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
Muslims use Ramadan to call for peaceFilipino Muslims pray on Monday at the start of the holy month of Ramadan
- Julian Labores, Buboy Sese, D'Jay Lazaro and Betty Perdon, Manila
- August 1, 2011
The Muslim group Maradeka brought three effigies representing politicians, election fraud and corruption to noon prayers at Manila's Golden Mosque.
The group said the month of Ramadan is an opportune time for Muslims to promote peace, democracy and development in the country.
Sultan Nur Abubakar Hassan, president of the supreme council of the Royal Sultanate of Sulu Archipelago in the southern Philippines, called on Filipino Muslims to observe the holy month in peace.
"Muslims are peace-loving people, so on the day of Ramadan their bad deeds must be removed," he said.
Sakiran Hajan, a Muslim leader in the central Philippines, said the commitment of sustaining peace in the country is the theme for this year's observance of Ramadan in the Visayas region.
"We reiterate the commitment of every Muslim in the Visayas, particularly in Cebu, to always work together with law enforcement agencies and local government units to sustain the peace that we are already enjoying," he said.
He also called on all Filipino Muslims "to reaffirm their commitment to peace."
Hajan said the conflict between the Philippine military and the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province of Sulu will not affect the observance of the holy month.
Armed men believed to be members of the group ambushed and killed seven marines and wounded 27 others last week. News reports said some of the troops were beheaded.