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
Christians pray for Hindu 'godman'
Concern mounts over health of renowned spiritual leader Satya Sai Baba
- Arulanandam Elango, Puttaparthi
- April 6, 2011
Sai Baba, 84, fell ill with pneumonia on March 28 and was admitted to his own hospital, the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Puttaparthi, in Andhra Pradesh.
The spiritual leader is considered by devotees as a â€śgodmanâ€ť miracle worker who is the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi, a 19th century spiritual guru who blended Hindu and Muslim beliefs.
Doctors yesterday said the spiritual leader was in stable condition.
Thousands of devotees from all over the world flocked to Puttaparthi on hearing the news, forcing local authorities to cordon off the hospital after some followers allegedly tried to attack officials for not letting them see their leader.
Yesterday was â€śUgadi, Andhra Pradeshâ€™s New Yearâ€™s Day,â€ť but itÂ was a low key affair out of respect for Sai Baba, said Father M. Selvaraj, who heads a Jesuit mission in Krishnapuram near Puttaparthi.
Christians in the state prayed for Sai Babaâ€™s speedy recovery during Sunday Mass on April 3, the priest said.
Most of his Sunday Mass participants are Hindus and they started crying when they heard about Sai Babaâ€™s illness, Father Selvaraj said.
Bishop Moses D. Prakasam of Nellore said he has followed the news about Sai Baba and has prayed for him since he fell ill.
â€śHis service to humanity, particularly in the fields of health, education and drinking water is tremendous,â€ť the prelate said.
Thousands have benefited from the Hindu leaderâ€™s philanthropy such as free heart surgery and quality education, he said.
Father M. Devadoss, another Jesuit priest working in the area, said his mission was among the beneficiaries of the Sai Water Scheme set up by Sai Baba.
â€śI drink Sai water and it forces me to pray for his speedy recovery,â€ť Father Devadoss said.
Jesuit Father Sandanasamy, principal of a college in Hindupur, said hundreds of his students were planning to conduct special prayers for Sai Baba.