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
Beware bogus priests, bishop says
False priests seek donations on All Souls' and All Saints' DayFilipinos spend a night or two in cemeteries to mark All Souls' Day
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- October 30, 2012
"Donâ€™t be deceived by people who offer to bless graves, pretending that they are priestsâ€¦ unless of course you know them," Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran wrote in an article posted on the bishops' conference website.
Bogus priests roam cemeteries during these days asking for donations in exchange for their blessings,Â he wrote.
He suggested people ask priests for their celebret, a letter from a bishop or religious superior confirming that the bearer is a priest, before asking for blessings.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen earlier reminded the clergy against "commercializing" theÂ sacraments during the observance of All Souls' Day and All Saints' Day, known as Undas in the Philippines.
"It is prohibited to collect any donations for individual blessing of graves. It is prohibited to conduct â€˜special blessing of gravesâ€™ for friends of priests and benefactors of the Church over the October 31 to November 2 period," the archbishop Â said.
The observance of Undas, from the Spanish andas, or Day of the Dead, has become a major family affair in the Philippines, a tradition introduced by early Spanish friars.
On November 1 and 2, which are public holidays, tombs are cleaned or repainted, candles are lit and flowers are offered.
Filipino families camp in cemeteries and spend a night or two near their relatives' tombs, playing card games, eating, drinking, singing and dancing.