Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Roswell, Ga., Aug 27, 2014 / 08:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The evangelization group Catholics Come Home is set to premiere a 13-episode television series that fosters engagement in the “New Evangelization” and interviews people who have recently returned to the Catholic faith.

“I believe God’s mercy is reaching the hearts of returnees, converts, agnostics and atheists through creative media, helping to bring them home,” Tom Peterson, founder president of Catholics Come Home, said in a video announcement for the series.

“Join us as we travel across North America with incredible stories of redemption, as the Holy Spirit transforms souls.”

Dr. Gloria Sampson, a former atheist and linguistics professor who is now an active Catholic, will be featured in the first episode, which will air on EWTN Sept. 4.

She will discuss her recent return to the Catholic Church after 52 years away from God. She credits seeing a Catholics Come Home commercial broadcast in Vancouver, Canada with helping to inspire her return.

“(A)ll I want to do now, is evangelize!” she said.

Each of the series’ half-hour episodes will also discuss evangelization.

The “Catholics Come Home” series will air on EWTN television every Thursday at 10 p.m. Eastern Time. Episodes will be rebroadcast at 6 p.m. on Sundays and can also be watched live online.

Guests include former fallen-away Catholics, atheists, agnostics, and Protestants who have turned or returned to the Catholic Church.

Episodes have been filmed in more than a dozen archdioceses and dioceses in the U.S. and Canada.

Catholics Come Home, which is based in Georgia, has broadcast many short segments on television that encourage inactive and former Catholics to return to the Church. They also reach out to those who have never been Catholic. The organization has produced segments in several different languages that have reached an audience of millions.

The apostolate says that since 1998 it has helped over 500,000 people “come home” to the Catholic Church.

The Catholics Come Home website is www.catholicscomehome.org.
 

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Rome, Italy, Aug 27, 2014 / 05:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem hopes the new indefinite ceasefire in Gaza will hold, cautioning that victory cannot come from violence and that compromise is vital on both sides for it to last.

“This time we are much more hopeful for one important reason: no one is victorious after two months. Two are losers I believe, no one is victorious even if someone says 'I won.' No one won,” Bishop Shomali, auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told CNA Aug. 27.

Each has “finally understood that no one can destroy the other” and that “there is a need for a compromise” as well as “a comprehensive solution to the problem,” he said.

The long-term ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was negotiated by Egypt, and took effect at 7 p.m. (4 p.m. GMT) Tuesday, ending seven weeks of fighting which has left more than 2,200 people dead, most of them Palestinians.

According BBC News, Palestinian officials stated that the ceasefire proposal called for an indefinite end to hostilities, an immediate opening of Gaza's access to Israel and Egypt, and an extension of the area’s Mediterranean fishing zone.

The agency reports that immediately Israel is to end its blockade of Gaza in order to allow aid and building materials in. Further discussion on issues of greater tension, such as Israel's call for a disarming of militant groups in Gaza, and the release of Hamas prisoners in the West Bank, are set to begin in Cairo within a month.

Israel originally launched their Operation Protective Edge July 8 with the stated goal of ending rocket fire from Hamas. To date, at least 2,140 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Gaza, BBC reports, while 11,000 have been injured.

U.N. officials state that more than 17,000 buildings in the area have either been destroyed or severely damaged, and that there are at least 475,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), which is over a quarter of the territory's population.

Of all the needs Gaza citizens are currently facing after 50 days of intense fighting, Bishop Shomali explained that “The greatest need is humanitarian. Medical needs for the wounded, hospitals which are overcrowded.”

“There is also the need for food nourishing these people” and “in the future we need special psychological treatment for traumatized children.”

Currently the situation “is difficult because of the big number of victims,” he said, stating that “Many, many homes were destroyed, many families lost everything; their house, maybe they lost their dear ones in the house. It’s tragic.”

Explaining how patriarchate opened their schools to those seeking shelter and fleeing from the ongoing attacks, Bishop Shomali noted that at least 1,000 people sought refuge there.

Now they are preparing for a new academic year, but there is a lot of work to do in restoring the schools after the presence of so many who were homeless.

“We have to refurnish it, paint it, renew the windows and the doors. It’s been a mess,” he said, revealing that they will also “dispensate” families “from paying any fees because they have no money. So we take care of all of the scholarships of the students, this is a big amount.”

Noting how the Holy See has been helping relief efforts through numerous Catholic aid organizations such as Caritas Jerusalem and Catholic Relief Services, the bishop explained that “we thank the Holy See because they are very aware of the situation.”

“The Holy Father was very close to us, very close to the parish priest of Gaza, so we are really consoled by the proximity of the Catholic Church with us.”

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