Maria Teresa of Calcutta, Hardworking Sister of Mercy

Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet

Maria Teresa of Calcutta

ImageIn 1910 Maria Teresa was born in Skopie (Albania). In 1928 she moved to Ireland and became a nun.

A year later she moved again to India. Here she would have remained for many years as a teacher in a college for girls only.Image

In 1948 she founded the missionary of charity which in the next 50 years would have became an organization with branches all over the world, with supporter from every religious field as well as laymen.Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin”.

The organization helped people with terrible diseases and also poor people we belong to the world living not for ourselves Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy.; for this Maria Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Price.Image

She died in 1997 obtaining the title of Blessed Maria of Calcutta from the Church of Rome.

Harriet Tubman, highway to freedom

mah  people mus’go free

Harriet Tubman

harriet-tubman2-library-of-congress-600Another example of perseverance, symbol of freedom and independence is Harriet Tubman. Like Sojourner Truth Tubam (1819/20-1913) was born in slavery and escaped from slavery when she was 25: “[…] the sun came like gold through the trees , and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven[…]”.

She didn’t leave the slaves behind though. Harriet Tubman became one of the most popular conductor of the Underground Rail Road, a secret road for the slaves to walk from the Southern states of U.S.A. to the free states of Canada: “[…] her success was wonderful […] she seemed totaly devoid of personal fear[…] images-4yet she would not suffer one of her party to whimper once about giving out and going back” because “a live runaway could do a great harm by going back[…]” and  she was bluntly convinced that: “[…] a dead Negro tell no tales[…] “. She worked so efficiently that the reward for her capture went as higimages-6h as $40,000.

Tubman met many times with John Brown and during the Civil War worked for the Union Army as a soldier a spy and a nurse.

After the Civil War she remained active by helping old and indigent black persons and fighting for human rights.

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When she died in 1913 she was awarded with military honor.thumbs_img_1231

Sojourner Truth: No chains

 It is often darkest just before dawn

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner truth was born in 1787 in slavery in New York.sojourner-truthHer real name was Isabelle Baumfree but in 1843 when she decided to commit herself to abolitionism and methodism, change it for Sojourner Truth.

as a child she was sold for $100 at an auction and later in fee life she would recall that: “[…]a slave auction is a terrible affair to its victims, and its incidents and consequences are graven on their hearts as with a pen of burning steel[…]”07-@-Sojourner

early in her life she showed vehemently her desire for freedom and independence as she escaped from slavery with her baby daughter in 1826. In 1827 Ny was proclaimed a free state but nonetheless her boy Peter was sold to a farm in Alabama. She took this case to court and won becoming one of the first black women to win over a white man in a court.sojourner_truth_pd101

Sojourner later lost her child who found a job on a ship but never made it back from his first trip.

Between the ’30s and the ’50s she spoke in front of large crowds about black people and women’s rights.

Famous is her speech “Ain’t I a woman” delivered in 1851 at a women’s convention in Ohio:”[…] if the first woman ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and right side up again!and now they it asking to do it, the men better let them[…]”.

In the ’60s she met president Abraham Lincoln in more than one occasion and during the Civil War she helped to recruit black soldiers for the Union Army.
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Also after the Emancipation Proclamation (1865) Sojourner Truth continued to fight for universal suffrage, segregation by occupying  cars only for whites, but she also fought against the capital punishment and a reform of the prisons.

images-3She died in 1883 becoming a symbol of freedom freedom of thought and perseverance.

MARGARET THATCHER, the Iron Lady.

A relentlessly forward-going force.

Anonymous.

Margaret Tathcher was elected in 1979 and stayed in power until 1990. From the beginning her government had to face many difficulties, for example the clash with the irish rebels of Ulster and the invasion of the Falklands by Argentina.

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Staunch supporter of the territorial unity of Great Britain she showed strong determination and resolution in dealing with these problems. But her inflexible conduct caused divisions and produced hard feelings. Thatcher stated continuously  that she was acting for the sake of democracy and in the name of the will of the majority. Her opponents, on the other hand, accused her of failing to recognize that she was missing on the fact that those countries belonged under many aspects to a separate dimension from the British.  Maybe a last stand of a colonial mind?

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Capitalism was at the core of her politics inside Great Britain. She believed that only a free economy could bring about a free society. Under her rule Britain economy shifted from manufacture towards the service sector. Mostly Thatcher encouraged investment in the city of London trying to exploit its international reputation. Eventually she was successful. The process however produced many disorders and victims. For instance, the coalminers between 1984 and 1985 went on strike fearing that the new economy would have closed their pit. As a result many were arrested went in prison and brought lifelong wounds.

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On the other hand, Thatcher strongly included the working class in her vision of a prosper Britain. Thanks to her social schemes many families had the opportunity to buy, for the first time in generations, a house. They were made able to buy a house for no more than 10.000 pounds and sell it years later for ten 10 times the original price. Many families for the first time could invest in the stock. Many, today, recall that it was not a huge investment but it felt symbolic of a new era of growth.

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Many reckon her days at Downing Street as a world divided in good and evil. The ones who backed her up and the ones who loathed her. She made it her way.

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She tried to implement her convictions aiming at  reaching the wellbeing of Britain, but her conservative nationalism showed a lack of community spirit that caused marginalization and discrimination towards the minorities (i.e. Irish, gay people and the working class). Not a society so free…

Katherine Schori and women in the Church of England.

 ‘Respect’ means taking somebody else in their own terms; letting them define what they believe, what they think, who they are.  It means trying to find a settlement that allows them to recognise in whatever emerges that their views have been taken seriously. (Rowan William, Archbishop of Canterbury, 2012).

Katherine Schori was made Primate in 2006. She is the first woman to attain this status in the Anglican Communion. And that happened in 2006 in USA. KatherineSchori

Today in England the admission of women to the Episcopate is a matter of strong dispute. Last November the General Synod Of the Church of England voted against the Reform. It has been on the society agenda for years. But failed to pass because the opponents suggested that whenever a parish would request a male bishop, that should be provided. Opposition comes from theological doctrine and tradition. Today 16 November 2012 strikinapose popped in St. Michael Church in Wood Green, London and asked the mass attendants their takes about women bishops.

photoIsabel, 86, said that women and men have different roles. Women are excellent at their thing but would not be good bishops, in her opinion.

Anyway the decision of the Synod provoked a diffuse outcry inside the Church and out. Some advocate the intervention of Parliament. In the diocese of Hereford women were urged to wear aprons in sign of protest.

The fact is that in the Church of England women have been ordained priests since 1993. They have been readers since 1861. And most people don’t understand why it takes so long to admit them in the Episcopate considering that in 2010 more women then men were made priests. Neither do we…