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
Church exhibition highlights plight of Sichuan quake victims
- May 08 2009
A young girl views the Caritas-Macau exhibition
The massive quake almost a year ago left 80,000 dead and attracted worldwide media attention.
Caritas-Macau was part of the relief effort, had has raised about 4 million yuan (about US$586,000) in Macau to rebuild a school.
It is now holding a photo exhibition that will run until May 12 at a Caritas community. It features about 80 photos showing the heart-rending scenes left in the wake of the 8.0 magnitude quake that tore apart lives and homes in southwest China.
The exhibition also includes pieces of debris from and items associated with the aid program. These include a pair of shoes and a quilt that Caritas donated to victims, as well as the "hope handkerchief" sold to raise funds for the quake-hit areas at a candlelight vigil organized by Caritas-Macau a month after the disaster.
In one corner of the library, visitors can write a message of support that Caritas staff will deliver to the survivors as a sign that their plight has not been forgotten.
The exhibition has already touched many hearts. Chan Sut-ieng, 10, told UCA News that the plight of the people in Sichuan had made her so sad that she is donating part of her pocket money regularly to help them.
The exhibition also documents life after the disaster and the efforts of aid agencies and the local authorities to try to return the region to normality.
Many of the pictures have been provided by government departments in Wenchuan, the epicenter of the earthquake.
Another 80 photographs were taken by Caritas-Macau´s own staff, taken when relief workers delivered supplies and comforted victims, many of whom lost everything in the tragedy.
On the evening of May 12, the anniversary of the day the disaster struck, the exhibits will be moved to Praca do Tap Seac, an open-air public square near St. Lazaro´s Church where there will be a fundraising event.
The two-hour program will start with a video that reviews the quake and the relief and reconstruction work.
Bishop Jose Lai Hung-seng of Macau will appeal for more donations while two quake survivors will tell their harrowing stories of the calamity.
One was buried under rubble for 20 hours before being rescued and both have become volunteers to continue to help their fellow survivors.
A Caritas school choir and three local singers will perform inspirational songs and there will be a charity bazaar.
Caritas has launched a widespread public relations campaign in Macau to draw attention to the event and has invited individuals, social groups and schools that have made donations through Caritas to come for the commemoration.