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The winds of change are bringing hope

Dear Editor,

Congratulations to our President H.E. David A. Granger and all who will be tasked with leadership roles in the governance of our country.

May the winds of change cleanse and remove all negative and unpleasant aspects of life in this our land. May these winds be the catalyst that will motivate, propel and sustain an upward movement of economic growth, thus providing the means for a decent standard of living for all.

May our country be governed with integrity, wisdom, honesty and decency. It is wonderful to see that the restoration of our Garden City has begun. The winds of change are beginning to blow away the dirt and squalor of our environment, in the cleaning and rehabilitation of our monuments and the immediate plans to clean our capital city Georgetown and return it to a place of beauty. Thank you Mr. President for an excellent beginning.

Right now, the beautiful flamboyant trees that decorate many of our streets are aflame in glorious colour. It will be a joy to see their beauty mirrored in clean, free-flowing canals and their petals carpeting well-kept green parapets free of litter.

This is our land, a beautiful blessed land. May each of us feel in our hearts a love for our land as in the song ‘this land is mine, God gave this land to me’, as we join our hearts and hands to help our country fulfill her great potential.

May God guide and protect our leaders and bless our dear, dear land of Guyana.

                                                                                                       Joan Collins

Gecom should publish elections statistics

Dear Editor,

Now that the Elections are over and our new President will be inaugurated on Tues-day, I would like to see Gecom publish the statistics showing, by Regions, the total number of registered persons, the number of those who voted, the number of spoilt votes, and the number of votes for each party.

                                                                                                                    C Lam

Authority and Credibility
written by 
Catholic News Admin
Sunday 1st February, 2015 

Authority and Credibility

In today’s society as in every age, people look to authority to guarantee the authenticity of any statement, from the reality of UFOs to the duration of the slump in oil prices. And with the ready availability of the media of communication and information, everyone can set up as an “authority” on any subject. This of course has led to a crisis of credibility: sources once considered irreproachable have been forced to revoke earlier authoritative statements in the light of new information, or in response to the dictates of “authority” whose version of events must now be presented as fact.

Authority may be derived from a person or group’s superior grasp of a particular field of knowledge, so that when they pronounce on a matter within their competence, it can be presumed worthy of credence. The limitation here is that knowledge today is so vast and interconnected, and so democratic, that the sphere of the specialist’s authority is more and more circumscribed. So the medical practitioner may be challenged by the Internet, or the friendly pharmacist, or the latest alternative guru.

In the political sphere, authority is recognised as being vested in particular persons according to the structures of the state, for the purpose of governing the citizens according to the laws of the land. Such authority is expected to be exercised for the common good, and citizens expect protection of their just rights. These authorities in turn can legitimately expect collaboration and respect from their citizens. The problem begins when reflective citizens doubt that authority is being exercised for the good of the greatest number of the citizens, and suspect that the good of authority figures and their associates have supplanted the legitimate expectations of the citizenry.

When this happens, the social systems established for the support of authority are all brought into question. Education is suspected of being an agent of State control, and an enemy of enlightenment and critical appraisal of the status quo. The media of information are scrutinised for their susceptibility to State control as another agent of confusion rather than as contributing to insightful examination of positions advanced by powerful interest groups. These latter wield an authority born of their position in society, either due to economic power, academic status, or class interests, an authority which is unsupported by any moral justification.

Religion also claims authority devolved from God or that religion’s Supreme Being to particular members who, because they belong to the class having superior knowledge of the tenets of the Faith, or have been appointed by rites conferring this authority within the religious group, have the authority to define and maintain the Laws and Prohibitions as handed down by this Supreme Authority. Since the appeal here is to a Supreme Authority, dissent and questioning are particularly destabilising, so that when conflicting explanations of texts in a religion’s Holy Book are offered by other knowledge areas, such as science or psychology, the ground seems to shift beneath the believers’ feet, and they may take refuge in fundamentalist interpretation that would secure them against change or a ritualistic adherence to the letter of the Law, while closing themselves off from the challenge of pondering in their hearts the deep significance of the Laws of their religion. A sort of ‘fire insurance’ that does not engage them but maintains their party card, ‘just in case’.

In the text from Mark’s Gospel read this weekend, the ordinary people recognise Jesus as “teaching with authority”, commanding their belief, not merely in his words, but in himself, because of his integrity. Action, teaching and behaviour are congruent. There are no contradictions in his self-presentation. This integrity is part of the almost universal appeal of Pope Francis – Truth done in Love, and God is Love. Whence do we derive our authority?

How ethical is it to use your connections to get your child into a private school?

Lisa Miller offers advice on ethics and the dilemmas you face in everyday life.

January 26, 2015

Q | Dear OMG,

How ethical is it to, say, use your connections to get your child into a private school she might not have gotten into on merit alone?

– Queasy inside

A | Dear Queasy,

Ah. Here it is. The ultimate yuppie-striver dilemma. To what extent do you pull strings to give your own child privileges that other children don’t have? And — you don’t ask this in your note, but your signature, “Queasy,” allows me to discern a modicum of discomfort on your part — does the fact that “everyone is doing it” make it any kind of excuse?

Many have legitimately argued that a parent’s first ethical responsibility is to protect his or her own children. Your job is to keep your own kids safe, fed and healthy — and to teach them the things they need to know to be responsible, independent adults. You do these things for your kids before you do them for other people’s kids, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The ethics of parental responsibility get hazy when we start thinking of advantages — like “fancy private school” or “the latest high-end gadget” or “a coveted internship” — as basic human needs that require a “whatever-it-takes” approach to procuring them.

“Everyone is doing it” is no excuse, as you surmise. It is a rationalization. Why deprive your own child of the same advantages that other parents are scrambling to get for theirs?

Because for one thing, pulling strings perpetuates the deep inequalities that are dividing this society. Because for another, the gospels preach that Christians ought to align themselves with the have-nots and the outsiders, not the haves and the in-crowd.

But finally, you should think twice about using your position to help your child because it teaches her the wrong lessons about how to get ahead. You want her to learn that it’s not who you know, it’s how hard you work. Don’t you?

Readers, have you ever pulled strings to help your child get ahead? Is there anything wrong with it? Comment below.

And if you have an ethical dilemma, send your question to [email protected].

– Lisa Miller

Shiriri – My Heritage

By Vaughn Duncan
September was declared Amerindian Heritage Month in 1995. This was to honour the culture, heritage and traditions of Guyana’s indigenous peoples and to commemorate the works and service of Guyana’s First Amerindian Parliamentarian, Mr. Stephen Campbell. This year we celebrate Amerindian Heritage Month under the theme, “Traditional Embodiment for Amerindian Development”.
Shiriri Village, located in South Central Rupununi Region 9 is this year’s heritage village. The people there are descendants of the Wapishana Tribe. Shiriri is a small community consisting of 14 households. It boasts a school, a health centre, village office and a church. The people are engaged in mainly subsistence farming and choose to live in close proximity to their farms, hence, they live far apart. Your nearest neighbour can be about two miles away.
The villagers dedicate themselves to their families and community. They plant a variety of crops such as cassava, corn, sweet potatoes, eddoes, yams and other vegetables and fruits.
After a harvesting, you can find the villagers at their respective homes, making a variety of Amerindian products such as cassava bread, farine, parakari and other traditional foods. Along with their daily household activities, the villagers also dedicate themselves to village works, when-ever the village council deems it necessary.
A village council, consisting of three councillors and a senior councillor, heads the community of Shiriri. Mr. Christopher Duncan currently chairs this council as the senior councillor. The village council is responsible for planning and implementing community projects. Currently, the village is engaged in cattle rearing and construction works.
The cattle rearing project aims to ensure that the villagers are food secure. It is also used to generate income for them. The villager tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the village cattle ranch and the cattle themselves is Mr. Claudiaus Fernandes. In the local language, he is called Captash, meaning, the captain of the ranch.
Mr. Fernandes grazes the cattle on the sa-vannahs of Shiriri. When he is satisfied that they are well grazed, he rides on horseback around the savannah to round them up and guides them to the corral. He usually does this twice per week.
There is also a construction project aimed at improving the comfort and safety the houses in the village.
The Faith of the People in Shiriri
The villagers of Shiriri are dedicated to Sunday Morning Worship. Despite the long distances, the villagers take up the challenge to walk or ride to commune with their fellow villagers in the presence of Christ.
Ever since the launch of the Wapishana translation of the New Testament the challenge was also there to translate the Order of Mass. Today Shiriri, like other Wapishana Villages are proud to Celebrate Mass and Service in their native language.The Church comes under the stewardship of Mr. Ram Kissoon Johnson who affirms that the faith in Shiriri is strong and vibrant. He noted that the villagers are all Catholics, and is confident that this community will continue to work in unity and grow I faith. He assures that the faithful witness to the gospel in their daily lives and pray for their brothers and sisters far and wide. Mr. Ram Kissoon has plans to improve the infrastructure of the church so that the villagers can have a better place to worship and pray.

The Heritage of Shiriri
Growing up, the villagers and other communities have heard many legends about Shiriri. Senior Councillor Mr. Christopher Duncan, says that people are attracted to the beautiful scenery of the Shiriri savannahs and its famous Shiriri Mountain, which both have their stories to tell. Mr. Hillary Chappelle, a village elder knows of many legends related to the village of Shiriri that were passed down from his parents and grandparents.
For example Mr. Chappelle told the story of the “warriors rocks” found on a small hill on the eastern side of the mountains. The rocks were arranged in linear–like formation starting from the bottom and heading upwards of the hill. This showed the strength and number of these fighters. These rocks can still be seen today”
Shiriri, like any other village, is performing for the heritage celebrations. Mr. Ram Kissoon Johnson manages the cultural group for which he composes songs and dances. He also, along with his group, designs their costumes.
This talented group is proud of their culture and traditions and is ready and willing to showcase their talent.
The villagers of Shiriri wish the Amerindian people and the wider Guyanese society A Happy Amerindian Heritage Month.

The Holy Mass

Explained to Catalina by Jesus and Mary


Catalina Rivas of Cochabamba, Bolivia, who now dwells in Mérida, Yucatán, México. She is said to receive Messages from Jesus, Mary, and the angels. She has the approval of her Bishop, René Fernández Apaza, who has given his imprimatur to her Messages. The following text is the reproduction of booklet, “The Holy Mass,” in which Our Lord and Our Lady explain to Catalina what is really going on during the Mass in the spiritual realm, and how we should be more concentrated on the great mysteries that are taking place.

Bo. Daniel Gagnon, OMI, of the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Archdiocese of Mexico, wrote about this book: “I do not find anything against the faith or the customs of the Church. It is not my function to confirm its supernatural character; nevertheless, I recommend it for its spiritual inspiration.”