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
Gunmen kill Dutch missionary
Wilhelm Geertman was active in helping leftist peasant groups in central Luzon
- ucanews.com reporters, Manila
- July 3, 2012
Renato Reyes, secretary general of the New Patriotic Alliance, a leftist political coalition, said Wilhelm Geertman was shot in front of his office in Sto Domingo village in Angeles City at around 1 pm local time.
Reyes said Geertman was executive director of Alay Bayan Inc, a disaster relief organization based in central Luzon.
He was a known supporter of peasant groups in central Luzon. His organization is known to provide relief and rehabilitation services to farmers, fisherfolk and indigenous people identified with leftist groups.
As news of Geertmanâ€™s death began to spread, an alliance representing fisherfolk immediately accused the government of having a hand in the killing.
"[President Benigno] Aquino and his extrajudicial killers in the [military] can deny this to high heaven, but the truth is shown in the manner he was killed and on the cause of his advocacy for genuine land reform, rural empowerment and social justice," said Fernando Hicap, chairperson of the National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organization in the Philippines.
Geertman was also active in opposing the establishment of the Aurora Pacific Special Economic Zone and Free Port project in Casiguran town.
Geertman is the second European missionary to have been killed in the last year.
In October 2011, Italian priest Fausto Tentorio was shot and killed at the Mother of Perpetual Help parish church in Arakan town, in Mindanao.
Italian priest shot dead in south
Police arrest priest murder suspects