1 September 2011
Children pray during liturgy in the small village of Santhithadam, Kerala, India.
(photo: Sean Sprague)
Santhithadam means “Valley of Peace” in Malayalam, the language of Kerala.
Not far from the border with Tamil Nadu and set on the high Attapaddy plateau, the area was thinly populated by scattered tribes for centuries. Then, about 30 years ago, 76 families settled in Santhithadam from the crowded south, including 40 Syro-Malabar Catholic families from Kottayam, Kerala’s Christian heartland.
Journalist Sean Sprague reported about this small village in Kerala back in 2003 in the July-August edition of ONE (which was then known as CNEWA WORLD).
Today the Catholic News Service reported on a parish in Kerala offering financial incentives to large Catholic families, in the midst of worries over the shrinking Catholic population:
The plan to increase family size runs counter to a previous initiative by the federal government, which encouraged residents to make two children the norm for families.
Read more of this story on the CatholicNews.com
30 August 2011
Tags: India Children Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Man Praying at Lyon’s Great Mosque in Lyon, France. (photo: Pascal Deloche/Godong/Corbis) Featured on the September 2008 cover of ONE
Today, many Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
In the cover story of the September 2008 edition of ONE, Islam’s Many Faces, Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald discussed Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr feast:
Ramadan begins or ends according to the sighting of the moon (though some Muslims follow astronomical calculations). Thus, there can be differences, with one country starting and consequently ending before another. This can even happen in the same area where different groups follow different systems, so one group will still be fasting while the other is already feasting.
With the political upheaval throughout many Muslim communities today’s this year’s feast carries mixed emotions for some, as CNN reports:
There’s joy tempered with concern on Tahrir Square in Egypt, which saw a successful revolution topple President Hosni Mubarak this year. And there’s optimism in Libya, where 42 years of rule by Moammar Gadhafi seem to be coming to an end.
But emotions are much more muted in Syria, where the government is clamping down to prevent the Arab Spring from spreading, and there is a sense of gloom in Pakistan, wracked by violence and natural disasters.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that many prisoners in Egypt were released today in honor of the Muslim holiday:
The prisoners let free for the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan were mostly protesters arrested in Tahrir Square, and had no prior convictions, English language Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported.
Read more of the CNN and Washington Post stories on their web sites respectively: Muslim festival brings rare joy for some this year, but not all cheer and On Eid al-Fitr, hundreds of prisoners freed in Egypt, UAE, Oman
25 August 2011
Tags: Muslim Interreligious Islam Ramadan
An elderly couple dance at an event organized by a local social club in the Eastern Slovakian village, Jakubany. (photo: Andrej Bán)
“Jakubany has a rich cultural heritage, including distinctive folklore, music, dance and dress. Villagers developed traditions in relation to their deep, historical relationship with the forests, pastures and mountains that surround the community.”
Read more about the rich culture and history of the Eastern Slovakian village of Jakubany in the story Those Who Remain Behind from our January 2009 edition of ONE. Writer Jacqueline Ruyak gives more insight into the dynamics of this village in the multimedia feature accompanying this article.
24 August 2011
Tags: Eastern Europe Roma Slovak Catholic Church Ruysn
Locals living near Kerala’s Idukki Dam, the largest of its kind in Asia, collect water at a well. (photo: Peter Lemieux)
“In Kerala, poor management of natural resources, shortsighted agricultural practices and political inaction are pushing the limits. How is it possible that Kerala — which receives an annual average rainfall of more than ten feet, nearly three times higher than the national average — has the lowest per capita water availability in India, even lower than the northwestern state of Rajasthan, home of the Thar Desert?”
Peter Lemieux’s article, Rain Rich, Water Poor from the May 2010 edition of ONE, was also a part of a package that won a 2nd place Catholic Press Association Award for “Best Multiple Picture Package” among other awards.
To gain even more insight into the water scarcity issue in Kerala, check out our multimedia feature, Water Woes.
23 August 2011
Tags: India Kerala Water
A boy emulates adults at noon prayer in the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Brunei. (photo: Michael Yamashita/ Corbis)
"The readers of ONE know well many of the differences that exist within Christianity, with its various churches and communities, each with its own rites and customs. They should not be surprised to learn, if they do not know already, about the diversity that exists within the Islamic world: how the interpretation of the five pillars of Islam – the fundamental obligations incumbent on all Muslims – differs among Muslims."
In his article, "Islam's Many Faces," Michael L. Fitzgerald,
M.Afr., explores the various sects and traditions which fall under the broad banner of Islam.
This and more can be found in the September 2008 issue of ONE magazine.
22 August 2011
Tags: Islam Sunni Shiite
“A Boy in Shadows” (photo: Nimer Nidal, age 13)
Nimer Nidal, 13, a student of photographer, Rich Wiles, at the Lajee Center in 2005 produced this photo as a part of a collaborative arts project entitled “A Window to Our World.” The Lajee Center, in the Aida Refugee Camp in Palestine, provides youth living in the camp with an opportunity for recreation, education and cultural activities.
To learn more about Rich Wiles’ work with the children in the Aida Refugee Camp check out our interview with him in the November 2010 edition of ONE. Diane Handal's story, Living in Limbo, also from the November 2010 edition, will provide more insight on the state of children living in Palestinian refugee camps.
19 August 2011
Tags: Refugees Palestine Refugee Camps Palestinian Refugees
A novice at the Transfiguration Convent in Tbilisi, Georgia, helps to care for a former nun who is now a resident in the hospice run by the sisters. (photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz)
Read the story Alternative Lifestyles from the September 2007 edition of ONE to learn more about the sisters of Tbilisi’s Transfiguration Convent.
18 August 2011
Tags: Middle East Christians Middle East Sisters Georgia Monastery
The faithful at Ba’ta Mariam Church, on one of the Mariam feast days. (photo: Peter Lemieux)
In November 2010 writer Peter Lemieux brought us a story called “Relevant or Relic”, about Ethiopian life and culture. In one of Peter’s unpublished interviews, a source offered some insight on how women are treated in the country:
Women take a backseat to men in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and elders in general in society. “If a woman seeks counseling in the church, she’s sent to a man. In marriage counseling, they’re more concerned about you being submissive to [your] husband. You don’t talk about personal relationships or married life. You don’t disclose that. If you do, you’re likely to be discriminated against or viewed as different, not following the line,” says Halina Atlabachew.
That wasn’t the first time Peter Lemieux and ONE had looked at gender issues in Ethiopia. For more check out our May 2009 story, An Uphill Battle. In a multimedia feature, we also heard from two Sisters of the Good Shepherd, who have worked with women extensively in Ethiopia.
17 August 2011
Tags: Ethiopia Africa Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Local youth from Derbent in Russia, spend time at the shore of the Caspian Sea. Often identified with the legendary Gates of Alexander, Derbent claims to be the oldest city in the Russian Federation. (photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz)
Check out the November 2009 edition of ONE magazine to find out more about the remarkable history of this place in the story “Where Europe meets Asia.”
Photographer Justyna Mielnikiewicz has traveled and documented the Caucasus region extensively. Learn more about her work in the multimedia feature, A Photographer’s Perspective.
16 August 2011
Sister Kirti Lawrence tutors children at the Anugraha home with a battery–powered floodlight.
(photo: Peter Lemieux)
In this audio clip from my interview with writer Peter Lemieux for the July edition of ONE, he discusses Sister Kirti Lawrence and her dedication to the
children of Mumbai’s slums.
Check out the multimedia feature “A
Quick Walk With Sister Leema Rose” and the story by Peter Lemieux, ‘Slumdog’
Sisters in the July edition of ONE.
Tags: India Children Sisters Women in India