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
A friend for students put to the test
Exam time is a busy one for popular priest's free advisory serviceFather Benny Mundanatt fielding a phone call
- George Kommattathil, Kozhikode
- April 14, 2011
As exam fear and tension runs high among children, they have a friend in need to look up to.
Father Benny, a priest from the diocese of Thamarassery, began Emmanuel Helpline in 2007.
The priestâs telephone counseling service in the southern Indian state of Kerala has helped some 7,000 students get rid of exam fear and gain confidence.
Father Mundanatt started the helpline with four others, including two nuns.
âI could not have written the exam well if I had not called up Father Mundanatt,â said Abi Kuthukallel, a class ten student from Kozhikode.
Kuthukallel said he gained confidence after the priest counseled him and prayed for him.
Sherin Jospeh Ettiyil, a computer student, said she used to call Bennyachan (Father Benny) whenever she had a problem, academic or personal, as his prayers and advise were really helpful.
Father Mundanatt, a former catechism director of the diocese, said the idea for the helpline emerged following a retreat organized for the students of the diocese.
âI realized that the children needed support to cope with the academic pressure,â the priest said.
âWe have given our phone numbers to children and they are free to call us whenever they are in need,â he said.
Father Mundanatt said Emmanuel Helpline is a âspiritual reality as we do not have any official space.â
âWe answer childrenâs calls round the clock no matter where we are,â he added.
âChildren call at any time and demand answers on the spot. We canât ask them to call after sometime. It is a round the clock mission,â Father Mundanatt said.
Shaji Kandathil, a member of the team, said, âOver the past four years, I understood that children need special help to cope with pressures during exam time. A little help will go a long way in preventing them take a wrong path.â