From MaterCare International's Spiritual Director, Father Richard J. Taylor:
(Taken from the Homily on 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time A 2014)
When Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003, there were more than 60,000 Christians living in Mosul, Iraq’s second biggest city. Today there are at most 200, mainly those too poor or weak to flee. This microcosm reflects the wider state of Christianity across Iraq. Prior to the 2003 US-led military invasion Christians numbered 1.4 million. Today the tally stands at 300,000 and, because of the rapid advance of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) across swathes of Syria and Iraq, those figures are declining rapidly. Patriarch Sako estimates that in the near future Christians could number only 50,000.
The militant Islamists seek to establish a caliphate across the Middle East. These Sunni jihadists embrace a radical form of Islam that echoes the 7th century Moslem mentality. Anger at corrupt regimes, the exploitation of oil wealth by the West—and the moral decay of this same West—has engendered an aggressive, regressive ideology, rejecting all that does not coincide with this fundamentalist vision of Islam.
Local Christians have been given an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay the 'jizya'—a tax levied on an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens—leave or die. Half a million Christians and Muslims have been fleeing seeking shelter in Christian villages- now under attack- near the Kurdish controlled regions in northern Iraq.
Patriarch Sako has also reproached the silence of moderate Muslims: "We are equally shocked and indignant by the absence of a vigorous position from these Muslims and their religious leaders, not the least because the actions of these warring factions represent a menace for the Muslims themselves.”
This leaves the Church alone calling for the unity and the restoration of the religious mosaic that was Iraq, he says. "As for the Church, she finds herself completely alone, more than ever; nevertheless her leaders are strongly required to react before it is too late in applying the necessary pressure on the international community as well as those other decision-makers in view of fundamental answers necessary to the scandalous crimes and the destructive conspiracies that affect, above all, unarmed citizens in Iraq, Syria, and in Palestine-Gaza." (Reported in Zenit News, The World Seen from Rome, August 8th,2014).
We ourselves now watch what is being done to help these people and add our prayers for their protection. -Rev. Richard J. Taylor
We at MaterCare International urge our supporters to continue to discuss the Christians in Iraq. Only with our persistent vocalization will the needs of the persecuted be met.
Remember, that during times of crisis, the necessity of maternal healthcare becomes even more urgent. Please pray for those displaced women, children and communities under attack. Pope Francis recently tweeted,
August is Breastfeeding Awareness month:
Once again, MCI's St. John Paul II Maternity
Hospital in Isiolo hosted its annual breastfeeding education week. This program incorporates several agencies and had over fifty mothers with children present. To find out more about Breastfeeding Awareness Month, go to worldbreastfeedingweek.org
UPCOMING EVENT: Billing`s Method Training Course
Are you interested in learning more about the Billings Ovulation Method, or looking to become a certified teacher...
TEACHER TRAINING COURSE
*Sponsored by MaterCare International *
*In association with WOOMB Australia*
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND to Friday, NOVEMBER 7th, 2014
DIMESSE SISTERS RETREAT CENTRE,
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*Objectives*: To train and certify WOOMB teachers, especially in rural areas and to re-establish a WOOMB organization in Kenya.
*Speakers*: Include two Senior Trainers from
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for many years with the Drs Billings. Other international speakers are
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*Space:* 50 registrants.
*Certification*: A Certificate of Attendance will be offered to those who successfully complete the conference exam. For those wishing to gain accreditation as a Billings Ovulation Method teacher, further training will be offered through email by Australia.
*Open*: To any interested party, no previous qualification necessary.
*Applications to*: email@example.com *Tel*: (254) 0705435204
5,000 KSH (all course materials and certificate) (approximately $65 Canadian)
15,000 KSH for accommodation (includes 3 meals/ per day) (approximately $190 Canadian)
The Billings Ovulation Method™* is used by millions of women around the world. It was developed by Australian doctors, John and Evelyn Billings, validated by eminent international scientists and successfully evaluated by the World Health Organisation.
The method is easy to learn and simple to use, and once the natural signals of fertility are understood, the Billings Ovulation Method™ is confidently used to achieve or avoid pregnancy. An important side benefit is that this knowledge also provides information to the woman which safeguards her reproductive health. To learn more about Billings, visit www.WOOMB.org.
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