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
Quake damaged parish pleads for food
Survivors of 6.8 quake now face cold, rain and hunger as church rescue efforts continue
- ucanews.com reporter, Yangon
- March 30, 2011
The parish priest of Mong Lin, Fr. Anthony Paul, said today "not only our people living in the Church compound but those who have lost their houses are sleeping in makeshift tents without roofs as the roof thatches are very hard to get."
It is unusually cold and rains every day like the rainy season, he said. "I do really worry for the health of the victims as they have to sleep in unsafe tents.â€ť
â€śWhat we really need at the moment are food and shelter,â€ť said Sr. Natalina Misa from the Sisters of Charity congregation and superior of St. Bartholemeaâ€™s Convent in Mong Ling parish.
Sr. Misa said all the shops were destroyed by the quake and they couldnâ€™t buy food. Makeshift tents are not wind or rain-proof, so victims risk health problems in the near future.
Susana Khin Mar Oo, a housewife in Mong Lin parish, said: â€śThe most needed (thing) for us is food, shelter and our church as our Church was damaged by the earthquake.â€ť
She said she had received some food, kitchen wares, blankets and medications from some aid groups and private local donors.
Most of the villagers - both victims and non-victims - are afraid to enter buildings in case of another quake, said Khin Mar.
Cleaning up the damaged church is also a big challenge for the parishioners and the parish priest.
â€śAbout 25 volunteers came on the first day, and then 50, and today about 100 volunteers came for help to clean up the compound. It may take more days as we can use only manual labour and were unable to use machines,â€ť Fr. Paul said yesterday.
On March 27, the parishioners had to attend the Sunday mass in the Sisters of Charity nunsâ€™ chapel.
Fr. Paul said the Holy Trinity Church, boarding house, the old clergy house, dining structure for the boarding students, Church bells and the compound wall bricks were badly damaged during the earthquake.
Two boys living in the compound were found dead under the collapsed building.
Fr. Paul said that although those living on the main road and good communication areas usually get help from aid groups, very few came to us for help. Only our friends and relatives who really know our situation came for help as we are far away from the main areas.
Sr. Misa said tearfully that she had asked her nephew from Yangon to come and help. "He stayed with us not even one year and now Iâ€™m very sad to see his dead body under the rubble."
Angela from Kengung Karuna Social Service said she is now helping a seriously injured victim in Kyaingtong hospital. She went with the victim to ensure better treatment.