India rejects OIC’s ‘unwarranted & narrow-minded’ comments: MEA

Responding to the comments made by the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Indian government on Monday said it categorically rejects OIC’s unwarranted and narrow-minded comments regarding the controversial comments made by BJP party functionaries.

“The Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. The offensive tweets and comments denigrating a religious personality were made by certain individuals.

“The Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. The offensive tweets and comments denigrating a religious personality were made by certain individuals. They do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. Strong action has already been taken against these individuals by relevant bodies,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said

The 57-member OIC, which sees itself as the collective voice of the Muslim world, slammed India  ..

A New Way to Think


A New Way to ThinkA BUSINESS MODEL reflects the way we think a business works. They shape how we conduct business. We have models related to all business activities, from production, pricing, and selling to how we motivate, hire, and manage. Every business model is based on assumptions that, too often, we don’t make explicit. And that’s where we can get into trouble.

Roger Martin reports in A New Way to Think that when a model—“a given framework, general practice, theory, or way of thinking”—doesn’t seem to be working, we simply double-down on it and try to execute better. “If making execution a priority doesn’t result in better execution, make execution still more of a priority. If your culture doesn’t change in the direction you want, then mandate culture change even more aggressively.”

“The models are extraordinarily persistent in the face of ineffectiveness and that is because our use of models to organize our thinking and action is so automatic.” So, we never rethink it. When Martin has been asked to help figure out why something isn’t working as well as the CEO wishes, he says, “It has become clear to me over the years that in nearly every case, the poor results weren’t down to their not working diligently enough in pursuit of their goals, it was because the model that guided their actions wasn’t up to the task.”

In 14 self-contained chapters, Martin compares a dominant but often flawed model with an alternative that he believes is more effective and based on better assumptions. He states, “One should always use the best model available, but watch closely to see whether it produces the outcomes that it promised,” he writes. “If it does, keep using it. If it doesn’t, then you should work on creating a better model — one that produces results more in keeping with your goals.” All of the now dominant models make sense and have been used for obvious reasons, but they need to be re-evaluated from time to time.

Each topic reveals the underlying assumptions of old and new ways of thinking:

1. Competition
New model assumption: It happens at the front line, not at the head office. Leading businesses needs to be seen less as a challenge of managing organizational complexity and more about making sure that value is maximized at the front lines.

2. Stakeholders New model assumption: To actually create shareholder value, put customers before shareholders. A single-minded focus on profits guarantees you won’t get them.

3. Customers
New model assumption: The familiar solution usually trumps the perfect one. Sustained performance is achieved not by always offering customers the perfect choice but, rather by offering them the easy one.

4. Strategy
In strategy, what counts is what would have to be true—not what is true. Developing a winning strategy involves the creation and testing of novel cause-effect hypotheses and the identification of what must be different about the world for those hypotheses to work.

5. Data
Creating great choices requires imagination more than data. You can’t chart a course for the future or bring about change merely by analyzing history. The behavior of customers will never be transformed by a product whose design is based on an analysis of their past behavior.

6. Culture
You can only change it by altering how individuals work with one another. For a culture to align with changes to the formal mechanisms of the organization, changes are required in the way members of the organization interact. The culture only changes if enough people start behaving differently and the new norm gets internalized. Culture depends not on systems and processes or a leader’s beliefs but on how individuals react to each other in the context of their rules and relationships.

7. Knowledge Work
You must organize around projects, not jobs. Knowledge work actually comes primarily in the form of projects, not routine daily tasks. When entire workforces are organized around permanent, full-time jobs, it is difficult to redeploy resources to extremely busy areas to deal with peak demand. [Thus creating the] binge-and-purge cycles of hiring and firing knowledge workers.

8. Corporate Functions
Give them their own strategies. Functions do not have to be servants to corporate overlords, nor should they be petty tyrants building their own empires. Like their business-unit counterparts, functions can use strategy to guide and align their actions, to more effectively allocate resources, and to dramatically enhance the competitive value they provide.

9. Planning
Recognize that it’s no substitute for strategy. If a company is completely comfortable with its choices, it’s at risk of missing important changes in its environment. Human nature being what it is, planning and other activities will always dominate strategy rather than serve it—unless a conscious effort is made to prevent that.

10. Execution
Accept that is the same thing as strategy. You cannot talk about execution separately from strategy. The doctrine that execution is the key to a strategy’s success is as flawed as it is popular.

11. Talent
Feeling special is more important than compensation. When it comes to managing high-end talent. the secret to success is making people feel like valued individuals, not as members of a group, no matter how elite.

12. Innovation
The design of the innovation is as critical as the innovation itself. If you approach large-scale change as two simultaneous and parallel challenges—the design of the artifact in question and the design of the intervention that brings it to life—you can increase the chances that it will take hold.

13. Capital Investment
Assume that its value is reset as soon as it is embedded. Treat an asset as what it is worth immediately after conversion from unfettered to embedded capital…and calculate its ROI based on that embedded value.

14. Mergers & Acquisitions
You need to give value to get value. Companies that focus on what they are going to get from an acquisition are less likely to succeed than those that focus on what they have to give it. The secret is to stop thinking about acquisitions as if targets were jewels to be mined.

Catholic Diocese reacts to attack on worshippers in Ondo

Ijeoma OPARA

THE Catholic Diocese of Ondo has reacted to the attack on worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo on Sunday, which left many dead and others injured.

In a statement released on Sunday, the diocese described the incident as a sad one.

“It is so sad to say that while the Holy Mass was going on, unknown gunmen attacked St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State leaving many feared dead and many others injured and the Church violated. The identity of the perpetrators remains unknown while the situation has left the community devastated,” the statement said.

The statement noted that security operatives had been deployed to the area to restore normalcy.

The diocese, in the statement, also debunked reports that priests were abducted.

“However, for now, security agencies have been deployed to the community to relatively handle the situation. At this point in the history of our dear country Nigeria, we need God’s ultimate intervention to restore peace and tranquillity.

“Meanwhile, all the priests in the parish are safe and none was kidnapped as the social media has it. Nonetheless, let us continue to pray for them and the good people of Owo and the state at large,” the statement added.

An unidentified number of worshippers died following an attack on the church on Sunday.

The attack happened on the church premises while mass was ongoing.

How I escaped attack on Catholic Church in Owo, Nigeria – survivor

A survivor of the attack on worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, on Sunday, Ugweze Victor, has told newsmen a personal account of how he escaped unhurt.

The ICIR had reported that the attack happened on the church premises just after mass was ending.

A footage showed gory images of dead people, including children and women, victims of the attack.

In an interview, Victor said the morning’s ceremony had begun when some undesirable elements threw explosives into the church while raining bullets on the congregation.

He said, “As I got to church this morning, the father (Reverend) was in the building when these Boko Haram people came inside. They came around throwing bombs and shooting as well. Then members of the church started running away. They shot at some of them on their legs, shoulder, and legs.”

Victor narrated that he ran away the moment he heard the guns blazing.

He added, “The priest was not kidnapped. When I returned, I saw some people lying down and others rallying for help. I saw more than 55 people taken to the hospital and the people who died were about a 100.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killings.

In a statement released by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President asked emergency agencies to swing into action.

“President Buhari mourns the dead and sympathizes with their families. No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome the light. Nigeria will eventually win,” the statement read.

The Catholic Diocese of Ondo, in a statement, said that the identity of the perpetrators of the attack is unknown.

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who immediately flew into the state from Abuja and headed straight to the attack scene, has vowed that the assailants would pay for the crime.

“I just arrived Owo from Abuja following the unfortunate attack on the people worshipping at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo.

I have received briefs from the Heads of Security agencies in the state. The assailants will be hunted down and they will pay for their crimes,” he tweeted.

Catholic Charity Urges World Leaders to Condemn Nigeria Church Massacre

In the June 5 attack in southwestern Nigeria, gunmen reportedly fired at Catholic worshipers attending Pentecost celebrations and detonated explosives.

Cross of the Martyrs.
Cross of the Martyrs. (photo: Aaron Groote via Flickr / (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).)

More political and religious leaders around the world should be speaking out about the attack on a Catholic church in Nigeria that reportedly left at least 50 people dead, an international Catholic charity has said.

The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need denounced the “Pentecost massacre” on June 5 in St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, as “another terrorist act in Nigeria, one more on the long list of crimes against Christians.”

“Aid to the Church in Need calls on all political and religious leaders in the world to firmly and explicitly condemn this terrorist attack,” the charity said in a statement.

ACN spokesperson Maria Lozano noted that Nigeria has “been rocked by episodes of violence, banditry, and kidnappings that, although affecting all ethnic and religious groups in the nation, have led to a long list of major attacks on the Christian community over the last few decades.”

In the June 5 attack in southwestern Nigeria, gunmen reportedly fired at Catholic worshipers attending Pentecost celebrations and detonated explosives, according to CNA’s African news partner, ACI Africa.

Reuters reported that the gunmen, whose identity remains unclear, killed at least 50 people, according to a local doctor. State police have yet to announce the total number of casualties.

ACN noted that until now southwestern Nigeria had not been as affected by insecurity and violence as Nigeria’s northern and Middle Belt regions.

Archbishop Lucius Ugorji, the president of the Nigerian Catholic bishops’ conference, said: “Nowhere seems to be safe again in our country; not even the sacred precincts of a Church.”

I have no evidence to defend my allegations - Obadiah Mailafia

Late Nigerian Central Bank Governor, Dr. Obadiah Mailafiya stated widely 3 years ago, that there is a deliberate agenda to Islamize Nigeria by creating violence situation to spread across the country.

He was privy to credible intelligence that hordes of fulani from parts of Africa have taken positions in the forests belts of the middlebelt and entire southern Nigeria, east and west with arms to force Nigerians into submission to the subjugation of fulani rule.

Nigeria’s current President Muhammadu Buhari is of fulani stock. He has never uttered condemnation of the barbaric acts of the fulani in every part of Nigeria since he became President. The security agencies lack the courage to bring the fulani marauders to heel.

Dr. Mailafiya was widely harassed by the Nigerian security for voicing out his concerns. He died last year in suspicious circumstances.

The Fix

When I first encountered the Psalms it was in a lonely shelter on the Appalachian Trail. The words of David spoke to me right then and there, as if they were written for me in that moment:

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Ps 40:2)

I never forgot that Psalm, the first word of the Lord I had ever read.

When my wife comes home in the morning from her overnight shift in the ER, she will sometimes recount the sad tales of the patients she treated the night before. Some are accidents and traumas, some are embarrassing injuries, but many are alcoholics being treated for withdrawal, and those addicted to drugs. Many of them have burned so many bridges they have no one to call, no one left to pick them up–no one in their life. One patient last night was twelve years sober but started drinking again when he found himself unemployed. He was shaking so badly she had to give him 40mg of Valium (most patients get 5-10 every few hours) just to put him to sleep.

“You should leave a prayer card with them, one of Ven. Matt Talbot. And if anyone is an opioid addict, of St. Mark Ji Tianxiang,” I mentioned to her as we sat at the kitchen table.

“That’s a great idea,” she replied.

“You might be the only one at that moment to think to give them hope. Everyone needs a saint in heaven and an angel here on earth. You don’t even have to say anything–just slip it in their hand, or lay it next to them in bed. If you don’t do it, who will?” 

St. Ignatius was a competent soldier who only picked up the Lives of the Saints when his romances of chivalry reading were not available as he lay convalescing in bed after being struck by a cannonball. It was a fertile ground for conversion because he had nothing else to turn to at that moment.

It’s ok to be creative as Catholics, to seize upon little opportunities to share Christ with someone with your lips, to be Christ to someone with your kindness. Especially when the forgotten, the lost, the dejected, and the hurting who have no one else to turn to present themselves. As one example, St. Francis de Sales used to write his sermons on pieces of paper and slide them under the doors where Calvinists lived.

I once dated a super-sweet girl, a Catholic with a good family, who I probably could have married. But the timing was never right. I was discerning a monastic vocation, and though we parted ways and even dated again briefly a few years later, it just never worked out.

Timing is important, and everything happens in God’s timing.

We may read a piece of scripture one year during a productive time in our lives where it doesn’t sink in–a year later we may be bankrupt and on the brink of divorce, and that same exact scripture suddenly speaks to us and takes root in our hearts.

That is because God’s Word is alive, not dead letters on a page.

But we let these moments slip through our fingers often; we forget that we are called to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19-20). These don’t have to be big, monumental exercises that draw attention to ourselves.

We shouldn’t forget that we are simply beggars showing other beggars where to get bread.

I printed out the prayers and icons of Ven. Matt Talbot and St. Mark Ji, since I didn’t have time to order prayer cards before my wife’s shift this evening, and since we have a laminator it should be easy to make a few she can carry in her pocket, along with a Miraculous Medal. Given how common and pervasive drug and alcohol addiction are in our hurting and trauma-riddled culture, I have a feeling she won’t be short on the opportunity, as she’s treating their physical symptoms, to slip a spiritual lifeline to those tonight who find themselves mired in the pit with no one to pull them out.

So Close: The Breath of God

It happened so quickly that I didn’t have to time to be afraid. It was so sudden that there wasn’t even time for her grandparents, watching from the balcony above, to cry out.

We had been swimming—or more accurately, Zippy had. The pool water was frigid—it wasn’t heated even in summer, and the calendar was nearing October. So I had bowed out early, to sit on the side, watching in the warm sun all covered up while she swam about happily, her floaties keeping her aloft.

She was finally finished and out of the pool, her floaties removed. I was spreading out a towel on the chair for her to come and warm herself. My back was turned just for an instant.

There was a splash, and I turned to see her, sinking like a stone in the deep end of the pool. Instantly, I too was in the water, and I pulled her out gasping.

Zippy was delighted. “Aunt Grace saved me!” she proclaimed proudly.

I did not share her enthusiasm. The adrenaline that hadn’t had time to course through my veins surged on repeat, each time I thought about what a close call we had.

And so it was that I decided that it was time for her to learn to swim “for real,” without floaties. To be ready for “just in case” moments like that, to be able to at least get to safety before sinking.

But even the shallow end of the pool was too deep for her to walk in—it was just above mouth level. So even to begin I had to get in the pool with her, to hold her, to keep her always within inches of me.

She was again delighted. “Let’s go in the pool without my floaties!” she cried out the next morning, even before breakfast, with the outside temperature only in the low 50s. Again, she was alone in her enthusiasm.

But that night in my healing ministry class, we were invited to ask God in prayer to show us how He was empowering us for ministry. The image He gave me was of floaties. Only it was clear that He wasn’t putting them on me, He was taking them away.

I’ve often had the sense of being called “into the deep.” But at this point more than ever I saw that I could not go alone: to swim safely in the deep, I had to remain in the arms of the Father.

I wonder if we often imagine being carried as being coddled. But what if we are being brought further out into places where human strength is insufficient? What if we are deliberately being brought into depths over our head? What if, in that moment, we are being strengthened and equipped to do what is only divine?

Healing ministry is based on prayer, not on our power.  I can’t heal.  I can’t enter your heart; I can’t take away your pain, break your chains, fill you with peace.  But God can do all that.

We have heard so many times about Peter wanting to walk on water. How he called to Jesus, “Let me come to you across the sea!” How he stepped out of the boat, and onto the waves. We recall how, seeing the surge, his faith faltered, and he began to sink. And in an instant, Jesus reached out and brought Him to safety.

How close Jesus must have been to reach out that quickly to stop him from drowning! But I think He was closer even than that.

What inspired Peter to even ask to walk on water? Really, what was he thinking?

We sometimes think of Peter as brash, reckless, a little hot-headed and hasty perhaps. But what if his desire was actually God’s? What if he was inspired to ask for what Jesus already wanted to give?

Human beings cannot walk on water. But for just a moment, Peter did.

Unlike me, God is not cowed by the cold, not afraid of the dark or the storms or the surge of the sea. “The waves and winds still know His name.”  He is never far from us. We are never, even for a moment, beyond reach of His saving power.  He never tires of rescuing us.

But nor is He afraid of human weakness.

Rather, He so loved us in our weakness that He wedded Himself to that weakness in the Incarnation—the Son of God became true Man.  A divine person, He nonetheless has two natures: He is one hundred percent God, and one hundred percent man. He doesn’t lose any divinity in becoming man. But more impressive—Jesus allows His humanity to be anointed by the Holy Spirit. Even His human nature is thus empowered to do the divine. And when this same Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples at Pentecost, they too—while still only human—are equipped to do what is only divine.

In Father Paul Scalia’s book, That Nothing Might Be Lost, he comments on the image of the Holy Spirit as the breath of God. Yet how close one has to be, to feel the breath of another upon us!

To breathe on someone requires being close. To give the Spirit Jesus had to be close to the Apostles, right next to them. He was in their “personal space”, because His gift was intensely personal. Breath, after all, come from within.It indicates the interior life of a person. In bestowing the Spirit, Jesus gives an intimate gift. The Spirit is not a gift external to Him but proceeding from deep within Him…

…A gift ought to be received in the manner it is given. As regards the gift of the Spirit, this means drawing close to Jesus. We need to be up close and personal, next to His face, feeling His breath upon us.

God delights in rescuing us. But He is even more pleased when we trust Him to take us to the places beyond our security and self-sufficiency—places we can only go with Him. While my swimming lessons with Zippy tried to make her independent, to equip her to swim alone, God’s lessons in the deep teach and equip us with power that can only come from radical trust and dependence on Him—of the human and divine so close that they are truly united.

4 small habits for family’s spiritual growth


Pascal Deloche | Godong

The feast of Pentecost can inspire us to invite the Holy Spirit into our daily life.

With Pentecost upon us, it’s an opportune moment to ask: How is your family experiencing the descent of the Holy Spirit?  

To be clear, we’re not wondering if tongues of fire have fallen into your living room or a white dove has landed on your windowsill. These types of Holy Spirit moments found in Scripture—while stunning and powerful—are a different topic for another day.

Instead, we’re talking about your family’s living awareness of the Holy Spirit’s power within the four walls of your home—about intentionally inviting the Holy Spirit into your daily life. We’re talking about small habits that can lead to an extraordinary new chapter in your home.

To do this, we invite you to consider trying one or more of the following habits as a family.

1. Pray “Come, Holy Spirit”

This one is easy. Just start praying this prayer together as a family in the evening or at the beginning of the day. You’ll be amazed at how, over time, this ancient prayer opens up your family’s understanding of the Holy Spirit.

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.”

2. Memorize the 7 Gifts and the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Daily family life without a knowledge of the 7 gifts and 12 fruits is like driving blindfolded. The Holy Spirit—through baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, and our life of prayer—desires to help us, intercede for us, and bless us with His gifts and fruits. Take time as a family to (re)memorize them, study them, and weave them into your conversations. Gifts: fear of the Lord, piety, fortitude, counsel, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Fruits: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity (CCC 1832).

To jumpstart this, try this beautiful custom of Catherine Doherty, a Servant of God (1896-1985):

Make paper cut-outs of doves or tongues of flame, enough for each family member. On one side, write a gift of the Spirit, and on the other, a fruit of the Spirit. Place them in a basket. Then, during a special family meal (preferably close to or on Pentecost), read Acts 2:1-13 together, and then have each family member draw one from the basket. Over dinner, have each person share with the others which gift and fruit they received. Close the dinner by singing a hymn to the Holy Spirit such as “Come, Holy Ghost.”

3. Double Your Quality Family Time from 37 to 74 Minutes per Day

Ha. Got your attention! You may have heard this description of the Holy Trinity before: the Father is the lover, the Son is the beloved, and the Holy Spirit is the love that bonds them and goes forth from them.

In the “little Trinity” of your family, the quality time you spend together is when you deepen the bonds of love. One Google search reveals dozens of studies that state the obvious: distracted parents are spending less and less time with their children (an average of 37 minutes per day). Invite the Holy Spirit into this deficit in your family, and you’ll see a change.

4. Break out the Holy Water!

Throughout Scripture, we see that water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit—from the Spirit’s presence when water came from the rock (Ex. 17:6, Dt. 8:15, Wis 11:4), to the baptism of Jesus, and the water that flowed from Jesus’ side. When we enter church, we make the sign of the cross with holy water, and arguably we ought to be doing this in our “domestic church”—our own home, or “Trinity House”—too.

If you don’t have one already, consider buying a holy water font to hang near your front door. Also, get out the holy water from time to time and bless your children, their rooms, and your entire home with this effective symbol of the Holy Spirit’s life and power within the four walls of your home.

Let’s not allow Pentecost to pass our busy and often distracted families by. Instead, let’s lift the life of our “little Trinity”—our own families—up to the Holy Spirit, “the artisan of God’s works, the master of prayer,” (CC 741), and invite the Holy Spirit to renew our homes.

Come, Holy Spirit!

Pope Francis expresses compassion after church attack in Nigeria

pope francis with his back turned

Antoine Mekary | I.Media

I.Media for Aleteia –  06/05/22

Dozens of the faithful – including many children – were massacred during a Sunday morning Mass in Owo, Ondo State, South West Nigeria

Pope Francis “prays for the victims” of the June 5, 2022 attack on a church in Ondo State, Nigeria, during the celebration of Pentecost, according to a statement issued by the Holy See Press Office. The massacre occurred in a southwestern region of the country that is usually relatively free of violence.

The communiqué mentions “the death of dozens of faithful, including many children.” “Pope Francis prays for the victims and for the country, painfully affected in a moment of celebration, and entrusts them to the Lord, that he may send his Spirit to console them,” it said.

Heavily armed men with explosives and firearms attacked a Catholic church in Ondo State in southwestern Nigeria, according to the government and police.

The attack occurred during morning mass at St. Francis Catholic Church in the southwestern Nigerian town of Owo, which is usually spared from jihadists and criminal gangs active in other parts of the country, AFP reported. The attack has not been claimed and the human toll is not yet known, but the victims are numerous.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the “heinous murder of worshippers.” Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in his statement called on the security forces to track down the assailants after the “despicable and satanic attack.”

The assailants are believed to be fulani herdsmen. They kill without remorse. They invaded another Catholic church in Benue state few years back while morning Mass was in session and killed about twenty worshippers. The government has yet to bring them to heel, possibly because President Muhammadu Buhari is of the fulani ethnic stock.

Nigeria is a country plagued by insecurity on several fronts. A jihadist insurgency has been raging for 12 years in the northeast, gangs of looters and kidnappers terrorize the northwest and central regions, while the southeast is the scene of separatist movements.