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
US sponsors enliven students' dreams
Folk living in US send money to support students 'back home'A Bangladeshi child runs through a paddy field (Catholic Relief Services www.crs.org)
- ucanews.com reporter, Khulna, Bangladesh
- March 2, 2011
The education sponsorship program, funded by Bangladeshi Catholic families in the US, has been running for three years and has provided 50 Catholic students from various parishes in the southern diocese with the funds they need to continue their education and keep their dreams alive.
Each family sponsors one student by donating US$15 on a monthly basis.
The families of the students say the program has been a godsend.
âIâm so grateful. My father died a few years back and it was quite impossible for my mother to provide for my education and my two sisters,â said Shormi Carmel Biswas, 20, a first year accounting student at Michael Modhusudon College in Jessoret.
âWithout this help my education would have stopped and my career aspirations would have died,â she said.
Shanti Sardar, 45, said the sponsorship has lifted a tremendous burden on her family.
âMy husband is a shoemaker and weâve nothing much except for our home. We live hand to mouth and struggle to provide daily meals for seven family members. It was impossible for us to send our son Jasim to college for a good education,â she said.
âOur son is very bright but we wouldnât be able to afford to pay for his education if it wasnât for the generosity of these overseas families,â the villager from Baradal parish in Satkhira district added.
The success of the program, which is run with Khulna dioceseâs help, has prompted its director to increase the number of students receiving sponsorship.
The number of beneficiaries was raised to sixty this month, said Robert Gomes.
âOur roots are in Bangladesh because we were born and educated here,â said 70-year-old Gomez, who now calls New Jersey his home.
âThe families in the States all wanted to do something for our country and countrymen,â he said while on a recent holiday to visit relatives.
Oblate Bishop Bejoy DâCruze of Khulna says he has nothing but praise for the program.
âThanks to these donations a number of poor but brilliant students are not drop-outs. Iâm really grateful to them and appreciate their generosity,â the prelate said.
âA Catholic college boy called Jony came to me for help regarding his education. I recommended him for sponsorship and now he is studying engineering in Khulna,â he added.