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
Survey says more going hungry
President Aquino disputes results, says government project recipients not included in pollFilipino poor children share food during a Church-sponsored feeding program
- Julian Labores and Lourdes Abelardo, Manila
- April 8, 2011
The survey, conducted March 4 to 7, also revealed that 20.5 percent of families had gone hungry at least once in the past three months.
The survey also found that 51 percent, or some 10.4 million families, consider themselves poor â€“ two points up from 49 percent in the previous survey in November.
The survey added that 40 percent consider themselves to be eating food of less nutritional value, which is higher than the 36 percent notched in November.
The SWS said the overall rise in hunger resulted from increases in both moderate and severe hunger.
Moderate hunger nationwide â€“ or experiencing it only once or a few times â€“ rose to 15.7 percent from 15 percent in November.
Severe hunger â€“ experiencing it often or always â€“ increased to 4.7 percent from 3.1 percent.
Responding to the survey results, President Benigno Aquino said the findings would have been more positive if more beneficiaries of government projects were included as respondents.
He said 400,000 new beneficiaries of the governmentâ€™s conditional cash transfer program were from the Visayas Islands and Mindanao which were not included in the survey.
"It so happened that the statistical sample used didn't include the ones helped by the [program]. If it was reversed, the result would have been skewed to show that more people were experiencing less hunger," Aquino said.
Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Manila earlier said it only takes 10 pesos (US$ 0.20) per day to feed a hungry child.
Cardinal Rosales in his pastoral letter at the start of the Lenten season urged the faithful to give whatever they save from fasting to the Churchâ€™s feeding program called â€śHapag-Asaâ€ťÂ (Table of Hope).
Hapag-Asa is an initiative to combat hunger and malnutrition among children in the countryâ€™s poor urban and rural communities
It is a response to a Church call to defeat and eradicate hunger and malnutrition.