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
Church rues 'needless deaths' on border
Bishops call for a negotiated settlement to temple dispute with ThailandCambodian villagers displaced by border fighting (Photo courtesy of Caritas Cambodia)
- Phat Samphy, Phnom Penh
- February 16, 2011
The fighting has also caused â€śserious injuries, the destruction of sacred places and irreparable damage to a world heritage site,â€ť a February 14 statement said.
â€śThe Catholic Church of Cambodia calls on all communities, national and international organizations to urgently cooperate at all levels to help stop conflict around the Preah Vihear Temple,â€ť said the statement signed by Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler, apostolic vicar of Phnom Penh.
â€śWe pray to almighty God that the Good Lord will bless the two sides with peace and guide the leaders of both countries to resolve this conflict by peaceful means and to avoid further shedding of blood,â€ť it continued.
Long Sophal, a Church worker with the Jesuit Service in Cambodia, said he hopes Thailand and Cambodia heed Bishop Schmitthaeuslerâ€™s words.
â€śWe are always against war because everyone suffers, so we must support a call for peaceful solutions,â€ť he said.
Other organizations also voiced their support for the Churchâ€™s appeal.
Duong Savong, director of the Catholic Catechesis Center, said the statement, â€śMade us reflect that the fighting not only brought suffering to Cambodians, but to all from both sides.â€ť
The February 4-7 border clashes reportedly killed at least eight people - three in Thailand and five in Cambodia - and injured many more, as well as displacing thousands.
Cambodians flee Thai border fighting
Church on standby to help in border clash