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
Film reminder of religious persecution
Award-winning movie reveals depth of faith, interfaith leaders sayFather Jacques Duraud reveals he wept when watching the film
- Francis Kuo, Taipei
- May 5, 2011
The film, Of Gods and Men, which won the Grand Prix award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, was screened recently by the Chinese Christian Spirit Community as part of a special film program for interfaith leaders.
The French production is based on the abduction and murders of eight Trappist monks in the 1990s. The story focuses on the kinship and comradeship that existed between the Catholic monks and an impoverished Muslim community in Algeria.
Father David Yen Renji, a professor of mass communications at Fu Jen Catholic University, has watched the film three times.
In a discussion after the movie, he said the film reminded him of religious persecution in China over 50 years ago, when many missionaries and faithful were killed for their faith.
‚ÄúThe situation is the same for the 'underground' Catholic community there today,‚ÄĚ the Jesuit priest said.
Retired Reverend Michael Liu of the Anglican Church told the 200 movie-watchers the film shows that some people display their real faith only when they have to make a courageous decision at the last moment.
Tibetan Buddhist, Tulku Palme Khyentse Rinpoche III, of Huafan University said the film also reminded him of the political turmoil in mainland China around 1949 and in Tibet in 1959.
‚ÄúReligious faith could not change the reality of their situation. But it‚Äôs easier to leave everything behind after having tried your best,‚ÄĚ he said.
Father Jacques Duraud, director of the Catholic-run Tien Educational Center, revealed that he wept while he watched the film.
He said he was touched by the forgiveness shown, as well as the acceptance of different people in the film.
Taiwan Jesuits talk of the China they knew
Taiwan marks Chinese martyrs‚Äô anniversary