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
Pope says Asia trip is top priority
Plan revealed in conversation with journalists
Pope Francis (file picture: Wikimedia Commons)
- Alessandro Speciale, Vatican City
- Vatican City
- July 31, 2013
Pope Francis could travel to Asia in 2014, after receiving invitations from the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
The Argentine pontiff confided his plans to journalists who were flying with him back to Italy with him after his trip to Brazil.
In this widely reported encounter, he touched upon controversial subjects such as homosexuality, women priests and reforming the scandal-ridden Vatican Bank.
But he also disclosed his plans for international travel in coming months, saying a trip to the Middle East and one to East Asia are his top priorities.
“A trip to Asia must be made, because Pope Benedict didn't have time to go to Asia and it is important,” he told the reporters.
“I think it is possible to go to Asia, even if everything is still up in the air,” he added. “I have received invitations to go to Sri Lanka and to the Philippines.”
Vatican sources speaking on condition of anonymity cautioned that no decision have been taken yet. An official announcement of a papal trip is usually made by the local bishops' conference of the country where the pope is traveling.
The Philippines officially invited Pope Francis immediately after his inauguration Mass last March.
Pope Francis also said he wants to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, to commemorate the first historical meeting of Pope Paul VI with his Orthodox counterpart Athenagoras. But no final decision has been taken, he added.
The pontiff did rule out a visit to his native Argentina in the near future. “I think we'll have to wait for a while,” he said.