Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pope Francis: 'You cannot know Jesus without having problems'

Message from Deacon Mike James in Guyana

Dear colleagues,
Here is the Vatican news report on Pope Francis' Homily yesterday.
"You cannot know Jesus without having problems. And I dare say, 'But if you want to have a problem, go to the street to know Jesus – you'll end up having not one, but many!' But that is the way to get to know Jesus! You cannot know Jesus in first class! One gets to know Jesus in going out [into] every day [life]. You cannot get to know Jesus in peace and quiet, nor even in the library: Know Jesus."
see also attached some key quotes from the Pope Francis interview.
Quotes from the Pope Francis Interview

Most important: Jesus Christ has Saved You
"The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. .. "
"The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.
"But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives."

The Church as a Field Hospital
"I see clearly, that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.... And you have to start from the ground up

On abortion and gay persons
"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."
"We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner," the pope says, "preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are 'socially wounded' because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.
"A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: 'Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person."

Feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions
Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops. I say this because we must not confuse the function with the dignity. We must therefore investigate further the role of women in the church. We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman. Only by making this step will it be possible to better reflect on their function within the church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church."

On infallibility of the church as the people of God, pastors and people together. -
"The people itself constitutes a subject. And the church is the people of God on the journey through history, with joys and sorrows. Thinking with the church, therefore, is my way of being a part of this people. And all the faithful, considered as a whole, are infallible in matters of belief, and the people display this infallibilitas in credendo, this infallibility in believing, through a supernatural sense of the faith of all the people walking together. This is what I understand today as the 'thinking with the church' of which St. Ignatius speaks. When the dialogue among the people and the bishops and the pope goes down this road and is genuine, then it is assisted by the Holy Spirit. So this thinking with the church does not concern theologians only.
After a brief pause, Pope Francis emphasizes the following point, in order to avoid misunderstandings: "And, of course, we must be very careful not to think that this infallibilitas of all the faithful I am talking about in the light of Vatican II is a form of populism. No; it is the experience of 'holy mother the hierarchical church,' as St. Ignatius called it, the church as the people of God, pastors and people together. The church is the totality
"We should not even think, therefore, that 'thinking with the church' means only thinking with the hierarchy of the church."

On Christians who want everything clear and safe
"If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal 'security,' those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person's life. God is in everyone's life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person's life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God."

On Discernment
"My choices, including those related to the day-to-day aspects of life, like the use of a modest car, are related to a spiritual discernment that responds to a need that arises from looking at things, at people and from reading the signs of the times. Discernment in the Lord guides me in my way of governing."
According to St. Ignatius, great principles must be embodied in the circumstances of place, time and people. In his own way, John XXIII adopted this attitude with regard to the government of the church, when he repeated the motto, 'See everything; turn a blind eye to much; correct a little.' John XXIII saw all things, the maximum dimension, but he chose to correct a few, the minimum dimension. You can have large projects and implement them by means of a few of the smallest things. Or you can use weak means that are more effective than strong ones, as Paul also said in his First Letter to the Corinthians.
"This discernment takes time. For example, many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time. I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment. Sometimes discernment instead urges us to do precisely what you had at first thought you would do later. And that is what has happened to me in recent months. Discernment is always done in the presence of the Lord, looking at the signs, listening to the things that happen, the feeling of the people, especially the poor. My choices, including those related to the day-to-day aspects of life, like the use of a modest car, are related to a spiritual discernment that responds to a need that arises from looking at things, at people and from reading the signs of the times. Discernment in the Lord guides me in my way of governing.
"But I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time. The wisdom of discernment redeems the necessary ambiguity of life and helps us find the most appropriate means, which do not always coincide with what looks great and strong."

The world's media was not interested in covering many profound and illuminating sections of the interview including the last excerpt above on Discernment which is of such vital relevance for our daily lives.

Note Mike James
As many commentaries on the interview have noted, more detailed study of the text of the interview is likely to give important insights into the future of the papacy of Pope Francis. The interview also offers some important signposts for the direction the Catholic Church will take in this second decade of the twenty-first century.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

'Jean de La Fontaine - Le défi'

From Alliance Française President Dr Edwin Tulloch-Reid ...

L'Alliance Française vous donne rendez-vous le jeudi 31 octobre à 18h45 pour le film du mois. Venez déguster un bon verre de vin ou de jus bien frais en regardant le film Jean de La Fontaine - Le défi. Le film est sous-titré en anglais. L'entrée: $300 grand public; $100 membres et étudiants de l'Alliance Française.

The Alliance Française invites you to our Movie of the Month on Thursday, October 31 at 6:45 p.m. Come enjoy a glass of French wine and other refreshments as you watch 'Jean de La Fontaine - Le défi'. The movie has English subtitles. Admission: $300 general public; $100 members and students of the Alliance française.
Alliance Française de la Jamaïque
12b Lilford Avenue off Lady Musgrave Road Kingston 10
Tel: (001-876) 978 69 96
Fax: (001-876) 978 18 36
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

7,200 Shone their light for Digicel Foundation Special Needs

Here are scenes from last Saturday, 26 October, when 7,200 Jamaicans and
friends gathered at the Digicel Regional Headquarters at the Downtown
Kingston Waterfront to 'shine their light for special needs'. It was the
first renewal of the Digicel Foundation 5K Night Run/Walk and its popularity
in 2012 drew even bigger numbers this year.

We proceeded up King Street to Parade, around St William Grant Park, down
Church Street, left on Harbour Street to Jamaica Stock Exchange where we
finished our walk along the glistening waters of the Kingston Harbour.

We spotted Jamaica's first blind Senator and Leader of the Upper House,
Senator Floyd Morris, Paralympian Gold Medallist Alphanso Cunningham,
special needs residents of Mustard Seed homes, all part of our beautiful
swell of humanity.

Now 11 special needs schools and homes will benefit from ALL the funds
collected. Congratulations to the Digicel Foundation team led by Samantha
Chantrelle, with folks like Kerry-Jo Lyn and Lindsay Templer fully on board
as well as PROComm's Vicki Cann.

We know why there was such a sweet spirit in the Digicel car park and at the
post event concert - it is because doing good makes you feel great!

Dr Marco Brown receives highest MAJ Award


Happy Group after presentation: (l-r)  Drs. Selbourne Hemmings, Garfield Badal, Marco Brown, Shane Alexis, Garfield Campbell and Patrice Monthrope



19A Windsor Avenue |Kingston 5 |Tel: (876) 946-1105-7


October 29, 2013

Retired medical practitioner, Dr. Henry A. A. "Marco" Brown, C.D., J.P., M.D., L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S., L.M. (IRE)   has been awarded the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) Fellow, the highest award bestowed by the Association on any member. This was done at a brief, well attended ceremony held at his home in Reading St. James on Friday October 18, 2013. The presentation was done by MAJ president Dr. Shane Alexis, with Member of Parliament the Hon. Lloyd B. Smith, members of the Western Branch of the MAJ, family members and other well-wishers also in attendance.

A past student of Cornwall College, he attended The Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland and completed studies there in 1956.  He returned to Jamaica in 1957 and worked for six months at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, then moved to the Department of Surgery at the Kingston Public Hospital where he worked until 1959, the year he became a member of the Jamaica Chapter of the British Medical Association.

''Marco" returned to Montego Bay in 1961 and became a founding member of the Western Medical Association of Jamaica in the same year and served as its first Secretary / Treasurer. This Association predated the formation of the MAJ and Dr. Brown's role in its establishment spins a tale of intrigue. Upon the occasion of Jamaica's independence in 1962, members of the Jamaican Branch of the British Medical Association decided that an independent MAJ needed to be established. Critical to the success of forging a unified national body was the support of the doctors in the west of the island.  "Marco" played the lead role in the 'battle for the West' and through his diplomatic negotiations, colleagues in the West joined with the others islandwide and the MAJ was finally formed, three years after independence, in 1965.

 A grateful MAJ salutes the foresight and determination of this founding Member.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

No age limit for Dr Campbell's night school!

Just received this News Release ...
Dr. Dayton  Campbell embarks on recruitment initiative calling 750 persons to take part in a night school programme commencing in January 2014.

St. Ann, October 25: Further to his plans for improving the educational standard of North West St. Ann and Jamaica by extension, Member of Parliament, Dr Dayton Campbell is embarking on a brand new initiative. Dr Campbell has issued a recruitment message calling 750 persons to take part in a night school programme commencing in January 2014.
Students will have the opportunity to be educated in four subject areas namely; Mathematics, English Language, Principles of Business and Office Procedures. The plan is to have one subject being undertaken each year beginning with Principles of Business.
The centres for the night school will be in Addison Park, Discovery Bay All Age School, Runaway Bay All Age and Bamboo Primary and Junior High. The classes, which are free of cost, will be held twice weekly with a duration of 3 hours per class. There is no age limit for the programme and registration will take place at the constituency office in Brown's Town.
Dr Campbell, when asked about the purpose of the programme, said "The lots of the masses of the people can only be improved by empowering them through education to become self-reliant and independent"

Dayton Campbell

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

David Heron as Coriolanus - Oct 31-Nov 10

Brilliant Jamaican playwright and actor David Heron auditioned for a minor role in this production of 'Coriolanus' - so impressed were the members of the selection panel, that they called him back to play the lead.

Jamaican Diaspora and friends in New York - please save the dates - David's performances are always memorable!
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bring the family back!

by Jean Lowrie-Chin
Excerpt from Jamaica Observer column

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (right) with her supportive Mom Maxine Simpson (left) and Grace Foods Marketing Manager Tania Christie at the GraceKennedy Homecoming event, Downtown Kingston - Rudolph Brown Photo

In a radio interview about the behaviour of school children at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre, the manager Lynval Thompson commented that when he called in the parents of unruly students, many seemed to care little about their children’s actions.

We are asking our church leaders to take a very hard look at this breakdown and come together with Government to promote better family life.  It is said that for a child to thrive, she/he needs one loving and responsible adult in her/his life.  Although the ideal is the nuclear family, we know many successful children raised by single parents, grandmothers and other relatives or close family friends.  The important factor is an orderly environment in which the child can thrive – a proper routine for studying, sleeping, activities with family and friends, worship, and home chores. 

The heartwarming family support of our brightest stars is a good example for Jamaica.  At the GraceKennedy homecoming event for Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce last Wednesday, she looked around expectantly for her mother Maxine Simpson and displayed great joy on her arrival. Shelly-Ann always speaks of the tremendous support she gets from her husband, Jason.

Tessanne speaks at Digicel Send-Off while hubby Michael watches with adoring eyes - Tony Wong photo
At a surprise send-off Digicel party last Thursday for Tessanne Chin, her parents, her husband Michael Cuffe Jr, the parents of her husband, her sister Tami and the parents of her sister’s husband Wayne were all on hand to cheer on the young star. 
Tessanne and her family - Tony Wong photo
This is the family strength that brings so much confidence to the Jamaican who has thrilled NBC’s ‘The Voice’ audience worldwide. 

Every child deserves this kind of support, and it is not fair to ask teachers to be parents to classes of 50 students – that is simply impossible.  Whatever policies need to be put in place, let us see our parliamentarians move on them to make parents more accountable.

Monday, October 21, 2013

It’s important to stay positive

Friends of Devon House at a Flair promotional shoot for our fundraiser this Thursday

By Jean Lowrie-Chin
Jamaica Observer column - excerpts  | 21 Oct 2013
Last Tuesday morning, we listened to Professor Richard Curtin, head of the University of Michigan Survey Research Centre, as he revealed that both business and consumer confidence had hit low levels in the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) sponsored 2013 third quarter survey.  However, later that very day, there was a well-attended show of new Mercedes Benz models at the Pegasus Hotel.
A group of patriotic Jamaicans are currently planning a fundraising dinner to be held this Thursday for the maintenance and enhancement of our beautiful heritage site, Devon House.  Committee member Chef Celeste Ritch Gordon was trying to set up photo-shoots with fellow participating chefs, but said they were all busy with catering jobs.  Our social pages tell us that there is no let-up on the party scene, which creates well-needed employment.
While the sliding dollar and the high level of unemployment may result in pessimism, Prof Curtin said that messaging around positive national happenings could help to promote greater optimism, important for economic growth. Prof Curtin noted a media report of a Disney cruise ship docked in Trelawny, and craft vendors selling goods to them.  "Those vendors are entrepreneurs," he insisted.  "That is what should be emphasized."
At the JCC presentation, Jamaican market research guru Don Anderson explained that after each general election, the country becomes highly expectant, buoyed by election promises. After time passes and this does not materialise, there is the pattern of a plunge in confidence.
Observer business columnist Keith Collister described the situation as 'The great squeeze' and said that the way out was to achieve a critical mass for the export industry.  He also noted the importance of tax reform, quoting in his Friday Business Observer column past PSOJ President Joe Matalon and referring to the yeoman's work done in this area by his father the late Roy Collister during the 80s.
The opportunities for export are tremendous.  Because of the various requests we have when going abroad, we know that the world cannot get enough of Jamaica's coffee, rum, ginger, pimento, scotch bonnet pepper, logwood honey, ground provisions, fruit and vegetables.  An expatriate who is regarded as a gourmet chef, says he has never had tastier food anywhere else in the world.  Some of the world's top chefs who recently visited Jamaica noted the quality and variety of our mangoes – we could do so much more with this remarkable and abundant fruit.
I remember business leader Donna Duncan-Scott observing the importance of focus: she pointed out that without close attention, no person, place or thing can develop properly.  Well do we recall Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller saying to her newly sworn-in Cabinet in January of last year – "Let's get to work!"  Nearly two years later, we are suggesting that she requests a list of significant results from the work of these Ministers.  We are tired of the photo opportunities – we need to know about the real opportunities that have been created and are in place for once-expectant Jamaicans.

Farewell fine Jamaicans
We bid farewell to the dignified former deputy PM and former Ambassador to Washington, Hon Seymour Mullings, who will be accorded an official funeral this Thursday at 11am at the St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Claremont.  What a fine example of decency he has set for his fellow politicians.
Former Mayor of Mandeville Cecil Charlton was a caring patriot.  I remember him saying that so concerned was he about unemployment, that his chicken-picking machine lay idle at his farm so that he could pay six persons to do the work manually.  The late Mayor of Portmore, George Lee was a colleague member of the Public Relations Society of Jamaica in the eighties.  Even as he rose to high office, his longtime associates noted that he always took the time to acknowledge them warmly.  It was just last year that he greeted me effusively, with his devoted wife Aneita by his side – so hard to believe he is gone.
Condolences also to Clovis Metcalfe who lost his mother, Earl and Mike Jarrett who lost their father and Rohan Powell who lost his mother.  It is fitting to celebrate these wonderful lives, and the many unsung, this Heroes' Day.

Congratulations, National Honourees
It was John F Kennedy who said, "A rising tide raises all boats". And so, let us wholeheartedly applaud the wonderful Jamaicans who will receive National Honours at King's House today. If I start to call names, I would be sure to get in trouble, so let me leave that to live-tweeting as we watch the ceremony this morning. I am proud of you my friends!

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Winston Chung Fah CD Football Coaching Legend

Here is a man who has lived his life for his fellow Jamaicans - the incomparable Winston Chung Fah CD. He created the Santos Football Club in the sixties to include talents from 'downtown, uptown and round-town'. He gave opportunities and mentored hundreds of humble Jamaicans and took Clarendon College to schoolboy football fame.
We had the pleasure of hosting Chungie at our home yesterday - still one of the most amazing raconteurs we have ever known! Now resident in Florida with his devoted wife Barbara, they are house guests of our Brother Patrick Chin, STGC, XLCR, Santos and National Football Star.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Four fab chefs - for Devon House "Great House Affair"

“A Great House Affair” – Thursday 24th October, 2013
by The Friends of Devon House Philanthropic Committee
Colin Hamilton/Freelance Photographer
Top chef Colin Hylton was at his colourful best.

Global Party at Fiction on Thursday September 15, 2011.
Chef Colin Hylton - Gleaner photo
Opening Trio: (Colin Hylton)
Ceviche of Smoked Marlin with Avocado, marinated Cherry Tomatoes, Snow Peas & Almond crusted Goat Cheese ; Demitasse of Ackee Bisque with Breadfruit Croutons;  Deboned Pig's Tail with Fuji & Granny Smith Apples
Chef Celeste Gordon - Observer Photo
 Fish Course: (Celeste Gordon)
Palate Cleanser: The Sweet Life: Jamaica Passion fruit Sorbet
Chef Dennis McIntosh
Main Course: (Dennis Mclntosh)
Pan seared Caribbean Chicken Lobster & Callaloo Roulade
Oven Roasted Tomato & Rosemary Sauce
Pumpkin Puree & Parsley Potato
Chef Alecia Woodbine-James - Observer photo
Dessert: (Alecia Woodbine-James)
Orange Chiffon embedded with Coconut Bavarian and Lemon Gelée served with Sorrel Chutney. Hazelnut Napoleon drizzled with Coffee Anglaise
Coffee And Chocolate Truffles Stock Images - Image: 17850724 
Blue Mountain Coffee and Fragrant Teas served with Chocolate Dreams Truffles