Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Medjugorje: Beautiful Video Made By Wish TV 8 Anchor Eric Halvorson

In October, 24-Hour News 8 anchor Eric Halvorson traveled to Medjugorje in  Bosnia-Herzegovina. The group Halvorson traveled with included about 80 people from the U.S., Canada and Australia, and they were among hundreds on the mountain for Mirjana's  vision  on that day. This is his beautiful report.

Friday, December 23, 2011

O Holy Night- Paul Harrington Live at Whitefriars Church Dublin

This is a very special live rendition of O Holy Night by Paul Harrington. It was made at a carol service at Whitefriars Church in Dublin on Christmas Eve 2010. This was in aid of Dublin's inner city homeless. Paul will participate once more on Christmas Eve 2011 at Whitefriars Church Dublin.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Amazing Testimony of Model Ania Golędzinowska at Medjugorje -December 2, 2011

During the pilgrimage to Medjugorje on the occasion of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Mirjana  on December 2, 2011,  I had the opportunity to hear the testimony of  Ania Goledzinowska
"I reached a point where I thought it over, it was all too easy to go to that fourth floor where I was," said Ania.

"I had everything, money, clothes, cars, just ask and I would get, but really what I needed no one was able to give it to me, that is Love." "One night - continues Ania - I had  recovered and was placed in a room in a very dilapidated condition.  I  noticed at my bedside the figure of a man not very tall , with a beard.  He several times shook his head without saying a word. It was as if to say: Ania, Ania, but what are you doing!

At the time I did not recognise him but now I can say that the person I was close to  at that time was Padre Pio! And 'he gave me the initial impetus for change.. But now that I see in the photographs I recognize him  well. "

Another interesting aspect of the testimony of this girl  was when she was told to have three attitudes: forgive, not judge and love.
Ania decided to forgive all those who  had caused [her] evil. She invited those present to make gestures of forgiveness, not to judge and to love.

[On June 25, 2011, the 30th anniversary of the apparitions in Medjugorje, the Association of the PURE HEART, was established  by Father Renzo Gobbi in Medjugorje. The first person to adhere to the guiding principles was Ania Goledzinowska , who has also assumed the responsibility to personally take care of the organization.]
She then spoke about  the Association for  Pure Hearts and pointed out that, on the occasion of the apparition of December 2,  she had asked for confirmation in her heart from Our Lady regarding this initiative, because lots of rings had been placed in a container  at  the Blue Cross , to be blessed. Well, just recently in the message Our Lady has referred to the pure heart when She said: "My children, only a pure heart, not weighed down by sin, can open up ..."
Ania has successfully interpreted this phrase as an encouragement to continue this work, which specifically aims to promote premarital chastity in young people.

 This is a  witness that warms my heart to Ania, whose beaming face  reveals the true beauty of a life full of a blossomed love of God.  A life that before was wandering in the darkness  but after having drawn from the vessel of mercy (Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska accompanies this stage of her life) is  now full of light and hope.

God works wonders in the heart of His creatures, and this story is proof. In her valuable testimony she  has also focused on the value of suffering.
To those who say that God does not exist because a good God would never allow women to give birth to children with disabilities or other conditions, Ania replied that: "Children with disabilities have the pass to Paradise. These people disadvantaged in body and mind have already paid the ticket to blissful eternity. They are given to us in families because through them  parents can also gain the right to Paradise. All suffering is important and precious in God's eyes. We are sanctified through the pain! Suffering is not a punishment but a gift that God gives to help us win the salvation of our souls! " Strong words.

"And God - continued Ania - continually speaks to us, gives us so many signs of His presence. Years later, reviewing the album of my childhood and adolescence, I realized even then God spoke to me, but I could not see the signs of His presence. In fact, among the many things that have remained from that period, I also found the Saint of Divine Mercy  (St. Faustina Kowalska ) that a relative had given me. Even then, Jesus was near me, but I, I did not see! "
(I have translated this from DALLA CARNIA A A MEDJUGORJE)

The Catholic Church:Eleven things I love about it-by Father Mark Mary

What I love about the Catholic Church by Father Mark Mary

I heard the other day a couple of people ridiculing catholicism in the media, both of them, I believe, are fallen away Catholics. As a husband praises and cherishes his wife, we Catholics need to honor the Church. Off the top of my head, I rattled off eleven things I love about the Church. I know “eleven” is not a nice number for a list, but it is what came to mind for me. Everything on this list does not belong exclusively to the Catholic Church, for there are elements of sanctification which exist outside of her visible structure. But in the Church we have the fullness of the means of sanctification............
Now read the eleven HERE

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Video:Banneux, Belgium Marian Apparitions of 1933

Banneux is a small town, southeast of Liège in Belgium. It is known because of the reported Marian apparitions of Our Lady of Banneux, also known as Our Lady of the Poor to a young girl called Mariette Beco.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bank Of Ireland raises more funds -No need for Noonan to wipe out junior bondholders (December 2011)

Bank of Ireland needed more funds for recapitalisation. If the bank had failed in this task the government would have been forced to pump in more money. As a quid pro quo it would have taken a bigger stake in the bank and imposed haircuts on junior bondholders. Michael  Noonan had flagged this  on November 23:  In fact BOI managed to raise the money by buying back the outstanding junior bonds at a discount so the government did not have to put more money into the bank. So why would Noonan burn the bondholders IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE. Yet he is being  unfairly lambasted in relation to this issue.  The Irish government has already  raised about 15 billion euros by imposing losses on subordinated bank bondholders
I hold no brief for bondholders. It sticks in my throat but remember that the ECB has us over the barrel of a gun thanks to the bank guarantee. Whether it should have been given  by the late Brian  Lenihan  is neither here nor there now. The fact of the matter is that it was given. I am well aware of the differences between senior and junior bondholders. The ECB is keeping our banks afloat with 130 billion euro. It has made clear what the consequences are for us if we fail to pay senior bondholders.

Thanks to the bank guarantee money owed to senior bondholders is now part of our sovereign debt. Default on payments to senior bondholders is thus seen as default on the national debt and would thus make it impossible for us to return to the bondmarkets for many years.

Incidentally it appears that UK pensioners  owned some of these subordinated bonds.. As far as I am aware they are from Yorkshire. I am glad that these people were not wiped out as they would have been left in destitution. As an Irishman I rest easier that they were not wiped out.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ireland:Taoiseach Enda Kenny – Address to the nation on Sunday 4th December 2011

Good evening.

Tonight I’m taking the opportunity to speak to you directly on the challenge we face as a community, as an economy, and as a country.
I know this is an exceptional event.
But we live in exceptional times.
And we face an exceptional challenge.

It is important that you know the truth of the scale of that challenge –
and how we are addressing it.
That challenge:-
To restore our economy.
To create the environment to sustain jobs, and to look after the most vulnerable people in our society.
At the end of last year, our economy was in deep crisis.
And while steps to recover from the crisis have been taken…
We remain in crisis today.
I would love to tell you tonight that our economic problems are solved, that the worst is over.
But, for far too many of you, that is simply not the truth.

If you’re unemployed, you’re one of the many who still can’t find work.
If you’re in business… you may still not be able get the credit you need, or to get paid on time.
If you’re a parent who has just put the children to bed… you may be wondering how you’re going to meet that mortgage, or pay those bills.

Or you may be looking at your adult children. Wondering how you’ll say goodbye to some of them as they leave Ireland in search of new opportunity in the New Year.
Tonight, that may be the truth as you live it, and know it.
Let me say this to you all:
You are not responsible for the crisis.

My Government is determined that now; the necessary decisions and changes are made to ensure that this is never allowed to happen again.
Right now, our most important responsibility is to do what must be done to get our economy back on its feet.
That requires fixing the enormous deficit in our public finances caused by too much borrowing and the cost of rescuing the banks.
We all know that if, in our own lives, we are spending more than we are earning – we have a problem.
Right now, the State is spending €16 billion a year more than it is taking in.
This problem will not be fixed unless we take action to bridge this gap.
This can only be done by us, ourselves. Working together.
That means that in this Budget we must cut public spending by €2.2 billion and raise €1.6 billion in extra taxes.

When we were elected, the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and I, pledged that our Government of Fine Gael and the Labour Party, would fix this deficit in a way that would get Ireland working. We began by taking urgent steps to stem the crisis and close that gap in our public finances.
We are shutting down dysfunctional banks and we have recapitalised the remaining ones at a lower cost than expected, by imposing losses on some bondholders.

We implemented a jobs initiative that cut taxes on tourism and employment, and that created over 20,000 new job and training placements.
We secured a lower rate of interest on the country’s borrowings that will save us €10 billion over time.
We have met our commitments to the EU and IMF in full, and on time.
This has been acknowledged worldwide, and has helped restore some international confidence in Ireland.
But the steps the Government has taken merely reflect your courage, your character, and your sense of responsibility, for which I

thank you.

While none of this has ended the crisis, and we have not so far been in a position to do everything we promised, we have made a start.
We have begun to stabilise our finances.
The improved confidence has helped strengthen exports – a key driver of future success. But we have a long way to go.
This week, we will introduce a budget that will build on those first steps towards recovery.
This budget will be tough – it has to be.
It will move us towards a manageable deficit of 3% of our GDP by 2015.

But getting the deficit under control is just a means to an end.
The main purpose of this budget, and of our four year strategy, is the creation of jobs for our people.
Jobs are central to this budget because work plays such a central role in our lives.
Work provides focus. Work gives us independence. Work gives our families hope.

I get to meet lots of people in this job – a woman in Limerick whose husband had found work after being on the live register for months told me, “he did not just get back his job; he got back his dignity; once more he felt he was making a contribution.”
We won’t be able to create jobs overnight.
It will take time.
But, by 2015, I want to see our deficit under control and real growth in jobs.

We are not able to do all we would like to in this budget because we simply can’t afford to.
We have had to postpone some really good projects – like Metro North, for example.
But this budget will be a jobs budget in two ways:
Firstly, by putting our public finances back onto a sound footing.
As our deficit moves to sustainable levels, investors will start regaining their confidence in Ireland and credit will be made available at better rates.
This means businesses will be able to start borrowing, expanding, and hiring again.

Secondly, the budget will include a series of targeted measures specifically designed to create jobs and get people back to work.
It will include, among other initiatives, a new system of loan guarantees will enable banks to resume lending and a new micro finance scheme which will help people to start their own businesses.
This will allow small firms to take on one or even two employees:-
New jobs to create new incomes, to assist the economy on the path to growth and confidence.
To make sure we keep as many jobs as we can, to make sure you get to bring home as much as you can, and to make sure you know where you stand with your wages.

To give you some certainty for the year ahead, we’re leaving income tax untouched.
Instead, we will raise the 1.6 billion of extra taxes that Ireland needs mainly through indirect taxes, difficult though these will be.
The highest priority is to create more jobs, but we will also do all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our communities – our children,
the sick, and the elderly.

I wish I could tell you that the budget won’t impact on every citizen in need, but I can’t.
Difficult choices are never easy, but we will invest in crucial projects like the National Children’s Hospital, school buildings and health centres.

Before asking families to make sacrifices, we also insisted on sacrifices from those at the top:
We cut the pay and removed state cars and Garda drivers for Ministers.
In the last few weeks I have informed former Taoisigh that entitlements, like free mobile phones and staff allowances are being withdrawn.
The pay and pensions of senior public servants have been cut.
This week’s budget will go further.
50 quangos will be abolished or merged, and the public sector will be downsized by 23,000 people by 2015.
Next year, we will hold a referendum to abolish the Seanad.

But these steps are just a start.
We will reform how we run the country so that we never return to the practices that drove our economy into freefall – reckless spending, weak oversight of banks and reliance on a property boom for tax revenues.
However – In Ireland, an island nation – we cannot operate in isolation. We are part of the European Union.

All the changes we undertake ourselves are set against the backdrop of continuing uncertainty about the future of the European single currency.
Let me be clear – Ireland supports stronger economic governance throughout Europe, and particularly in the Eurozone.
In fact, the Irish people are paying the price now for the absence of such rules in the past.

European leaders must make and – more importantly this time must implement – clear decisions this week to prove our shared determination to protect our currency.
Otherwise, international confidence and investment in Europe will continue to fall.
In the ongoing negotiations in Europe, I will work to achieve a positive outcome for Ireland – one that ensures and protects our economic security.

Firm action will help to restore confidence throughout Europe, and here in Ireland.
In outlining the Government’s strategy with you tonight, I do not for a moment want to make it sound simplistic or painless. It is not.
We are on a four year path to recovery. This, our first Budget, is a necessary step, but it will include cuts to many worthwhile projects.

It will also raise some indirect taxes which will be hard for many people.
The truth is, our economy remains fragile, and it will take us several years to recover fully.
While the creation of jobs will be at the centre of our plan, I am painfully aware this will not happen quickly enough for many who are out of work today. It will take several years to create the numbers of new jobs we need.

But over the last months we have made a start.
Towards more jobs.
Towards more opportunities.
Towards renewed confidence.

A start towards a country where our young people can stay at home to build their future here, rather than moving away.
A start in essence toward getting Ireland working again.
That’s the commitment the Tánaiste and I made to you when you elected us.
And that is the commitment we are working to deliver each and every day.
We have begun taking hold of these problems and deal with them head on.
I am very optimistic for the future.

I want to be the Taoiseach who retrieves Ireland’s economic sovereignty, and who leads a Government that will help our country succeed.
I want to make this the best small country in the world in which to do business, in which to raise a family and in which to grow old with dignity and respect.
All around Ireland, I meet people who want to play their part in achieving those goals.

I meet young people, students and business people who are full of ideas, energy and optimism. I want to enable them, and many others,
to achieve their full potential.
I believe Government, being honest and open, working with the people, will meet and beat the challenges we face.
Next Tuesday December 6th is the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty in 1921.
Just as our fledgling state made its way to becoming a Republic then –

I believe with all my heart, that we the Irish people can now make our way to recovery, to prosperity and to the fulfilment of the dreams of our children and the founding fathers of our nation .