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
Pray for the unborn, Black Nazarene devotees told
Manila festival ’an opportunity to ask God to inspire society to embrace life’Filipinos flock to Quiapo church in Manila praying for prosperity in the New Year (File photo). Quiapo church is known for the Black Nazarene, a life-sized, dark-colored, wooden sculpture of Jesus Chr
- Sean Salvador, Manila
- January 6, 2011
This was the call made today by Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio, rector of Quiapo Church in Manila, home to the centuries-old Black Nazarene image whose feast will be celebrated by millions on Sunday.
Monsignor Ignacio said the feast is an auspicious event where the Catholic faithful can ask God to bless families and to inspire society to embrace life.
âWe are calling on people to value life and pray for the protection of the unborn,â he said.
âLet us also pray for mothers having problems with their pregnancy. Letâs help them. I pray that our nation will be a cradle of life and love,â Monsignor Ignacio added.
The feast of the Black Nazarene in the Quiapo district of Manila is considered one of the biggest and most spectacular religious events in the Philippines.
Every year millions of devotees flock to Quiapo to join the procession and kiss the image of the Nazarene and other statues as an expression of their faith.
Monsignor Ignacio said devotees this year should pray for âdivine protectionâ of human life.
He said he will hold a moment of common prayer for the protection of the unborn during the festivities.
The church in Quiapo has been the venue for several prayer rallies against the passage of a controversial reproductive health bill that seeks to promote the use of contraceptives.
The Black Nazarene, known to devotees as the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno de Quiapo (Our Father Jesus Nazarene of Quiapo), is a life-sized, dark-colored, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ, thought to be a source of miracles.
The image was brought to the Philippines from Mexico in 1606.
âDonât drink and worship,â Catholics told
Priest defends Black Nazarene devotional practice