Triduum 2014

Incredible Act of Forgiveness
Immaculee Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in 1994 her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. Immaculee’s family was brutally murdered during a killing spree that lasted three months and claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans.
Incredibly, Immaculee survived the slaughter. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them.
It was during those endless hours of unspeakable terror that Immaculee discovered the power of prayer, eventually shedding her fear of death and forging a profound and lasting relationship with God. She emerged from her bathroom hideout having discovered the meaning of truly unconditional love—a love so strong she was able seek out and forgive her family’s killers.

The triumphant story of this remarkable young woman’s journey through the darkness of genocide will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering, and loss.
Almost all members of Holy Cross were either decimated or had to flee Rwanda.


‘My decision to donate a kidney was God’s will’ Fr Davis Chiramel

Shaju Philip
mangalam malayalam online newspaper
"This is my body which is broken for you." Christian priests regularly recite this Biblical verse to drive home the message of sharing and sacrifice. Now in Vadanappally, a village in Kerala's Thrissur district, a priest has practised what he preached and donated his kidney to save a villager.
The transplant took place last week in a private hospital in Kochi and both Father Davis Chiramel, 48, and CG Gopinath, 47, are now recuperating. Chiramel will be discharged Monday.
Gopinath, an electrician, had been suffering from a kidney ailment for the past four years. Chiramel, a priest at the St Francis Xavier's Church in Vadanappally, floated a relief committee to collect money for his treatment.
But a donor remained elusive. So in April, the priest decided to give his own. Last Wednesday, when doctors harvested the kidney from Chiramel and grafted it on to Gopinath, people from all faiths gathered to pray for them.
Once he has recovered, Chiramel, who has been a priest in Thrissur for 20 years, will also begin work at the Kidney Foundation of India (KFI) that he has founded in the village—its official inauguration will be held on October 30. "God demands several things from our lives. The decision to donate a kidney was God's will," he says. "We have to implement what we preach in life," he says.
"Father Chiramel is our god," says CP Premlal, Gopinath's brother-in law.

Death gives life - Nicholas Green Foundation
The Nicholas Green Foundation

Nicholas Green, his sister, Eleanor Green, and their parents, Margaret and Reginald Green, were having a holiday in Calabria Southern Italy. On the night of September 29, 1994 his parents were driving on the A3 motorway between Salerno and Reggio Calabria.[1][3] They stopped at an Autogrill, where two men started following their car believing they were jewellers. The men pulled alongside the Greens' vehicle and shouted something in Italian, which the Greens did not understand. Reginald Green accelerated, at which point the men fired shots into the rear of the car. He accelerated a second time, and once again the men shot into the back of the car. After the pursuers gave up Reginald stopped the car, and at this point he and Margaret realised that Nicholas had been shot in the head.[3] They drove directly to the nearest town, but the hospital was not equipped to deal with Nicholas' injuries. The police took the family to Villa San Giovanni, where they transferred to a ferry which brought them across the Strait of Messina to the port of Messina. From there, the police took them to a specialist head injuries unit at a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead the next day.[4]
A seven year-old boy from California, Nicholas Green, was killed by highway robbers in 1994 while vacationing in Italy with his family. His parents agreed to donate his organs and corneas, which went to seven Italians waiting for transplants. Reg and Maggie Green spoke openly to the media, with no bitterness, about their loss and decision. The world took the story--and the Greens--to its heart. Organ donations in Italy have quadrupled since Nicholas was killed so that thousands of people are alive who would have died.

The world's response to the Green's personal tragedy is called "the Nicholas effect." No matter their nationality or calling, people respond from the heart--presidents, movie stars, schoolchildren, grandmothers, Boy scouts, soccer players, surgeons, and organ recipients. Organ donor cards are signed. Poems are written, pictures painted, parks dedicated, scholarships established, medals given, children hugged.
New Edition of Reg Green’s Highly-Acclaimed Book, “The Nicholas Effect.” A new edition of “The Nicholas Effect,” by Reg Green -- the story of Nicholas’ death and its astonishing results-- has just been brought out by AuthorHouse, the world’s largest self-publishing company, and includes an afterword to bring the story up to date.
The new edition marks the 15th anniversary of the shooting. “I can think of no book that surpasses ‘The Nicholas Effect’ in opening the heart and changing attitudes for the common good,” Bud Gardner, editor of Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul, wrote when it was first published.
It tells the horrifying story of the shooting, as four-year-old Eleanor lay asleep next to Nicholas, the failed efforts to save him and the emotion that engulfed Italy when the decision to donate his organs and corneas became known. The President and Prime Minister of Italy asked to see the Greens privately and talked to them like friends of the family instead of leaders of a nation.
The book shows them going home to their beautiful village of Bodega Bay on the Northern California coast and, in a wrenching ceremony, burying Nicholas in a simple country churchyard, then picking up the threads in a house that suddenly seemed empty.
The media interest was intense from the beginning, as the book relates, with virtually every major daily paper in the world carrying the story and the major television shows, including Oprah, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw, interviewing the family.
The book goes on location for the making of “Nicholas’ Gift,” a CBS movie of the week, for which Jamie Lee Curtis was nominated for an Emmy. It details the arrest of the two suspects and the long-drawn-out murder trial. It describes how Pope John Paul II had a bell made in the papal foundry and sent to the memorial tower that was built in Bodega Bay.
No other country has come remotely close to the rate of increase in organ donation shown by Italy. “A change of that magnitude must have multiple causes, including dedicated volunteers and health care personnel all over Italy,” says Green. “But it is clear that Nicholas’ story was the catalyst that changed the thinking of an entire nation.”
More broadly, the story sharply increased awareness of the tens of thousands of deaths caused around the world every year by the shortage of donated organs. As the book puts it “it sent an electric shock through the human spirit.”
“The Nicholas Effect,” originally published by O’Reilly and Associates, Sebastopol, California, has been out of print for several years. It can now be ordered at for $9.90 plus shipping and handling. Discounts apply for quantity orders and for non-profit organizations. For details about these orders please call 888 280 7715. It is also available through online bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders. For those orders purchasers should specify the 15th anniversary edition.
Read a chapter from The Nicholas Effect

“The Gift that Heals” : 42 Transplant Stories
The Gift that Heals, Reg Green’s second book, tells the stories of 42 families at every stage of the transplantation process. Some are recipients, among them, a GI blinded in World War II who fathered five children, none of whom he had ever seen, whose sight was restored after 48 years by a donated cornea; a man who was so short of breath that he couldn’t walk and talk at the same time but, after a transplant, ran a marathon alongside the father of the girl whose lungs saved his life; and a police officer, shot at close range, whose wounds were so large that his rescuers had to put their fists in them to slow the flow of blood.
Others are donor families who, though numb with pain, put their grief on one side to save the lives of complete strangers or living donors, people who undergo an otherwise entirely unnecessary operation to donate a kidney to someone they have never met, because "they need it more than I do." Still others are on the waiting list, like the woman in the prime of life terrified that unless a donated kidney comes soon her son will be left without a mother. Professionals also tell their stories, such as the transplant coordinators, who have to ask bereaved families if they will give something more at the worst moments of their lives, and the pilot of the aircraft racing to deliver organs to dying patients.
"The sobering fact is that any one of us could need a new organ or tissue to save our lives -- and virtually every one of us could be a donor," Green writes. "The results of transplantation are astounding. However many times it happens, an inert organ, that has been taken from someone already dead, and springs suddenly into life in another dying body, still seems to most of us to have more in common with science fiction than regular medicine."
Results differ for different organs, he adds, but about 90 percent of patients who have had a heart transplant are alive after one year, 75 percent after five years and 55 percent after ten years. "Given that all these people were terminally ill, that many were close to death at the time of their operation and that, over the years, some proportion of them will die from unrelated causes, the distance transplantation has come speaks for itself."
Every month, however, the waiting list grows. "These people live perpetually on the edge, always aware of a winner-takes-all race between a wasting disease and a cure over which they have no control."
A donation produces on average three or four organs, saving three or four families from devastation, in addition to tissue that can help up to 50 people, Green points out. "With that much on the line, I often wonder what possible debate there can be about what is the right thing to do."
Read a few chapters from The Gift that Heals
The Gift that Heals: Stories of hope, renewal and transformation through organ and tissue donation, which is published jointly by the Nicholas Green Foundation and United Network for Organ Sharing, can be ordered here or through major booksellers.

The Nicholas Green Foundation, set up by the Green family, is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the cause of organ and tissue donation around the world. It does this by spreading information to increase awareness of the shortage of donors everywhere. It can also support a broad range of children's causes. It produces videos and helps organize special events.
Forgive them, Father, They know not ---An Iranian Mother
Last-minute reprieve: Iranian woman spares life of son's killer with a slap

TEHRAN: An Iranian mother spared the life of her son's convicted murderer with an emotional slap in the face as he awaited execution with the noose around his neck, a newspaper reported on Thursday. The dramatic climax followed a rare public campaign to save the life of Balal, who at 19 killed another young man, Abdollah Hosseinzadeh, in a street fight with a knife back in 2007.
Shargh newspaper said police officers led Balal to a public execution site in the northern city of Nowshahr as a large crowd gathering on Tuesday morning.

Samereh Alinejad, mother of the victim who lost another son in a motorbike accident four years ago, asked the crowd whether they know "how difficult it is to live in an empty house." Balal, blackhooded and standing on a chair before a makeshift gallows, had the noose around his neck when Alinejad approached. She slapped him in the face and removed the rope from his neck assisted by her husband, Abdolghani Hosseinzadeh, a former professional footballer.

"I am a believer. I had a dream in which my son told me that he was at peace and in a good place... After that, all my relatives, even my mother, put pressure on me to pardon the killer," Alinejad told Shargh. "The murderer was crying, asking for forgiveness. I slapped him in the face. That slap helped to calm me down," she said. "Now that I've forgiven him, I feel relieved." Balal said the "slap was the space between revenge and forgiveness." "I've asked my friends not to carry knives... I wish someone had slapped me in the face when I wanted to carry one," Balal said in a television interview.

A campaign was launched by public figures including Adel Ferdosipour, a popular football commentator and TV show host, and former international footballer Ali Daei, appealed for the victim's family to forgive the killer.

Left to Die: Dan Mazur's Act of Courage and Compassion
by John from Olympia
Dan Mazur, Team Leader

On the morning of May 26th, 2006, Dan Mazur was leading a team of climbers on a planned ascent up the north ridge of Mount Everest to its summit. Mr. Mazur’s team of climbers consisted of himself, Andrew Brash, Myles Osborne and Jangbu Sherpa. The team was feeling strong and healthy. There were no winds or clouds. Conditions seemed perfect for climbing to the summit.
The Team - Andrew Brash, Myles Osborne and Jangbu Sherpa

At 7:30 AM, eight hours into their ascent and two hours below the summit, the men encountered a stricken climber at an altitude of approximately 28,000 feet. The fallen climber was an Australian named Lincoln Hall. He was sitting on the trail with his jacket around his waist, wearing no hat or gloves. The group stopped to investigate and found he was suffering from symptoms of edema, frostbite and dehydration. He was alone and hallucinating; and generally incoherent in his responses to their offers of help. He was without any of the proper equipment for survival in such conditions. Apparently, Mr. Hall had collapsed the previous day on his way down from the summit. The North Ridge is an inhospitable place. Besides being at 28,000 feet, it is located along a severe ridgeline, dropping off 10,000 feet to one side and 7,000 feet to the other. Oxygen and proper equipment are virtually essential to survival.

Makalu, world's fifth highest peak. View as seen by Lincoln as he waited. 


Mazur’s party quickly decided to give up their own summit attempt to save Mr. Hall. They anchored him to the mountain, replaced the hat, jacket and gloves he had discarded, and gave him their own oxygen, food and water. They radioed Hall’s team, who had given him up for dead. Mazur convinced them that Hall was still alive and must and could be saved. (Mr. Hall’s team leader had called his wife the night before to tell her that Hall was dead.) 

Lincoln Hall from Australia, when he was found.


The rescuers arranged for Sherpas from Hall’s team to ascend and help with the rescue. Mazur’s group stayed four hours to care for Mr. Hall. Phil Crampton coordinated the rescue from the high camp at 26,000 feet and Kipa Sherpa acted as liaison to Lincoln Hall’s team at advance base camp at 21,000 feet. Extended stays at extreme altitude are risky even when planned in advance and when climbers have all the supplies they need. Going to the summit after so many hours spent helping Hall was out of the question. By using their own survival supplies to sustain Hall, Mazur and his team risked worsening weather conditions that could have severely inhibited their own descent. Clearly, these men sacrificed a lifetime dream and risked their own lives to save Lincoln Hall.