Limerick diocese sets its sights on China

first_imgFirst day in new school for Le Chéile pupils Advertisement Dominicans depart after 800 years Twitter Previous articleLimerick councillors are left hanging on the lineNext articleGranny gets some sleep after memorable Limerick visit John Keogh  THE Diocese of Limerick this week launched a new outreach initiative that seeks to recruit lay people to travel to China to teach English and “witness to their faith”.The programme, which runs under the auspices of the Missionary Society of St Columban, is open to graduates of any discipline, and teaching experience is not essential.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up According to Fr Leslie McNamara, who is involved in coordinating the programme, the teaching positions would appeal to recent graduates or people who have taken early retirement.“I was there for nearly eight years. My experience was very positive, I really enjoyed it. Of course people can have problems at first – it is a culture shock, especially in the poorer areas,” he told the Limerick Post.“All of your expenses are covered and you would get about $500 a month. You’re supplied with an apartment for free and you get an allowance for electricity and things like that. The cost of living there is very low; typically lunch in the student canteen would be about 80 cent a day. You could easily live on a couple of euro a day.”Traditionally, roles such as this would have been carried out by priests and missionaries, but due to dwindling numbers, the diocese is now opening up opportunities for lay people.Fr McNamara explained that religious organisations in China are controlled by the government and open proselytising is prohibited.However, he added that “the seeds of faith can be sown through one’s lifestyle and in the care and love one shows to one’s students who are instinctively curious about everything their foreign teachers do”.“Universities in China can find it difficult to fill positions for English teachers, and they are delighted to have native speakers. Teaching is one way that you can witness to the gospel to people who are largely atheist or agnostic.”“I found that the students I worked with were largely very curious; many of them wouldn’t have even seen a foreign person before they went to university. The students there are so keen to learn. They are so kind and respectful in comparison to teaching here; it’s very different”, he explained.Anyone seeking further information about the outreach programme can contact Fr Leslie McNamara at [email protected] Linkedin St John’s Cathedral in Limerick is cut down to size Email WhatsAppcenter_img Facebook NewsCommunityLocal NewsLimerick diocese sets its sights on ChinaBy John Keogh – September 11, 2014 944 Bishop of Limerick wants no let up in safeguarding vulnerable people Editorial – Time for change RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR TAGSDiocese of Limerick Bishop welcomes new school year Printlast_img read more

HUD Receives Technology Innovation Award

first_imgHome / Daily Dose / HUD Receives Technology Innovation Award Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles About Author: Seth Welborn Share Save HUD Receives Technology Innovation Award Tagged with: FinTech HUD Technology in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News  Print This Post May 17, 2019 2,878 Views Previous: CoreLogic Updates Collateral Valuation System Next: The Week Ahead: Charting Economic Activity Subscribe Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago On Thursday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received the 019 Federal Information Technology Innovation Award from Microstrategy. HUD received the award for its Office of Community Planning and Development’s (CPD) modernized Grants Dashboard.Steven W. Rawlinson, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development for CPD, and Maribel Gatica, Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for CPD, received the award on behalf of HUD at MicroStrategy’s Federal IT Summit in Washington, D.C.“It is a great honor to receive MicroStrategy’s 2019 Federal IT Innovation Award. We have made it a priority to modernize our systems to improve the way HUD does business,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “We still have work to do until all of HUD’s systems are up to date, but this award shows that our efforts are paying dividends and the results have made HUD a stronger, more nimble agency.”CPD’s Dashboard provides funding information for each city and state that receives CPD program funds, in a place-based format. The Dashboard details the size of each grant received over the past several years, as well as the total amount of funds currently available to be spent on affordable housing and community and economic development activities. HUD notes that before modernizing the Grants Dashboard, it relied on manual reports that could not efficiently drive critical decisions or provide oversight into all grant programs.“We are incredibly proud to recognize the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with the 2019 Federal IT Innovation Award for their exemplary use of analytics to achieve significant ROI and operational efficiencies,” said Michael J. Saylor, CEO,  MicroStrategy Incorporated. “Their CPD Grants Dashboard showcases an innovative enterprise analytics solution while serving as a blueprint for digital transformation initiatives across the federal government.”Secretary Carson discussed technology development in the housing industry at HUD’s “Innovative Housing Showcase,” co-hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “It’s important we highlight these new building technologies that are answering the call for more affordable, durable housing options for families across America,” said Secretary Carson. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago FinTech HUD Technology 2019-05-17 Seth Welborn Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Sign up for DS News Daily last_img read more

City Council Seat Remains Open After Vote Falls Short

first_imgCity Council had only four members at Thursday night’s meeting because two couldn’t make it and one seat is vacant following a resignation. By DONALD WITTKOWSKICity Council interviewed four prospective candidates Thursday night to fill a vacancy on the seven-member governing body, but fell short of the number of votes needed to appoint someone to the position.The vacancy was created when former Second Ward Councilman Antwan McClellan resigned in January to take a seat in the state Assembly following his election to the New Jersey Legislature in November.Council had the option of leaving the seat vacant until Ocean City’s municipal election in May or appointing someone to fill the remainder of McClellan’s unexpired term to July 1. In January, the Council members agreed to seek candidates for the position through an interview process.Four candidates, Gabe Staino, Tom Rotondi, Christopher Robertson and Kyle Gillen, all residents of the Second Ward, came in for private interviews with the Council members before the public portion of the meeting began Thursday night.However, Council only had four members present for the meeting because Councilman Michael DeVlieger was sick and Councilman Tony Wilson was away on business. Council members Peter Madden, Karen Bergman and Bob Barr voted to appoint Staino, but Councilman Keith Hartzell abstained. City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson explained that at least four votes were needed by law to appoint someone to the vacancy, so Staino did not get the open seat.Hartzell is an at-large councilman who lives in the Second Ward. He said he abstained because he did not want it to appear that he was endorsing any particular candidate where he lives by voting to appoint them to the open seat.“I really do believe that each person brought something great to the table,” Hartzell said of the four candidates. “It would be very, very hard to make a decision.”Hartzell and other members of Council urged the four candidates to run for the Second Ward seat in the May election.“We had four excellent candidates this evening,” Barr said. “Everyone brought something unique to the table.”Assemblyman Antwan McClellan, right, with fellow Assemblyman Erik Simonsen, resigned from City Council in January to join the state Legislature. (Photo courtesy of JASM Consulting)All of Council’s four ward seats will be up for grabs in the municipal election. If someone had been appointed to fill McClellan’s former seat, it would have allowed that person to run as the sitting Council member in the Second Ward – in effect, giving them incumbent status in the election. However, the seat will be wide open now for the election.The Second Ward encompasses the south side of Fourth Street to the north side of 12th Street from the beach to the bay. It includes residential areas, the Boardwalk, the downtown business district and the hotel-motel zone.“It’s the most diverse ward in the whole town,” said Bergman, while calling the Second Ward the “heartbeat” of the community.An appointment to Council is not unprecedented. Bergman went through the appointment process in 2015 to fill the unexpired term of former at-large Councilman Michael Allegretto, who resigned to become the city’s director of Community Services.Bergman originally served as a Second Ward councilwoman from 2008 to 2012, but chose not to seek re-election in 2012. She returned to the governing body in 2015, when she was unanimously appointed by Council to fill Allegretto’s vacant seat leading up to the 2016 election. She followed up her victory in the 2016 election by winning a full four-year term in the 2018 election.In other business Thursday, a handful of residents joined with local environmental advocate Donna Moore in urging the city to add local recreation sites to a list of public areas that will receive “eco-friendly” landscaping.As part of a new landscaping contract for parks, playgrounds and other public areas, eight of 32 sites scattered around town will be set aside for organic alternatives to pesticides and fertilizers. The contract is expected to be awarded in March.City Business Administrator George Savastano said the move is in response to suggestions from Moore and other local residents for the city to use eco-friendly measures to take care of the grass, shrubbery and flowers on public property.“We appreciate the suggestions. We took them seriously,” Savastano said in an interview after the meeting.Environmental advocate Donna Moore, with back to the camera, holds up signs warning of the dangers of chemical pesticides.As she often does at Council meetings, Moore showed up Thursday night waving hand-written signs that dramatize her health warnings about chemical pesticides. Other residents joined with her in holding the signs.Moore said pesticides containing toxic chemicals can cause cancer, contaminate the groundwater and harm Ocean City’s marine life.She has been urging Council to have the city’s landscaping contractors use environmentally friendly methods to control weeds on parks, playgrounds and other public grounds. She wants all of the city’s recreation fields added to the list of eco-friendly landscaping areas to create a “healthier family island.”One resident, Georgina Shanley, implored Council to listen to Moore. She said Moore is not trying to fight with anyone in the city.“She’s just trying to make this a healthier community for everybody,” Shanley said.Savastano said the city’s recreation sites will not be among the eight eco-friendly landscaping areas in the new contract. However, he stressed that the recreation sites remain safe for residents and guests.“The products we use are safe,” he said in the interview.Also Thursday, Council tabled three bond ordinances totaling $11.9 million to purchase three pieces of property that would be combined into one large swath of public open space.The land is bordered by 16th and 17th streets between Simpson and Haven avenues and includes the former Perry-Egan Chevrolet dealership lot. A large chunk of the property is proposed for a 22-lot housing development by brothers Jerry and Harry Klause, owners of Klause Enterprises.Mayor Jay Gillian and City Council want to buy the land to protect it from densely packed housing construction that would add to the town’s overdevelopment. They envision it becoming a major part of a large corridor of open space stretching from 15th to 20th streets.An architectural rendering shows the proposed housing project slated for one of the properties the city hopes to buy to protect it from development.Negotiations have begun between the city and property owners for the land. However, the city is leaving open the possibility of using its condemnation powers to seize the land if negotiations fail. If that happens, the matter would end up in the courts and a judge would decide the price for the land.The three bond ordinances will put the money in place to buy the property, but they were tabled Thursday because Council lacked the “super-majority” of at least five votes needed by law to approve them, McCrosson said.The ordinances will be considered at a future meeting.last_img read more

Saudi Arabia to reopen Mecca mosques Sunday

first_imgSaudi Arabia plans to reopen from Sunday mosques in Mecca, the holiest city in Islam, after they were closed for three months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, state television reported.The kingdom has taken restrictive measures against the virus, particularly in Mecca, but the number of new coronavirus cases has notably increased in recent days.”The mosques in the holy city will begin to reopen their doors to the faithful on Sunday after three months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the state-run Al-Ekhbariya channel reported, citing a decision by the Islamic affairs ministry. Some 1,500 holy sites are preparing to welcome visitors, the channel reported, showing footage of workers disinfecting floors and carpets.The decision comes weeks before the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. While the Hajj is set to be held in late July, authorities are yet to announce if it will go ahead or be cancelled.Outside Mecca, mosques elsewhere in the country reopened at the end of May, but with strict rules imposing social distancing and other measures.The hardest hit Gulf state, Saudi Arabia has reported over 150,000 virus cases, including nearly 1,200 deaths.Topics :last_img read more