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
Hong Kong government relaxes migration policy
Parents of right-of-abode seekers thank Catholic ChurchLam To-shing and about 50 parents on their regular protest on Jan. 19
- ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- January 21, 2011
Starting from April 1, â€śadult mainland-born childrenâ€ť can apply for a single-entry permit, a document that allows them to stay in Hong Kong for a family reunion.
This classification refers to mainlanders who were under 14 years of age when they applied for right of abode and whose father or mother become a Hong Kong resident before November 1, 2001, but whose cases were disqualified as they passed 14 during the period of application which took years.
The government claims that the new policy will benefit 85 percent of families seeking right of abode.
Lam To-shing, 65, chairperson of the Association for Parents Fighting for Right of Abode, has been separated from his son and daughter for more than 30 years.
He migrated to Hong Kong in 1978, the same year his daughter was born. â€śI feel guilty for not being able to give them a complete family as I could only return to my home town occasionally,â€ť he said.
Lam and other parents have protested at the government headquarters at least three times a month since 1999.
â€śThe faulty policy has created discrimination against us and our children. Local people think we are taking their rice bowls or we are parasites living on social security.â€ť
â€śOnly the Church has supported us all along,â€ť he said, admitting that he felt strange at first. â€śHow come the Catholics help us as we do not know each other?â€ť
Father Franco Mella of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions would accompany their protests whenever he is in Hong Kong. Lam also praised former Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun as â€śthe best. He speaks out not only for us but for whatever injustices.â€ť
This week Lam led about 50 parents, mostly elderly, and supporters in their regular protest despite the good news.
Yu Xiaoqing was eight years old when she applied for her right-of-abode but her case was closed when she reached 14. The new policy has benefited her but Yu, now 38, explained to ucanews.com she will continue joining the non-violent protest to fight for all other children who are born to Hong Kong residents.
The fight of the abode-seekers began after Hong Kongâ€™s handover in 1997.
The Court of Final Appeal in 1999 supported the claims of the abode-seekers but the local government has asked the National Peopleâ€™s Congress, Chinaâ€™s parliament, to reinterpret the Hong Kong Basic Law and subsequently overturned the courtâ€™s rule the same year.
The Catholic Church repeatedly appealed to the government to allow the abode seekers to stay on humanitarian grounds.
Veteran missioner sings out for social justice
CATHOLICS TO SUPPORT ABODE-SEEKERSÂ´ CLAIMS DESPITE COURT RULING
AFTER HUNGER STRIKE, PRIEST CONTINUES SOLIDARITY WITH OVERSTAYING MAINLANDERS