The PATHWAYS of PAUL Pilgrimage, Sept. 18-28, 2019 -- Information

 
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   The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

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The shocking prayer of a young Iraqi: 'Have mercy on ISIS' 

Krakow, Poland, Aug 7, 2016 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News) - (Editor's note: This article includes explicit descriptions of violence. Reader discretion is advised.)

Christina Shabo was born under a tree in a refugee camp after her family fled bombing in their Iraqi hometown in 1991.

Several of her relatives have been killed by the Islamic State – one who's body was chopped up and delivered to the family in pieces – and some continue to fight for their lives after suffering vicious attacks.

However, rather than harboring an understandable hatred toward those persecuting her family and her people, she has decided instead to pray for ISIS and their conversion.

“I asked Jesus for the grace to forgive every time I would pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. But instead of praying 'For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world,' I pray 'have mercy on ISIS and on the whole world.'”

This is what Shabo, 25, said she has decided to pray as a means of helping learn how to forgive the terrorists who are slaughtering her people.

She gave her testimony to fellow youth July 29 as part of a catechesis session for WYD in Krakow, detailing the painful events that led her family to flee Iraq in the first place, as well as the horrors that have taken place after the rise of ISIS in 2014.

In an interview with CNA after her testimony, Sabo explained that the decision for her to speak during WYD was last minute, and she was asked to incorporate forgiveness into her talk.

However, upon hearing this request, Shabo's first thought was “I don't forgive ISIS.”

“I’ve struggled with it, because I haven’t gotten there yet. It’s a daily reminder,” she said, explaining that she still harbors anger and resentment, so the path to forgiveness has been a difficult, everyday task.

Admittedly, after hearing Shabo's story, it’s easy to understand where these feelings come from.

“I was a miracle baby. I really, truly was,” she said, explaining that her mother was 8 months pregnant when her family made the difficult decision to leave Iraq in 1991 due to the threat of bombing in their hometown during the Gulf War.

They were among the thousands of others who decided to make the dangerous trek through the steep mountains in order to pass into Turkey, with bombs falling nearby.

She noted how many people died along the way, including her 8-year-old cousin Rita. Shabo said that when Rita died, her uncle didn’t “have it in his heart” to bury her in the mountains, so he carried her body the rest of the way into Turkey.

Once the family made it across the border, they buried Rita under a tree in the camp. Then, “it gets even crazier,” Shabo said, explaining that just a month later her mother’s water broke near the same tree, “and my mom delivered me right then and there.”

While Shabo and her family gained religious asylum in Detroit two years later, many of their relatives are still living in Iraq where the violence hasn’t ended, but instead has reached a fever pitch with the spread of the Islamic State.

The world of violence Shabo was born into “was reincarnated” June 20, 2014, when ISIS militants stormed Mosul, either slaughtering Christians and moderate Muslims who don’t share their extreme ideologies, forcing them to pay a high tax, or flee the city.

Shabo said that during the attack, one of her relatives was “violently murdered…He was chopped up in a dozen pieces” and delivered to his family in a bag.

“Imagine someone that you love being delivered to you in a bag in pieces. It’s insane. So when I hear stories like that, how could I not be angry?” she said.

One of her cousins was also killed the series of bombings in Baghdad which claimed the lives of some 400 people July alone. Her cousin’s mother is still in the hospital “fighting for her life.”

However, as hard as it was to think about forgiveness, Shebo said that throughout her life whenever she has felt anguish, anger, frustration or numbness, “I go to adoration. I take it to Him.”

It was through adoration that the idea to pray for ISIS came to her mind, she said, explaining that as she was praying one day she kept repeating the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, “it just kind of came to me: pray for them. Use that as a way to kind of think about them, but think about them in a more positive way.”

Though she didn’t mean it at first, Shebo said the idiom “fake it till you make it” eventually worked, and that slowly she was able to open her heart letting go of her anger.

“Anger just makes you angry and bitter, and nothing good comes out of it. But when you take that and you turn it into mercy and forgiveness, and you see how fruitful that can be, even for yourself, aside from anyone else, you can’t stop doing it.”

Shebo noted how her father is a deacon at their Chaldean parish in Detroit, and that as their family marched through the mountains to Turkey, it was he who kept their faith strong.

“As they march they prayed. That’s all they had. They left with nothing,” she said, explaining that her father kept reminding the others that “it’s okay. Even despite all of this, we have him with us. And we need to hold on tight to that.”

This, she said, “is how they got through that, and that’s how we continue to get through it.”

However, it hasn’t always been easy. Shabo said while she has been “blessed” to live have her family, to live in Detroit and go to school like “a normal person,” she also feels a great sense of guilt.

“None of my other family survived. There’s a sense of guilt that I survived and they didn’t,” she said, explaining that she also feels a deep connection with the Christians in Iraq, and desperately wants to go back, but is unable to given the precariousness of the current situation.

When asked why she feels ashamed of not being able to return, Shebo said it’s because the stories of all the refugees currently fleeing Iraq and Syria “are the same as mine.”

She pointed to the September 2015 photo of Aylan Al-Kurdi, three-years-old, which captured the reality of many refugees. The photo, which gripped the heart and conscience of those all over the world, showed the tiny body of Al-Kurdi washed up on the shore of Turkey after drowning along with his mother and older brother in a failed attempt to reach the nearby Greek island of Kos from Bodrum, their most direct passage into the European Union.

“When I saw that image, I absolutely broke down…I did not see that child, I saw myself,” she said, explaining that after everything she’s gone through, she “vividly” relates to what these families are experiencing.

“There’s thousands of Iraqi Christians in the northern Erbil that are living in the same situation I was. It’s hard not to feel that connection, to feel that that’s me,” she said, adding that there’s also the aspect “that I survived, but that child died.”

Shebo said she wants to take “all the goodness” she has received through God and her faith “and to give it back to the people” in difficulty, as well as those still living in Iraq.

In fact, she’s already jumped in, and has started working in crisis intervention and volunteers on a help line for suicide. She also started an organization called the “Shlama Foundation” with a group of other people to find out the concrete needs of those in Iraq and raise money to fund specific projects on the ground.

She explained that for a long time she was “ashamed” of her story, and didn’t want to tell people the conditions of her birth, but it was her parents who insisted “this is who you are, and you’re going to keep it alive.”

“It’s so hard to do that in the secular world of America or a lot of these other countries,” Shebo said, noting that in Iraq “it was easy” since many come from similar situations, but that many she knows in the U.S., including her nieces and nephews, are struggling to hold on to their heritage.

Even keeping the Chaldean language of Aramaic – an ancient language dating back to the time of Christ – is a challenge.

Aramaic “was the language that Jesus Christ spoke,” she said, explaining that the prospect of a Middle East without Christians is “a tragedy, because that’s where Jesus is from.”

“That can’t happen. I don’t want to see that happen. I don’t want to live in that world,” she said, cautioning that “if we don’t do something about it, then unfortunately that will be our reality.”

While she wants Christianity in Iraq and the Middle East to live on, Shebo admitted that the uncertainty of the situation is hard for many to deal with, and that even she and her family have a hard time accepting the decision of their relatives who have decided to stay.

She said that after the Baghdad bombing that claimed her cousin’s life, her family called “and were yelling at them: ‘Why did you stay? Why didn’t you go to Erbil? Why are you still there? Get out! Your son just died and you’re in a hospital.’”

“I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to go back into the same world that it was,” she said, but noted that despite Iraq’s bloody history of violence and persecution “our people have stood their ground.”

“That gives me hope, and I feel like if we hold on to that hope and hold on to that faith, that there will be a world where I can return to and it will still continue.”

Shebo explained that events like WYD can help serve as catalysts for those who want to do something to help, thanks to the global representation of youth as well as the connections people are able to make.

“As powerless as you feel as an individual, when you connect with other people who have that same passion that have that same desire, God works wonders,” she said, explaining that through WYD she was able to meet people she had been corresponding with in Iraq, but had never met in person.

She was also able to meet the group of 300 Chaldean youth who traveled from Iraq to Krakow for the July 26-31 event, one of whom was from her hometown.

When Shebo asked the group for something from Iraq, they gave her a scarf with the Iraq flag on it. In return, when the group asked her for something from the U.S., Shebo gave them her necklace and bracelets.

“It’s such a blessing” to be at WYD, she said, explaining that a cousin whom she had never met before was also there, and she was trying to find a time to meet him.

“It’s good to know that other people are listening and connecting with the story,” she said. “There’s no words to describe that, when you feel that, because that comes from God. We are truly one Body in Christ. It’s amazing I can’t put it into words.”

 

Past Issues

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Dec. 17, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Celebrate Christmas 'unplugged'; Msgr. Matthew Smith; Klan; Catholic Charities Annual Appeal; Fr. Larry Rosebaugh; A Guadalupe Encounter; Laci and Joe Salazar; A Christmas Wish; Adoption; Confession; Advent; EWTN; Christmas Blues; Tilma; Pittsburgh; PSR

 

Dec. 3, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2017 NCYC; Wheel of Balance; Marita Rother; Stanley Rother; slavery; trafficking; Windthorst water damage; martyred priests; confession; reconciliation; How to go to confession; recipe for codfish cakes; Catholic schools; appeal

 

Nov. 19, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Saints; Father Kola; Black Elk; Giving Tuesday; velvet Elvis; a Slice of Time; Dani Sandoval; Mexican Village; Father Tim Hickey; New faces at chancery; priests share thoughts on confession; Wheel of Balance

 

Nov. 5, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Matrimony Anniversary Mass, 2017; Riebel; Faith and Light; Scripture Day; Sex in the Bible; Quilt, Mexican Village Story; Finance; Fatima pilgrimage; Fowler church window renovation; Medicare; Crazy Glue


Oct. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Father Francis Jordan; Sister Renee Kirmer; Father Rother beatified; religious liberty; RCIA Kansas; V Encuentro; Bishop Weisenburger; Daughters of Isabella; Bishop Gerber Science Center


Oct. 1, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: De Colores; Rebein; Dreamer; Pies; Kellner; Code Quilts; Sister Crucita; Feezor; Formed.org; Sin and pain

 

 Sept. 17, 2017

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Sister Lucy Fidelis; Underground Railroad; Sister Irene Hartman; DACA; new priests; teachers; Volunteer of the Year; Golf Classic; St. Francis Xavier; St. Nicholas Parish Center, Kinsley; seminarians; Knights Lite; Stewardship Day 2017

Sept. 3, 2017

Aug. 13, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Coronado Cross; Masada; Moody Gardens; Elders; Rother; undocumented children; cages; year of mercy; Kumi; Hollywood makeup artist; New Mexico; refugee women.

July 16, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Summer camp; tithing and almsgiving; Bill Baalmann; Nathan Schaller; Jubilarian Sisters; Sister Hortencia Rodriguez; Sister Petrona Stockemer; Sister Denise Sevart; Convocation of Catholic Leaders; Mother talks about her son entering seminary; Arcoiris; Youth group travels to Colorado Springs; Major Phillip Roth

June 11, 2017 (Updated)

Ordination; Mark Brantley; Jacob Schneider; Father's Day; Thanks, Dad!; Appeal; Sister Mary Martin Weaver; Bishop Maralit; Budget; Trafficked women; Deacon Michael Brungardt; Dead Sea Scrolls; softball; Father Urban retirement; Sister Kravec retirement; Father Mazouch retirement; Authentic Joy; Pris Climate Accord; Jack Schramm; Pieta.

May 28, 2017 (Updated)

 

Grateful Hearts; MSFS Provincial; Reddy; Reif; Opossum; Dead Sea Scrolls; Our Lady of Fatima; Jorge Herrera, Jr.; Cursillo; Kough; First Communion; Confirmation

May 14, 2017

Esteban Hernandez; citizen; Lilly Ann Rein, Amberly Jimenez, Mother's Day; peacock; Quattrocchi; President Kennedy; Teen Moms; Junior High Youth Rally; Encounter With God's Call; granny/nanny; seniors' contributions; tornado anniversary; harvest; healthcare; Mr. Brown; Store-bought teeth; Louis and Zelie Martin; Father John Sullivan; Irish priest whose prayers could heal; Mexican beauty queen; Esmaralda Gonzalez; religious life

April 30, 2017

   KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; bully; TEC; Father Marvin Reif; Bet'sie; What makes a hero?; St. Mary of the Plains; tornado

Easter, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Honorable courtship; footsteps of migrants; CHRISM Mass 2017; honoring priests; Encuentro Cross blessed; Daughters of Isabella State Convention; Fatima pilgrim statue; Mary Sharon Moore interview; Senate advances pro-life measures; love must be at the core of family life; Father John Forkuoh's car story; Confirmations; Sisters of Concordia; CNN hero Father Khalil Jaar

March 26, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: From the heart; kidney; Rother; Friar Carmelo; Schnauzer; Lauren Seachris; Lauren's Treat; fire; Guatemala; immigration; Lenten Regulations 1888; Hot Cross Buns; budget; Trump; Forkuoh; Seiwert; South Sudan; hot ashes

March 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Refugees; immigrants; Gilbert Herrman; When you give alms'; Lent; Call to Continuing Conversion, Rite of Election; Charell and Jeremy Owings; adoption; Our Growing Church; Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia; water; creation; Sudan; Darlow Lampe

Feb 26, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Night to shine; Immigration; immigrants; Knights of Columbus; Pete Gomez; this foreign mission; Creole; Robin Doll; Eagle Scout; Quest

Feb 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; March for Life; Pro-life; Executive Order; Secular Franciscan Order; teachers; Down Syndrome; Eagle Scout; Bronze Pelican

Jan. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Thank you, religious; SEEK 2017; homeless man to priest; Fourth Sunday; Secret Service to Sacred Heart; Dr. Gerard Brungardt; Martin Luther King; 110 year old nun; Toddler miracle; Letter from undocumented immigrant; health care; immigration

Jan. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Mary helps us share; Tighe donates home to Birthright; Pro-life billboard; Theobald Hattrup; Helen and Steve Eck; Pearl Harbor; Reigning Grace

Dec. 18, 2017

KEYWORDS: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2016; Pope Francis Christmas schedule; 2016 high school youth rally; Aerospace engineer; Father Stanley Rother; Radio station; Dying girl's letter; Scout nominations; 12 days of Christmas

Dec. 4, 2016

KEYWORDS: Vocations Day; Pope Advent advice; Ex-prostitute; Spearville mission; Pilgrims v. Zombies; Face of God; Mission bazaar; Ness City fall festival; Rural health care; Archbishop Gomez; Bishops congratulate Trump

Nov. 20, 2016

Nov. 6, 2016

Oct. 23, 2016

Oct. 9, 2016


Sept. 25, 2016


Sept. 11, 2016

 
Aug. 7, 2016

July 10, 2016

June 12, 2016

May 29, 2016

May 8, 2016


 April 24, 2016

 April 10, 2016

 March 27, 2016

March 13, 2016

Feb. 28, 2016

 

Feb. 14, 2016


Jan. 31 , 2016

Jan. 17, 2016

Dec. 20, 2015

Dec. 6, 2015

Nov. 15, 2015

Nov. 1, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015

Oct. 4, 2015

Sept. 20, 2015

Sept. 6, 2015

August 9, 2015

July 12, 2015

Jun 14, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 3, 2015

April 19, 2015

Easter, 2015

 

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