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
Religions rush to aid Japan
Aid efforts get under way to help stricken neighbour
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- March 14, 2011
In Seoul archdiocese, Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk of Seoul said in a message on March 12 that "the rescue work for survivors should be done as soon as possible," praying for quick recovery of survivors.
Cardinal Cheong also promised his archdiocese would send emergency aid of US$50,000 to Japanese victims.
His message was conveyed to Archbishop Ikenaga Jun of Osaka, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, and Archbishop Okada Takeo of Tokyo.
The death toll in Japan's earthquake and tsunami last Friday will likely run into tens of thousands, as millions of survivors were left without drinking water, electricity and proper food along the northeastern coast of Japan.
Also, the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism announced today it would send some US$89,000 and dispatch 500 volunteers.
Reverend Kim Young-ju, secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea, issued his message on March 11, saying he was sure that Japanese people would overcome this tremendous disaster as they have got over earthquakes wisely.
The (Protestant) Christian Council of Korea asked today its faithfuls to make donation for Japanese people, praying for the area affected to be restored quickly.
Also, the Salvation Army Korea Territory announced today it would start to collect money for them for a month.
The Seoul government has already sent a 102-member emergency service team to the worst damaged northeastern coastal area of Japan.
Asians gripped by tsunami scare