Ever get that feeling when you open a bag of potato chips that you’ve mostly paid for air?
A group of South Korean college students have, and to prove their point, on Sunday they used a raft made of unopened potato chip packets to traverse Seoul’s main river.
Two male students crossed the Han River on a boat made with 160 unopened bags of potato chips bound together near 0.8-mile-long Jamsil Bridge in the city’s east.
The stunt attracted nearly 200 people, according to local accounts.
South Korea consumer groups in recent years have said local food companies are including too little edible product and increasing the size of empty space inside packaging.
Blog posts and online bulletin board entries regularly compare packages of food products such as chocolate chip cookies and crackers. South Korea’s food companies have said the extra space is needed to prevent physical damage to the product.
These archangels, messengers sent by God, are the only ones named in the Bible.
In the Book of Daniel, Michael is called ‘the great prince;’ in the Letter of Jude, he argues with the devil over Moses’ body; and in the Book of Revelation, he leads the battle against Satan. He is patron of the sick, radiologists, and mariners.
Gabriel explains Daniel’s visions to him in the Book of Daniel, and in the Gospel of Luke announces to Zechariah and Mary the births of their respective sons. He is the patron of messengers and telecommunications and postal workers.
Raphael guides Tobiah in the Book of Tobit; he is patron of the blind, physicians, and travelers.
The church created their joint feast after the Second Vatican Council.
My name is Michael Afam-Obanor, I am originally from Nigeria but currently
residing in the US. I am twenty-two years old. I was born to a Catholic family, but I only
practiced because my parents demanded that I did, I was never serious or cared much for
the faith at this point in my life. I moved to the US when I was fifteen, the experience of
moving came with the normality that accompanies relocation to a place other than your
place of growth and development. The shock came mostly in the field of how blatant
immorality was, and also a lack of compassion for ones neighbors. This prompted me to
come to some sort of reversion a call to return back to the faith. I started out by attending
meetings at a School Christian group called Students for Christ. From this group I met
other students who were on fire for Christ and one of these Students invited me to his
church, a request I gladly accepted and although I enjoyed going to his Church I always
felt I was not in the right place a feeling that something was still missing, through this
feeling I started exploring the faith of my birth again and started an intentional quest to
get to know this faith. Through this exploration by the power of the Holy Spirit I came
to realize that what was missing was the Catholic faith. This one time event is what gave
way to my growth and development within the Catholic Faith.
The main reason for this article was to share my volunteer experience from World
Youth Day (WYD) or Jornada Mundial De La Juventud (JMJ) in keeping with the Spirit
of the host country’s native language, I felt it proper to first give a brief background
about who I am and how I came to embrace the Catholic Faith. Below is an excerpt from
a blog post I wrote to explain my experience on the first day in Rio.
In the course of two weeks I have come to experience the Mystical body of
Christ in a completely different and profund way, I learned first hand that all borders
are destroyed when celebrating the Catholic faith, I learned so much on the virtue of
patience and humility while at the same time understanding our mission to be stewards
of our faith, words spoken by Jesus in the gospels and reiterated by the Holy Father Pope
Francis. Two weeks or fourteen days might seem to many as a really short time to learn
and fully grasp these profound life lessons but unlike sitting and learning in a classroom,
one learns so much quicker by immersing oneself in whatever it is they are passionate
about which is exactly what myself and thousands of other international volunteers
did by going to work in a foreign city where most of the internationals had little if not
no understanding of the culture of this foreign land. Which brings to mind Christian
missionaries of times and also gives testament to our call to be Missionaries a term used
by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Marianist order.
On the fourteenth of July I boarded a plane to Rio de Janeiro to join thousands
of other volunteers international and national to help make the event World Youth Day
a success while also participating in a common union of believers to encounter Christ. I
boarded that plane not knowing what to expect but having my faith and trust in God to
see me through yet another experience in my life. I boarded that plane with just my task
designation, no idea of my accommodation or where I would be working, The words
spoken by Abraham when asked by Isaac his Son where the animal to be slaughtered
was, and Abraham responded Jehovah Jireh (God will Provide) stayed in my mind
throughout the process of packing, driving to the airport etc. This simple yet profound
phrase and my Faith in the Lord is what kept pushing me forward despite having the
normal human worries of the unknown, like the circumstance of not knowing where I
would sleep or how I would navigate a country I knew next to nothing about, and only
thing which was giving me so solace was the info I received which specified I would find
out this information when I arrived in Rio and went to pick up my volunteer kit.
Landing in Rio at 9 in the morning left me feeling excited as I was actually in
Brasil live and in person, and in the coming week I will be celebrating the faith with
millions of people from all over the world. After waiting at the Airport in Rio for an hour
with some new found volunteer friends among which are the likes of Andrea, Louie,
Karina, Lucy, Kate, Jesus as well as others, we finally got some transportation to the
Cathedral which is where we got to experience first hand the chaos and some idea of the
amount of work the organizing committee had to deal with. A little side note it was a
good thing everybody there wanted to be there and were willing to stay calm through the
whole process and work with the organizers, the cooperation level with the volunteers
was truly remarkable taking into account most of these people had been in a plane for
more than thirty plus hours a feeling I think would make most people easily irritable.
Back to the scene at the Cathedral, We get to the Cathedral and at first I am surprised
by the architecture of the Cathedral, which was not your normal European style this
Cathedral was a Pyramid shape, coming back to my senses from the design of the
Cathedral, the sight at the cathedral was one full of people with suitcases and flags and
the national volunteers whose job was to help out with the distribution of the volunteer
line so we could receive our kits and in my case get information on my accommodation,
it is now like ten in the morning. The line was so long and winding that at first it was
confusing where the line started but we eventually found the start of the line and the wait
began. During the wait in line, I got into a small chit chat with some of the other people
who where there and that is when it finally hit me that I needed to switch my
communication methods simply because not everyone spoke English, the ones who did,
spoke English but not fluently, as a result from that point on I resolved to only speaking
Spanish or should I say a few Spanish words and a lot of English words. Hours later we
hear from someone that the organizing committee had run out of Kits and they wanted
everyone to go to their places of accommodation and return back the next day, which was
fine except for the fact that some people had no idea where their place of accommodation
was. Amidst the chaos that erupted when the above was announced I lost my group and
made my way to get some help on my living situation, which turned out to be another
experience all together in itself. I was informed by one of the volunteers I needed to head
to the basement of the Cathedral, where I could receive better information on my
situation. This I did and after pushing and shoving my way through crowds of people I
finally got someone’s attention, a man whom happened to an American which was
reliving as I could properly express myself. He pointed me to a room which had a list of
everyone as well as their designated area of work and address, He also added if I did not
receive help there I could just stick with him for that day.
I made my way to the room the American pointed out to get the information I
needed, then I went to one of the volunteers working, to get information on how to get
there, which was a pretty straight forward direction, looking at it now, but taking into
consideration the fact that it was my first day in the city, the person giving me directions
communication pattern, and my exhaustion from travelling all day etc,made it seem so
much more complicated.
After a few wrong stops, speaking in broken Spanish with officials trying to get some
help as to where I was and needed to go, I finally arrived at the Church I was designated
to work in. Only to find out the Church was closed, and at this point it is close to ten at
night, shops are starting to close and I am stuck in the streets of a foreign city with all my
belongings in a suitcase. This was somewhat of a breaking point for me and I almost lost
hope, but closing my eyes and remembering the prayer I said before leaving the United
States "Lord I do not have the slightest idea what I am getting myself into but I do know
I am going to do your work so therefore I am placing this whole trip and my life in your
hands and I trust you will see me through it". I opened my eyes and preparing for my
next course of action I look up and see a pharmacy still open and I decided to try and use
their phone to call the Church. I head into the pharmacy and this is where I experience
first hand the accommodating nature of the Brasilian people or in this case the Cariocas
(People who live in Rio De Janeiro)but I would not be surprised if all Brasilains were
like that. I walk into the pharmacy and the first words I say to the Clerk is Puedo usar su
telephono por favor, from the look in the clerks face I saw some concern maybe because
I was lugging around a suitcase late at night with a look of frustration on my face. He lets
me use the phone and first I call the Volunteer help line for native English speakers but
no one answers, then I call the Church Santo Alphonso that I was designated to work,
unfortunately for me the Priest did not speak any of the languages I had some degree of
fluency in, this is when the pharmacy clerk comes in. I explain to the clerk to the best of
my ability my situation in Spanish and ask if he could talk to the priest for me and tell
the priest my situation. After talking on the phone for a while the clerk comes back and
relates to me what the priest had said, which were within the parameters of no one is
supposed to stay here, tell him to go back to the Cathedral where he can be helped since
the Cathedral was the volunteers point of reference. I think about what the priest had said
and decide it would be safer to sleep on the steps of the cathedral which was in a fenced
compound for some reason I have this idea that the Cathedral would closed since it was
so late at night, after making up my mind the pharmacy clerk takes me outside and hails
a taxi gives the taxi driver directions on where I was headed, then he hands me a piece
of paper with his number and tells me if there is any problem I should not hesitate to call
The taxi ride to the cathedral was a bit awkward because the taxi driver tried to make
small talk and I could not communicate so I just stared at him nodding my head and
smiling, we finally arrive at the Cathedral, I pay my taxi fare and proceed to the
Cathedral steps and prepare myself to sleep, which involved putting my passport and my
money in my socks leaving small bills in my wallet so if I got robbed the robbers would
not get too suspicious. Just when I was done preparing myself to sleep a man walks up
to me, gestures for me to make my way to the front of the Cathedral, which I do only to
see that it is open and three local volunteers and the director of the volunteers are still
inside cleaning up. Feeling relived that I did not have to sleep outside, I go and talk to
the Director of Volunteers and tell him my situation, he apologizes and assures me I will
have a place to sleep and I do not have to sleep outside, just at that moment a lady walks
in looking for some volunteers as she was in charge of providing accommodation for
three volunteers who had not yet arrived or got lost in the chaos of that day, Antonio the
director of the volunteers tells me to go with her just for that night and the next morning
everything will be sorted out.
This first day experience was another great way to the see the trustworthiness of
the Lord, A minuscule experience of the missionaries of old and an idea of what they had
to deal with but on a larger scale.
Two things I could take away from my first day experience in Rio that I would
like to share with the audience is this, although life seems to bring you down having faith
and trust in the Lord makes life more livable. Also the second thing to be taken away is,
we are not alone in our journey there are so many people especially young people who
strive to be Jesus to others here on earth in times of doubt remember St Paul when he
says in Romans 8:28 “We know that all things work for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose”. This is my first entry and by the grace of God I
hope to post more articles that addresses different aspects of the faith. I also want to
apologize for the formal manner this article is written, which is without much regard for
proper grammatical rules, I figured since I will be talking to peers it would be proper to
be formal in my approach. Also goodbye for now and may the Father and the Son and the
Holy Spirit be glorified in all place through the Immaculate Virgin Mary be glorified in
all places Amen. Also as a postscript props to Jamil for starting this site God Bless you
God's Not Dead.Read Now
We have received more than 50 requests to watch God's Not Dead, a new movie out in the cinemas.
Not going to give details about the movie but I think if the World Youth Days volunteers loved it, that means it's one amazing movie.
Here's a link to watch the movie for free:
Christian leaders meet Obama, discuss concerns for Mideast minorities
Eight Eastern Christian leaders spent 40 minutes talking to President Barack Obama about the situation of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.
"We felt how deeply moved he was by what was happening to the Christians there," Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch, said at a Mass later the same day at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church. The Sept. 11 Mass closed the three-day inaugural In Defense of Christians summit. A conference organizer said that an American businessman from the Middle East sent his private jet to transport the Christian leaders to the summit.
The cardinal said each of the leaders from Eastern Catholic and Orthodox rites had a chance to speak individually to Obama, who the White House said "dropped by National Security Advisor Susan Rice's meeting at the White House."
Although the White House did not release details of the discussion, throughout the summit the Christian leaders spoke of the threat to Christians and other minorities posed by Islamic State militants, particularly in Iraq and Syria. Several said they were advocating religious freedom, an inherent right. They spoke of the need for local leaders and the international community to become involved in a solution because, as one Orthodox bishop said, "no one can possibly agree to a beheading."
A White House statement, read out near the end of the In Defense of Christians summit, said Obama reinforced the U.S. commitment to fight Islamic State militants and other groups that threaten the Middle East, as well as American personnel and interests in the region.
"He underscored that the United States will continue to support partners in the region, like the Lebanese Armed Forces, that are working to counter (Islamic State fighters) and promote regional stability. The delegations agreed on the need for all leaders in the region to reject violence and prejudice and call for moderation, tolerance of other views and religions, and an end to sectarian divisions.
"The president emphasized that the United States recognizes the importance of the historic role of Christian communities in the region and of protecting Christians and other religious minorities throughout the Middle East," the statement said.
The Christian leaders who met with Obama and rice were Cardinal Rai; Catholicos Aram of Cilicia, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church; Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan; Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham; Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II; Bishop Angaelos, general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria; retired Chaldean Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim of St. Thomas the Apostle of Detroit; and Antiochian Orthodox Metropolitan Joseph of New York and All North America.
By Barb Fraze
Catholic News Service
World Meeting Of Families.Read Now
Here is the beautiful icon chosen for the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
Happy Birthday.Read Now
The Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated in the Church at least since the 8th Century. The Church's calendar observes the birthdays of only two saints:b Saint John the Baptist (June 24), and Mary, Mother of Jesus.
John the Baptist is considered especially sanctified even before his birth. His birth to Elizabeth and Zachariah is foretold in the first chapter of Luke, and it is also recorded (Lk 1:41) that Elizabeth felt the infant John "leap in her womb" when Mary approached her soon after the annunciation.
The birth of Mary was also miraculous. She was conceived without sin as a special grace because God had selected her to become the mother of His Son (the feast of her immaculate conception is celebrated on December 8). The dogma of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, though generally believed throughout the Church for many centuries, was formally declared by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
There is nothing contained in Scripture about the birth of Mary or her parentage, though Joseph's lineage is given in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. The names of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, appear in the apocryphal "Gospel of James", a book dating from the 2nd Century AD, not part of the authentic canon of Scripture. According to this account, Joachim and Anna were also beyond the years of child-bearing, but prayed and fasted that God would grant their desire for a child.
According to one tradition, the house in which Mary was born in Nazareth is the same one in which the annunciation took place. By another tradition, the annunciation site is beneath the Crusader church of Saint Anna in Jerusalem, under a 3rd Century oratory known as the "Gate of Mary".
In celebrating the nativity of Mary, Christians anticipate the Incarnation and birth of her Divine Son, and give honor to the mother of Our Lord and Savior.
Article taken from www.wf-f.org.
The Sign of the CrossRead Now
There are plenty of threats against the Catholics among the world recently. It seems to be very obvious having in mind glances from the Middle East, in particular Syria and Iraq. Every day we are being informed about new victims of anti-Catholic actions committed by Muslim radicals.
On the other hand, more closely to my fatherland i.e. Poland, we may see many images full of grieve coming from eastern Ukraine. Where priests and other our brothers and sisters in faith are suffering because of the war.
In this point I must mention that Catholics are instantly and seamlessly becoming “persona non grata” in Russia, where the authorities, powerful politicians and businessman are standing in favor of the Orthodox Church. They’re even chairing patriarchs for positions in governmental agendas. It causes plenty of migrations and additional misfortune every single day.
I could count a lot of other examples of persecutions against our brothers which are currently taking place on a daily basis. Some might ask questions, such as Why are those things happening? Why people still are killing each other and mostly against our religion? Answering for these questions seems to be an issue for us, even eternally unsolved.
However, there is an opinion claiming that the more bad practices and the most visible violence against Catholics appear the better we perform. The stronger is our worship and gospel. It may be called The Sign of the Cross. A Teutonic theology philosopher Hans Kunig wrote in his book The Catholic Church A Short History one very important thing that we shan’t forget.
“Initially the young church was under an unfavorable star and Christians were persecuted. In AD 64 the Emperor Nero had numerous Christians executed in a cruel way as scapegoats for a great fire in Rome which he himself had staged. This was a fatal precedent: from then on, one could be condemned simply for being a Christian.”
Later on he says “the Christians refused to offer worship to the emperor and the state gods because of their belief in the one God. But refusal to participate in the state cult and to think as the state did was a crime against the state (crimen laesae Romanae religionis).”
Summarizing the initial steps of the Catholic Church he had written “But despite all the persecutions, the number of Christians inexorably grew”.
In my opinion this is a great exemplification of what actually made our church “the oldest, numerically the strongest, and probably also the most powerful representative of Christianity”. There’s no need to be threatened, we as the catholic youth should be proud of being God’s volunteers, followers of Jesus Christ. There’s no reason to be ashamed because of bearing our own Cross. We are marked by this sign from the very beginning and it depends on our faith how much heavy will be.