Catholic Combines Faith, High-Tech Savvy to Invent New Bible Format

31 07 2009

By Nancy Frazier O’Brien
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — One of the oldest and most read books in the world now has a new, high-tech look. And it weighs only 5 grams, or one-hundredth of a pound.
God on the Go, USB flash drive containing complete Bible
“God on the Go” is a USB flash drive containing the complete Bible in the New Revised Standard Version or the New Testament of the New American Bible. It is currently available only for PCs but a Mac-compatible version is expected out this summer.

Inventor Mark Mastroianni, a member of St. Edna Parish in Arlington Heights, Ill., said in a telephone interview with Catholic News Service that the idea for “God on the Go” came to him in prayer when he was asking God how he could bring together his Catholic faith and his background in technology and product development.

“Why not combine the Bible with commonly used and readily accessible technological platforms?” he recalled thinking. After months of research and talks with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which holds the U.S. copyright on the New American Bible, “God on the Go” was born.

Mastroianni was pleased to learn that the device also offers the ecologically aware a “green” alternative to the printed Bible, since the thin pages of most Bibles require the use of a specialty ink that is “very toxic to users and in the manufacturing process.”

"Green" alternative to the printed Bible

“God on the Go” also has special appeal for the millennial generation, no longer used to reading the printed word and instead accustomed to getting all their information in front of a computer screen, he said.

The USB flash drive offers a number of advantages over a hefty version of the printed Bible, Mastroianni said. It can be carried around on a key chain, and because the Bible only takes up 10 percent of the space on the flash drive, the user can add his or her own photos, songs or important documents to carry along with the Bible.

It also includes a verse/subject index, allows users to bookmark favorite passages and can take users directly to the daily New American Bible readings on the USCCB Web site.

Mastroianni worked with Dominican Father Jordan J. Kelly, director of the Office of Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Chicago, on the project “almost from day one” and pilot tested “God on the Go” with a group of students at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights during the fall semester of 2008.

The “feature that got the greatest response” from the 200 sophomores who tested it, according to Mastroianni, was a “mini-concordance” which gives users the ability to scroll through a list of feelings and to be linked to a Bible passage relevant to that emotion.

“I never thought the Bible could be this cool,” he reported one student as saying.

Through www.4Marks.com, a Catholic social networking site, users of “God on the Go” also can trade their lists of favorite Bible passages with their friends.

The device can also be customized for group sales to parishes, schools and universities, Mastroianni said. “The face of the physical drive can be etched” with a name or logo, he added.

Mastroianni hopes to have the full New American Bible available on a “God on the Go” device by sometime next year, pending the U.S. bishops’ and Vatican approval of a new translation of the Old Testament.

Bible
Editor’s Note: “God on the Go” is available through Acta Publications, www.actapublications.com, and for sale at bookstores. The New Testament of the New American Bible costs $24.95, with a 1 gigabyte capacity, and the complete Bible in the New Revised Standard Version is $39.95, with a 2 gigabyte capacity. For more information, go to www.WordofGodToGo.com.

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Dr Ligaya Acosta Speaks about the Homosexual Agenda

29 07 2009

On 21st July 2009, the Youth and Vocations Commision of Archdiocese of Kuching had organized a session on Sexuality: “The Homosexual Agenda” by Dr Ligaya Acosta. She is the Executive Director of Human Life International Asia-Oceania, Manila. She has traveled to from India to Mongolia and Papua New Guinea to promote Life and the Family. The evening session was held at the AVA room of St Joseph Parish Centre. There were altogether 44 youth, working adults and parents from different parishes who attended this session. Below are some pictures and testimonies from the participants:

Dr Ligaya Acosta receives souvenir; L-R: Dorothy, Dr Acosta, Fr Simon, Fr Felix

Dr Ligaya Acosta receives souvenir; L-R: Dorothy, Dr Acosta, Fr Simon, Fr Felix

“An eye opener on the depth and extent of the homosexual agenda and its assault on family and Church. The talk cuts through the usual euphemism and sets the recent development (to promote this lifestyle) in the West in its real perspective. Can’t wait to learn more about this and other facets of the Culture of Death, but more importantly how we can defeat it through Culture of Life, at the HLI Asia Pacific Congress in November’- Benjamin Adrian, CHOICE

“Before this, I was not really aware of homosexual issues happening worldwide. I do know a bit about it through the media but don’t know enough about it. After listening to Dr. Ligaya’s talk of the homosexuality, I understand more its effects and impact on those who practise this same sex relationships. I also learnt that the close relationship between parents and children in a family is most important.”- Andez Gregory, Campus Student

“Her presentation was full of concrete evidence and facts – both scientific and biblical (faith); on the topic of homosexuality as a facet of the Culture of Death. Her challenge to both parents and youths to be more aware and better equipped against the strategies of the Anti-Life (Pro-Death) advocates was interesting – prompting us to be ready and alert to defend our faith and beliefs as Catholics and Pro-Lifers!

Although the session was brief and much of what was shared needed more time thought and digestion, it gave us a glimpse of what we as pro-lifers are up against and need to do, so as not to be easily deceived. Her sharing on hope for the homosexuals and homosexually inclined persons – especially through prayers and self-surrender to GOD, is both informative and practical. I believe with this knowledge, though little, we can begin to better Love, Support and Understand those struggling with homosexuality, especially in our Catholic/Christian circle.”- Mervyn Lee, Empowered Parish Youth Minitry

The audience





KYCS Welcomes New Core Team for the Year 2009-2010

28 07 2009

KUCHING – The Kuching Young Christian Students (KYCS) leaders gathered together on the 25th of July, 2009 for an election of a new KYCS core team for the year 2009-2010. The gathering was held at the St. Joseph Parish Centre, where YCS student leaders from SMK St. Teresa, SMK St. Joseph, SMK Batu Lintang, SMK Green Road and SMK Jalan Arang were present. Also present were the KAYVC youth co-ordinators, KYCS student animators and a teacher animator.

Old and New KYCS Core Team

Top, L-R: Adeline, Nathalia, Bryan, Julie, Sonia; Botton, L-R: Audrey, David John, Cassandra, Martin, Mary

The new KYCS core team for the year 2009-2010 comprised a council of presidents. The incoming core team members are Audrey Yap, Cassandra Shim, David John Au, Martin Chieng, and Mary Voon. Among these five leaders, Cassandra Shim and Martin Chieng are KYCS representatives to any KAYVC events and meetings.

A simple installation ceremony was held after that, where the outgoing core team members passed a candle each (which symbolizes the Light) to the incoming core team. The outgoing core team were also presented a certificate each, for their hard work and achievements for the past year.

The gathering ended at 1pm with a sing-along session, followed by a closing prayer.

By Evelyn Chow

KYCS Election 1

Action songs

KYCS members posing

Ralph address KYCS members

R - Julie speaks to David, L - Bryan gives opinion to Sophia





S.A.L.T. Ulu Belaga 2009

26 07 2009

S.A.L.T. stands for School of Acting Justly, Loving Tenderly and Treading humbly with God (Micah 6:8). It is a programme for campus students spearheaded by the Malaysian Catholic Students’ Council (MCSC). This year, the second S.A.L.T will be held in Ulu Belaga (SALT II Ulu Belaga or S.U.B.’09)

Belaga

S.U.B.’09 will be a Southeast Asian program(SEAP), a joint project between MCSC and IMCS AP (International Movement of Catholic Students Asia Pacific). S.U.B’09 will incorporate EIP (Exposure Immersion Program) which will include orientation, exposure to Ulu Belaga, critical analyses and theological reflection which is also part of SALT II Ulu Belaga. Some participants of Southeast Asia can only attend EIP but not the entire SALT II Ulu Belaga. However, we expect all local participants to attend the entire program which will be held this year from 23 Nov to 6 Dec, 2009.

The aims of S.U.B. 09 are manifold:

  1. Enable our university students to understand the complex issues of the land rights or (NCR) of IP (indigenous peoples or Orang Asal) in Sarawak in relation to logging, the Sarawakian society and the global timber market.
  2. Arrive a more critical understand of the struggle of the IPs in Ulu Belaga and their poverty and marginalization in relation to the local and global institutions such as Internation Timber Instition, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and economic globalization.
  3. Response in faith to the struggle of the IPs so that we are aware of our roles as university students

S.U.B. 09 will be held in Bintulu, the EIP in Kg. Sg. Asap and Koyan in Ulu Belaga, and culminate in the 3-day retreat in Bintulu.

Take a look at the S.U.B.’09 promotional videos below:


Currently, 5 places are allocated for delegates from Archdiocese of Kuching. For more information, contact the Kuching Youth Office; 082-237237.





What is the Trinity?

26 07 2009

Take a look at the video clip in which Father Robert Barron gives us a beautiful explanation of the mystery of the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is a mystery not because it is a puzzle or enigma that we cannot understand, but rather it has a meaning so deep and so vast that the human mind’s able to comprehend a tiniest bit of its truth. It is when we see God face to face (which is beatific vision) that we will grow in our knowledge of God as Trinity and as love.  It’ll take eternity to plumb the depths of this infinite and glorious mystery.

NB. Fr Robert Barron is a sought-after speaker on the spiritual life-from prestigious universities to YouTube to national conferences and private retreats. The prominent theologian and podcasting priest is one of the world’s great and most innovative teachers of Catholicism. His global media ministry called Word on Fire has a simple but revolutionary mission – to evangelize the culture.





Road of Our Lives: Apologetics

24 07 2009

…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Pt 3:15-16)

ROLers concentrating

On the evening of Thu, 23 Jul, Edmund Kiu arranged for a group of enthusiastic young adults, all of whom were CHOICE graduates, to gather at St Joseph Parish Centre to discuss questions they are often asked, with regard to their Catholic faith.

A range of questions were addressed during the 2-hour session; some remarked the session was too short! If you want to see what some of these questions were, take a look at the ‘Catholic Faith Q&A‘ tab/page of this blog. The responses to them are being posted slowly. Please be patient.

The session was facilitated by Fr Felix Au.

More ROLers





St John Vianney, Confessor Par Excellence

24 07 2009

‘The good Lord knows everything. Even before you confess, he already knows that you will sin again, yet he still forgives you. How great is the love of our God: he even forces himself to forget the future, so that he can grant us his forgiveness!’

Cure of Ars…he sought in every way, by his preaching and his powers of persuasion, to help his parishioners to rediscover the meaning and beauty of the sacrament of Penance, presenting it as an inherent demand of the Eucharistic presence

The saintly Curé… said: ‘It is not the sinner who returns to God to beg his forgiveness, but God himself who runs after the sinner and makes him return to him.’ ‘This good Saviour is so filled with love that he seeks us everywhere.’

“The Curé of Ars dealt with different penitents in different ways. Those who came to his confessional drawn by a deep and humble longing for God’s forgiveness found in him the encouragement to plunge into the ‘flood of divine mercy’ which sweeps everything away by its vehemence. If someone was troubled by the thought of his own frailty and inconstancy, and fearful of sinning again, the Curé would unveil the mystery of God’s love in these beautiful and touching words: ‘The good Lord knows everything. Even before you confess, he already knows that you will sin again, yet he still forgives you. How great is the love of our God: he even forces himself to forget the future, so that he can grant us his forgiveness!’

“But to those who made a lukewarm and rather indifferent confession of sin, he clearly demonstrated by his own tears of pain how ‘abominable’ this attitude was: ‘I weep because you don’t weep’, he would say. ‘If only the Lord were not so good! But he is so good! One would have to be a brute to treat so good a Father this way!’

“He awakened repentance in the hearts of the lukewarm by forcing them to see God’s own pain at their sins reflected in the face of the priest who was their confessor. To those who, on the other hand, came to him already desirous of and suited to a deeper spiritual life, he flung open the abyss of God’s love, explaining the untold beauty of living in union with him and dwelling in his presence: ‘Everything in God’s sight, everything with God, everything to please God… How beautiful it is!’ And he taught them to pray: ‘My God, grant me the grace to love you as much as I possibly can.’”

Extracted from Pope’s Benedict’s Letter to Clergy on the Year for Priests, 5 July 2009