Friday, July 28, 2017

TRANSFORMATIVE VISIONARY LEADERSHIP

TRANSFORMATIVE VISIONARY LEADERSHIP

People will always follow a person who inspires them and sometimes many are following wrong leaders based on tribal lines that we rarely open our eyes towards the reality and truth.
A person with vision and passion can achieve great things, if only his eyes look up towards God and conducting the self with humility. The way to get things done is by injecting enthusiasm and energy and appreciating everyone for the work she or he does.

STYLE

Working for a transformative leadership can be a wonderful and uplifting experience, for they put passion and energy into everything and this brings great contentment to all.

THE MIND FACTORY

Transformative leadership starts with the development a clear vision, a view of the future that will excite and convert potential followers. People are passionate once they see hope and future in the leader, it drives them to wholly put their lives in the hands of the leader, which sometimes the political leaders dash that hope once they forget the vision.

This vision may be developed by the leader, by the senior team or may emerge from a broad series of discussions. The important factor is the leader buys into it. Developing the story is all about making your followers see and believe in the vision.

BRANDING THE VISION

Selling the vision is all about a brand. This takes energy and commitment, hence people will immediately buy into a radical vision, and some will join the show much more slowly than others. The transformative  leadership thus takes every opportunity and will use whatever works to convince others to climb on board the bandwagon. The transformative leader has to be very careful in creating trust, and their personal integrity is a critical part of the package that they are selling. In effect, they are selling themselves as well as the vision.

DARING THE FUTURE

In parallel with the selling activity is seeking the way forward. Some transformative leadership skills should always direct the people to see and feel the difference desired. This is a true strategy, that brings happiness leading to the exploration of possible routes to the promised land. 

The route forwards may not be obvious and may not be plotted in detail, but with a clear vision all can always come on board. Thus, finding the way forward can be an ongoing process of course correction, and the transformative leader will accept that there will be failures and blind canyons along the way. As long as they feel progress is being made, they will be happy.

HITTING THE ROAD RUNNING

The final stage is to remain up-front and central during the action. transformative leaders are always visible and will stand up to be counted rather than hide behind their troops. They show by their attitudes and actions how everyone else should behave. 

They also make continued efforts to motivate and rally their followers, constantly doing the rounds, listening, soothing and enthusing. It is their unswerving commitment as much as anything else that keeps people going, particularly through the darker times when some may question whether the vision can ever be achieved. 

If the people do not believe that they can succeed, then their efforts will be dashed. The transformative Leader ought to model well and behave well before his followers, not showing arrogance or pride, for vision is the discipline of every authentic leader.

One of the methods the transformative Leader must sustain motivation in the use of ceremonies, rituals and other cultural symbolism. Small changes get big hurrahs, pumping up their significance as indicators of real progress. 

Overall, they balance their attention between action that creates progress and the mental state of their followers. Perhaps more than other approaches, they are people-oriented and believe that success comes first and last through deep and sustained commitment. 

Whilst the transformative leader seeks overtly to transform the organization, there is also a tacit promise to followers that they also will be transformed in some way, perhaps to be more like this amazing leader.

In some respects, then, the followers are soldiers of transformation. transformative leaders are often charismatic, but are not as narcissistic as pure Charismatic Leaders, who succeed through a belief in themselves rather than a belief in others.

One of the traps of transformative Leadership is that passion and confidence can easily be mistaken for truth and reality. Whilst it is true that great things have been achieved through enthusiastic leadership, it is also true that many passionate people have led the charge right over the cliff and into a bottomless chasm. Just because someone creeds they are right, it does not mean they always right.


Paradoxically, the energy that gets people going can also cause them to give up. transformative leaders often have large amounts of enthusiasm which, if relentlessly applied, can wear out their followers. Transformative leaders must see the big picture, but not the details, where the devil often lurks. If they do not have people to take care of this level of information, then they are usually doomed to fail. 

Finally, transformative leaders, by definition, seek to transform. When the organization does not need transforming and people are happy as they are, then such a leader will be frustrated. Like wartime leaders, however, given the right situation they come into their own and can be personally responsible for saving entire companies, community and country.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Basic Christian Community Spiritual Care


BASIC CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY SPIRITUAL CARE

You are a "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own . . ." (1 Pt 2:9).

Community spiritual care is the way the church undertakes and cares for her local baptized members of her local Christians. Today what we call the church has to fully emphasis the element of people, baptized and received in a specific family of believers with the threefold mandate of priestly, prophetic and kingly ministry.

This ministry has to be based on the Eucharist, where people as a family share at the same table of breaking and sharing of the body and blood of Christ, for sharing is a Christian way of saying I love you. This love is not bought or forced but cultivated and nurtured by Christian hearts open to the call to reconciliation. In the unity of this Body there is a diversity of members and functions. All members are linked to one another, especially to those who are suffering, to the poor and persecuted (Catechism of the Catholic Church nos. 805-806).

The ministry of community life is built on an environment of love, support, appreciation for diversity, and judicious acceptance that models Catholic principles of developing meaningful relationships in nurturing Catholic faith. The content of our message will be heard only when it is lived in our relationships and community life. Through catechetical teachings we are taught and share through compassion, generosity, tolerance, peace, forgiveness, acceptance, and love of gospel values and to identify ourselves as Christians. We are called upon to live these values in our interactions with young people and in our community life.
As members of the community we need to accept the blood of Christ to purify our thoughts not the blood of our tribe. God's reign was proclaimed through the relationships Jesus baptized not because he was a sinner but because he wanted to show solidarity with mankind, and continues to be heralded every time we witness our belief in him through the relationships in our community.
 Our Christian communities should be places of acceptance of all without thinking of where one comes from, community life is not a tribal skirt to practice our tribal and cultural believes, but a renewal centre of believers in Christ with all characteristics we read in Acts 2:42–47. The ministry of community life is not only about what we do as an activity.

Community life is nurtured when the atmosphere that is welcoming, comfortable, safe, and predictable, one in which all members know that their presence is welcomed, their energy is appreciated, and their contributions are valued. Community life is enhanced when leaders promote and model an attitude that is authentic, positive, accepting, and understanding assuring all people that they are valued and cared for as gifted individuals.
Community life is encouraged when our actions are inviting, supportive, and gospel-based. Community life is created when activities build trust and encourage relationships, and are age appropriate. The ministry of community life with the youth has several distinct features that give direction to community life programming. Specifically, community building with the youth. The youth are not only future leaders in theory but all members of the community ought to be actively involved to find out what the youth are doing and how they can be helped to improve their lives from the great temptations of this world.
The community needs to create an environment that characterizes the gospel values and nurtures meaningful relationships among young people and adults in the Christian community. This develops the friendship-making and friendship-maintaining skills of young people grounded in Christian values.

The local Christian communities ought to enrich family relationships through programs, activities, and resources to improve skills such as family communication, decision making, and faith sharing, provide opportunities for multicultural community building that promotes respect for young ethnic cultures and develop skills for communication and understanding.


The community has to engage the young men and ladies in activities, and ministries of the parish in meaningful and age-appropriate ways. Providing avenues for the youth to participate as members of the faith community and opportunities for the faith community to acknowledge, celebrate, and value its youthful members with an attitude of welcoming and acceptance, understanding of Jesus' call to "love your neighbor as yourself", an appreciation for both the uniqueness of individuals and the support of a community united through faith through an awareness of the importance of their role as members of the community.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pastoral Collaborative Relevancy within a Parish Pastoral Council

Pastoral Collaborative Relevancy within a Parish pastoral Council .

Today, and only today are we called upon to take seriously the element of pastoral collaborative excellency to a higher level. In our parishes, we have very many qualified professionals that sometimes look at us priests and simply laugh at us, why? the way we do things in our given parishes, is very wanting and disgusting to the extent that even the same professionals fear to confront the pastor for fear of falling out with the pastor and in this context the parish priest. They usually take the parish priest’s decisions sometimes with a lot of doubt at heart. This comes as a result of suppressive or mitigative collaborative leadership.

The big question is? What is this we call pastoral collaborative excellency? And is it a healthy practice that we need to build up in most of our parishes and Christian communities for healthy pastoral ministers and the lay leaders?

Creating Space for Dialogue Over time teams learn to make informal talk points regarding more than simple professional confidentiality but really getting engaged in what is really happening at their parish level. Threat rises when people become aware of differing perceptions, opinions, and levels of awareness, skill, knowledge, or access.

Threat rises exponentially when a problem, especially a long-standing one which as if no one wants to talk about it yet exists, but turning out to be who will bail out the cat fiasco or simply talking with deep undertones. There are questions of culpability. Threat begins to suffocate the meeting rooms when problems include personal behaviors, performances, character, health, wellness, or dysfunction.

Collusion becomes a better option. Sometimes it becomes too hot that dealing with avoidance issue technique or simply a cover-up. The pastoral agents ought to create space for dialogue, engaging with the professionals on how to run the given parish and it’s never bad for the priest to ask for assistance, ask and be sure your Christian professionals will be free and willing to chip in more than you never expected, why? The skill will be at work.

Consultancy often begins by coming to terms with the deeper threats, and building the skills that make one productive, honest conversational and calling things for what they are. The parish council team begins on learning on how to build agreements and identify intentional behaviors that reduces those threats and temptations into cover ups.

One group member may use the word cultivation to describe the proactive process: patterns of trust-building are cultivated by the Pastoral Leadership Team which is usually in the care of the parish priest, bishop or any Christian competent, efficient and relevant to the given task. Dialogue is indispensable in any given task as far as church evangelization is concerned. Appraisal of mission/parish, programs, budget allocations, team performance, individual performance, admissions of need, and even failures ought to be fully zeroed in. Dialogue reduces blame and finally makes blame valueless. Moreover, dialogue makes learning of everyone’s work and the relevancy of one in each team, team spirit works best when there is constant mutual dialogue among the team members. This in the secular world could be termed as consultancy, in that in case of anything let me know and see if I may be of great assistance to you.

What brings us together? The discipline of sharing appreciative awareness of each other’s spiritual lives nourishes growth of the capacity to share and build common spiritual awareness. This has been a rising need for spiritual growth and self-worth in search for personal vocation and what type of church one wants but above all for healthy pastoral leadership encounters in the building of the reign of God.

 The parish council team is not a political team and ought not to be seen that way, or a team of friends of the parish priest to defend and cover up weaknesses of the priest but a team that has the whole parish at heart and always alert at any happenings within a given parish jurisdiction.

Collegial attitude of members. The team that is talented values achievement, task assigned or cut out awareness of mission requirement and lack of wastage of time, because time is money and that money needs to be accounted.

A parish council member should not be chosen because he or she has nothing else to do, that is wrong and ought not to be encouraged. The same productivity that is put in daily work should be the same productivity for your church, you don’t do it as a holiday hobby, if much is given unto to you then its right that much will be asked of you.

The parish loses out if it has the same parish priest for twenty years or fourteen years, that means that given parish can renew itself, its left to die. Imagine such a parish how many talented persons are left scot free without participating in the building of that given parish. We priest too have to know that as a priest once you clock six years or also in one parish the flavor and taste of priesthood fades. The parish gets lost in endless successions of fleeting moments and your relevancy as a priest is lost.

Awareness of Church Documents. To be elected to be a parish council member or pastoral council means that you are a known Christian grounded on church documents. Most of our parish council members are very green of some ecclesial documents or the parish library itself has no church documents, it’s a shelf there with very old books that have never been read.

The Parish priest ought to avail those documents to the members. Thanks be to God everything today is digitized, they need to upload those apps that have church documents and read them, or take ten minutes to read through documents before each meeting. An important capacity for pastoral teams that need to review, develop, and assess parish mission is the ability to understand the contexts people they bring to the conversation and whether such conversations existed within the catholic church before.


Growing a Culture of accountability. The Parish council owe the parish Christian the general accountability of their plans, work and progress so far done and what is needed to make the parish a better center of spiritual renewal of all parish families.  

To get at what really happens, everyone must learn to bypass impulses to talk in secret joints about what is ailing the parish or the parish priest. Hence, avoiding the conflicts and maneuvers that occur along the way to truth telling and trust making. Naming the obstacles or pointing out the ailment bedeviling the parish are daring acts that typify true collaborative practice. Pastoral ministers live by the stories found in that particular parish.

However, over successive years in ministerial life, pastoral persons become adept at telling scripture stories, and uncovering and sharing new meanings each time they tell them. That skill set, we learned, can be leveraged to document what we are learning about both the sidetracks and the pathways to collaborative pastoral excellence in accountability of being part of the history of a given parish.

Poor Execution of Transitions Some parishes ultimately lost what they gained when a new pastor arrived; one parish team literally withdraws and disbands. However, smaller instances of failure rise up in practically all team settings. The art of dealing with small failure, of course, includes practices of acknowledgment, assessment, and adjustment.

When there is isolation or cover-up, prospects are dim. When persons and team can bring issues to light, hiding and collusive behaviors become non-options. We usually find that remediation efforts are needed, and are often a more economical matter of retrieving or reapplying previously learned practices than starting from scratch.

Colliding Cultural Paradigms Cultural problems rise up with pastoral council teams in two ways. One, when cultural deference to the pastor as sole authority has been the tradition within a community, or the mental model transported from another culture, collaboration needs to be approached as a remedial discipline. Some parish council members have a tendency of looking at the parish priest for all solutions yet they forget together with the parish priest can come up with a wonderful inclusive strategy in parish pastoral plan.

Secondly, when pastoral persons come in parish communities from other national/international cultures and church communities, their personal histories may prevent them from making sense of African pastoral roles and relationships. Some cannot fathom the concept, for instance, of why women can’t be involved in decision-making and leadership roles given the African context, themselves forgetting to see the bigger picture of where they are coming from, and where this very same topic is still  hotly contested within the general overview of the ecclesial panorama.

THE CHURCH  OF TODAY DOES NOT NEED A VOICE THAT IS RIGHT WHEN THE WORLD IS RIGHT BUT A VOICE THAT IS RIGHT WHEN THE WORLD IS WRONG...



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

The What, Why, Who, How, When, and Where of Public Participation What is it?

Public participation is the involvement of people in a problem-solving or decision-making process that may interest or affect them.

Why do it?

Believe it or not, involving the public can make your job easier. Involving the public has several practical, philosophical, and ethical benefits. Some of the more important reasons for involving the public include a desire or need to:

 • Meet regulations and requirements: Many programs, laws, and rules require some level of public participation.
 • Adhere to democratic principles: Our culture and society embraces the philosophy that people have the right to influence what affects them. As Abraham Lincoln said, our government is intended to be of, by, and for the people. Involving the public and seriously considering their input and needs is more often than not the right thing to do.
Public participation provides a method for incorporating the public’s ideas, values and interests into decisions, resulting in more responsive and democratic governance. Public participation also provides a vehicle for creating better citizens (Boyte and Kari 1996).
 • Improve the process of creating problems that can and should be solved:
 Effective public action depends on finding or creating real problems that can, should, and are likely to be solved (Wildavsky 1979).
 A good public participation process can make such problem finding or creating easier, not harder. Although the front-end planning can be lengthier and more complicated, subsequent steps are often more efficient and some sources of delay can be avoided.
Without good public participation, your process will more likely become entangled in legal and political quagmires – for example, organized protests, lawsuits about lack of due process, or legislative interventions.
These are signs that individuals or organizations are unsatisfied with the process.

Good public participation helps you:

• Quickly identify key difficulties, challenges, or opportunities: Participation by the public early on and throughout the planning or decision-making process provides early notice that you will need to face certain issues, options, or opportunities.

Participation may also point out quickly that you might be heading in a direction that is untenable. Generally, the sooner such information comes to light, the more useful it will be to you in your process and the less likely you will need to undo earlier work and decisions.

 • Create better understanding of the situation, problems, issues, opportunities, and options for action: For an effective decision-making process, both the decision makers and the public need to fully understand.  Public participation helps the decision-making process because it clarifies the definition of problem, provides a forum for sharing ideas and concerns, helps produce clear and accurate information, and brings people together to focus on what’s worth doing.

 • Manage single-issue advocates: Because public participation illuminates many issues and many viewpoints, it can help manage single-issue advocates. When people are part of a broad-based, interactive process, they usually understand better challenge of making decisions in complex situations involving many different views about what can and should be done. While their zeal for their issue will not diminish, they may allow space for consideration of other issues and needs.

• Build better relationships: Asking, considering, and involving people in work and decisions that affect them will naturally create and enhance relationships with them. These relationships – or “social capital” (Putnam, 2000) – may prove a useful foundation and resource for future work, including the work of implementing a decision.

 • Manage conflict more effectively: A process that involves people early on, fosters better understanding, and builds relationships is also more likely to result in better conflict management. Such a process is more likely to be “hard on the problem and easy on the people,” focus on interests and not positions, respect the differences people bring and the contributions people have to make, and be able to create and atmospheres that welcomes win-win rather than win-lose solutions (Fisher & Ury, 1981; Thompson, 2001).

 • Build a coalition of support: When people are involved in solving problems, making decisions, or creating plans, they typically develop a sense of ownership, commitment to, and stake in the results of those efforts and initiatives. Frequently, they will then become stronger advocates and help bring them to life. This may take the form of political advocacy, volunteerism, partnering, publicity, securing funding, and so on.
 • Get it right the first time:
 If people have had their issues addressed and considered throughout the process, the resulting decisions should better meet their needs. Similarly, if the process, through public participation, has met their procedural needs, they should be more supportive of the decision.

This diminishes the desire and capacity of someone to stop a decision either late in the decision-making process or even during the implementation phase. For example, many lawsuits to stop or delay a project are aimed less at the actual decision and more at failures in the decision-making process – because options were not considered, meetings were not announced or open, the analysis was flawed, and so on.

• Enhance future problem-solving capacity: A good process can greatly enhance, rather than diminish or poison, future problem-solving capacity. Building in the kind of “process gains” noted above makes it less likely that future problem-solving efforts will result in “process losses.”

• Better, more substantive decisions and outcomes: Not surprisingly, the process improvements discussed lead to better decisions and outcomes. (Also not surprisingly, it can be hard to disentangle decisions and outcomes from the process used to create them.) Better results occur as a consequence of:
 • More information: A public involvement process brings more information into a decision-making process, including information that goes beyond scientific or technical knowledge. Knowledge of the context, institutions, history, and personalities is often invaluable (Scott, 1998). Especially important is gaining knowledge of stakeholder interests and concerns; that kind of political information that is essential for effective decision making.

 • More perspectives: The participation by a range of interested people adds more perspectives and expands options, thus enhancing the values of the ultimate decision. You are more likely to create a decision that meets more people’s needs and considers more people’s concerns if they have been involved in its formation.

• Increased mutual understanding: Public participation provides a forum for both decision makers and stakeholders to better understand the range of issues and viewpoints. Thus it broadens their own knowledge base as they contribute to the decision.

 • Free consultants: In one sense, involved people serve as free consultants to your project. They may bring technical expertise, specific knowledge about how decisions will affect certain stakeholders, local experience and history, or other specialized experience.

Who is the “public”?

There are many “public.” It is very important to do a good stakeholder analysis in order to identify those various publics. How, when, and where do you involve the public? • The nature and extent of involvement varies
• The time and costs of different types of involvement vary
• Participation processes should be designed purposefully and thoughtfully • Preparation should start early
• Adaptation and follow-through are necessary
 • Place matters and should be thought about carefully and strategically Sources:
 • Adapted from materials prepared by Mary Hamel, Public Involvement Counsel, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, November 2000.
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Boyte, Harry and Nancy Kari. 1996. Rebuilding America: The Democratic Promise of Public Work. Philadelphia, PA: Temple. • Fisher, Roger, and William Ury. 1981. Getting to Yes. Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin. • Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling Alone. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. • Scott, James. 1998. Seeing Like a State. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. • Thompson, Leigh. 2001. The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall. • Wildavsky, Aaron. 1979. Speaking Truth to Power. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.

Friday, July 7, 2017

THE YOUTH CULTURE AND ITS REVOLUTION
Life is too short to eat and drink poorly…
What is culture?
 Culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviour and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another group. Culture therefore describes the many ways in which human beings express themselves for the purpose of uniting with others and forming a group. It defines the identity distinguishing itself as unique but not better than the others. Loving the way, a group does its things, language, cultures, customs uniquely distinct but within a given environment and people.

Cultural expression is highly sensual in that human beings often create activities, practices, symbols, and the like that can easily be consumed by the senses. For instance, in globalization, migration, and technological advancement, people are questioning the role of culture within the aspects of human existence. Culture has been historically used to justify, and legitimize certain behaviours, practices, and traditional ways of living. Culture too needs to be Christianised or baptised. My way of thinking changes when I meet someone else of a different culture. I don’t need to fight the person because of his difference but to appreciate the differences and celebrating it fully without feeling superior to anybody or inferior to anyone at work, college, university and family.

What is happening?

Our perception of youth is unmistakably those among us who have not lived for a very long time on this world. They experience life and relate within small groups with cultures. They do not float in some timeless and placeless space, above and beyond the influence of historical and social forces like any other human dynamics.

The youth are shaped by macro-social forces such as ideology, peer pressure and delinquency. Although individual response to such forces may be unique and self-directed, it may not be simply free to operate outside the boundaries drawn by the social influence. Today the young men/ladies are looking for a place they call a home, they need good models/mentors in their discernment process or let’s call it good decision making in their lives.

Many changes involving the youth culture are seen by many as insolent and disrespectful. But there is misunderstanding of their sense of confusion and frustration. For instance, the labour market demands that they delay their entry into the work force to a later age; also, the youth are seduced by material desires of a consumption-based view of selfhood; and they are educated by an informational environment that opens the ‘secret knowledge of adulthood’ earlier than previously considered appropriate. Thus, the youth in this new social context receive conflicting signals about their role in society, about what it means to be adolescents.

The advertisers have started to advertise all commodities without any restriction, sex is now a commodity, pornography is an enticement, to the extent that it’s too much in Europe because the youth at an early age are watching pornographic contents on their cell phones therefore the government thinking over introduction to the curriculum pornography as a subject.

The youth of the contemporary times seems to distinguish itself from adulthood on the basis of an effective oppositional stance and competitiveness. It is true that certain practices within a given youth-culture may be similar to other cultural movements (e.g. the raves of the early 90’s musical hits or even today trends are quite different that the parents take quite a long time to understand what kind of music their children are listening too, if not only bangs and metals in the background.

But it is important to understand that each of these practices is within their particular historical moments. They may be responded to it differently with their lifestyle philosophy of life that needs the parents or guardians to come on board to engage with them in their life struggles, without that the blame game will always be there between the parents and their sons and age difference will always widen.

 It’s always good for parents to know the lives of their children without controlling it like parents turning out to be policemen but to know their world view. Most parents act out of ignorance and with a tough iron fist of discipline towards their children. The children know that their parents are right but let that righteous be put to the test of dialogue. Involve your children in your decisions and inform them of what is happening. If they don’t tell you what they are doing it seems you too need to know why? Maybe you too do not communicate your whereabouts as parents to them, for you cannot ask more of that you don’t show, or you cant give what you don’t have..
Why is it happening? - Media, Fashion, Music
The media in television, newspapers, magazines, movies, etc, characterizes youth-culture and they define it. The media does not focus on anything good about the youth-culture and the public very quickly discovers that youth-culture is deviant and dangerous because the television shows communicate otherwise. Economic changes bring pervasive cultural changes according to Karl Marx and Confucius the communists. They endorse to having imprints of values that endures despite modernism. 

The fashion and media world will not care about your health and soul but about how much profit you bring in the company and industry. Women have been turned into objects to be paraded before the camera lenses to capture the nakedness of man or woman that the sacredness abstracted from the being and the being turns into an empty container of artificial beauty which is never a natural beauty.

In a short while everything seems well but the consequences paid in the after years is so bad that, the same industry that admired you, don’t want to see you anymore, why? You may discredit their company that is why they pay you a lot of money to ruin your life but they never tell you about it. The terms and conditions which are always written in very small letters and you and I have always no time to read those terms and conditions but usually very fast to sign and attach our signature, that is signing the death warrant ignorantly. The money covers your eyes not to think about the other side of the story.

Why is it happening?
Cultural values are enduring an autonomous influence on society. Economic trend is associated with shifting away from absolute norms and values to values that are increasingly rational, tolerant, trusting and participatory for the main stream churches. Protestants, Roman Catholic, Orthodox have imprints of value that endures the influencing trends of modernization.
The youth see the infighting in the families and churches. This discourages them to be associated to any culture, tribe or belief. They prefer to be free human being in a free world. Today young men are getting married and remaining in towns. Why? The baggage their parents are still carrying of ethnic hate, discrimination, racial separation and much more of ignorance and poverty of ideas.

Parents have played racial and negative ethnic cards that the young people find themselves confused of whether to live their lives or that of what their parents or simply opt out to be rebellious and forging their own way out. Tribal conflicts are negative feedback with mixed reactions. The youth are non-tribal, nameless and they know that people always will say they are cultureless etc. The youth today belong to no tribe, no religion, no church, but full of worldly spirituality of yoga, Zumba Zumba, ecology, etc which is attracting them out of the main stream churches to visual churches of technology.

Their education liberates them from corruption, nepotism and the like not until they meet politicians without good manners and vision for the people and nation at large. The western-cultural-development such as for example a world of computers, electronics, motor vehicles, mobile phones etc are the in-thing during their time.

Today to lack a smart phone is a recipe for laughter among the youths themselves. The same technology if not used well can be a weapon of human mind depreciation. The lack of recognition and respect for the youth. The lack of their place in the church pushes them further away out of church. The youth are against the multiple structures in society. There is always a way they get confused and frustrated when what they want is nor reached to them on time



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

THE CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHINGS...

Do you know the Catholic Social Teaching?

The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society. Modern Catholic social teaching has been articulated through a tradition of papal, conciliator, and episcopal documents. The depth and richness of this tradition can be understood best through a direct reading of these documents. In these brief reflections, we highlight several of the key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social tradition. It’s one thing to know the social catholic teaching is another thing to practice them. Many Catholics just hear about the social teaching but have never come in contact to sit down and read them.

Life and Dignity of the Human Person

The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion euthanasia, terrorism, migrants drowning in high seas in search for green pasture and better living conditions. The value of human life is being threatened by cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of the death penalty. Catholic teaching also calls on us to work to avoid war. Nations must protect the right to life by finding increasingly effective ways to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful means, which today seems to fall on deaf ears. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person. You are dignified if you treat yourself in the way God wants you to live and also respecting others. Where your joys stop is where mine start…

Call to Family, Community, and Participation

The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and policy directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. We are who we are because of where we come from and what we have been taught and experienced with a great value and with open mind and soul to learn and live. Man is never an island, I am because you are and you are because I am.

Rights and Responsibilities

The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities, to one another, to our families, and to the larger society. Duties and responsibility do apply as we practice our freedom.

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first. Option for the poor is not something of others but each person needs to be part of the big family. Its not just enough to say we pray for poor but do something about how to help the poor out of their material poverty to look at the bigger spiritual option of poverty. Its nor enough to hear that when I am involving myself to help the poor, I am a saint then, but when I ask why are they poor, then I am branded a rebel or communist.

The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected--the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative. Each person has a right to work and given good environment to work in. Once the conditions are never right or favourable, the workers ought to raise to the occasion to raise the issues with the employer and once that lands on deaf ears, then due course need to be followed, so as the employer listens and comes to the table to discuss, for dialogue is indispensable.

Solidarity

We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world. At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that “if you want peace, work for justice.” The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. At the end of the day one has to take a decision of participating in the common cause with those who are suppressed and in search for human freedom. To be silent in moments of dictatorship and liberation is a clear sign that you are siding with the oppressor.

Care for God’s Creation

We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored. (the common house/casa commune)

This summary should only be a starting point for those interested in Catholic social teaching. A full understanding can only be achieved by reading the papal, councilor, and Episcopal documents that make up this rich tradition. Just google any of the topics of interest and in the blink of an eye everything is the reach of your hands and mind.


Monday, July 3, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF GOD

The people of God

The big question you and I should ask is who or what is the Church? The church is foremost the people, an institution but primarily a community where people feel a sense of belonging and fully participate in daily activities and Christian life experience.

 The church is you and I …. the we…the assembly, the whole people of God in a particular teaching centered on the resurrected Christ. The church therefore is not only hierarchy, the clergy, members of religious communities but all the community of all baptized. A community marked by a rich diversity of gender, class, education, social status, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and culture. It includes saints and sinners alike (both divine and human). One of the council's most important affirmations, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, known by its Latin title as Lumen gentium, declared that charisms, or gifts of the Holy Spirit, areavailable to all the faithful, "of every rank" (n. 12).

                  The holy people of God also share in Christ’s prophetic office; It spreads abroad a living witness to Him especially by means of life of faith and charity and by offering to God a sacrifice of praise, the tribute of lips which give praise to his name (110) The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy one (111) cannot err in matters of belief. The manifest this proper property by means of the holy people’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when ‘from the bishops down to the last of the lay faithful’ (8*) they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the spirit of truth. Its exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in the faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the Word of God (112). Through it the people of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all the saints, (113) penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life. As God choses, He assigns to a particular person a task to carry out work, with specific focus and in a particular way especially in listening to the dictates of the Holy Spirit and fully passing the same giftedness to the family, group or association. One person receives the gift of the Charism and passes it to be implied.
Its only through the sacrament and the ministry of the church, that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but allotting his gifts and everyone according as He wills (114). He distributes special grace among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts he makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and office which contribute towards the renewal and building up of the church, according to the words of the apostle. ‘The manifestation of the spirit is given to everyone for profit.’ (115). These charism whether they be the more outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation, for they are perfectly suited to and useful to the needs of the church. Extraordinary gifts are not to be sort after, nor are the fruits of the apostolic labour to be presumptuously expected from their use, but judgement as to their genuinity and proper use belongs to those who are appointed leaders in the church, to whose special competence it belongs, not indeed to extinguish the Spirit but to test all things and hold fast to that which is good (116).
Literally speaking a charism can be compared to a vision. Whoever who has the vision has to delabour to pass it to the group and make sure that she or he makes every member conceptualizes it. The interpretation may vary but important that the followers are able to own it and participate in it.
We find the People-of-God principle realized, although with varying degrees of success, in parish councils, in base communities, in the multiplication of ministries, and particularly in ministries associated with the liturgy, education and social justice.
The church that has entered the 21st century and the Third Christian Millennium is a church in which an increasing number of its members, laywomen and laymen alike, are ministerially engaged and play a great role. One does not need any scientific surveys to verify what is obvious to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, namely, that the great majority of parish ministers today are women, and this is likely to remain so into the indefinite future.
At the same time, the alienation of many Catholic women from the official church remains one of its most serious pastoral challenges. Today Cardinals are sacked, asked to submit their resignation and relieved off their duties for failure on their part to act accordingly to the required norms and as duty demand. They were not personally involved in the crimes in the church but they are responsible and in charge when those crimes were committed under their watch. They have to take responsibility and defend their cause  to why that happened and they remained silent, or rubbished the idea or simply used their tittle of prince of the church to undermine truth.
Many Catholics are worrying about the lowering number of vocation to priesthood, the scandals that are rocking the church, ignoring or rubbishing the investigation reports in form of suppressing them and simply not acting upon them as expected. These reports concern the pastoral performance and personal qualities of candidates to priesthood and bishopric.
Importing priests from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe is not the answer. On the contrary, it sometimes generates new problems to be added to the old and yet it’s the reality the European Church seems to be burying its head in the sand or running away from.
Today most European churches are being turned into disco halls, orchestra auditorium or museums to show the powers the church used to control for many centuries. Missionaries were sent to African to save the Africans from the power of devil, and their strategies were very poor looking at their means and time of preparation to confront the reality of Dark continent of Africa. 
They could baptize Africans in the following formula ‘I baptize you, so and so if at all you have a soul. These are some of the sins the European church has committed to Africans. The Church in European  is dying, who is going to save Europe? The people they thought they didn’t have souls. That is the hard reality, with all these drama in the high seas of migration, the wave seems to be changing either for the worst or for the best, the church has to wake up to that reality before her eyes.
If the People of God are to be effectively served in the coming decades, the church will have to be much more open to the signs of time, involving women in active church activities. The church is mother and if the women are mothers of families I do believe they understand very well the body of Christ the Mother, the lay faithfully taking up the special ministries within the given communities…Eucharist ministers, acolytes, readers, visiting the sick, parish council, parish administration, retreats etc. Without which all will end into the current vocations shortage in the Catholic church.
The first church is the family, ignore the family and kill the main church. However, some seem convinced that the problem will somehow go away through prayer and fasting, or applying inventive techniques of making personal contact with prospective candidates for the priesthood. Some local Bishops have the male dominant effects of big man syndrome in the church, to be seen commanding rather than being servant of servants in their dioceses, that has ruined and tainted the catholic church in some global regions.

The great days of privilege that they commanded everything is over and unless the shape up or they get shipped out. Today a catholic bishop can be asked to resign or simply tender in his resignation if he feels that he can’t carry out as required his pastoral duties and responsibility as the local pastor of the diocese. Many years ago, this could not even be meditated upon.
 That is how far the church is shaping up its acts in the call for rebranding her message to the modern secularized world. Calling the church, the People of God, as the council did, means that we all have responsibility for its life and mission, especially at a time when its leadership sometimes functions as an obstacle rather than a facilitator. 

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