Mary’s Nativity draws tens of thousands to Indian basilica

Bangalore, India, Sep 4, 2013 / 04:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Huge crowds started gathering in Bangalore, India, last week, as the city's novena leading up to the Nativity of Mary began with the city's archbishop raising a Marian flag in prayer.“The Virgin Mary is the Mother of God and also our heavenly mother, and thus people tend to venerate her motherly affection and dress her in local culture as their mother,” said Father J. Sandhayagu, administrator of St. Mary's … [Read more...]

New Philippines campaign seeks to help typhoon victims

Manila, Philippines, Aug 30, 2013 / 04:27 pm (CNA).- The Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines have organized a campaign to assist the nearly one million people in Manila and various provinces on Luzon Island affected by recent storms.Earlier this month, Manila and surrounding areas were devastated by severe flooding caused by a powerful typhoon, which intensified the effects of the area's monsoon rains.Last week, it was reported by local authorities that roughly 60 percent of the … [Read more...]

Rural children, families inspired by Thai diocesan program

Si Racha, Thailand, Aug 29, 2013 / 12:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In Thailand, the Diocese of Chanthaburi is reaching out to rural residents through a human development program offering assistance to families and children of all religions.“Kids need to be inspired to aspire, and especially rural kids, because unlike city kids they lack exposure and facilities,” Father Giuseppe Ekapop Phonmoon, director of the Chanthaburi diocese's office of Diocesan Social Action, told CNA.On … [Read more...]

‘Month of Martyrs’ in Korea draws praise from Pope Francis

Seoul, South Korea, Aug 29, 2013 / 10:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis sent a message today to South Korea praising the country's decision to proclaim September as the “Month of Martyrs.”“The Holy Father was pleased to learn that the Archdiocese of Seoul has proclaimed the month of Sept. 2013 the 'Month of Martyrs' in commemoration of those who laid down their lives for the Gospel in Korea,” read an Aug. 29 statement from the Vatican.“His … [Read more...]

Thai bishops stress Catholic identity, top academics in schools

Pattaya, Thailand, Aug 27, 2013 / 04:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic Bishops Conference of Thailand is calling for renewed effort to boost Catholic education in the country, striving to reach international standards while fostering faith education.A three-day seminar organized by the Commission of the Catholic Education Council of Thailand was held recently in Pattaya to discuss standards for Catholic schools in evangelizing and educating.“This annual meeting of all Catholic … [Read more...]

Relief efforts underway as flooding wreaks havoc in Philippines

Manila, Philippines, Aug 21, 2013 / 04:46 pm (CNA).- A combination of seasonal monsoon rains and a tropical storm off the coast of the Philippines has caused massive damage to homes and property, leaving hundreds of thousands in need.“Our team is presently working day and night,” said Gilda Avedillo, program officer for Caritas Manila’s disaster risk reduction and management program.She told CNA that despite the difficulties caused by the flooding, the grace of God and … [Read more...]

Vatican sends condolences on death of senior Buddhist abbot

Bangkok, Thailand, Aug 19, 2013 / 04:10 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue sent a message of condolence to Thailand on the passing of senior Buddhist abbot Somdej Phra Buddhacharn.The 85-year-old abbot died of a blood infection at Samitivej hospital on Aug. 10.Highly revered as the most senior monk and chairman of the monastic panel acting on behalf of the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch of Thailand, Somdej Phra Buddhacharn was the chief of the … [Read more...]