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
Priest nixes church yoga class as 'not compatible' with faith
A yoga teacher found herself out of luck when her scheduled class at St. Edmund's Church in Southampton was canceled
- Vince Soodin, London
- September 27, 2012
Instructor Cori Withell said the classes she booked for yoga and pilates at St Edmundâ€™s Church building in Southampton were cancelled with 10 days to go.
She was told by the church's booking secretary that it was because yoga is a Hindu religious activity.
Father John Chandler from the church said that the hall has to be used for Catholic activities and he banned it because it was advertised as â€śspiritual yogaâ€ť.
The ban is not Catholic Church policy and decisions are left to the discretion of individual priests. Some Catholic retreats use yoga for relaxation.
Ms Withell, 37, from nearby Eastleigh, said the church accepted the booking two months ago and she paid ÂŁ180.
She was called later and told that yoga was from another religion so she could not have the hall. A separate pilates class she had booked was also cancelled.
She said: â€śI had never heard about any religious issue with yoga before but I have looked into it since and found that some other religions feel that when people meditate it could let the devil inside them.
â€śBut there was never any meditation in my class - it was just exercises. Yoga is not religious: spiritual, but not religious.
â€śI do not object to anyone having a religious viewpoint, but it seemed terribly petty to cancel the classes.
â€śAs a nation we have an obesity epidemic. I was trying to bring some exercise to the community and coming across blocks like this is frustrating.
â€śI offered to go down and show them the moves and, literally, the shutters came down.â€ť
Fr Chandler said the church was â€śmisledâ€ť by Ms Withellâ€™s booking because he claimed that, at first, the hall was booked for pilates and then he found out it was also for spiritual yoga.
â€śYoga is a Hindu spiritual exercise. Being a Catholic church we have to promote the gospel and thatâ€™s what we use our premises for.
â€śWe did say that yoga could not take place. Itâ€™s the fact that itâ€™s a different religious practice going on in a Catholic church,â€ť he explained.
Full story: Catholic church sparks religious row by banning 'Hindu' Yoga classes
Source: The Sun