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
Indigenous groups honor martyrs
Rituals commemorate people who died for freedom
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- October 31, 2012
Members of tribal alliance, Kamp, and the tribal party Katribu gathered in Quezon City for the â€śPinag-aapoy,â€ť a ritual involving the burning of pinewood. Â The ritual is a tradition practiced by indigenous people in Luzonâ€™s mountain province to honor the dead.
"As the whole nation devotes time to remember their departed loved ones, indigenous peoples should also do the same, but in doing so we should also take time to honor our martyrs," said Katribu spokesperson Kakai Tolentino.
Filipinos today start the observance of All Saints' and All Souls' Day on November 1 and 2 by going to cemeteries to remember their dead loved ones.
Tolentino said tribal groups also honor their dead, especially those who "wholeheartedly dedicated and devoted their lives to the struggle for self-determination and genuine recognition of our right to land and life."
Among the "martyrs" remembered in todayâ€™s rituals were Catholic missionaries Fausto "Pops" Tentorio, an Italian, and WillemÂ Geerthman, a Dutch national murdered during the past 13 months for advocating tribal peoplesâ€™ rights.
Another was Nicanor Delo Santos, who was allegedly killed for opposing the building of a dam during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.
"We should honor our martyrs for they offered the most precious thing a man or woman can offer to the struggleÂ -- their lives. We should honor them by emulating their life and sacrifices," Tolentino said.
All the "martyrs" were victims of extrajudicial killings, Tolentino claimed, adding that these crimes still continue unabated.
She said her office has documented 27 cases of extrajudicial killings in the past two years.