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
Food fiesta brings faiths together
Local and exotic dishes on display at Mangalore festivalLeaders of different religions opening the food festival
- Francis Rodrigues, Mangalore
- May 2, 2011
Easter Octave is a time for Christians to extend their feasting. âOn this occasion, the celebration of peace and harmony through food and culture is timely,â said Catholic Bishop Aloysius Paul DâSouza of Mangalore while inaugurating the festival.
âProtestant Christians of Mangalore were the first ones to print a newspaper in the local Kannada language in Karnataka. Protestant missionary Reverend Kittel was the first to compile a dictionary, and now they are the first to organize such a food festival,â said Manohar Prasad, a Hindu journalist.
Ever since the pro-Hindu Bharathiya Janata Party (Indian Peoplesâ Party) started ruling Karnataka in 2008, violence against Christians has been rife in the state.
âFood and culture are intertwined with the life of the people of every religion. Seeing, knowing, experiencing and accepting the food and cultural tastes of each other would bring us closer to each other and can surely become a tool for promoting peace and harmony,â said pastor Sandeep Theophil.
He is public relations officer of Karnataka Christian Educational Society (KACES), an association of 25 educational institutions run by the protestant Church of South India (CSI), which organized the festival.
âThere were more than 70 continental and local delicacies on offer. We avoided items connected with pork and beef lest it should hurt the religious sentiments of people.â
While Muslims abhor pork, Hindus donât eat beef as they consider the cow as sacred.
The counters displayed an array of rare home-made non alcoholic wines, syrups, juices, sweets and snacks. A number of local Hindu and Muslim delicacies were part of the festival.
Items prepared in the local Tulunadu style were savored by many. Visitors were delighted to witness a splendid display of various local items like biriyani (spiced fried rice with meat), pelakayi gatti (jackfruit snack), gendadadde, (a steamed rice preparation), aapa (pancake), payasa (sweet dish) and roti (bread) under one roof.
Twelve Hindu, Muslim and Christian organisations presented a cultural extravaganza.
âUnity in diversity is life. Divisions and misunderstanding of each other is death,â said Abdul Ravoof Puthige, a Muslim leader.
The event was also used to launch a Meals on Wheels service to supply hygienic food to sick and elderly people of the city and suburbs at concessional rates through Shalom Social Trust.
âThe festival restated the value attached to coastal cuisine and culture and succeeded in communicating the message of peace, true to the object behind organizing this unique event,â said Reverend Honey Cabral, KACES secretary.
The Delhi-based Interfaith Coalition for Peace was the co-organizer of the event.
Mangalore Churches vow to stand united