Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Barred prelate looks at mainland
Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi's Matsu visit allows him to see his homelandCardinal Paul Shan (third right) and other speakers at the peace forum
- Francis Kuo, Matsu
- August 31, 2011
Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi went to the Matsu Islands last week, a former military zone a few nautical miles off the coast of China‚Äôs Fujian province but more than 100 nautical miles from Taiwan itself, to speak about peace and love.
Matsu is the closest the 89-year-old cardinal could get to the mainland after Beijing denied him the chance of visiting his birthplace by refusing him a travel permit in June.
During his Matsu visit, Cardinal Shan, retired bishop of Kaohsiung, gave a speech on life to about 400 residents, military officers stationed there and other guests.
He also joined a dialogue with Buddhist Master Hsing Yun and Chen Chang-ven, president of the Red Cross Society of Taiwan, on ‚ÄúCharity and Peace‚ÄĚ which preceded the opening of an international peace forum on August 25 hosted by the Lienchiang county government.
‚ÄúCharity seems to have nothing to do with peace but it is a foundation for it. It is a medicine to eliminate destructing factors to peace, such as selfishness, arrogance and greediness,‚ÄĚ Cardinal Shan said during the dialogue.
Lienchiang county has two administrations: the mainland part (Lianjiang), controlled by the People‚Äôs Republic of China, and Matsu, the offshore part controlled by Taiwan.
Matsu became an important frontline military base in 1949 when the Nationalist government retreated to Taiwan from mainland China. ¬†Military control was lifted in 1992 but the scars of war that still remain there remind the Taiwan people why peace should be maintained.
In 2001, as cross-straits relations began to improve, Matsu was chosen as the first location for a direct sea transportation link to mainland China.
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