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 prayers for quake victims
Tourist tells of ' frustrated, helpless' experience in Tokyo as crisis struckLeung Sau-wai (far right) shares her familyâ€™s quake experience in Japan at the prayer gathering
- ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- March 22, 2011
Leung Sau-wai was sharing with more than 120 worshippers her first ever quake experience during a prayer gathering for victims ofÂ the earthquake.
The Order of Friars Minor in Hong Kong organized the gathering at St. Bonaventureâ€™s Church yesterday, which comprised adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, psalm-readings, hymn-singing and testimonies from other quake survivors.
Leung was visiting Tokyo Disneyland with her family when the huge quake struck on March 11.
â€śI felt so frustrated and helpless when we could not make a phone call or find any transport to leave the park,â€ť recalled Leung, who doesnâ€™t speak Japanese.
With help from staff and other tourists, she and her husband foundÂ shelterÂ that cold night where theyÂ were able toÂ feed their two-year-old son.
â€śI kept praying to God for strength, health and safety,â€ť she said, adding that when they finally reached the airport five days later, â€śit had seemed like a spiritual journey to find light amid the darkness.â€ť
In his sermon, Franciscan Father Stephen Chan Moon-hung said God has not removed suffering from humankind, but through this catastrophe, God has awakened many merciful hearts.
Japan is Hong Kongâ€™s third biggest trading partner, shares a similar pop culture, and is a favored destination for tourism and study for many Hong Kong residents. Thus, news of the quake, the nuclear crisis and the effect on regional economies has aroused great concern in Hong Kong.
Except for this Friday, which is the Annunciation of the Lord, there are prayer rallies and Masses every weekday evening at different parishes in response to Bishop John Tong Honâ€™s appeal to pray for the victims and survivors of the quake and tsunami.
A Mass at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on March 26 will conclude a special week of prayer.
Catholics also made a special offertory during Sunday Masses on March 20. They are also donating money via Caritas-Hong Kong.
Caritas plans Sendai relief response
Asia steps up response to quake crisis
Pope calls for prayers for Japan