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
Catholic congress targets human trafficking in Asia
Urgent collaboration needed to combat 'modern-day slavery'
- Karen Goh, Singapore
- April 22, 2013
The leaders of 24 religious congregations in Southeast Asia have announced a more focused effort to combat human trafficking across the region, following a meeting in Singapore that ended last week.
The 15th Southeast Asia Major Superiors Congress (SEAMS), which included 33 delegates from nine Asian countries, meets every three years to encourage greater collaboration among Religious in the region on social issues.
“Through the Congress, participants emerged with a strong conviction that we cannot continue to address human trafficking in our present piecemeal way. There is an urgent need for greater networking and collaboration,” the SEAMS congress said in a press statement issued on Monday.
“The decision to focus on human trafficking in this year’s Congress was unanimous as it has become a growing concern of the Church’s social mission,” said Fr Colin Tan SJ, regional superior of the Jesuit region of Malaysia-Singapore, who also served as chairman for this year’s Congress.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world, according to regional and international rights organizations, affecting an estimated 27 million men, women and children.
In its second global estimate of forced labor released in June last year, the International Labour Organization said there are 20.9 million victims of modern-day slavery at any given time, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for the largest number at about 11.7 million.