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
Interfaith group cleans Indian lake
Catholic priest hopes others will join to restore popular tourist spotsFather Norbert Herman, third right, with other members of his interfaith group clean Lake Swaroop Sagar
- Mariola Sequeira, Ajmer
- January 5, 2011
Father Norbert Herman of the Sarv Dharm Maitri Sangh (all-religious harmony group) said only 10 people participated on Jan. 3, but they had set an example for others.
Prakash Paliwal from â€śIN-NEWS TVâ€ť said they undertook the clean-up campaign after local authorities ignored several public appeals.
The interfaith group cleaned Swaroop Sagar built some 150 years ago.
The lake is one of several built by Udaipurâ€™s former rulers since the 17th Century to ensure a regular water supply for their people.
The lakes have become a popular tourist attraction. More than 700,000 tourists visited Udaipur last year, according to government statistics.
Paliwal said 12 government agencies are tasked with maintaining the lakes, but over the years, unregulated commercialization, increased pollution and government indifference has led to their deterioration.
Local people made several attempts since 1980 to get the lakes cleaned of water hyacinths. In 1997, a local NGO approached the Supreme Court seeking judicial intervention.
Despite all this, the lakes have remained polluted with droughts worsening their condition, Paliwal told ucanews.com.
He said his television channel, which promotes â€ścreative community welfare ventures,â€ť decided to seek the support of Father Hermanâ€™s group.
The Divine Word priest told ucanews.com on Jan. 4 that his group explores â€śevery avenue to foster interfaith dialogue.â€ť
Started 10 years ago, the group holds media training workshops in schools and conducts prison visits.
Father Herman said he is hopeful more people would join the campaign to weed out water hyacinth from the lakes.
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