Saturday, 27 April 2013

Remembering Fr. Arthur Lai Fook C.S.Sp. 1919-2013

Fr Arthur Lai Fook
A recent photo of Fr. Lai Fook

LAI FOOK, Fr. Arthur C.S.Sp. died on 19th April at Lourdes House, Arouca at the age of 93. Priest of over 65 years, he was ordained on 20th July, 1947.
Uncle, great uncle and great-great uncle of the Lai Fook, Jay Williams and Huggins-Chan families. An Evening Prayer vigil will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday 24th April 2013 at St. Mary’s College Chapel. His funeral liturgy will be celebrated on Thursday 25thApril, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Theresa’s Church, Woodbrook, followed by interment at Lapeyrouse Cemetery.
Fr Arthur Lai Fook, CSSp

I knew Fr. Lai Fook from attending  morning  Mass during the week at the St Mary's Chapel (College of the Imaculate Conception) which is located on  Frederick St, Port of Spain. To be honest I cannot recall him saying Mass while I was at school, however it was after leaving school, that I  observed him saying Mass there.  Funny how I can remember that now, as at that time I did not know his name, he was just a priest saying Mass that day. 
Now   I would say that he reminded me of  Yoda from Star Wars, perhaps it was the combination of  priestly robes, the shape of the head, the hair or lack thereof. At that time,  I think that I was too dumbstruck on seeing him, to do more than smile and leave the Chapel, slowly.
On seeing the younger picture of him , which was posted with an article on the celebration on Friday, July 20, 2007  of the 60th anniversary of priestly ordination of Fr Arthur Lai Fook CSSp (diamond jubilee), I am noticing what we call  "Bat ears" so maybe we are related as that size and shape of ears run in my family also, as well as the tendency for our hair to spike when it is cut short.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Another University's approach to sharing: A link to "access to scholarships for persons 13+"

KU Plaza

In comparing the styles of sharing /giving by Duquense University and Unviersity of Dayton, I had to pause, save the draft and revisit what I was seeing, as at a glance access to aid/scholarships was not apparent.  Then I started viewing the links such as:
I was especially intrigued by Scholarship Experts which is accessed on External Scholarships, whereby you can access a scholarship for $3000. This applies to those who are thirteen years (13) and older. Imagine how this can help students!

In short, I think that there are many different ways to give anything, sometimes the method and means of giving may be apparent and sometimes either may not be.

I've been Reading: Rangers Series by John Flanagan

Product DetailsProduct DetailsCurrently I've been reading the Rangers series by John Flanagan. The source of the books is one of my nephews and its selection has been due to it being available and being intrigued  by the book, to continue reading it, after picking it up and starting in the centre of it. The series is on the adventures of a boy who is into adolescence who did not know his parentage at a time when your parentage determined your outlook and to some extent your outcome in life.  As an adult I have been reading books written for children which can stimulate their thinking on life's issues and to some extent those types of books have been what shaped my thinking to sone extent, so that
reading Mr. Pink Whistle by Enid Blyton led to an appreciation of Harry Potter as an adult. The appreciation was not for the spells and all of the purported things to be aware of as a good Christian, nor for the power on the subconscious, but for the use of the imagination. There was also appreciation for the changes in the characters over the series of the books, their constancy as well as their evolution, the role of other characters who were seemingly unimportant to the main theme, but who had a role to play. Call me naive and simplistic, but sometimes the qualities which  the characters display, add more to the stimulation of the brain than all of the spells and charms. Comparing the books to the movies, I realised that some of the qualities which enthrall me in the books are not what  are highlighted in the movies as the movies are geared towards an audience and an age group. Also while you can read a book many times and see a different perspective with each reading, with a movie that may be difficult to achieve. Maybe I lack visual stimulation.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Mark the Evangelist

The martyrdom of Saint Mark.Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry
Musée CondéChantilly).

Illumination of St. Mark in the 11th century Trebizond Gospel

Mark the Evangelist (Latin: Mārcus; Greek: Μᾶρκος; Coptic: Μαρκοϲ; Hebrew: מרקוס‎) is the traditional author of the Gospel of Mark. He is one of the Seventy Disciples, and the founder of the Church of Alexandria, one of the original four main episcopal sees ofChristianity.

According to William Lane (1974), an "unbroken tradition" identifies Mark the Evangelist with John Mark,[3] and John Mark as the cousin of Barnabas.[4] An exception is found in Hippolytus of Rome, who in his work On the Seventy Apostles, distinguishes Mark the Evangelist (2 Tim 4:11), John Mark (Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37), and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10; Phlm 24).[5]According to Hippolytus, they all belonged to the "Seventy Disciples" who were sent out by Jesus to saturate Judea with the gospel(Luke 10:1ff.). However, when Jesus explained that his flesh was "real food" and his blood was "real drink", many disciples left him (John 6:44-6:66), presumably including Mark. He was later restored to faith by the apostle Peter; he then became Peter’s interpreter, wrote the Gospel of Mark, founded the church of Africa, and became the bishop of Alexandria.
St. Mark by Donatello
Relics of St Mark
In 1063, during the construction of a new basilica in Venice, St. Mark's relics could not be found. However, according to tradition, in 1094 the saint himself revealed the location of his remains by extending an arm from a pillar.[26] The newfound remains were placed in a sarcophagus in the basilica.[23]

The interior of Saint Mark's Nave today
The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there.

In searching for information on St. Mark, I came across information on the "Saint Mark’s Cathedral"

Note: The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion of Churches, tied by faith and practice to the Church of England (the Archbishop of Canterbury being the spiritual leader).

The Anglican Church came to this continent with the English colonists of the 17th and 18th centuries. After the Revolutionary War, allegiance to the British Crown was impossible, and in 1785 the first General Convention established the Episcopal Church in the United States. Samuel Seabury was elected the first Bishop, thereby replacing the oversight of the Bishop of London. The General Convention approved the first American “Book of Common Prayer” in 1789. (The General Convention is the governing body of the Episcopal Church, consisting of the House of Bishops and the elected House of Deputies. Both houses must agree on legislation that comes before the convention for consideration.)
Altar Platform with Font
Sunday, April 14th, 2013 at 2 PM

Norma Aamodt-Nelson and Kristin Olson will present a concert of music for organ and oboe including compositions by Walther, Bruhns, and David Dahl in Thomsen Chapel, St. Mark’s Cathedral (1245 10th Avenue E. (Capitol Hill) ~ Seattle).

Ms. Aamodt-Nelson is Organist/Music Director at Trinity Lutheran Church, Lynnwood, WA and Kristin Olson, a Julliard School of Music graduate, performs with Pacific Musicworks and other early music groups as baroque oboist. She will play both baroque and modern oboe in this concert.

Admission: $10 suggested donation at the door or advance passes available at the Cathedral Shop.

The Greater Litanies

This day is honored in the Liturgy by what is called Saint Mark’s Procession. The term, however, is not a correct one, inasmuch as a procession was a privilege peculiar to April 25 previously to the institution of our Evangelist’s feast, which even so late as the sixth century had no fixed day in the Roman Church. The real name of this procession is The Greater Litanies. The word Litany means Supplication, and is applied to the religious rite of singing certain chants whilst proceeding from place to place in order to propitiate heaven. The two Greek words Kyrie eleison (Lord, have mercy on us) were also called Litany, as likewise were the invocations which were afterwards added to that cry for mercy, and which now form a liturgical prayer used by the Church on certain solemn occasions.

The Greater Litanies (or processions) are so called to distinguish them from the Minor Litanies, that is, processions of less importance as far as the solemnity and concourse of the faithful were concerned. We gather from an expression of St. Gregory the Great that it was an ancient custom in the Roman Church to celebrate, once each year, a Greater Litany, at which all the clergy and people assisted. This holy Pontiff chose April 25 as the fixed day for this procession, and appointed the Basilica of St. Peter as the Station.

Several writers on the Liturgy have erroneously confounded this institution with the processions prescribed by St. Gregory for times of public calamity. It existed long before his time, and all that he did was to fix it on April 25. It is quite independent of the feast of St. Mark, which was instituted at a much later period. If April 25 occur during Easter week, the procession takes place on that day (unless it be Easter Sunday), but the feast of the Evangelist is not kept till after the octave. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My Father

For every bit of knowledge that I have acquired on my father, based either on knowledge acquired in school, or what I was told or through interaction, I am sure that there are other bits, that I do not know. For example, for a good number of years, my father spent time at a location that seemed to have been derived from another era.  There were the small stores with the cobbler and the tailor in one block, with another block containing a two story building which housed apartments or rooms which were available for rent either at a fairly cheap price or which was obtained through the provision of other services such as the vending of tickets at  the only cinema in the area.  Not to be prejudiced, but these places were built out of concrete blocks and  seemed to be of a quality which was comparable to buildings in other "better off" areas, yet  they were located in a part of town which would not have been called "well off". God alone knows what the earnings on these buildings were, whether they ever paid for themselves or whether the act of providing decent housing mattered more than cash flow or profit. Along with  this desire to provide decent housing (which may not have related to my father), was respect for the elderly.  This was seen in the visits to the "old couple" who retained a way of life that they seemed to have had for years. One of the habits was buying fish in the market every day which was  to be cooked in olive oil and was to be eaten with ground provision. I am not sure if this eating of fish arose from a bet he had made with these persons or from a good Catholic background which was no longer  admitted to.
Another  bit of knowledge came  in the various sources of knowledge which he possessed. For all of my learnings, I could not understand or determine the source of his information, as all of it just did not add up for me. Maybe I did not want to speculate at that time, as it would have seemed to be an invasion of his privacy. 
Over the last few years, in the course of my travels to the various islands,  when I see the similarity in the buildings, I cannot help but wonder, was my father here and at what point in time and what was the impact of this place on him. 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Caribbean History: Toussaint Loverture & MUPANAH

Haiti Marks 210 Years Since Death of Toussaint Louverture
the statue of Louverture in Port-au-Prince (Photo: OPM Haiti)
Today, "Haiti Marks 210 Years Since Death of Toussaint Louverture"  See link to article in Carib Journal below

In 1983, the remains of Louverture were placed at the MUPANAH site. The Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien (MUPANAH) is a museum featuring the heroes of the independence of Haiti and the Haitian history and culture.


The museum traces Taínos, Spanish, and a section dedicated to the heroes of independence including silver gun with which Henri Christophe committed suicide and the bell used to announce the independence. It also contains chains of slavery, torture instruments, sculptures and temporary exhibitions of paintings. Another curiosity, the anchor of the Caravel of Christopher Columbus, the Santa María (ship) measuring 4 meters high.[2]

Divine Mercy

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday and this day is  specially important as a message continuing from Easter. In practical terms, this is a modern day message following Easter. After all many not be able to relive the Easter Triduum every day, but they can live out "Divine Mercy" which is a gentler message of hope, forgiveness, charity and love. Here are excerpts from wikipedia on this aspect of our faith:
The first Divine Mercy painting byKazimierowski (1934) 
Divine Mercy Sunday is a Roman Catholic solemnity celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave of Easter. It is originally based on the Catholic devotion to the Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, and is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Church
"The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy is a Roman Catholic devotion based on the visions of Jesus reported by Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), known as "the Apostle of Mercy."[1][2] She was a Polish sister of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and canonized as a Catholic saint in 2000.[3]
Faustina stated that she received the prayer through visions and conversations with Jesus, who made specific promises regarding the recitation of the prayers.[1] Her Vatican biography quotes some of these conversations.[3]
The chaplet is often said as a rosary-based prayer with the same set of rosary beads used for reciting the Holy Rosary or the Chaplet of Holy Wounds. The chaplet may also be said without beads, usually by counting prayers on the fingertips,[1] and may be accompanied by the veneration of the Divine Mercy image.[4][5]
The chaplet is often recited on beads as a rosary-based prayer
The English version of the Chaplet
[9] was published in 1987. The chaplet contains the initial prayers as in a Rosary, then proceeds on the beads, adding specific offerings to the Father on the larger beads. On the smaller beads, it has specific other petitions for mercy. It then concludes by repeating a specific prayer for mercy.[9]
The Sign of the Cross on the Crucifix;
On large bead
Opening prayer: You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.[12]
Repeated three times: O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You![12]
On three smaller beads, one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and The Apostles' Creed
For each of the five decades:
On large bead: Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
Repeated on each of the ten small Beads: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Concluding prayers:
Doxology, repeated three times: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Closing Prayer: Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.[13]
Conclude with the Sign of the Cross.
John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy
In 1996 Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, and Fr. George Kosicki, CSB formed the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy to provide instruction in Divine Mercy theology and spirituality to both parish leaders and clergy. At its inception, Pope John Paul II entrusted the Institute with the task of providing "formation and research in The Divine Mercy message". Their role in spreading the Divine Mercy message was acknowledged by Pope John Paul II in a special Papal Blessing in 2001, the 70th anniversary of the revelation of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion.

Friday, 5 April 2013


I was searching for a Litany to write about having forgotten the name of the specific Litany and +Google  litanies, never expecting an explanation or site which would be specific. One of the first sites which was available was  " A Treasure of 229 Litanies"  which lists the Litanies in alaphabetic order.  One of my favorites is the Divine Praises which covers the following, as it is a go to in times of need. No matter how you are feeling, the act of reciting the words of praise, lifts your spirits time after time:

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus. Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.
May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved withgrateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.
Anthony pereda.jpg

Then there is the Litany of St Anthony:

Lord, have mercy on us,
Christ, have mercy on us,
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have Mercy on us. 
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.
St Joseph, spouse of Mary, Pray for us.
St Francis, patriarch of the poor, Pray for us.
St Anthony of Padua, Pray for us.
St Anthony, friend of Jesus and Mary, Pray for us.
St Anthony, apostolic man, Pray for us.
St Anthony, filled with the Spirit of prophecy, Pray for us.
St Anthony, sublime doctor of truth, Pray for us.
St Anthony, ornament of the seraphic order, Pray for us.
St Anthony, light of Holy Church, Pray for us.
St Anthony, preacher of grace, Pray for us.
St Anthony, trumpet of the Gospel, Pray for us.
St Anthony, mirror of regular observance, Pray for us.
St Anthony, cultivator of a mortified life, Pray for us.
St Anthony, model of abstinence, Pray for us.
St Anthony, example of obedience, Pray for us.
St Anthony, lover of poverty, Pray for us.
St Anthony, lily of chastity, Pray for us.
St Anthony, rose of patience, Pray for us.
St Anthony, brilliant gem of sanctity, Pray for us.
St Anthony, violet of humility, Pray for us.
St Anthony, hammer of heresy, Pray for us.
St Anthony, fervent in zeal for divine worship, Pray for us.
St Anthony, thirsting for the salvation of souls, Pray for us.
St Anthony, martyr in desire, Pray for us.
St Anthony, lover and assiduous imitator of the Redeemer, Pray for us.
St Anthony, devout client of the Virgin, Pray for us.
St Anthony, emulator of the seraphic Francis, Pray for us.
Mother of God, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us. 

UNDP - Eight Goals for 2015

A few days ago, when I read that there were 1000 days to the goal date of April 15,  2015 I started doing the maths assoicated with 1000 days and years. Many times when we deal with projects we think of the time in big terms with milestones to be accomplished in months or after after a year. However when we look at accomplishing goals in days, even when the target date seems to be in the distant future, we see things in another way. We start looking at the daily accomplishments which add up or snowball into successes, some planned and some not planned. For more information on the Goals and the status,see the  charts which was obtained from Facebook

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but starting this week we can march a thousand days forward into a new future."

Find out what else Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says about UN Millennium Development Goals momentum here in The Huffington Post
Photo: Ban Ki-moon discussing how to end poverty with young people in Spain this week.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

100th Post Published

Realising that I was reaching a milestone of the 100th post to be published, I was trying to determine what I would write about and the initial topic which was selected last night,  flew out of my head. However after a day spent trying to recall the nature of the topic, I realised that there were other things which  I would like to convey to all of the readers:

  • Thank you for reading the posts. Many times I was in a state of disbelief over the number of visits to the blog, as well as what was of interest to persons who read the blogs. There was never a plan to the posts which were written, they were just information in the form of accounting knowledge, thoughts and opinions, photos which I wanted to capture in a form which was accessible to others and myself in the future. The purpose of capturing the information was partly to grow, deal with challenges and move on where possible, although that was not the original intention. One of the things which I have realised is that I may never be proficient in most of the areas where I excelled previously and that is a challenge which I will have to live with.
  • I have tried not to provide advice on situations which impact on persons' lives, as that is a flaw which I have been trying to work on, with little success.  Instead, I will try to provide options or assist with dealing with the choices which were selected.
  • I would like to continue writing, and the second hundred posts may not be as interesting or arrive as quickly as the first hundred did (roughly over a period of four months). After all, I had photos  of places where I worked or visited which were easily accesible on Facebook, there were many accounting topics which I could write about which were the source of agony at the time and there were all of the emotional things which I worked through. Praying will continue in some form or the other, hopefully.
  • Again, thanks for reading, I hope it was an enjoyable experience for you also.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

I am happy

I am happy when I get through a day filled with surprising perplexities.

I am happy when  I look back at a day and all I could see was what did not go right, and today I can see some of what went well in those same circumstances.

I am happy when I look at a church which is being renovated and I get excited each time I pass by it, eagerly awaiting its reopening, because I want to see the inside of the church with the beautiful stained glass windows.
Yes, revisiting the church will be bittersweet, as one of my friends who told me about the Masses which were held at a lunch time, has now passed on.
I am happy when I +Google   the name of a churcch and I see articles which would have been lost, if they had not been posted to the internet.   See the following links and excepts.;

"Fr. (Abbé) Francis de Ridder, a 'free coloured' Catholic priest spoke up against the additional church fees and the marriage licence rules, stating that their combined effect was to make the total cost of getting married beyond the reach of the poor. His efforts were unsuccessful and this brought him into conflict with both the Catholic Church hierarchy and, importantly, Governor Woodford.

In 1829 Abbé Francis de Ridder, mentioned above, purchased land that the the Rosary Church and schools currently stand on. At the time when the governor, Sir Ralph Woodford, was imposing restrictions upon the 'coloured' population. In the struggle for justice that ensued, the site of the Holy Rosary Church was the 'free coloured' headquarters in Port-of-Spain."