Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (December 27, 2015 - January 2, 2016)

A quotation of Gerard de Marigny on 'goals' and 'objectives,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (An alleyway between two buildings in a mall in Toronto: Oct. 11, 2015) © Jerome D'Costa

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to You All!

Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus in the manger
Artwork by Mary D'Costa (Dec. 24, 2015)

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (December 20 - 26, 2015)

A quotation of Pope Francis on 'Christmas,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (Christmas decorations outside a house in Scarborough, Toronto: Nov. 25, 2015) © Jerome D'Costa

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Today Is the 45th Victory Day of Bangladesh

Jatiyo Smriti Shoudho (national war memorial) at Savar, Bangladesh
Artwork: Mary D'Costa (Toronto: Dec. 15, 2015)

Today is Bangladesh's 45th Victory Day. On this day we specially remember the dead, who, during Bangladesh's Liberation War in 1971, gave their lives to make the deadly struggle for independence and freedom a reality. Due to the sacrifices of these departed souls, freedom fighters, sacrificing population of the country, and foreign support, Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation. 

The people of the then East Pakistan always had to struggle against the Pakistani ruling elite (big landlords or zamindars, government bureaucrats, and military leaders, mostly belonging to West Pakistan) since the independence of Muslim-majority Pakistan in 1947. The emergence of Pakistan itself was based on lies -- the populaltions of both the wings (East and West Pakistan) would live in freedom, prosperity and peace! The promises and actions of the ruling elite were always based on lies, and, even after independence of Bangladesh, the Pakistan government spews lies about the Liberation War. They are even using their money and material to influence some foreign governments and organizations as well as their local agents in Bangladesh to disrupt the war crimes trials in Dhaka. 

To understand the reality of the Bangladesh War of Independence (also called Liberation War) and the childish lies and hoodwinking efforts of Pakistan regarding the War, please read the following series of write-ups and videos published in the online edition of The Daily Star of Dhaka

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Pope Francis Inaugurates the Holy Year of Mercy (December, 2015 - November, 2016)

Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on December 8

Pope Francis opens and enters the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. John Lateran on December 13
Photo courtesy: Rex, via The Telegraph, U.K.
Pope Francis, on December 8 -- the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary -- inaugurated the Catholic Church's Holy (or Jubilee) Year, called this time The Holy Year of Mercy, by opening and entering the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI along with scores of cardinals, bishops, and priests was also present at the ceremony.   

The main purpose of this special year is to demonstrate the merciful and welcoming aspect of the Catholic Church rather than it moralizing , judging, and condemning aspect. 

Pope Francis said: "How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgment before we speak of their being forgiven before judgment and in any event God's judgment will always be in the light of his mercy."

Unprecedented security measures were taken for the pilgrims and attendees to the outdoor ceremony. Due to security concerns, due to previous Islamic State (ISIS) threat to the Vatican, only about 50,000 people participated in the inauguration ceremony. 

The Holy Year of Mercy, beginning from December, 2015, will last until November of 2016.

For details on the inauguration of the Holy Year of Mercy (or Jubilee Year), please read the following:

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (December 13 - 19, 2015)

A quotation of Charlie Parker on 'music,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A musician at Dundas Subway Train Station in Toronto: Oct. 25, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (December 6 - 12, 2015)

A quotation of George Carlin on 'three types of people,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Artwork © Ujjal Peter D'Costa

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

BANGLA KAGOJ: A Publication of Toronto

Bangla Kagoj -- a Bengali-language weekly -- from Toronto
The Bangla Kagoj weekly provides news, features, articles and columns on Bangladesh, Bangladeshi communities in North America (Canada and USA), international events and issues, arts, culture, economy, education, literature, politics, health and fitness, entertainment, sports, and more. 

Contact Email:

 This weekly is also available online at: Bangla Kagoj

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (November 29 - December 5, 2012)

A quotation of Winston Churchill on 'politician,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (Dancing light in Toronto: March 30, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa

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Monday, November 23, 2015

A Commentary of Father William Grimm, M.M., on "'Ours is a religion of peace': The Stark reality is that most religions are not"

Father William Grimm, M.M.
Photo courtesy:

 Father William Grimm, M.M., publisher of the UCANews -- an independent Catholic news agency in Asia, on November 20, wrote a commentary on 'Ours is a religion of peace.' 

In this write-up he demonstrates that this is mostly a programmed response which can be heard from adherents of any religion when faced with the question of religion-based violence around. 

In reality, Father Grimm says, most religions do not prove to be religions of peace. He shows how western Christianity, in the past, in the name of Jesus' love and peace, used the religion as an instrument of persecution and violence within the Churches and without, for example, inquisition, religious wars between Churches, and crusades.   

He says, now some Muslims are using Islam to justify their acts of injustice and violence. 

Father Grimm predicts: "If, as seems likely, history will repeat itself, we are facing a century of increasing violence by Muslim fanatics mainly within the Muslim world. That violence will likely produce such overwhelming revulsion that more and more people will renounce the religion and become a force to defang it. That has happened before; it happened to Western Christianity."

To read the full commentary of Father William Grimm, M.M., please click on the following: 
'Ours is a religion of peace'

To read some news items dealing with religion-based violence, please click on Fundamentalism in Asia

To read read on an appeal of a Muslim to fellow Muslims, please read the following: Let There Be More Exemplary Muslims -- An Honest Muslim's Powerful Statement

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (November 22 - 28, 2015)

A quotation of Colin Powell on 'success,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A shoeshine-cum-shoerepair boy on a footpath on Asad Avenue in Dhaka: January 13, 2012) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Italian PIME Missionary Priest Receives Bullet Wounds from ISIS Assailants in Bangladesh

Father Piero Parolari, PIME, after initial surgery in Dinajpur, being placed in the helicopter for flying him to Dhaka for further treatment 
Photo courtesy:

Several years ago Father Piero Parolari, PIME, is being greeted by school children in a parish in Bangladesh
Photo courtesy:

Three gunmen on a motorcycle shot at Father Piero Parolari, 64, a PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) missionary bicycling his way to his work at St. Vincent Hospital in Dinajpur, and wounded him seriously on November 18. Initially the identity of the assailants was not known, but later the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting.

Father Parolari, a missionary and a medical doctor, has been working among the poor in Bangladesh since 1985.

With gun-shot wounds on his neck, the priest underwent a surgery in Dinajpur Medical College Hospital and later he was transferred by helicopter to the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka further treatment.

Christians, Muslims, and Hindus staged several protest gatherings in different parts of Bangladesh condemning the attack and asked the Government for seeking out the culprits and making them to face justice. 

The UCANews reports, "Over the past two weeks, at least seven Protestants have received death threats in the form of text messages. It comes after violent attacks on a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister. Christian leaders say the attacks and death threats are interlinked."

The Italian PIME missionaries have been working in the north and north-west region of Bangladesh for more than 150 years. During the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971, they gave shelter and food to many Muslim, Hindu, Christian and other internal refugees in their mission and school compounds, and after independence, they did massive relief and rehabilitation work among returning Bangladeshi refugees from camps in India. 

For more details on the attack on Father Parolari, please read the following:

(Updated on December 11, 2015)

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Friday, November 20, 2015

We Remember the Victims of Terrorist Attacks in Paris

Artwork: Jerome D'Costa
A total of 130 persons died in Islamic jihadi attacks in Paris on November 13. These coordinated attacks were unleashed on a football stadium (Stade de France), two restaurants (Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge), a bistro (La Belle Equipe), a bar (La Bonne Biere), and a concert hall (Bataclan). 

After these senseless and cowardly attacks, the Islamic State (ISIS) issued a statement saying their motive was "to teach France, and all nations following its path, that they will remain at the top of Islamic State's list of targets, and that the smell of death won't leave their noses as long as they partake in their crusader campaign."

For more details on these attacks and the aftermath, please read the following: 

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Monday, November 16, 2015

More Vatican Scandals on Mismanagement, Greed and Conservative-Progressive Clash Outed

The Vatican arrested Spanish Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda (left) and Italian public relations specialist Ms. Francesca Chaouqui on charges of secretly passing confidential information and documents to outside Italian journalists. Ms. Chaouqui was later released for cooperating with the Vatican investigators.
Photo courtesy:

When Pope Francis has been emphasizing on the "Church of the poor," two recently published books in Italy disclose some of the Vatican inside information giving the opposite picture. 

These two books, Merchants in the Temple, written by journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, and Avarice (greed), by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, are based on leaked documents  that reveal the following: 

--the opposition and clash between the pre-Francis Vatican Curia officials and the Francis-appointed new ones for helping him bring about reform in the Vatican departments and offices;

-- misuse of funds and lack of financial accountability;

--greed: some officials occupying large apartments paying nominal rents, and some staff buying duty-free items at the Vatican stores and selling them outside at high price and pocketing the money;

--and other lapses that go against the official teachings of the Catholic Church.

Two officials, Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, of the financial reform commission have been arrested for illegally handing over inside information and documents to outside journalists. The latter has been released from jail for cooperating with the investigators. 

For details, please read the following:
(Updated on December 7, 2015)

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