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
Hundreds pay tribute to cardinal
Church celebrates contribution and bold decisions of 'a great man of prayer and faith'Political and Church leaders attend a memorial service for Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil
- Jessy Joseph, New Delhi
- April 18, 2011
The concelebrated Mass by bishops and priests from Latin and Syro-Malankara Catholic rites was presided over by Auxiliary Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Delhi.
Retried Bishop Gratian Mundadan of Bijnor in his homily praised the cardinalâ€™s contribution to the Syro-Malabar Church and society.
Cardinal Vithayathil greatest concern was to provide pastoral care to the Oriental Catholics, he said.
The cardinal was known for his bold decisions and pressed the Vatican to implement the teachings of Second Vatican Council on rites.
During the multi-lingual Mass, celebrated in English, Hindi and Malayalam, Bishop Mundadan told the gathering of more that 500 people that the late cardinal was a friend to people of all faiths.
Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi conducted the prayer for the dead.
Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas, apostolic visitator to Syro-Malankara Church said Cardinal Vithayathil worked for religious amity.
The Apostolic Nuncio to India, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, said he was impressed by the cardinalâ€™s warm demeanor and simplicity as a great man of prayer and faith.
Mabel Rebello, Member of Parliament, said the cardinalâ€™s death was a â€śbig lossâ€ť for the Indian church.
Oscar Fernandes, a Catholic national leader, said the Church had lost a good leader. â€śHe had great acceptance in the church and civil societyâ€ť.
â€śHe is not dead his spirit is with us and we have a strong mediator in heavenâ€ť, said Father Thomas dâ€™ Aquino Sequeria, deputy secretary of Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Conference of India (CBCI).
The memorial service for the 84-year-old cardinal, who died on April 1 following a heart attack, was organized by the CBCI, Delhi archdiocese and Delhi Syro-Malabar church.