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 says no to revised school subject
When civic turns to national, educators cry foulA kindergarten teacher explains the meaning of Chinese national flag to students
- ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- September 21, 2011
The diocesan Catholic Education Office, which is Hong Kongâs largest school authority, has been especially critical, describing MNE as âgoing backwardsâ and expressing concerns over what it calls the âhard-sellingâ of patriotism.
The plan is currently being scrutinized after a four-month public consultation. In a written statement to the assessors, in which it openly disagreed with the proposal, âenhancing national quality is an important requirement of studentsâ holistic development. But this so-called national quality seems to involve a blind and absolute support for the country.â
âPatriotism is only one of the values. The Catholic Church regards respect for human dignity, pursuit for meaning in life, holiness and transcendence as values that are more fundamental,â it continued.
The new subject would replace the existing Moral and Civic Education module, which has been in use since 2001. Many schools currently integrate moral and civic education topics into their regular subjects and activities.
But if the new proposal is passed, MNE will be taught as a separate subject once or twice a week, starting next year. It would aim to develop studentsâ positive values and attitudes to personal, family, social and national life.
The Education Officeâs Francis Chan Nai-kwok expressed a further worry that Catholic schools might have to reduce Religious Education classes to make room for MNE, as school timetables are usually very tight.
One Catholic primary school teacher added the opinion that âlocal schools are already teaching students to love our country. I think nurturing them with critical thinking on Chinaâs current affairs is more important.â
As the largest school-sponsoring body in Hong Kong, the Catholic Church runs run 111 primary and 87 secondary schools, with 154,000 students, out of 572 primary and 533 secondary schools in the territory.
Caritas college gets down to business
Rights education faces challenges
Catholic schools agree to reduce classes