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
Youths come to exam-takers' aid
Church opens its doors to accommodate poor university, college hopefuls
- ucanews.com reporter, Da Nang
- July 4, 2011
As many as 59,000 candidates are reportedly taking this yearâ€™s entrance examinations at the cityâ€™s six universities and eight colleges on July 4-5, 8-9 and 15-16.
â€śWe worked with our parish priest, Lovers of the Holy Cross and local Catholics to find free accommodation for candidates who canâ€™t find or canâ€™t afford accommodation,â€ť said Joseph Nguyen Van Lan, head of the Catholic youth group in Hoa Khanh parish, said.
Lan, 23, said over 300 candidates are currently staying in the parish church with their relatives who are accompanying them, he added.
He said female candidates and their relatives are staying at a nearby convent.
In the past, poor students who couldnâ€™t afford or get accommodation in boarding houses had to sleep in the open or in the church compound, he said.
Local boarding houses were fully booked one week ahead of the exams, he said.
â€śAround 30 young volunteers are taking students to local Catholic-run restaurants where they can get cheap meals,â€ť he said.
Other volunteers are handing out maps and acting as guides in case any candidates have problems.
Anna Le Thi Kim Anh, a Catholic student, said volunteers donated 20,000 dong (US$1) each to buy water bottles and print maps pinpointing 46 exam venues for candidates.
â€śI want to do something useful as a way of expressing my gratitude to Sacred Heart Brothers in Hue city who gave me free accommodation at their monastery five years ago,â€ť one volunteer said.
Father Marcel Doan Minh, head of Caritas in Da Nang diocese, said the Church also plans to provide free food and allow candidates to stay at the cathedral from July 6-10.