Tuesday, May 3, 2016

African Well Fund:Dream Out Loud

From May 1st to May 31st the African Well Fund invites U2 fans and others who are inspired by Bono’s tireless activism on behalf of Africa to donate to the 14th Annual Build a Well for Bono’s Birthday fundraiser in honor of Bono’s 56th birthday.

The 13 previous campaigns have raised over $245,000 in Bono’s honor to fund the construction of clean water and sanitation projects implemented by AWF partner Africare that are benefiting more than 73,000 people in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mali, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
This year they  hope to push past a quarter of a million dollars. Donate!!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

"Papa Making History" Hollie Evans

"My Papa making history in one of the most beautiful places on earth"- Photo taken by Hollie Evans, Edge's daughter.

 U2's lead guitarist The Edge became the first rock star to play in the Sistine Chapel on Saturday, performing an unplugged set with the backing of a young Irish choir.

The musician, was invited to play in the 15th century chapel for the participants of a conference on regenerative medicine, which took place inside the Vatican.

"When I was asked to perform in the Sistine Chapel I didn't know what to say, because usually there's 'this other guy' who sings," The Edge told the audience, referring to U2's lead singer Bono. "So it took me at least, well, 30 seconds to agree to it."

At a conference on regenerative medicine at the Vatican to find cures for cancer, The Edge, from U2, performed a song in the Sistine Chapel. This video was captured by an attendee on a cell phone.


Bono joins ‘Eclipsed’ cast on Broadway stage to remember missing schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria

HEATER DISTRICT, Manhattan — Academy award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o stars in "Eclipsed" on Broadway, the story of several women trapped in Liberia during the Civil War.

But it was the turmoil in a different African nation that brought her to tears at "Eclipsed" curtain call.

"In our story, we witness the power," Lupita Nyong'o said from the stage.

The cast of "Eclipsed" brought out a surprise star, U2's front man Bono, at their standing ovation curtain call after the Saturday matinee.

Bono, one of the most politically involved celebrities, was there to remember the 219 schoolgirls still missing after being abducted in Chibok, Nigeria two years ago.

"They were taken from their high school 747 days today," Bono said.

"If they were American or Irish girls, we'd get a daily report," he said.

Bono then named two girls missing —Lydia Habila and Rejoice Musa — and the audience repeated the names.

Several members of the audience were thrilled to be seated right behind Bono throughout "Eclipsed" and even more thrilled to find out why this activist rockstar was up on the stage.

"It was a fantastic tribute to these girls who have been lost for so long," Yadia Hinds said. "Just reminds me to hug my daughter. I am so grateful to have my child to hug."


Saturday, April 30, 2016

"We are family" award

Bono; Nile Rodgers

Bono surprised a New York audience Friday night when he jumped off the stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom midway into "Mysterious Ways." It was the last song in a short set of U2 tunes that the singer was performing with Nile Rodgers and Chic at the We Are Family Foundation gala, and the revelers – most of whom had left their $1,500-a-plate tables to dance up front – made an easy path for him. He stopped midway through the room, climbed on a chair and belted the song's lyrics about how the "spirit moves in mysterious ways." Then, in just a few strides, he made his own mysterious way out of the building – but not without speaking the night's motto as Rodgers' guitar rang out the song's final notes: "We are family."

Rodgers and his wife, Nancy Hunt, put the event together to raise money for the We Are Family Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that aims to promote a "global family" by focusing on educating young adults about respect and diversity. Early in evening, the Chic guitarist said his goal was to raise $1 million for the Foundation, which they ultimately accomplished with an auction, but the event as a whole also seemed like a celebration of creativity and compassion.

In addition to Bono, whose efforts to combat poverty in Africa and AIDS around the world, the event honored President Jimmy Carter, who accepted a "Peacemaker" award named after a young poet he once befriended, Mattie Stepanek, who had died at age 13 in 2004 after a battle with a rare form of muscular dystrophy. Between Bono's moves and Carter's moving speech, it was a gala full of surprises.

At the beginning of the evening, Rodgers stepped up to the podium holding a Stratocaster and began to tell the story of how he'd written "We Are Family," after using a sequence of chords he'd heard in a song by Children of God. "I only play that as an example that you can get an idea, and it just germinates and it blossoms and it grows – especially if you care and you have a big heart," he told the crowd. "That's what we stand for." Throughout the night, he and Hunt demonstrated that philosophy as they welcomed "youth ambassadors" to discuss how the organization had benefited them.

One young person who was involved with the We Are Family Foundation from its inception was Mattie Stepanek, whose mother Jeni gave a passionate speech about her son's admiration for Carter. Mattie had become infatuated with Carter and wanted to emulate his peaceful philosophies, and he got to share a friendship with the president a few years before his death. When Carter spoke, he dedicated his touching speech to Stepanek's memory. He talked about how the last three years of his young companion's life had affected him greatly ("It was a valuable friendship, an enjoyable friendship and it grew day by day," he said) to the point that when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, he said he felt like Stepanek shared the honor with him.

"I've known many famous people: kings and queens, great scientists, presidents, prime minister," he said. "I've known Mother Teresa. Nelson Mandela was a great friend of mine. We spent many times together. But I can tell you without equivocation that the most remarkable human being I've ever known was Mattie Stepanek."


After Carter spoke, the Foundation recognized the Adobe Project 1324, which promotes positive social change among young adults through creativity, and it began an auction. Items up for bid included dinner with Rodgers, a Greek getaway, an opportunity to showcase three songs for the CEO of Atlantic Records and a guitar lesson with Rodgers, among others. The pièce de résistance turned out to be the guitar Rodgers played during the David Bowie tribute at this past February's Grammys ceremony. It had been signed by Lady Gaga, LL Cool J, Dave Grohl, Beck, Skrillex, Rodgers and others, but as it went up to the crowd with a starting bid of $10,000, Bono autographed it and it sold for $100,000.

But Bono's true value at the event was not just his signature. Before the event began, Rodgers told Rolling Stone on the red carpet what it meant to him to have the U2 singer there. "Not only is Bono an incredible friend but he is at the top of the food chain when it comes to being a philanthropist and just a great humanitarian," the guitarist said.

When Bono accepted the honor, he gave his trophy to a young woman from the We Are Family Foundation who had introduced him ("It's better to give an award than to receive it," he said). "[With] the We Are Family Foundation, the gift is not just to see the future but to find those who can build the future," he said.

Bono then spent most of his time talking about the other luminaries there: Rodgers and Carter. He praised the way the guitarist had turned bad times growing up into (the song) "Good Times." Regarding Carter, Bono said that growing up during the Troubles in Ireland, he'd been impressed that the president quoted Bob Dylan and had an affinity for quoting scripture. "He presented a whole different way of thinking about American power," he said. "He made human rights a national mandate. He counted his success not by the wars that he waged but by the peace he made possible." He closed by comparing Carter to "great heroes of peace": Robert Kennedy, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, Jr., just as Rodgers and Chic – all dressed in white – kicked into U2's King tribute "Pride (In the Name of Love)".

Before the event, Rodgers told Rolling Stone that he'd asked to play "Pride," as it was one of his favorite songs. With Chic, the song picked up an almost transcendent quality as the beat got a little more disco-y, Rodgers played the riff crisply and the horn section played the occasional accents around Bono's "whoa-oh-oh-oh."

The Chic guitarist also picked the other selections. The guitar line in "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" rang anew as a more subtle song, gilded with female backup vocals and Rodgers' a bluesy, buoyant solo, as Bono sang the melody soulfully and smiled wide. "Beautiful Day" was greeted with a huge audience response, as fans danced and waved glow sticks previously used during the auction in the air. Bono just nodded along, grinned and blissed out.

Bono; Nile Rodgers

"It's a very special feeling to be on this stage with this extraordinary band and these singers," Bono told the audience between songs. "It's a very incredible thing for me not to be onstage with my three brothers. I always feel like one quarter of an artist without them."

He also talked about Rodgers' importance to his band. "Edge doesn't look up to many guitar players, but Nile's right at the top for him. I tried to get the band here, but everyone's doing something. I said, 'Edge, this is such a hero to you.' He said, 'Listen, I just can't get out of something.' I said, 'What are you doing?' He said, 'I'm doing a gig in the Sistine Chapel with the Holy Father.'" The audience laughed. "I said, 'Well, I'm doing a gig at the Hammerstein Ballroom, and we are going to turn it into the cathedral that it has been over the years for rock & roll music and hip-hop and dance music. And I am with the 'groove Pope.' To which Edge had nothing to say." He introduced "Mysterious Ways," which took on new life with a horn part that swelled with the guitars, and then disappeared into the crowd as it ended.

After a brief pause after Bono's departure, Rodgers led Chic in a thrilling set of hits he'd written and produced over the years. "Stay there," he told the crowd. "It's party time." From Chic's "Everybody Dance" and "Le Freak" to "Let's Dance" by "the man who changed my life," David Bowie, and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," it was a showcase of Rodgers' breadth. He played his oft-imitated jittery, nimble guitar lines as the audience danced and swelled toward the stage around the tables up front. The night ended, of course, with Sister Sledge's "We Are Family." Dozens of concertgoers stormed the stage, as Kathy Sledge sang the anthem next to Rodgers. It was a display of unity. "I hope to see everybody next year," said the guitarist. "Let's do it again."


Friday, April 29, 2016

Edge meets Pope Francis at International Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday addressed participants of an International Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine and its Cultural Impact. The Conference is being sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Stem for Life Foundation, and the STOQ Foundation.

The 2016 conference focused on pediatric cancers and rare diseases, as well as diseases that occur with aging. It featured talks and discussions with leading cell therapy scientists, physicians, patient advocates, ethicists, philanthropists, leaders of faith and government officials.

In his address, Pope Francis focused on three aspects of the commitment of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and the institutions working with it.

“It is fundamentally important that we promote greater empathy in society,” the Pope said, “and not remain indifferent to our neighbour’s cry for help, including when he or she is suffering from a rare disease.” Pope Francis described this aspect of their work as “increasing sensitivity.”

The Holy Father also emphasized the importance of research, in terms of “education and genuine scientific study.” Education, he said, is necessary not only to develop students’ intellectual abilities, but also to ensure “human formation and a professionalism of the highest degree.” Research, meanwhile, “requires unwavering attention to moral issues if it is to be an instrument which safeguards human life and the dignity of the person.”

The third aspect highlighted by Pope Francis was “ensuring access to care.” A desire for profit should never prevail over the value of human life. This, the Pope said, “is why the globalization of indifference must be countered by the globalization of empathy.” By drawing attention to and educating people about rare diseases, by increasing funds for research, and by promoting “necessary legislation as well as an economic paradigm shift,” he continued, “the centrality of the human person will be rediscovered.”

Pope Francis concluded his address with a word of encouragement for those participating in the Conference. “During this Jubilee Year, may you be capable and generous co-operators with the Father’s mercy.”

Here is the text of the whole address by the Pope.

Pics: Facebook

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ali Hewson ,Honorary Doctorate of Letters

The University of Limerick has  awarded Honorary Doctorate of Letters to Chernobyl Children Internationa, founder and voluntary CEO Adi Roche and board member and activist Ali Hewson. Both Adi and Ali are champions of human rights and were honoured for their work with the children of the stricken regions of Chernobyl, who continue to suffer as a result of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Adi and Ali believe institutional care is a human rights violation and because of this they have developed pioneering interventionist programmes for the rights of children with the eventual aim of closing down institutions across the Chernobyl affected regions. Adi and Ali have collaborated on a number of projects together including independent living facilities for young adults with disabilities, baby hospices, adoption agreements and documentaries. In 2015 Ali and Adi were awarded the Princess Grace Award for their work in the Chernobyl affected regions.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bono & Eugene Peterson | THE PSALMS

This short film documents the friendship between Bono (lead musician of the band U2) and Eugene Peterson (author of contemporary-language Bible translation The Message) revolving around their common interest in the Psalms. Based on interviews conducted by Fuller Seminary faculty member David Taylor and produced in association with Fourth Line Films, the film highlights in particular a conversation on the Psalms that took place between Bono, Peterson, and Taylor at Peterson’s Montana home.

The film is featured exclusively through FULLER studio, a site offering resources—videos, podcasts, reflections, stories—for all who seek deeply formed spiritual lives. Explore these resources, on the Psalms and a myriad of other topics, at Fuller.edu/Studio.

© Fuller Theological Seminary / Fuller Studio