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
John Paul II and John XXIII to be canonized next year
Pope Francis has set the date for Divine Mercy Sunday on April 27
- Joshua J. McElwee, Vatican City
- Vatican City
- October 1, 2013
Pope Francis on Monday set the date for the canonizations of his predecessors Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, saying they will be made saints together on April 27.
The date for sainthood of the two popes, widely speculated on in past weeks, means they will be officially added to the communion of saints next year on Divine Mercy Sunday, a Catholic solemnity actively promoted by John Paul II.
Pope Francis made the decision of the date Monday after a planned meeting with a consistory, or regular meeting, of cardinals present in Rome. It was announced by the Vatican press office in a daily bulletin.
The normal process to be declared a saint in the Catholic Church is lengthy and usually requires the Vatican to determine that the sainted person has been responsible for two miracles since his or her death.
While Francis approved determination of a second miracle for John Paul II in July, he moved forward with John XXIII's canonization without such a declaration.
Pope John Paul II was elected pope in October 1978 as the first non-Italian since the 16th century. He served until his death in 2005. Pope John XXIII was elected in October 1958 and served until his death in 1963.
John XXIII is perhaps most noted for convening the Second Vatican Council, a 1962-65 meeting of the world's bishops in Rome. That council led to a number of church reforms, from the celebration of Mass in the local language instead of Latin to the reorientation of the definition of the church as "the People of God."
John Paul II was the second-longest-serving pope in history and was noted for his series of trips around the world, his role in ending communism and for positions of strict doctrinal adherence to official church teachings on such issues as artificial contraception and the possibility of women's ordination.
In particular under John Paul II's reign, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued warnings against many Catholic theologians. Coming under special focus for critique were theologians who taught or researched liberation theology, a strain of theology popular in Latin America that stressed liberation from positions of poverty and oppression.
Source: National Catholic Reporter