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Fr John Wotherspoon O.M.I .
胡頌恆神父    jdwomi@gmail.com   

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This website's anti-drug campaign  saves people from going to prison in HK     See & share inmates' letters! 
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How campaign began
  HK:how long prison for  trafficking?   www.AsylumSeekerHK.com

Sun May 28 - Feast of the Ascension

On the flight from Melbourne to HK two days ago, I watched an inspiring documentary Gleason, about the famous US footballer Steve Gleason who was diagnosed 6 years ago with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Movie had me in tears several times. Gleason is still very much alive ...as is the organization he founded to support fellow ALS sufferers - TeamGleason

 

China's No 3 leader announces plans to tighten grip on HK (.. groan ..)

 

George Monbiot: Lighten the Darkness
Dark money is subverting democracy in UK

 

Australian Medical Association Ignores Facts to Support Politically Correct Same Sex "Marriage" Campaign

 

Chris McDonnell: The second morning (reflection re Manchester bombing)

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

c.f. Feast of the Ascension

Acts 1.6-11: On the day he was taken up to heaven, Jesus said to his apostles "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Then you will be my witnesses in every part of the world". As he said this, he was lifted up while they watched. A cloud took him from their sight. Then two angels appeared to them and said "Jesus who has been taken up from you, will come back some day in the same way as you have seen him leave". 
Jesus, help me be your witness by the way I think and speak and live

My recording of this reading

 

 

Psalms 47-48: All peoples, clap your hands, cry to God with shouts of joy. For the Lord, our Creator, we must love and honor, great king over all the earth. Especially in his holy city is the Lord worthy to be praised. Praise is fitting in Mount Sion, our earth's most sacred site. O God, as we pray in your temple, our hearts meditate on your love. May peoples and rulers everywhere acknowledge and love you as Creator of the Universe 
Let all the peoples praise you,  Lord. Let all the peoples praise you

Recording

 

 

Ephesians 1.16-18: I never fail to remember you in my prayers and to thank God for you. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you more and more wisdom and knowledge to see ever more clearly his great love for you. May he enlighten your mind to hope for the glorious life he has prepared for us in heaven. 
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, may I see you more clearly, love you more dearly, follow you more nearly, day by day

Recording


Matthew 28.16-20: The 11 apostles went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him in worship. Jesus said to them "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to understand and live according to my words. And know that I am with you always, yes, to the end of time".
Jesus, "God-with-us", please help us live our lives according to your teaching ....and thank you, Matthew, for this beautiful Gospel Report
Recording

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 
Video commentary on today's readings - in Spanish with English subtitles

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

135: Recording  It is not helpful to dream of an idyllic and perfect love needing no stimulus to grow. 

A celestial notion of earthly love forgets that the best is yet to come, that fine wine matures with age.

As the Bishops of Chile have pointed out, "the perfect families proposed by deceptive consumerist propaganda do not exist. In those families, no one grows old, there is no sickness, sorrow or death. Consumerist propaganda presents a fantasy that has nothing to do with the reality which must daily be faced by the heads of families".

It is much healthier to be realistic about our limits, defects and imperfections, and to respond to the call to grow together, to bring love to maturity and to strengthen the union, come what may.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

83: Recording  The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things.

Here we can add yet another argument for rejecting every tyrannical and irresponsible domination of human beings over other creatures. 

The ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us.

Rather, all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things. 

Human beings, endowed with intelligence and love, and drawn by the fullness of Christ, are called to lead all creatures back to their Creator.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

79: Recording  At times our media culture and some intellectual circles convey a marked scepticism with regard to the Church's message, along with a certain cynicism. As a consequence, many pastoral workers, although they pray, develop a sort of inferiority complex which leads them to relativize or conceal their Christian identity and convictions.

This produces a vicious circle. They end up being unhappy with who they are and what they do; they do not identify with their mission of evangelization and this weakens their commitment.

They end up stifling the joy of mission with a kind of obsession about being like everyone else and possessing what everyone else possesses. Their work of evangelization thus becomes forced, and they devote little energy and very limited time to it.


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10 years ago today:

Visit to Mazenod Center, Ricci School and Marco Polo Center  by Rino, Barbara and family from Guangzhou/Italy/UK

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Hour of Love HK radio program 8.30 pm HK time tonight - with items about HK prison inmates

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  For the Feast of the Ascension ... thinking about Heaven:

An 85 year old couple, having been married almost 60 years, died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years mainly due to her interest in health food, and exercise. When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite and Jacuzzi. As they "oohed and aahed" the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. "It's free," St. Peter replied, "this is Heaven."

Next they went out back to survey the championship golf course that the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges everyday and each week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on earth. The old man asked, "what are the green fees?". St. Peter said, "This is heaven, you play for free."

Next they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the world laid out. "How much is it to eat?" asked the old man. "Don't you understand yet? This is heaven, it is free!" St. Peter replied with some exasperation. "Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?" the old man asked timidly. St. Peter lectured, "That's the best part...you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven."

After hearing that the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and shrieking wildly. St. Peter and the wife both tried to calm him down, asking what was wrong. The old man looked at his wife and said, "This is all your fault. If it weren't for your bran muffins, I could have been here ten years ago!"

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia 
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Fri: South America
Sat: Cent., N America    
Jesus, today, Sunday, please bless the people of Africa

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 28th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Beijing

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 28th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Lesotho

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Sunday, please bless all Muslims in my country

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Sat May 27  

Hello from Hong Kong here I arrived back last night. Thank you Jesus for safe trip to Australia. Please bless all the people I met over the past 11 days.

On yesterday's Qantas flight from Melbourne to HK, I didn't notice that we had taken off ....so absorbed was I in a most powerful movie: The Birth of a Nation, a controversial but moving story...which had me in tears from the beginning....and made me resolve to offer up any work I can do on behalf of black inmates from Africa as a prayer of reparation for all the evil that was done to black slaves in the US and other places in previous centuries. 

 

   Tomorrow, Sunday, 3pm, prayer meeting for healing, St Paul's Catholic Primary School, Yau Ma Tei. Everyone welcome. Previous photos

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Judges 9: Gideon had seventy sons by his wives and concubines. One of his sons was Abimelech, son of a concubine. Abimelech became king after murdering all but one of his 70 half-brothers. The half-brother who escaped was Jotham. Abimelech ruled over Israel for 3 years. Then God sent a spirit of discord between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem. The leaders of Shechem rebelled against Abimelech. Abimelech started attacking and destroying their towns. Abimelech besieged the town of Thebez. The people of the town took refuge in a tower. When Abimelech tried to set fire to the tower, a woman in the tower threw down a large rock which crushed Abimelech's head. Abimelech got his armor-bearer to kill him with a sword, so that no one could say he was killed by a woman. 
Dear Lord, please stop evil people from hurting other people

My recording of this reading

(Psalm 144 ideal for woman above?!)

Psalm 144: Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who gives me strength for every situation. He is my love, my fortress. He is my stronghold, my savior. To you, O God, will I sing a new song, you who so often rescued David your servant. Happy the people whose God is the Lord. Please continue to bless your people, Lord. Let our sons flourish like saplings, grown tall  and strong from their youth; our daughters graceful as columns, adorned as though for a palace. Let our crops and stock be blessed. May there be no sound of weeping on our streets.
Lord, please help us love and honor you every day. Don't let us ever forget your love

Recording

 

Galatians 5.19-26: When self-indulgence is at work, the results are obvious: sexual irresponsibility, sorcery, feuds and wrangling, jealousy and drunkenness. What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, truthfulness, gentleness and self-control. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent desires. Let us be directed by the Spirit. We must stop being conceited, provocative and envious. 
Holy Spirit,  increase your influence in my life

Recording



John 8.42-58: Jesus said to the people "If God were your father, you would love me, since I have come from God and I speak the truth. You avoid the truth, because your father is the father of lies, the Devil. Abraham rejoiced at the thought of my coming. He saw it in the future and was glad". The people said "You are not yet 50 years old. How could you have seen Abraham?" Jesus replied "I tell you, before Abraham ever was, I Am". The people then picked up stones to throw at Jesus for claiming to be God. But Jesus safely left the Temple
Jesus, you who existed as God the Son from all eternity, please increase my love for the truth, and help me avoid lies

Recording

 

Reflection on the above readings:

In the Book of. Exodus, when Moses asked "What's your name?" God replied "I AM WHO AM.....my name is I AM". So, when Jesus said "I AM", he was claiming divine status ....which is why people tried to stone him....they understood what he was saying. So, when some people today (...Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, followers of Islam...) say that Jesus did not claim to be God ...they are not correct.  

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

134: Recording  All this occurs through a process of constant growth. 

The very special form of love that is marriage is called to embody what Saint Thomas Aquinas said about charity in general.

"Charity", he says, "by its very nature, has no limit to its increase, for it is a participation in that infinite charity which is the Holy Spirit. Nor on the part of the subject can its limit be fixed, because as charity grows, so too does its capacity for an even greater increase".

Saint Paul also prays: "May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another" (1 Th 3:12), and again, "concerning fraternal love ...we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more" (1 Th 4:9-10).

More and more! Marital love is not defended primarily by presenting indissolubility as a duty, or by repeating doctrine, but by helping it to grow ever stronger under the impulse of grace. 

A love that fails to grow is at risk. 

Growth can only occur if we respond to God's grace through constant acts of love, acts of kindness that become ever more frequent, intense, generous, tender and cheerful.

Husbands and wives "become conscious of their unity and experience it more deeply from day to day".

The gift of God's love poured out upon the spouses is also a summons to constant growth in grace.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

82: Recording Yet it would also be mistaken to view other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination.

When nature is viewed solely as a source of profit and gain, this has serious consequences for society.

This vision of "might is right" has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up in the hands of the first comer or the most powerful: the winner takes all.

Completely at odds with this model are the ideals of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace as proposed by Jesus. 

As he said of the powers of his own age: "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Mt 20:25-26).

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

78: Recording  Today we are seeing in many pastoral workers, including consecrated men and women, an inordinate concern for their personal freedom and relaxation, which leads them to see their work as a mere appendage to their life, as if it were not part of their very identity. 

At the same time, the spiritual life comes to be identified with a few religious exercises which can offer a certain comfort but which do not encourage encounter with others, engagement with the world or a passion for evangelization.

As a result, one can observe in many agents of evangelization, even though they pray, a heightened individualism, a crisis of identity and a cooling of fervour. These are three evils which fuel one another

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10 years ago today:

Shang Ching Wan English; kind skin specialist please check photos; Yunfu English students; prayers please for Mr Chan

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For the 7 nights I stayed at the O.M.I. Camberwell house in Melbourne, I had great difficulty turning on a reading lamp that I used when I was at my computer. The lamp seemed to have a lose connection, so I would move it around and juggle it until the light came on. Then yesterday morning, before I left for the airport at a very early hour, I said Mass in my room (...community Mass in the chapel was not till much later...). When I got to the Gospel, in which Jesus said he is the Light of the World, I symbolically touched the lamp.. And it lit up! And then the penny fell - often symbolised in artwork by a light bulb lighting up!  -  the way to turn the lamp on or off was just to give it a gentle touch!!!  (I wonder if this story has applications for other areas in our lives....no need for much action, just a gentle action is what's needed!?!). And to further extend the story: all that' needed is a light touch!!!  

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa          
Mon:
Europe, Russia           
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia                         
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America                   
Sat: Cent. & N America    
Jesus, today, Saturday, please bless the people of Central & North America

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 27th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Tibet

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 27th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Uganda

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Saturday, please pacify the Taliban

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Frid May 26

Today I'm due to fly from Melbourne to HK....after after attending O.M.I. Congress....with grateful thanks to the Oblate community in Camberwell for their gracious hospitality this past week or so. God bless all I met while on this visit to Australia!

 

Videos which have been put on this website in recent times are now all together on a single file - here

 

  Chris McDonnell:
Reflection on Manchester bombing: A late evening

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here    
  Readings are from Simple Bible

Judges 8: After Gideon defeated all the enemies of the Israelites, the Israelites asked him to be their ruler. He replied: "It is not I who shall rule over you, nor my son; The Lord must be your ruler". After Gideon's death, the people of Israel again began to worship the local idols. They no longer remembered the Lord who had so often rescued them. The people were also ungrateful to Gideon's family despite all the good deeds that family had done for Israel.
Dear Lord, please don't let me ever become an ungrateful person 
My recording of this reading

 

 

Psalm 140-143: Lord, save me from people who do evil, you who do justice for the needy. I have no way out of this situation. And no one wants to help me. Lord, I beg you tonight to make haste and give me an answer, for my spirit fails within me. In the morning let me know your love for I put my trust in you.
Lord, please help people who are in big trouble

Recording

 

Galatians 5.13-15: Serve one another in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summed up in the command "Love your neighbor as yourself". If you go in for non-stop criticism and personal attacks, you will destroy the church community. 
Jesus, help me avoid unfair/unnecessary criticism of other people

Recording


John 8.12-32: Jesus said to the people "I am the light of the world. Those who follow me will not walk in the dark. They will have the light of life. If you take my words to heart, you will be my disciples. You will learn the truth, and the truth will set you free". 
Jesus, give light to my life. Increase my love for your teaching. Help me learn more about truth

Recording


Reflection on the above Bible readings:

Prison inmates who are not guilty have a special liking for the words in today's Gospel "the truth will set you free". The story of one such inmate is here

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

133: Recording  The love of friendship unifies all aspects of marital life and helps family members to grow constantly.

This love must be freely and generously expressed in words and acts.

In the family, "three words need to be used. I want to repeat this! Three words: 'Please', 'Thank you', 'Sorry'. Three essential words!".

"In our families when we are not overbearing and ask: 'May I?'; in our families when we are not selfish and can say: 'Thank you!'; and in our families when someone realizes that he or she did something wrong and is able to say 'Sorry!', our family experiences peace and joy".

Let us not be stingy about using these words, but keep repeating them, day after day. For "certain silences are oppressive, even at times within families, between husbands and wives, between parents and children, among siblings".

The right words, spoken at the right time, daily protect and nurture love.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

 81: Recording  Human beings, even if we postulate a process of evolution, also possess a uniqueness which cannot be fully explained by the evolution of other open systems. 

Each of us has his or her own personal identity and is capable of entering into dialogue with others and with God himself.

Our capacity to reason, to develop arguments, to be inventive, to interpret reality and to create art, along with other not yet discovered capacities, are signs of a uniqueness which transcends the spheres of physics and biology.

The sheer novelty involved in the emergence of a personal being within a material universe presupposes a direct action of God and a particular call to life and to relationship on the part of a "Thou" who addresses himself to another "thou". 

The biblical accounts of creation invite us to see each human being as a subject who can never be reduced to the status of an object.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

77: Recording  As children of this age, though, all of us are in some way affected by the present globalized culture which, while offering us values and new possibilities, can also limit, condition and ultimately harm us.

I am aware that we need to create spaces where pastoral workers can be helped and healed, "places where faith itself in the crucified and risen Jesus is renewed, where the most profound questions and daily concerns are shared, where deeper discernment about our experiences and life itself is undertaken in the light of the Gospel, for the purpose of directing individual and social decisions towards the good and beautiful".

At the same time, I would like to call attention to certain particular temptations which affect pastoral workers.

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10 years ago today:

CAS Primary English teachers' farewell dinner for Garth; English Corner at Ricci Memorial Center

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Kind lady is who is a fantastic (no other word) cook at the O.M.I. Camberwell house where I've been staying the past week or so yesterday expressed interest in someday working in China/HK as a volunteer English teacher. When the priest in charge of the house heard this he said "you can have any one of the priests who live her but you can't have her!" (...she's such a great cook...)

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia        
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia            
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: S. America     
Sat:
Cent, N. America    
Jesus, today, Friday, please bless the people of South America

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month: 
On this 26th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Xinjian

And praying for one of
the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
 
On this 26th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Togo

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Friday, please bless all Muslims

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Thur May 25

The O.M.I. meeting for which I came to Melbourne ended yesterday afternoon. May the meeting produce fruit to help us Oblates better serve the Church and the world. Many thanks to kind readers who prayed for the meeting. Tomorrow I'm due to return to HK

 

Pope Francis, President Trump meet in 'Odd Couple' encounter (2 min video is interesting...). Guadian report

 

World is plundering Africa's wealth of 'billions of dollars a year'

How to prevent Alzheimer's (recommended by a reader in Australia) - interesting bit at end: why didn't the nuns get A.?

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here    
  Readings are from Simple Bible

Judges 7:  Gideon prepared to go to war with the Midianites. But God told him to reduce his number of soldiers. The army was told "Let anyone who is frightened or fearful go home". 22,000 men went home; 10,000 stayed. The Lord said there were still too many. "So many men might cause Israel to claim that a victory had nothing to do with the Lord". So Gideon got the men to go to the river to drink. All those who lapped the water, like a dog, he put on one side. These numbered 300. The rest knelt down and used their hands to drink. These were sent home. Gideon divided his 300 men into 3 groups,  surrounding the Midianite camp. To each man he gave a horn and an empty water container, with a torch inside each container. In the middle of the night, they attacked. They sounded their horns and smashed their containers, holding a horn in their right hand and a torch in their left. The Midianites woke in terror, thinking that the Israelites had a huge number of men. In their panic, the Midianites attacked each other
as they fled the camp. The Israelites drove the Midianites from the Israelite homeland.
Dear God, thank you for the courage and leadership of Gideon

My recording of this reading  01 02

 

 

Psalm 139: O Lord, you search me and you know me. You know my resting and my rising. You know exactly what's going on in my life, all my ways are an open book to you. Before ever a word is on my tongue, you know, O Lord, what I'm going to say. Your knowledge is beyond my understanding, too high, beyond my reach. It was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother's womb. I thank you for the wonder of my life, for the wonders of all your creation.
Lord, thank you for the gift of life. Please help me follow the path to eternal life

Recording

 

 

Galatians 5.1-6: When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm then and do not return to a life of slavery to Jewish Law. As a Christian, it doesn't matter if you are circumcised or not. What matters is faith that is put into loving action.
Jesus, help people whose lives are being damaged  by unreasonable religious laws

Recording


John 8.1-11: While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, the religious leaders brought to him a women who had been caught committing adultery. The leaders said to Jesus "According to the Law of Moses, this woman should be stoned to death. What do you say?"  They said this to test him, looking for something to use against him. Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. Since they kept up their questioning, he looked up and said to them "If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to cast a stone". Then he kept writing on the ground. The leaders went away, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman. Jesus said to her "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? "No one, sir", she replied. "Neither do I condemn you", said Jesus. "Go and don't sin any more".
Jesus, what did you write on the ground? The leaders' sins?  "If you, O Lord, should write a record of our sins, who could claim innocence?"
(Psalm 130)

Recording

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

What did Jesus write on the ground?!

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

132: Recording  To opt for marriage in this way expresses a genuine and firm decision to join paths, come what may. 

Given its seriousness, this public commitment of love cannot be the fruit of a hasty decision, but neither can it be postponed indefinitely.

Committing oneself exclusively and definitively to another person always involves a risk and a bold gamble. 

Unwillingness to make such a commitment is selfish, calculating and petty.

It fails to recognize the rights of another person and to present him or her to society as someone worthy of unconditional love. 

If two persons are truly in love, they naturally show this to others. 

When love is expressed before others in the marriage contract, with all its public commitments, it clearly indicates and protects the "yes" which those persons speak freely and unreservedly to each other. 

This "yes" tells them that they can always trust one another, and that they will never be abandoned when difficulties arise or new attractions or selfish interests present themselves.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

80b: Recording God is intimately present to each being, without impinging on the autonomy of his creature, and this gives rise to the rightful autonomy of earthly affairs.

His divine presence, which ensures the subsistence and growth of each being, "continues the work of creation".

The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge: "Nature is nothing other than a certain kind of art, namely God's art, impressed upon things, whereby those things are moved to a determinate end. It is as if a shipbuilder were able to give timbers the wherewithal to move themselves to take the form of a ship".

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

76: Recording  I feel tremendous gratitude to all those who are committed to working in and for the Church. Here I do not wish to discuss at length the activities of the different pastoral workers, from bishops down to those who provide the most humble and hidden services. Rather, I would like to reflect on the challenges that all of them must face in the context of our current globalized culture.

But in justice, I must say first that the contribution of the Church in today's world is enormous. The pain and the shame we feel at the sins of some members of the Church, and at our own, must never make us forget how many Christians are giving their lives in love. They help so many people to be healed or to die in peace in makeshift hospitals.

They are present to those enslaved by different addictions in the poorest places on earth. They devote themselves to the education of children and young people. They take care of the elderly who have been forgotten by everyone else. They look for ways to communicate values in hostile environments. They are dedicated in many other ways to showing an immense love for humanity inspired by the God who became man.

I am grateful for the beautiful example given to me by so many Christians who joyfully sacrifice their lives and their time. This witness comforts and sustains me in my own effort to overcome selfishness and to give more fully of myself.

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10 years ago today:

Ricci School students in concert at Ke Ji College for graduating kindergarten teachers

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia        
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia            
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America     
Sat: Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Thursday, please bless the people of South East Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 25th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Ningxia

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 25th of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Comoros

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Thursday, please pacify Al-Qaeda

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Wed May 24

  64 years ago today - in 1953 - I made my First Communion at Guardian Angels' Church in Brisbane - photo. One of my primary school classmates, Fr Bill Ousley O.M.I. is here with me at the O.M.I. Congress which finishes in Melbourne today. Thank you Jesus for 64 years of grace!

Sporting clubs could be fined for not obeying new "Safe Schools" inspired rules

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  Chris McDonnell 

A time apart

A fruit of solitude is a generous love, especia lly to those who are lonely.

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Judges 4-6:  After Sisera's forces were defeated, the land enjoyed peace for 40 years. But then the Israelites again lapsed into idolatry, and so they were oppressed by the Midianites for 7 years. The Lord then raised up Gideon to rescue the people. Following the Lord's instructions, Gideon at night time destroyed the altar to Baal in his father's house. When the Midianites heard what Gideon had done, they prepared to attack the Israelites. The spirit of the Lord came on Gideon and he rallied the Israelites. Gideon asked for a sign of success in battle, and said to the Lord: "See  now, I spread out a fleece of wool on the ground; tomorrow morning, if there is dew only on the fleece and not on the surrounding ground, then I know you will deliver Israel by my hand". And so it happened the next morning: the ground was dry but the fleece was drenched with dew. Gideon asked for a second sign, requesting that the fleece be dry but the ground covered with dew. And God did what Gideon asked: the fleece stayed dry, and there was dew on the ground. 
Dear Lord, thank you for hearing Gideon's prayer (and please bless the work of the Gideon Society which puts Bibles in hotels around the world!)
My recording of this reading: 01 02

 

Psalm 138: I thank you, Lord, with all my heart. You have heard the words of my mouth. With the angels I will bless you. I will adore you in your holy temple. I thank you for your faithfulness and love which are far above what we can understand. On the day I called you answered. You increased the strength of my soul. All earth's kings shall thank you when they hear the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the Lord's ways: "How great is the glory of the Lord!" Though I walk in the midst of affliction you give me life and frustrate my foes. Your love, O Lord, is eternal. Do not abandon us whom you have made.  
Lord, when we remember how much you love us and help us, every day of the year is a Thanksgiving Day

Recording

 

Galatians 4.4-6: When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law, and to enable us to be adopted as children of God, brothers and sisters of his Son. The proof that we are children is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries "Abba, Father". 
Jesus, help me understand how I have been adopted, how you are my Brother
Recording


 

John 7.32- 46: The religious leaders sent the Temple police to arrest Jesus. When the police returned to the leaders without Jesus, the leaders asked "Why didn't you arrest him?" The police replied "There has never been anyone who has spoken like him".
Jesus, in the history of the world, there has never been anyone who has spoken about goodness and truth like you
 
Recording

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 

No one has ever spoken about goodness and truth like Jesus. Jesus' words give us courage and hope and peace. Or as today's Psalm says: his words give us strength, both spiritual and physical strength.  

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

131: Recording  I would like to say to young people that none of this is jeopardized when their love finds expression in marriage. 

Their union encounters in this institution the means to ensure that their love truly will endure and grow.

Naturally, love is much more than an outward consent or a contract, yet it is nonetheless true that choosing to give marriage a visible form in society by undertaking certain commitments shows how important it is.

It manifests the seriousness of each person's identification with the other and their firm decision to leave adolescent individualism behind and to belong to one another.

Marriage is a means of expressing that we have truly left the security of the home in which we grew up in order to build other strong ties and to take on a new responsibility for another person. 

This is much more meaningful than a mere spontaneous association for mutual gratification, which would turn marriage into a purely private affair. 

As a social institution, marriage protects and shapes a shared commitment to deeper growth in love and commitment to one another, for the good of society as a whole.

That is why marriage is more than a fleeting fashion; it is of enduring importance.

Its essence derives from our human nature and social character.

It involves a series of obligations born of love itself, a love so serious and generous that it is ready to face any risk.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

80a: Recording  Yet God, who wishes to work with us and who counts on our cooperation, can also bring good out of the evil we have done.

 "The Holy Spirit can be said to possess an infinite creativity, proper to the divine mind, which knows how to loosen the knots of human affairs, including the most complex and inscrutable".

Creating a world in need of development, God in some way sought to limit himself in such a way that many of the things we think of as evils, dangers or sources of suffering, are in reality part of the pains of childbirth which he uses to draw us into the act of cooperation with the Creator.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

75: Recording  We cannot ignore the fact that in cities human trafficking, the narcotics trade, the abuse and exploitation of minors, the abandonment of the elderly and infirm, and various (other) forms of corruption and criminal activity take place.

(Also), what could be significant places of encounter and solidarity often become places of isolation and mutual distrust. Houses and neighbourhoods are more often built to isolate and protect than to connect and integrate. 

The proclamation of the Gospel will be a basis for restoring the dignity of human life in these contexts, for Jesus desires to pour out an abundance of life upon our cities.

The unified and complete sense of human life that the Gospel proposes is the best remedy for the ills of our cities, even though we have to realize that a uniform and rigid program of evangelization is not suited to this complex reality.

But to live our human life to the fullest and to meet every challenge as a leaven of Gospel witness in every culture and in every city will make us better Christians and bear fruit in our cities.

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10 years ago today:

Article in Zhaoqing Xijiang Newspaper re English classes at Ricci Memorial Center at Cross Road in Zhaoqing

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Answer: R(everse)!

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia         
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia      
Thurs:
S.E.Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America    
Sat:
Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Wednesday, please bless the people of
East Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 24th
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Inner Mongolia

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 24th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Zambia

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today,
Wednesday, please pacify
Al-Shabaab 

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Tues May 23

No matter if I'm in Hong Kong or in some other place (...Australia at the moment..) each night I check the Court List of the following day in HK's High Court and Court of Appeal. The list is published each night at 6pm. In today's list which is published here  I recognise a number of inmates' names ....as well as most of the judges' names. God bless everyone in court today!

And...no matter if I'm in HK or elsewhere, each week night I also do a special piece of homework: recording the English editorial for the English page of the next day's edition of Ming Pao Chinese newspaper. The editorials and recordings are here. This job pays for the rental of my home in Temple Street. Saint Paul did tent-making to support himself. I do recordings!

 

How many Hongkongers are really living in poverty?

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Judges 4: After Ehud died, the Israelites again began to stray from the Lord and therefore again lost their freedom and peace. The Lord then used Deborah, who was a judge and prophetess, to rescue the people. Deborah instructed Barak son of Abinoam to go and do battle with Sisera, the people's oppressor. Barak said he would go only if Deborah went with him. She agreed but then said that his hesitation would cause the Lord to give battle victory to a woman, not Barak. When Barak's forces routed those of Sisera, Sisera fled and took refuge in the tent of Jael, wife of Heber. As Sisera slept from exhaustion, Jael drove a tent peg into his head and he died. So once again the Lord had rescued the Israelites.
Dear God, please give me more courage in the battle of life, (and please protect and bless Barack Obama!) 

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 137: By the rivers of Babylon we sat and cried, remembering Zion. On the poplars that grew there we hung up our harps. For it was there that they asked us, our captors, for songs. "Sing to us", they said, "one of Zion's songs". O how could we sing the song of the Lord on alien soil? If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand wither. O let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I remember you not, Jerusalem, above all my joys.
Lord, please help  people who have been exiled from their homeland
Recording

 

Galatians 3.26-28: Through faith in Christ Jesus, you are children of God. When you were baptized, you entered into a special relationship of friendship with Christ. This relationship cancels out old labels like Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. These old labels have been replaced by a new one hanging around your heart: Made in Christ. 
Jesus, help me better understand our relationship
Recording


John 7.37-39: During the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Jesus called out loudly  in the Temple "If anyone is thirsty, come to me. Anyone who believes in me, come and drink!" As Scripture says "From his heart will flow fountains of living water". Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit, which people who believed in him were to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. 
Holy Spirit, flowing from the heart of Jesus, please increase your influence in my life
Recording

 

Reflection on the above readings:

A famous song which uses the words of Psalm 137: By the Rivers of Babylon (33 million views!)

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

130: Recording  On the other hand, joy also grows through pain and sorrow.

In the words of Saint Augustine, "the greater the danger in battle the greater is the joy of victory".

After suffering and struggling together, spouses are able to experience that it was worth it, because they achieved some good, learned something as a couple, or came to appreciate what they have.

Few human joys are as deep and thrilling as those experienced by two people who love one another and have achieved something as the result of a great, shared effort.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

79: Recording:  In this universe, shaped by open and intercommunicating systems, we can discern countless forms of relationship and participation. 

This leads us to think of the whole as open to God's transcendence, within which it develops. 

Faith allows us to interpret the meaning and the mysterious beauty of what is unfolding. 

We are free to apply our intelligence towards things evolving positively, or towards adding new ills, new causes of suffering and real setbacks. 

This is what makes for the excitement and drama of human history, in which freedom, growth, salvation and love can blossom, or lead towards decadence and mutual destruction. 

The work of the Church seeks not only to remind everyone of the duty to care for nature, but at the same time "she must above all protect mankind from self-destruction".

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

74: Recording  What is called for is an evangelization capable of shedding light on these new ways of relating to God, to others and to the world around us, and inspiring essential values. It must reach the places where new narratives and paradigms are being formed, bringing the word of Jesus to the inmost soul of our cities.

Cities are multicultural; in the larger cities, a connective network is found in which groups of people share a common imagination and dreams about life, and new human interactions arise, new cultures, invisible cities. (But) Various subcultures exist side by side, and often practise segregation and violence.

The Church is called to be at the service of a difficult dialogue. On the one hand, there are people who have the means needed to develop their personal and family lives, but there are also many "non-citizens", "half citizens" and "urban remnants". 

Cities create a sort of permanent ambivalence because, while they offer their residents countless possibilities, they also present many people with any number of obstacles to the full development of their lives. This contrast causes painful suffering. 

In many parts of the world, cities are the scene of mass protests where thousands of people call for freedom, a voice in public life, justice and a variety of other demands which, if not properly understood, will not be silenced by force.

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America
Sat: Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Tuesday, please bless the people of South Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 23rd
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Guangxi

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 23rd of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Djibouti

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Tuesday, please pacify Boko Haram

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Mon May 22

Like the Pope, I have a very high regard for Sant'Egidio - they are working with me in HK to set up an NGO to help homeless people. So this article is of special interest: Ivanka Trump to meet Sant'Egidio on anti-trafficking efforts

 

Slave husbands of HK - men who marry into servitude

 

Catholic family desperate for policy change as HK hospital refuses to release foetus remains

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Judges 3: Some of the Israelites forgot the Lord their God and worshipped false gods. As a result, they were enslaved by the king of Edom for 8 years. They cried to God for help and God raised up Othniel, a nephew of Caleb, to lead and rescue them. Then the land enjoyed peace for 40 years. But when Othniel died, the Israelites again began to do what displeases the Lord, and were again enslaved, this time by Eglon king of Moab, for 18 years. Once more they cried to the Lord for help and he raised up Ehud, a left-hander. As Ehud presented tribute to Eglon, he said to Eglon: "I have a secret message for you". When they were alone, Eglon thought he was safe, because Ehud's knife was on his right thigh. Ehud then used his left-hand to grab the knife unexpectedly and killed Eglon. Ehud escaped from the king's quarters before the king's attendants knew Eglon was dead. Ehud then roused the Israelites to fight and defeat the Moabites, after which the land enjoyed peace for 80 years
Lord, please raise up good leaders in every country

My recording of this reading 01 02

 

Psalm 136: O give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his great love is without end. It was his wisdom which made the skies, for his great love is without end. It was he who made the sun, moon and stars, for his great love is without end. It was he who rescued and protected his people Israel, for his great love is without end. He gives food to all living things, for his great love is without end. To the God of heaven give thanks, for his great love is without end. 
We praise you, Lord, for your great love is without end
Recording


 

Galatians 2.16-20: What makes us God's friends is not obedience to the Law, but faith in Jesus Christ. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now, not with my own life, but with the life of Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in this body, I live in faith: faith in the Son of God who loved me and who sacrificed himself for my sake.
Jesus, help me understand how you live in me, and I live in you
Recording



John 7.1-13: Jesus now stayed in Galilee. He could not stay in Judea because the religious leaders wanted to kill him. Not even his brothers believed in him. In Jerusalem, no one spoke about him openly, for fear of the religious leaders. 
Jesus, people were scared to talk about you, your brothers didn't believe in you, and the leaders wanted to kill you. How small my  problems are compared with yours
Recording

 

Reflection on the above readings:

How great is the anguish of a father or mother who has been rejected by their children. Even greater must have been the anguish of Jesus ...rejected by his brothers...people didn't want to know him....some people even trying to kill him. Yet he did not give up and jusdt walk away from everything. He kept going. And he gives us strength to keep going in times of rejection and danger. 

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

128: Recording  The aesthetic experience of love is expressed in that "gaze" which contemplates other persons as ends in themselves, even if they are infirm, elderly or physically unattractive. 

A look of appreciation has enormous importance, and to begrudge it is usually hurtful. 

How many things do spouses and children sometimes do in order to be noticed! 

Much hurt and many problems result when we stop looking at one another.

This lies behind the complaints and grievances we often hear in families: "My husband does not look at me; he acts as if I were invisible". "Please look at me when I am talking to you!". "My wife no longer looks at me, she only has eyes for our children". "In my own home nobody cares about me; they do not even see me; it is as if I did not exist".

Love opens our eyes and enables us to see, beyond all else, the great worth of a human being.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

78: Recording  At the same time, Judaeo-Christian thought demythologized nature. 

While continuing to admire its grandeur and immensity, it no longer saw nature as divine.

In doing so, it emphasizes all the more our human responsibility for nature. 

This rediscovery of nature can never be at the cost of the freedom and responsibility of human beings who, as part of the world, have the duty to cultivate their abilities in order to protect it and develop its potential. 

If we acknowledge the value and the fragility of nature and, at the same time, our God-given abilities, we can finally leave behind the modern myth of unlimited material progress. 

A fragile world, entrusted by God to human care, challenges us to devise intelligent ways of directing, developing and limiting our power.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

73: Recording  New cultures are constantly being born in these vast new expanses ((modern cities)) where Christians are no longer the customary interpreters or generators of meaning.

Instead, they themselves take from these cultures new languages, symbols, messages and paradigms which propose new approaches to life, approaches often in contrast with the Gospel of Jesus.

A completely new culture has come to life and continues to grow in the cities. The Synod noted that today the changes taking place in these great spaces and the culture which they create are a privileged locus of the new evangelization.

This challenges us to imagine innovative spaces and possibilities for prayer and communion which are more attractive and meaningful for city dwellers

Through the influence of the media, rural areas are being affected by the same cultural changes, which are significantly altering their way of life as well.

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Daniel Daring - Year with Matthew - 22:

Making all things new

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10 years ago today:

Mazenod Center on a hot Summer afternoon ....with Wendy continuing to make walking progress DG

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa 
Mon: Europe, Russia
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia 
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America
Sat: Cent, N. America   
  
Jesus, today, Monday, please bless the people of Europe & Russia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 22nd of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Zhejiang

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month: 
On this 22nd of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Rwanda

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today,
Monday, please pacify I.S.

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Please also join me in praying for the very many deformed and handicapped people from China who are on the streets of HK as beggars...as well as deformed people in China itself ...like Hung Chun Cai

        
    My Africa trips: 
2015: Tanzania, Malawi

2016: Kenya, Uganda

2017: Southern Africa, Dubai

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Video: What "gay marriage" did to Massachusetts

  Frightening YouTube reports: LGBT radical impact on educational institutions (No. 5); LGBT infiltrating churches (No. 6); US corporations massively supporting LGBT agenda (No. 7). What has happened in the US is now starting to happen in other places. Some day our children will ask "why didn't you do more to stop this evil?"

 

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Pope's surprise visit to drug treatment centre

Pope is practising what he preaches: "get out and mix with the poor"

 

HK readers might like to join me in praying each day for one group of HK prison inmates: Sun: Lo Wu; Mon: C.I.C., Siu Lam, Tai Lam; Tue: Stanley Wed:  Hei Ling Chau   Thu: Lantau 
Fri: Lai Chi Kok       Sat: Hospitals, Pik Uk & other centres


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 Fr John Wotherspoon O.M.I. 胡 頌 恆 神 父   
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