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 offer eco-friendly alms
Buddhist pilgrims given plants and urged to protect environmentYouth distributing plants for pilgrims at Buddhist festival
- ucanews.com reporter, Kandy
- Sri Lanka
- June 17, 2011
Poson Poya, celebrated on the first full moon of June, commemorates the arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka from the Venerable Mahinda Thero, son of Emperor Asoka of India, more than 2,000 years ago.
Buddhists celebrate the day with pilgrimages to religious sites. Traditionally, Sri Lankans offer food and drinks to the thousands of pilgrims who pass through their villages. Youth members of Sacred Heart Parish decided to try something different this year.
â€śEverybody serves food, but we wanted to offer plants in order to protect the environment,â€ť said Lakpriya Nanayakkara, a member of the Catholic Youth Federation.
The youths set up a makeshift shed in front of the church near a highway on the outskirts of Matale town.
Cries of â€śTrees, treesâ€ť and â€śPlants preserve the environmentâ€ť from the assembled Catholic youths resounded among the line of vehicles along the highway.
The youths from Sacred Heart prepared the offerings of vegetable, fruit and other plants from gardens at the Church, from their homes and by seeking donations from local residents, then putting them in eco-friendly containers or baskets for distribution.
â€śWe have been preparing for this since last month. We did not use any artificial fertilizers and got a lot of help from parishioners [of Sacred Heart],â€ť said Jude Milan.
â€śUsing chemicals contributes to climate change. We have to make people aware of these things,â€ť he said, adding that the Catholic Youth Federation was also planning additional events to increase environmental awareness.
He added that the plant offerings were also a way of â€śhelping our Buddhist brothers and showing them our fellowship.â€ť In all, about 2,000 plants were distributed.
Catholic youths feed pilgrims