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
Nepalese put hope in growing tourism
Christian heads drive to attract visitors to ease economic woesNepalâs Miss Tourism Queen Samriddhi Rai at her parish grotto in Godavari
- Chirendra Satyal, Kathmandu
- January 21, 2011
A 17th round of voting recently failed to elect a new prime minister and frequent strikes and power cuts continue to plague the country. But despite this Nepal aims to attract 1 million tourists during âNepal Tourism Year 2011.â
Thatâs certainly the hope of Nepalâs Miss Tourism Queen, Samriddhi Rai, a parishioner from Godavari parish in Kathmandu.
âFor many tourists, visiting Nepal is also a pilgrimage either to Lumbini [Buddhaâs birthplace] or to Pasupatinath (the holiest temple of Hindu god Shiva, or to the mysterious Himalayas,â she told ucanews.com.
âYoung people here are really frustrated with the government. They think the Nepal Tourism Board which launched this yearâs drive should do more to bring in tourists rather than make statements or put up a few billboards,â the 23 year old Catholic journalism graduate said.
âA greater effort has to be made to improve infrastructure like our only international airport or banning crippling strikes. Individuals and the private sector can play a great role -- even churches.
âI am scheduled to represent Nepal at the Miss Tourism Queen International beauty pageant in Guangzhou in March. But I have to pay for my own airfare,â she lamented
âTo address our frustrations some of us have started a video blog on YouTube to promote Nepal,â said Rai, who is also a member the womenâs national basketball team.
Nepalâs Apostolic Vicariate, Bishop Anthony Sharma is also hoping for an upturn in tourism this year.
âWeâre praying for a consensus among political parties so the aim of attracting at least 1 million âguestsâ to Nepal can be realized, he said
âI also feel hopeful we will see progress in our Church too,â he added.
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