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
Center uses arts to build cultural bridges
Promoting unity among Tamils and SinhaleseA Kandian Sinhala dance performed by a CPArts member during a recent festival to mark the 46th anniversary
- ucanews.com reporter, Vavuniya
- Sri Lanka
- December 22, 2011
The Center for Performing Arts (CPArts) has organized arts festivals aimed at helping the two communities to better understand each otherâs cultural and religious backgrounds and to lay the foundation for better cooperation and unity in the future.
Father Nicholapillai Maria Saveri said the programs inculcate human and humane values to identify and foster literary and aesthetic talents for the promotion of peace and the building of cultural bridges.
âWe develop understanding and interconnect individuals separated by language, religion, ethnicity, cultural attitudes and habits through the use of art,â he said.
He said the programs, which are designed for adults and youths, include dancing, drama and folk music performances to help Sinhalese and Tamils to appreciate each otherâs cultures and to build cross-cultural friendships.
âIt helps to heal the division between Tamils and Sinhalese. They can express their feelings, how they have lost everything during the war, [and] they are given an opportunity to help each other overcome post-war challenges.â
CPArts operates 20 arts centers, which also offer language training.
Parameswary Arunacellam, a Tamil member of the Trincomalee Center, said that participants can also learn a trade that will help them earn a living.
âCPArts has organized handicraft and embroidery workshops for women. At present, they earn money through self-employment,â she said.
Buddhist monk Meewellawe Dhamakithi Thero, a Sinhala, has funded a scholarship for a Tamil girl to enter school.
âI send money to a 10-year-old Hindu Tamil girl âŚ for her studies every month,â said the monk, who heads the Sri Sarananandha Buddhist Center in Anuradhapura.
âThrough arts we can create unity among communities.â
The monk also said that most CPArts members work on a volunteer basis.
CPArts was founded by Fr Saveri in 1965 as a theatre group in Jaffna under the name Thirumarai Kalamanrame.
The organization also has centers in Switzerland, Norway, India, Canada, England, Germany and Australia.
Church center stages Passion Play in war-torn Jaffna