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
Prisoners 'have rights too', says lawyer
Catholic lawyer tells prison ministry workers more must be done to help convicts
- Konradus Epa, Jakarta
- May 31, 2011
â€śServants of prison ministries should understand the rights of prisoners and the law as well, because prisonersâ€™ rights are still neglected and they still face legal problems,â€ť Frans Winarta told 50 members of the Prison Ministry Forum at a seminar on Saturday at St. Paschalis Church in Central Jakarta.
He said seeing family members, access to health care programs, and praying are just some of those rights.
â€śIf you hear about or see a violation against a prisonerâ€™s rights, you should report it to the National Human Rights Commission [Komnas HAM] or other related NGOs,â€ť he said.
Winarta also suggested that they carry out their mission as Catholics, which is to show love and compassion, even though they might encounter obstacles.
Forum chairwoman, Dr. Irene Setiadi, acknowledged that her organization was having difficulties serving Catholic prisoners in all eight prisons located in Jakarta archdiocese. Each of these prisons has about 20-50 Catholic prisoners.
One is finding a priest to lead Eucharist services in the prisons.
â€śI hope Church members, including priests, Religious and laypeople, will become more actively involved in serving prisoners,â€ť she said.
One participant, Cecilia Marwadi, said she has served prisoners for years. However, she lamented the lack of attention the Catholic Church has paid to Catholic prisoners.
The archdioceseâ€™s episcopal vicar, Jesuit Father Alexius Andang Listya Binawan, called on forum members to work together in serving prisoners.
â€śYou should communicate with each other to work more effectively,â€ť he said.
Bishop visits prisoners for Mass
Supporting prisoners spiritually for 25 years