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
Day of the Dead leaves a terrible mess
Tons of litter dumped by cemetery goersPiles of garbage fill the cemeteries after All Saints' Day
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- November 2, 2012
The annual two-day tradition of visiting the graves of loved ones -- "Undas" as it is locally known -- Â has become a major family affair in the Philippines.
But while tombs are cleaned and repainted, candles are lit and flowers are offered before and during the big day, tons of garbage are also left behind at the end by many of the cemetery visitors, who turn November 1 into an overnight party.
Clean-up volunteers reported seeing large amounts of litter dropped, especially around food stalls, overflowing bins and garbage dumped in vacant lots and in broken or untended tombs.
"We grieve over the massive littering on November 1 that sullies the cemeteries and adjoining streets," said Edwin Alejo, coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition watchdog.
He pointed out that not a single person was apprehended and penalized for "this most basic environmental offense," which is prohibited by law.
"Litterbugs were allowed to trash their surroundings to the max without any risk of being chastised, creating ugly mini-dumpsites in cemeteries," he said.
Bishop Deogracias IÃ±iguez of the public affairs committee of the bishopsâ€™ conference earlier reminded the faithful to be aware of the environment.
"Our wasteful consumption and the tons of garbage we create defy the covenant between human beings and God the Creator. This has to change if we are to get through the environmental and health woes facing our people,"Â he said.
"We can help downsize the waste volume during Undas by being more careful with what we consume and throw away."
With more people heading for cemeteries today, EcoWaste Coalition echoed Bishop IÃ±iguezâ€™s plea for an "ecological Undas."
"It is disrespectful to litter anywhere, especially in the final resting place of our departed loved ones," said Christina Vergara, the group's zero-waste campaigner.Â "Cemeteries are consecrated sites, not dumpsites."
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