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 stands by to help in border clash
Thousands caught in fallout from deadly fighting over disputed territoryBishop Banchong Chaiyara with some displaced people in Si Saket province (Photo courtesy of COERR)
- Panithan Kitsakul, Sam Phran
- February 14, 2011
â€śWe have a policy that all Catholic organizations are ready to provide support to affected people immediatelyâ€ť as there was no way to know when fighting might resume, said Bishop Banchong Chaiyara of Ubon Ratchathani.
Local media report that after 3,000 affected people returned home, they could still hear firing so some of them turned back or stayed at a nearby temple.
Father Anucha Chaopraeknoi, chaplain of the volunteer group of the Catholic Commission for Emergency Relief and Refugees (COERR), said â€śCOERR is coordinating with Ubon Ratchathani diocese and churches in the area. If the situation worsens again, womenâ€™s groups in the churches nearby will immediately help them with cooking, while COERR will provide funds.â€ť
Suwan Laothathit of the volunteer group said they visited Ban Tha Sawang school, some 10km on the Thai side of the border and cooked for the displaced families, who he said have to live in tents in very hot conditions.
Boonnithi Namboon from Ubon Ratchathani diocese said they distributed basic supplies and blankets to 3,000 affected persons at the school
On February 12 the Thai government announced that the situation had improved so all villagers were to return home, but many are still frightened and concerned about their security, said Suwan. Fighting had ceased but the problem was not yet solved, he added, and villagers remain ready to flee again at a momentâ€™s notice.
Villagers flee border clashes
Cambodians displaced by border clash get help