World’s oldest nun is 115-year-old Brazilian – Catholic News Agency

World’s oldest nun is 115-year-old Brazilian – Catholic News Agency

By Nathália Queiroz – ACI Digital, Mar 20, 2024

Sister Inah Canabarro and her nephew Kléber Canabarro. | Credit: ACI Digital

“My secret, my great secret, is to pray,” said Sister Inah Canabarro Lucas, the oldest nun in the world at 115 years of age. “I pray the rosary every day for all the people around the world.”

The Teresian nun is also the oldest person in Brazil and Latin America, according to the Gerontological Research Group.

Sister Inah expressed her good humor and joy in the few words she managed to say in a March 9 interview with ACI Digital, CNA’s Portuguese-language news partner. She repeated a prayer several times to the Virgin Mary, praying to her “for all the people of the entire world.”

The nun currently lives in Porto Alegre in Rio Grande do Sul state in Santo Enrique de Ossó Home, adjacent to the Provincial House of the Teresian Sisters of Brazil, the community she entered in 1927 at the age of 19.

According to the home’s coordinator, Sister Lúcia Ignez Bassotto, Sister Inah “is always focused on others and not on herself.” She is “a very resilient person, isn’t demanding, appreciates everything, thinks that everything is fine, has enormous admiration for the congregation, for the company. She prays for everyone, she is concerned for everyone.”

“Her life is truly exemplary,” continued Sister Lúcia, who has known Sister Inah since she was a student in the town of Sant’Ana do Livramento.

Another characteristic of Sister Inah is that she always wants to be active. She continues to participate in community prayers, and she likes to be in the garden and spend time with her sisters.

Sister Lúcia said that although the elderly nun’s health has declined a little in the last couple of weeks, on the days when she is well she is very talkative and playful.

Until recently, she continued, Sister Inah “painted napkins, made cards, did many things. When she had nothing to do, she would pick up a deck of cards and start playing. If she didn’t have anyone to play with, she would play alone. She had a lot of fun.”

Inah Canabarro Lucas was born in the town of São Francisco de Assis in west-central Rio Grande do Sul on May 27, 1908, and is the second to last of seven children.

She is the great-great-niece of Gen. David Canabarro, one of the main leaders of the Farroupilha Revolution (1835–1845) in Rio Grande do Sul.

When she was a child, one of her brothers told her mother that Inah could study at a convent in her town. Inah then asked: “What are nuns?” Her mother answered that they were women who dedicated themselves to praying to God, to which she replied: “I’m going to be a nun.”

Sister Inah studied at the nuns’ school and at the age of 19, she went for her novitiate with the Teresian Sisters in Montevideo in Uruguay.

Over more than a century, she has experienced many changes in the world and in the Church. She has lived through two world wars and has seen 10 pontiffs. The year she was born, the pope was St. Pius X.

“Aunt Inah was very skinny and thin since she was a child,” Kléber Canabarro Lucas, 83, the nun’s nephew, told ACI Digital. Due to her frail appearance, everyone thought that she would not live long.

“That’s why she’s been here for 115 years and the rest of the class is all gone,” he remarked.

“Sister Inah is our pinnacle in terms of religiosity, faith, goodwill, a kind and good-humored person; she has been like that all her life. Now the poor thing is declining with age,” he noted.

“But God is going to help her and she is going to turn 116, 117, we are going to be 120, God willing,” the nephew said.

“She is super happy, a person who has life, has love, truly loves,” said Sister Teresinha de Aragón, 83, who has known the nun since she was a child, because her sister was her student at Sant’Ana do Livramento.

The 115-year-old nun is someone “who holds everyone in her heart. There are no exceptions. She treats everyone well, with love, whether they are little ones, adults, or elderly. “She’s a person that loves, she really loves,” Sister Teresinha related.

Sister Inah was a teacher all her life. She taught Portuguese, mathematics, science, history, art, and religion in Teresian schools in Rio de Janeiro, Itaqui, and Sant’Ana do Livramento, a city she loved because it was where she spent most of her life.

According to her nephew, she was “strict, a disciplinarian and affectionate teacher who won over everyone.”

Many of the sisters who currently live at the provincial house in Porto Alegre were the nun’s students or tell stories about how Sister Inah helped them discover their vocation.

Additionally, Sister Inah is one of the few nuns in her congregation who still wears her habit. According to the sisters of her community, since the Second Vatican Council (1963–1965) wearing the habit has been optional. Each person can choose to wear it or not. Since the elderly sister is not fully capable of deciding, and has always worn her habit, her caregivers decided to always dress her in it because it’s the way she has always seen herself, as a religious.

“I feel very happy, very grateful to God because it was [Sister Inah] who guided me along this path and now I can be useful to her, help her in the moments when she needs me,” said Sister Velmira, who is a nurse and in recent years has been the one caring for Sister Inah’s health.

“Mother Inah helped me find this place where I feel so happy, I feel very good with everyone,” she said.

A notable achievement in her life was creating the marching band at Santa Teresa school in Sant’Ana do Livramento. The band played 115 musical instruments and performed throughout Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Apart from saying that she prays for everyone, among the few words that Sister Inah spoke during the interview was also a praise for her favorite team, “because it’s the people’s team, of good, poor, very honest, very good people.”

This story was first published by ACI Digital, CNA’s Portuguese-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by ACI Prensa/CNA.

Over 1,000 walk 10 miles with Jesus this Lent (Video/ photos by Julio Eduardo Herrera/ Archdiocese of Newark)

Over 1,000 walk 10 miles with Jesus this Lent (Video/ photos by Julio Eduardo Herrera/ Archdiocese of Newark)

Jaimie Julia Winters March 19, 2024

Photos and Video by Julio Eduardo Herrera/ Archdiocese of Newark

About 1,000 of the faithful walked 10 miles from Linden to Newark last weekend stopping to do the Stations of the Cross and ending at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart for Mass and the Eucharist.

Instead of giving up sweets or coffee, the pilgrimage offers the faithful a way to concentrate on Jesus’ suffering and death during the Lenten season. For four years, areas Catholics have joined the 10-mile pilgrimage of prayer and meditation on the Stations of the Cross as a physical, spiritual, and personal challenge during Lent. This year it was held on Sunday, March 17, on a warm spring day.

Martyna who walked for the first time, said it was beautifully orchestrated and that she did the walk “to spend time with Jesus in a prayerful way.”

The walking pilgrimage began at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish, (the archdiocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II) in Linden, and ended about four hours later at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, where Cardinal Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R, Archbishop of Newark, celebrated Mass for the pilgrims and their family and friends.

The procession consisted of altar servers carrying a processional cross, pilgrims bearing relics of the Holy Cross, religious sisters and brothers, a 14-foot cross carried by pilgrims, parents with baby carriages, individuals in wheelchairs, a music ministry, and priests.

Michael Kosak led the pilgrims in song with his guitar along the route on the beautiful sunny day.

“We are just here praising the Lord and following the steps He took on his last day on earth,” Kosak told Jersey Catholic.

Stops were made along the route to pray the Stations of the Cross and to have lunch at St. Mary’s of the Assumption H.S. in Elizabeth on Broad Street. The pilgrims also rested at Wilson Park on the Elizabeth/ Newark border before making their final leg to the cathedral.

Fourth-time pilgrim Natalia Falkowski said the walk has been good preparation for Easter.

“It’s a good way for us to stop this Lenten season and walk the way of the cross like Jesus did; to kind of think about our life and where we are going on this earth,” Falkowski said.

In his homily, Cardinal Tobin said that the Stations of the Cross are in churches because when people could not make it to Jerusalem for a pilgrimage; they still wanted to walk together thinking of the Lord’s suffering and how “it’ came to be.

“The reason pilgrimages are so popular is because our lives begin in one place and end in another place, and we think and hope that it is not all without meaning. That there is a reason we are walking together towards something or better yet someone,” Cardinal Tobin said.

Photos and Video by Julio Eduardo Herrera/ Archdiocese of Newark

Bombay’s Catholic newspaper marks its 175th anniversary – Crux

Bombay’s Catholic newspaper marks its 175th anniversary – Crux

The Examiner – 175th Anniversary

By Nirmala Carvalho, Contributor – Mar 11, 2024

MUMBAI, India – As it marks its 175th anniversary, Cardinal Oswald Gracias calls Bombay’s diocesan newspaper “a beacon of truth, a voice of reason, and a source of inspiration for countless individuals across India and beyond.”

“As we reflect on this momentous occasion, it is impossible not to be awed by the rich history and the legacy of excellence that The Examiner embodies,” the cardinal said.

“Since its inception, The Examiner has remained steadfast in its commitment to upholding the values of the Church, fostering dialogue, and serving as a catalyst for positive change within our community and society at large,” he added.

[Editor’s note: Nirmala Carvalho, Crux’s Asia correspondent, was awarded The Golden Pen Award for Excellence in Journalism, by Cardinal Gracias on March 10. The entire Crux staff offers our congratulations to her!] 

Gracias noted that beyond its role as a purveyor of news and information, The Examiner has played a vital role in shaping the narrative surrounding critical issues facing the Church and society.

“Through its insightful articles and reporting, thought-provoking commentary, and unwavering advocacy for justice and compassion, The Examiner has not only informed minds but also touched hearts, inspiring countless individuals to action and reflection,” he said.

The Examiner was established on July 10, 1849, by the Jesuits. It is the oldest English language Catholic newspaper in India.

“Looking ahead to the next 175 years and beyond, let us recommit ourselves to the values and ideals that have guided The Examiner since its inception: Integrity, excellence, and a steadfast commitment to serving the Church and society with humility and compassion,” Gracias added.

“May this anniversary year be a time of renewal, celebration, and rededication to the noble mission of journalism as a force for good in the world,” he said.

Father Anthony Charanghat has been the editor of The Examiner for over 25 years, and associated with the magazine for 50 years.

“As raise our hearts on the occasion of the 175th year of the uninterrupted publication of The Examiner to give thanks to God for the gift that He has given us,” he said in a message sent to Crux.

“We do not take this occasion to trumpet the glories of our work, for we are just frail vessels of clay made from the earth, and unto dust we shall return. But praise we must: Give glory to God for the wonders and marvels of His work, and loudly proclaim and communicate the grandeur of His Love.,” the priest added.

“Where do we begin to tell the story of how great the love of God can be, greater than the ocean and the sea, a communion between God and humanity! This is the essence of the branding of The Examiner insignia which gives us the motto, and the icon of what a religious Catholic newspaper ought to be,” Charanghat said.

The priest said The Examiner is a religious magazine which gives primacy of place to human relationship with God.

“Hence, The Examiner is called to function as a mirror of God’s Love revealed by His Word, who is Christ. The Examiner, being a Catholic religious newspaper, has to interpret the deeper insights of God’s Word in the language of the common person,” he said.

Charanghat said the newspaper has employed the language of scripture to convey the message of the mission entrusted to every person “to fulfil their call to bring the Kingdom values on Earth.”

“The literary genre of the language of the Bible has been extensively used in The Examiner and by our writers who were legends of yore, that has elevated the tenor and tone of The Examiner and raised it to the touch of the Divine, casting a spiritual glow that makes The Examiner so riveting,” he said.

“It is interesting to observe that human religious writings are always inspired by God, especially if they mirror the revelations of God, as evidenced by the authors of the Bible. The language of the Bible has been extolled as the best literature in the world which touches the mind, moves the heart and changes the world. The Bible has been deemed universally as the greatest story of Love ever told,” the priest added.

“Above all, the Bible is a story of Salvation realised in the redeeming life of Jesus Christ, our mediator between God and man,” he said.

He also wanted to pay tribute to a galaxy of eminent writers and contributors who have “embellished the volumes of The Examiner over the years with their expertise, knowledge and writing skills, who have made it a readers’ delight to be found not only in many Christian homes, but also avidly read in public libraries, educational institutions and hospitals, to bring comfort and solace in the healing powers of God in their moments of pain and suffering.”

“I cannot fail to thank the dynamic and exuberant Father Joshan Rodrigues, who has been a pillar of strength, upholding the edifice of The Examiner as he assisted me in editing the content and operations of The Examiner, and on several occasions, writing the leaders of the newsweekly,” Charanghat said.

Looking to the future, the editor said it is his sincere belief and hope that the next generation of the newspaper’s family will “surely steer the forward march of The Examiner to greater heights into the last lap of the bicentennial.”

Congratulations Fr. Mayank Parmar for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation on 29th February, 2024 at the Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat.

Congratulations Fr. Mayank Parmar for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation on 29th February, 2024 at the Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat.

Fr. Mayank Parmar defending his doctoral dissertation

Fr. Mayank did his doctoral research on the topic “A study on the role of Self-Help Groups (SHG) in developing the socio-economic status of women in the Kapadvanj Taluka.” During his presentation, Fr. Mayank pointed out that the data clearly showed that SHG membership had a positive impact on the socio-economic status of the women. He emphasized that this research study would be useful to government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, volunteers, bankers and others who are involved in women empowerment. Further, He explained how measuring the social and economic impact of SHG membership would encourage women to join SHGs and benefit from being part of these groups. Finally, Fr. Mayank highlighted the fact that his research could help development organizations use the SHG model of empowerment effectively.

Fr. Mayank Parmar, Dr. Bigi Thomas, Dr. Soniya Rajput, Shivani D. Mishra

Fr. Mayank obtain a doctorate in the field of Social Work on 29th February, 2024 at the Sardar Patel University, VV Nagar in the presence of Guide Dr. Bigi Thomas, Reader Dr. Soniya  Rajput, Director Shivani D. Mishra. Fr. Mayank was ordained as SDB priest on December 27, 2008 at St. Joseph Church, Karamsad. He served 13 years in Kapadvanj. Currently he is a Rector and Parish Priest at Kawant.

Priestly Ordained on 27th December 2008

His superior appreciated his effort and achievement and congratulated him by saying, “It is highly commendable that Fr. Mayank did this entire doctoral research while carrying on his regular ministry in the community. Congratulations Fr. Mayank.”

Please click here to read the summary of his thesis.

Gaza teen waits to follow vocation: ‘My faith is flourishing amidst the challenges of war’ – Catholic News Agency.

Gaza teen waits to follow vocation: ‘My faith is flourishing amidst the challenges of war’ – Catholic News Agency.

Suhail Shadi Abu Dawod

By Marinella Bandini – Jerusalem, Mar 11, 2024 / 06:00 am – Catholic News Agency

Five months ago in Gaza City, 18-year-old Suhail Shadi Abu Dawod was waiting for a visa for Italy to begin his novitiate in the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) — and then the Israel-Hamas war broke out.

“I began considering joining the Incarnate Word congregation in 2021, when I was 15 years old,” Abu Dawod told CNA through his pastor, Father Gabriel Romanelli. “I wish to join it because it is a simple and humble congregation that spreads the message of love, spirituality, praying the rosary, and faith worldwide.”

Abu Dawod is a postulant of the institute. He is following in the footsteps of both priests at his parish who are part of the IVE.

“When the war started and interrupted my journey, I felt deep sadness and disappointment. However, I came to realize that God is preparing a significant gift for me and for the development of my vocation. It is part of God’s plan. I trust in God’s guidance, and I firmly believe in his grace for me,” he said.

Like hundreds of other Christians in Gaza, Abu Dawod and his family left their home and have been living within the premises of the Latin Parish of the Holy Family in northern Gaza for the past five months.

“Feeling blessed in the midst of war” or “faith is stronger than war” are some of the thoughts that Abu Dawod shares on Facebook from time to time.

“I really feel blessed,” he told CNA, “as I witness all the people attending and praying in the holy Mass, united together with one heart, especially on the occasion of the Christmas feast, celebrating the birth of Jesus!”

Every day, the postulant participates in the Mass as an altar server and takes care of the younger ones. He also helps in the production of sacramental hosts in a “makeshift” factory. He is part of the scout group, plays soccer, and is learning to play the bagpipes. The violence and death all around have not shaken his faith, but have, he says, strengthened it.

“My faith is flourishing amidst the challenges of war, growing day by day through daily rosary prayers, reading the life stories of saints, and, most importantly, meditating every Sunday in front of the body of Christ. Jesus, being the source of my faith, is the foundation on which I place all my trust,” he said.

Abu Dawod said he has also enriched his vocation by working as a volunteer at Mother Teresa’s charity within the parish, serving children with disabilities and those in need who live there.

“I initiated writing a diary during my service, and through this journey I have witnessed improvement in my spirituality, which is of utmost importance,” he said.

During these very difficult months, Abu Dawod has learned that “God always has mercy on us” and “God is with us, he will never abandon us in this difficult situation.”

Christians in Gaza have consistently refused to leave their parish and head to southern Gaza, despite the threat of attacks and bombings. “We are like Noah’s Ark in the days of the flood,” members of the parish have told their pastor, Father Romanelli, who has been unable to return to the parish since the war broke out.

Those words, full of faith and hope, are similar to those of Abu Dawod.

“My Lord Jesus Christ always provides me with hope; he is the source of hope in my life. I stand as a sign of hope, enduring the challenges, difficulties, and pain during this perilous time of war,” he said.

Even now in Gaza, as food and water become increasingly scarce and hygiene conditions are at their limit, where many have died and even more struggle psychologically, this young man speaks words of faith and hope: “God has provided abundant and blessed gifts without any limits. He continues to supply us with the necessities that sustain our lives.”

“I’ve learned to be more patient, especially in the things I ask of God, recognizing that he has a plan for me and for the good things that will come my way. I have to wait for his glorious will to unfold,” he shared. “I’ve also learned to prioritize giving love rather than seeking to be loved, understanding that love is the key to spreading peace in the world — to love without limits.”

Now in the Lenten season, Abu Dawod said, “I am currently experiencing Lent in a different way than any other year before. I am praying more, reciting the holy rosary and attending holy Mass. I am fasting more, refraining from consuming things I used to enjoy, and extending forgiveness to others as this season calls for reconciliation.”

Even the word “resurrection,” seen from Gaza and amid the midst of war, has taken on a new meaning.

“It signifies that we are the children of God, not his slaves. It underscores his boundless love for us, surpassing any other,” Abu Dawod said. “He sent his only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who triumphed over the devil and all the evil spirits in the world, winning over darkness and death.”

Abu Dawod has chosen to dedicate his time right now to serving Jesus as he prepares for Easter.

“I am purifying my heart, striving to remove any sins within it, all in anticipation of meeting King Jesus during the great feast of Easter. This feast serves as a poignant reminder of how Jesus sacrificed himself on the holy cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Through his glorious resurrection on the third day, he shattered the bonds of death.”

In the Holy Land, the very land where Jesus died and was resurrected, Abu Dawod prays for peace.

“We beseech God for peace, the same peace spread throughout the world at the time of Jesus’ resurrection,” he said. “My fervent prayers are dedicated to justice and the establishment of lasting peace in the Holy Land, particularly in our city of Gaza.”

મારું જીવન…મારાં સ્વજન…મારો સમાજ…મારું જગત…૨૦૦૪ થી આ જાળું ગૂંથી રહ્યો છું…