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
Japanese and N. Korean children give peace a chance
Joint art project takes young Japanese to Pyongyang
Picture: Japan Times
- Natsume Watanabe for Japan Times
- October 11, 2013
Despite the troubled relations between their countries, children in Japan and North Korea are joining hands again to promote peace using drawings.
Relief Campaign Committee for Children, Japan, a Tokyo-based nongovernmental organization, has been organizing exhibitions since 2001 featuring pictures drawn by children from Japan, North Korea and South Korea.
The 13th such event is slated to start in November.
“Repeated exchanges have led people in North Korea to speak to us about peace, a subject which they had avoided talking about,” said Shinji Yoneda, a representative of the exhibition’s organizing committee and director of the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan, which supports the event.
At the end of August, 11-year-old An Inoue, a fifth-grader from Chuo Ward, Tokyo, visited Rungra Elementary School in central Pyongyang along with several students from pro-North Korean schools in Japan and members of the organization.
For the upcoming art exhibition, Inoue and a 10-year-old girl in the fourth grade at the Pyongyang school together drew a picture of a girl making a heart shape with her hands.
“Although we didn’t understand each other’s language, she helped me a lot and we were able to enjoy painting,” Inoue said.
Inoue and the girl smiled at each other and expressed a willingness to meet again.
During the visit, local students also made speeches about what they thought of a picture book about peace written by a Japanese author.
“I believe peace is something that enables all of us to have enough food and I want to join the Korean People’s Army to maintain peace,” said a 9-year-old boy in the third grade.
Yoneda stressed the importance of such exchanges.
“I want people to know that there are children who simply wish to become friends,” he said.
Full Story: Kids take artful approach to peace-building
Source: Japan Times