Browsing articles tagged with " first communion"
Subin Abraham’s collection of paintings is a tribute to life in villages and to nature
Subin Abraham’s frames take us on a journey; a journey through the villages of South India. The frames are arresting as the greens from the foliage merge with the browns of the rustic landscape. The paintings titled ‘While walking through the soil…’, exhibited at Vyloppilly Samskriti Bhavan, is Subin’s ode to the simple life in villages.
His ode begins right from the first painting at the entrance of the art gallery. The frame in question depicts a road dotted by greenery. A woman with a basket balanced on her head walks by the side of the road. As the road turns around a bend, one is curious to know where the road leads to. The question seems to be answered in the next frame – a row of houses in a village. The streets are however, empty. Life in the village springs to life in a painting which zooms into a house and its courtyard. A woman is standing by the threshold of her home as a cow happily grazes by its shed nearby. Another painting has farmers tilling the field. Most of Subin’s frames are heavily tinged with shades of green. That nature remains pristine and untouched in the villages is the highlight of his works.
Scenes in a fishing community are also explored by the artist, an alumnus of Fine Arts College, Thiruvananthapuram. Subin’s paint brush brings to life the lives of people residing by the sea. If one frame has rainbow-coloured fishing boats lined up along the shoreline, another has men mending their fishing nets.
The vibrant frames from the village and fishing community come as a stark contrast to Subin’s paintings depicting life in a city. While people in the former group of paintings look content, those who move to the city in search of greener pastures seem dull and lifeless. This is especially highlighted in a frame portraying a family sitting huddled together on a street. The grey backdrop comes as a striking contrast to a painting of farmers selling their harvest at the market.
The artist says he has travelled through the villages of South India for inspiration. “I enjoy travelling and nature has always inspired me. Villagers are more welcoming of strangers. The fact is captured in a painting of a woman standing by her kitchen door with a tentative smile on her face. All the villagers I met had a welcoming smile. They were curious to know who the stranger in their village was. The villages and places that have inspired me are written below the paintings.”
The only frame in Subin’s collection of paintings, which seems a tad out of place is one which has a family posing for a portrait. It is the elder daughter’s first communion ceremony. Dressed in white, she is holding a candle. Her parents and grandmother stand beside her. The girl’s mother is carrying her younger sister. Says Subin: “This picture is based on a photograph a friend of mine gave me. It is of his brother who died a few days after the photograph was taken. The brother wanted me to replicate it in paint. As I was tied up with other work, I could not do it. The brother, however, passed away recently and I felt indebted to fulfil his wish.”
The paintings will be exhibited until December 8.
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Some folks I know can be a bit cynical about Christmas, so I wanted to address a couple of different areas of Christmas stuff.
Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus’ birth, God coming to earth. We don’t know when exactly that happened during the year. Some scholars feel that because the shepherds were out in the fields with their flocks, it points to a particular time of year, but I really don’t know. The Christmas date at the end of December was because the celebration of Christ’s birth took over a Roman winter solstice holiday.
Jesus also wasn’t born in a barn because there was no room at the inn. The word we have translated as “inn” over these many centuries is actually the same word used for the “upper room” where Jesus and the disciples celebrated that first communion supper, the night that Judas betrayed Jesus. It is likely instead that Jesus was born in the main area of a house rather than in the privacy of an upper room reserved for guests, as so many people had come to Bethlehem to be counted in the Roman census.
We think Jesus was born sometime between 4-6 B.C. We know this because Herod, who died in 2 B.C., was king of that area of the world. Luke tells us that Quirinius was the governor, so that narrows the window of Jesus’ birth further.
Some people feel Herod wouldn’t have killed all those baby boys, so that part of the story can’t possibly be true. Let me tell you, Herod was a monster. He killed several of his own sons, his favorite wife and ordered 10,000 of the most important people in Israel to be rounded up and slaughtered when he died so that there would be weeping and wailing at his death. The people were rounded up but subsequently let go by Herod’s son. So the killing of some babies in Bethlehem by Herod’s troops would have been tragic for the parents but hardly news in an area jaded by Herod’s cruelty.
I am not in favor of perpetuating myths about Jesus life. I want to know what really happened, because I am not interested in worshipping or committing my life to a series of fairy tales. I am committed to knowing Jesus through the events of His life, through His words to the people in ancient times, which still apply to me today (and are still challenging!).
God really came to earth, took on human flesh and was one of us. This is what fascinates me year after year at Christmas. God became human. To let us know exactly what He expected of us, and how we were to act and follow Him, He came. Life for humans has never been the same. When we finally understand that God knows us and came for us – and He did – our lives have to be changed by that information.
So, this year don’t focus on the presents or the lights or the latest Christmas movie that celebrates some sort of “Spirit of Christmas,” which is nebulous but has a warm, fuzzy feeling. Focus on getting to know the real Jesus, who really came, in Bethlehem, a real place, to a young couple, to save the people of the world from themselves.
The Rev. David Moore is pastor of Union Presbyterian Church of Los Altos, 858 University Ave. For more information, call 948-4361 or visit unionpc.org.
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Editor’s Note: I am working on a series that takes a look at the shops and restaurants that make up Libertyville’s vibrant downtown. If you would like to see your business included in this series—or you’d like to suggest that we feature your favorite shop or restaurant—contact me, editor Korrina Grom, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been almost 10 years since Kristine Knutson launched her own business, How Impressive!, out of her home. She started an online-only letter-pressing business after getting an enthusiastic response to the cards she’d made for her daughter’s First Communion.
It’s no surprise, then, that there are lots of cards to be found in her downtown Libertyville shop, located at 326 N. Milwaukee Ave. Aside from having great success making custom wedding invitations, she also sells a variety of unique cards that can’t be found at a typical card shop or big box store.
But there’s more. Like the vintage customizable signs. Or the Ribbonwick candles that burn all the way across the top of the wax. And the Nail Candy polish pens that make nail art easier.
“I try to be unique at an affordable price,” said Knutson. She wants customers to be able to find unique items “that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.”
Jan. 25, 2013 will mark the official 10th anniversary of How Impressive!, which started as just the How Impressive! website. Knutson said when she made those aforementioned cards for her daughter’s First Communion and showed them to other parents, 65 percent of those people ordered cards from her.
The business’ name came from a man who saw the items she’d made for a Super Bowl party and said, “how impressive!”
She opened the How Impressive! shop seven years ago, with five years being at a different Libertyville location.
“I just love what I do, and I love the community,” said Knutson, a Libertyville resident for 18 years. “I wouldn’t have my shop anyplace else.”
One popular aspect of her business, of course, is the customizable cards. She creates personalized wedding invitations, place cards, save-the-date cards and other items. She has 25 wedding albums for couples to peruse.
She also creates lots of personalized stationery holiday cards. Samples of previous cards are displayed on a holiday card “Wall of Fame” for client inspiration.
There are plenty of other cards to be found at How Impressive! for all occasions. The shop carries a full line of Crane Co. products. United States currency is printed on the 100 percent cotton paper.
More than Paper
One of the most popular items at How Impressive! is the Nora Fleming platter.
“It’s like the black dress of platters,” said Knutson, noting that the white platters can be dressed up for any occasion using the small, decorative Nora Fleming “minis.”
The plastic Tervis tumbler cups are also popular and can be customized. One of the tumblers at How Impressive! has a Libertyville High School Wildcats patch in it.
The shop also carries Scout Bags, which are made of sailboat material and can be monogrammed. There are also the Lafco soy-based candles that were featured on Oprah’s “O List.”
Knutson also enjoys working on projects with the Libertyville business community. She’s working with SchoolStreet to make the cast-iron signs for the development’s homes. She also works with Petranek’s to create the vinyl lettering for their front window.
“I just love making people happy … and sharing the great milestones of their lives,” said Knutson.
How Impressive! is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is open on Sundays by appointment.
A federal judge has placed a block on California’s recently passed SB 1172, which bans harmful “ex-gay” therapy for minors but has limited his order to three people — “psychiatrist Anthony Duk, marriage and family therapist Donald Welch, and Aaron Bitzer, a former patient who is studying to become a counselor who specializes in clients who are unhappy being gay” — until a trial can be held on the merits of their challenge.
The AP reports:
U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb (right) made a decision just hours after a hearing on the issue, ruling that the First Amendment rights of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals who engage in “reparative” or “conversion” therapy outweigh concern that the practice poses a danger to young people.
“Even if SB 1172 is characterized as primarily aimed at regulating conduct, it also extends to forms of (conversion therapy) that utilize speech and, at a minimum, regulates conduct that has an incidental effect on speech,” Shubb wrote.
The judge also disputed the California Legislature’s finding that trying to change young people’s sexual orientation puts them at risk for suicide or depression, saying it was based on “questionable and scientifically incomplete studies.”
NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq. released a statement in response to Shubb’s ruling:
“We are disappointed by the ruling but very pleased that the temporary delay in implementing this important law applies only to the three plaintiffs who brought this lawsuit. The judge stressed that he was willing to issue the ruling in part because it is temporary and applies only to three individuals. We are confident that as the case progresses, it will be clear to the court that this law is fundamentally no different than many other laws that regulate health care professionals to protect patients. That is especially important in this case because the harms to minors are so serious, including suicide and severe depression. Every leading medical and mental health organization in the country has rejected these practices and warned that they are not only completely ineffective, but dangerous. California did the right thing by enacting this law, and we are confident the courts will find that it is not only constitutional, but vitally necessary. It is heartbreaking to think of the terrible damage that has been done to so many LGBT youth and their families, and of the lives that have been lost or destroyed because of these discredited practices.
We applaud Senator Ted Liu, the bill’s author, lead sponsor Equality California, the California Legislature, and Governor Brown for protecting these young people and their families. Governor Brown’s statement when he signed this bill is right on target: ‘This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.’”
The law, which was passed on September 29, goes into effect on January 1, 2013.
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As a hardcore boozehound, there’s nothing I like better than to create a mood by putting on a Rush album and drinking down a bottle of vodka. But what about special occasions like the birth of a puppy or a visit from the probation officer? Winestyr is a new wine website that hopes to offer “wine playlists” – wines matched to special events and life happenings – alongside their interesting selection of craft vino.
The company, based in Chicago, is basically a wine facilitator. They deal with winemakers directly and cut out wholesalers and middlemen, thereby improving the price and ensuring a shipping cost of at most $10 on every order. However, their goal is not to be your grandpappy’s wine store. They are throwing away the old 100-point system and unhelpful descriptions (“Sweaty, with a hint of grass and potted pork”) and instead focusing on which wine goes best for your daughter’s post-First Communion party. Once they’re up to speed, each wine will have a recommended activity/event attached (“Buy this wine and drink while you’re getting ready to go out – yes, we condone drinking wine in the shower.”) Funny stuff, to be sure.
The team at Winestyr, which was founded by brothers Bob and John Wilson, has built a way to facilitate orders with small wineries without national distribution. They don’t actually keep stock but instead forward your order to a small winery and they fulfill, thereby allowing you access to the 83 percent of wineries that you can’t find in local stores.
The team has a seed round of $550,000 and they’ve signed up 22 wineries already to sell through the site. They’re looking to have 60 wineries signed by January. As for quality control, we’re lucky that the Wilson brothers love them some booze. “We taste all of the wines we feature to make sure they’re awesome,” said Bob.
The brothers claim to be the only direct-to-consumer platform out there and they’re not connected to retailers or wholesalers. Unfortunately, the online wine industry has plenty of rules and regulations that many run afoul of, but John is a lawyer and he’s managed to streamline the entire experience.
Bob originally worked for a wine distributor but was fed up with the three-tier sales system, which involved producers, distributors, and retailers all working in lockstep. The three-tier system is slowly crumbling and Bob hopes to help it tumble. The site is far fresher than other wine retailers I’ve visited in the past, offering a bit of irreverent sass to the traditionally boring process of picking out wine online. The brothers also have an OLark chat window set up so customers can talk directly to support staff to help pick some booze.
“The idea for Winestyr was sparked after a long day of wine tasting with my girlfriend and Dad in Michigan’s Harbor Country. That night, over a few bottles of wine, we talked about how the majority of small wine producers, i.e. not the guys I was representing in my day job, had no real way to reach new customers. I had actually been admitted into a masters of finance program at Durham Business School in the UK, but after that conversation I called them, told them I wouldn’t be attending, and, in Jerry Maguire fashion, wrote out the initial business plan for Winestyr.”
The site is live now and waiting for orders. I, for one, just bought a case of Pinot Noir for my yearly B-List Celebrity Naked Toga Party Bacchanal And Tupperware Party, which I suspect the brothers don’t have a booze playlist for yet.
She gets help from her husband, Dick, who she said “never prays the rosary and goes to church just in case.” His main job is cutting string for the strands of beads.
“I’m the lowly string cutter,” joked Dick Holden, 76, who got roped into helping his wife after she broke her wrist rollerblading a few years ago. “She’s the boss and chief inspector.”
For Betty, repairing rosaries is a labor of love and a devotion to the Virgin Mary, whose presence she said she feels with every bead she threads.
“Even if you are just quietly holding them, you feel your heart slowing down,” Holden said.
The Holdens’ mission started in 1997 when they put a small “broken rosary repair service” notice in their parish bulletin at St. Mary Church in Simsbury, Conn. After Reader’s Digest ran their notice in the magazine, requests came pouring in from all over the globe. To this day, their notice appears in church bulletins as close as Northhampton, Mass., and as far away as Africa.
The couple never stops repairing and making rosaries. They even lug their supplies — plastic containers filled with beads of every kind, crucifixes, string and tools — to Fort Meyers Beach, Fla., where they spend the winter months.
The Holdens don’t charge for their service, but they will gladly accept a $2 or $3 donation to cover their shipping costs and any supplies. Aside from repairing rosaries, they ship rosaries that are made by some 30 volunteers in Connecticut.
Maryknoll Brother Goretti Zilli said he’s grateful to Holdens. For years the couple has been repairing broken rosaries belonging to retired and infirm Maryknoll brothers living at the St. Theresa’s residence in Ossining, N.Y.
“The rosary holds a special power for the brothers — especially for those who can’t attend Mass. Some are bed-ridden brothers here and require medical treatment, they can’t get together in the chapel with their brothers to pray,” he said.
Zilli said many of the rosaries the Holdens send him are given to prisoners at the nearby Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Others he ships to the Universal Living Rosary Association in Dickinson, Texas, which sends them to missions around the world.
“(The Holdens) have been good to me. They fix’em up very good. They are easy to break. I used to repair them but I stopped because I don’t repair them right and they fell apart,” said Zilli.
Holden said by cycling through the rosary, a person comes to understand the birth, passion and resurrection of Christ, and the history of human redemption.
But rosaries also hold the history of those who own them.
“People know their rosaries. They say to me,’Oh these were blessed by the pope, or they were given to me on my First Communion, or these belonged to my mother,” Holden said. “What ever shape they come to me, I’m going to make them look great again.”
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View actual sizeThere was a huge gathering of faithful from Liluah, Chandmari, Bhattanagar and Joypur sub-stations. Archbishop Thomas presided over the celebration with 19 priests concelebrating. The highlight of the Eucharist was the conferring of the Sacrament of Confirmation on 32 youngsters and 27 children receiving First Communion. His Grace spoke about the hopeful season of advent, the significance of the Platinum Jubilee and the power of the Spirit working in us in this Year of Faith particularly in the confirmed.
After the Mass there was a felicitation for the Archbishop and other dignitaries with a cultural programme put up by all the sub-stations.Lunch was served for all.
At 5.00 PM there was a thrilling entertainment programme as many bards joined the function as performers. The Parish Youth put up a good performance based on Gospel themes. The Messengers, a group from Kolkata performed rock n`roll in Hindi and Sadri. This was followed by a dance-drama by a group from Krishnagar. The penultimate item was a concert by Salem Group from Ranchi during which all could jig and shake-a-leg. The grand entertainment function ended with a fellowship meal served for all.
A NUN broke down in tears as a judge found her not guilty of child sex offences.
In the first case of its kind before the courts, Sister Mary Theresa Grogan, (62), also known as Sister Peter, of Laytown, Co Meath, faced 63 counts of indecent assault against seven girls at a midlands school in the 1970s.
The offences were alleged to have taken place in a class and at library at a school between 1973 and 1977.
But after five days of legal argument without the jury, Judge Donagh McDonagh yesterday called back the seven women and five men on the panel to instruct them to issue verdicts of not guilty.
The nun threw her head into her hands and burst into tears at the back of Sligo Circuit Court after the judge delivered his ruling. She then hugged members of her legal team. One of the complainants in the case collapsed at the back of the court. Two others were helped from the room by relatives.
A fourth complainant sobbed loudly.
Judge McDonagh had ruled that the inconsistency of some of the evidence given by the complainants, made unsound by the passage of time, had made the trial unsafe.
Seven complainants had given evidence before the case was stopped a week ago to allow for legal arguments by the defence.
Some of them had claimed in court that the nun had told classmates ‘Teigh a chodladh’ — Irish for ‘go to sleep’ — before calling them to the front to her desk at the of the class where she indecently assaulted them.
Judge McDonagh said the claims had not been made in garda statements but “emerges mysteriously in evidence in court”.
He said evidence given by some witnesses was “weak in certain aspects and tenuous in others”.
The judge said he was struck that at no time did any of the complainants mention any events when they were in third class, like a school nativity play or First Communion.
“The passage of time has seriously affected the memories of the complainants,” he said.
Judge McDonagh also addressed issues raised by the defence which alleged the complainants had colluded in their statements. He said: “I would hesitate to use the term collusion but there is a risk of cross-contamination when the events happened so long ago.”
- Greg Harkin