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
Orissa women rally for peace
Christians and Hindus urged to demand their rights for development
- Ajay Kumar Singh, Bhubaneswar
- March 9, 2011
Nearly 75 percent women participants were Hindus and the organizers claimed this was the first meeting in four years where women from the two religions came together.
They walked four km through the streets of Phiringia, 30 km from the district headquarters of Phulbani.
The small town had witnessed violence, including burning of a police station and killing of a police officer during the 2008 anti-Christian violence.
The women carried placards and shouted slogans for equality, dignity and livelihoods.
Devendra Kanhar, who represents Phulbani in the state legislative assembly, asked the women to work for equality and dignity. He urged the gathering to treat boys and girls as equal.
Saila Behera, a woman activist, said women should approach the government with dignity and demand for their rights. She urged women to make use of their rights for development.
She also asked government officials not to exploit women but assist them to obtain government programs.
Sandhya Barik, another activist, said that women should not succumb to societal pressures and shun dowry culture prevalent among dalit (former low caste) and tribal groups.
Sister Justine Senapati, one of the organizers, said women have managed to unite the two communities. Women, she told the gathering, are symbols of unity and reconciliations and they should forget the past and work for future.