hesitate to get professional help. It is indeed very sad when money issues erode what is otherwise a good relationship. Good relationships are certainly hard enough to find. Know that the issues around money and power are old and deep for most people. If you find yourselves getting into repeated and heated arguments about money, decisions, and household tasks, dont leap to the conclusion that the problem is your partner . You may need an objective counselor to help you sort out the feelings, attitudes, and behaviors that you each bring to the situation. A good therapist can help you get back on the same team.
March 11, 2013
New Pope To Be Asked To Serve Until Death Cardinals plan to ask the next pope to pledge in his inaugural address that he will serve until his death, unlike Benedict XVI, whose resignation, they believe, has destabilised the Catholic Church, according to a report from The Times in The Australian. Doubts have emerged about the impact of Benedict's decision as the cardinals begin a series of meetings, known as general congregations, to discuss the church's future. Italian reports suggest some church leaders believe Benedict's departure has undermined the sacredness of the office. An unnamed cardinal told the Corriere della Sera newspaper it was impossible to abolish the rule that a pope had the right to resign of his own freewill. "But for the future we need to safeguard the freedom of the church from external influences," he said, amid fears that a pope could be pressured into stepping down.
On Friday, Benedict said he was "not abandoning the Cross, I am staying in a new way". This was seen as a response to Polish cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, a former personal secretary to Pope John Paul II, who said of his resignation: "One doesn't step down from the Cross." The cardinals are expected to focus on the spiritual mission many see as the priority for the next pope, bringing Christ's message to the secular West and developing countries where the number of Catholics is growing. Other issues include reform of the Vatican bureaucracy that has been hit by a scandal over leaks from Benedict's office. Benedict agreed that three cardinals who investigated the "Vatileaks" scandal would give their peers details of their secret report. The Vatican has denied allegations that it reveals a gay network of blackmailers.
Fluffy Banana Rice Puddings
This lovely light rice pudding is sweetened with honey and bananas. Served warm, these puddings will cheer you up during the long winter months, but they are just as good served chilled. Ingredients (Serves: 8) 1/3 cup (70 g) short-grain rice 2½ cups (625 ml) low-fat milk 2 tablespoons honey 1 vanilla bean 2 ripe bananas finely grated zest of ½ lemon 2 medium egg whites pinch of grated nutmeg Preparation Method 1. Place the rice in a saucepan with the milk, then stir in the honey and add the vanilla bean. Bring gently to the boil, then reduce
the heat and cover. Simmer for 1 to 1¼ hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the rice is soft and the mixture has thickened but is still wet. 2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly grease eight 150 ml ramekins. 3. Remove the vanilla bean from the rice. Peel the bananas and slice thinly, then fold into the rice with the lemon zest. 4. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the rice mixture, then spoon into the ramekins and sprinkle with nutmeg. 5. Place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and well risen. Serve warm.
The Saviour Is Waiting .. Alphy was a young man and like other young men he was also enthusiastic in life. He grew up well, taking part in social activities, etc., but somewhere down the line, this young man fell into bad company. He began to take drugs, and stay away from home for several days, and as such people are wont to, even began stealing things from home to sell and satisfy his needs. And as happens in such situations, the family was feeling disgraced. The mother would wait for days together for him to come back home, to turn away from his bad ways, from his bad company, to turn away from that life of sin and destruction. She would wait and wait and wait .. We are in the season of Lent and we need to introspect where are we at this moment ? Are we on the right path ? Are we living a life of righteousness ? Are we living the virtues of the Gospels ? We may not be like that young man who has fallen into bad company, or taking to drugs and gambling and such things. We may not be committing murders. But, yet are we living our life the right way ? What about our
- Melville X. D'Souza behaviour with others around us our neighbours, our family members and in society at large. Do we slander the good name of others, gossip, carrying tales, criticizing others, condemn others, passing judgements all without verifying the facts. Do we help others in need ? We have after all, strayed from the right path. In this season of Lent, the words of the hymn, The Saviour is Waiting come to mind Time after time He has waited before And now He is waiting again To see if you are willing To open the door Oh, how He wants to come in. The hymn says it all Jesus our saviour is waiting for us. He has waited for us over the
years, He is waiting day in and day out. He is repeatedly asking us to change our ways, but here we are, turning a deaf ear to His pleas. We feel we are on the right path and there is no need to change. But, on the day of the Final Judgement God will say to us, you did not help me when I was in need, you did not lend me your hand when I fell, you did not give me water when I was thirsty, you did not give me food when I was hungry, you did not comfort me in my moments of loneliness, you did not .. And the list could go on and on. At that moment will those words resound in your mind whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers or sisters, you do it unto me. When will you begin to do all this ? Now is the time to start; now is the favourable time. Let us do it now ! The Savious is waiting . What is your Answer to Him ? Are there any rewards ? You bet ! EASTER is not far away, but we should make ourselves worthy of celebrating the Greatest Feast in the Church Calendar.
Are You A Carrot, An Egg Or A Coffee Bean? Once a young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of struggling and fighting. It seemed as when one problem was over, another one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each one on a high flame. Soon the water in the pots began to boil. In the first pot, she put in carrots, in the second pot, she put in eggs and in the third pot, she put in coffee beans. Turning to her daughter, she asked, What do you see, tell me? Carrots, eggs and coffee, said the girl. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the
daughter to take an egg and break it. After peeling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted the rich aroma. The daughter then asked, What does it mean, mother? The mother said, The carrots went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, they became soft and weak. The eggs had been fragile. Their thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after being boiled, its inside became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were boiled, they had changed the water. So when adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or coffee bean? Am I a carrot that seems strong but with pain and ad-
versity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I an egg that starts with a malleable heart but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but after a death, a breakup, a financial crisis or some other trial? Have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same but on the inside I am bitter and tough with a tiff spirit and hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are the greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? Jubel D'Cruz, Dombivili
March 11, 2013
March 11, 2013
After Pregnancy, Women Have Bigger Feet
Pregnancy may increase a woman's foot size, a change that appears to be permanent, according to a new study. Researchers measured the arch height and foot length of 49 women during their pregnancy and five months after they had given birth. On average, the women's arch height decreased, and in turn, their foot length increased between 2 and 10 millimeters (about 0.1 to 0.4 inches) -during this period. Overall, about 60 to 70 percent of the women had longer feet and shorter arches after childbirth, the researchers said. Eleven of the women reported changes in their shoe size, the researchers said. While previous studies have documented changes in foot size during preg-
nancy, none had looked to see if the changes persisted after delivery. "I heard so many women talking about having to go buy new shoes after pregnancy," said study researcher Neil Segal, an associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at the University of Iowa. This prompted Segal to look into the issue further. In an earlier study, Segal surveyed about 110 women at a mall, and asked if their shoe size had ever changed during their adult years. While just 13 percent of women who'd never been pregnant said it had, between 30 to 60 percent of women who had been pregnant at least once said their shoe size had changed. The change in foot size may be due to the extra weight women carry around during pregnancy, which
puts greater stress on the feet, and, thus, may flatten the arch, the researchers said. In addition, pregnant women produce hormones that increase the looseness of the joints and ligaments (tissue that connects bone to bone), possibly making the foot structure more malleable. Most of the women involved in the new study who experienced changes in their foot length and arch height were first-time mothers. Women had given birth to two or three children did not experience such significant changes. This result suggests that a woman's first pregnancy may have the greatest impact on foot size, the researchers said. But a larger study will be needed to confirm this, Segal added. (Twenty-nine of the women in the study were first-time moms; 17 were second-time
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moms, and three were thirdtime moms.) Changes in the feet during pregnancy may explain why women are at increased risk for pain or arthritis in their feet, knees, hips and spine than men, Segal said. A flattened foot can strain the ligaments in the foot's sole, causing changes in gait that put extra strain on the knees, Segal said. Segal plans to do more studies to determine if foot
changes during pregnancy do indeed lead to other health problems, such as arthritis. He also plans to investigate whether modifying the footwear of pregnant women can prevent foot flattening.. The study will be published in the March issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
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