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
Faith among youths needs reviving
Southeast Asia family symposium rues lack of Christian valuesParticipants at the family symposium
- ucanews.com reporter, Ho Chi Minh City
- May 25, 2011
Some 40 priests, Religious and laypeople who are in charge of family ministry were attending the fifth Southeast Asia Family Symposium held May 20-22 at the Pastoral Center in Ho Chi Minh City.
The participants came from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The symposium entitled Journeying with Young Adults in the Christian Faith was hosted by the Vietnam Bishopsâ€™ Conferenceâ€™s Episcopal Commission for Family.
Father Louis Nguyen Anh Tuan, secretary-general of the Episcopal Commission for Family, said participants shared their practical experiences of working with families in their own countries and discussed ways of helping young adults strengthen their faith more effectively.
Participants â€śwere deeply concerned about young people who move to cities for their studies or work,â€ť said Father Tuan.
Participants believed that loneliness, poor spiritual life, lack of life skills and consumerism are driving young people away from Christian values. Â Many cited youths engaging in premarital sex, drug abuse and seeking abortions as examples.
They suggested the Church should conduct open dialogues with young people to guide them with the light of the Gospels without imposing ideas and opinions.
They said parents should spend more time talking and listening to children in order to understand their desires, thoughts, emotions and aspirations, and teach them how to face and solve problems using Christian values. Parents should also give faith education to children from early childhood â€“ telling them about Jesus before bedtime.
In addition, parents should be patient and more tolerant towards their children when they have problems and difficulties. â€śParents should be part of the solution to childrenâ€™s problems and not part of the problem itself,â€ť they said in a statement.