Being Black and Catholic: A Reflection
From a PSN member: "I heard [Sr. Nicole] speak before but was reminded by her testimony of the naked truth of racism, the scars it leaves, how racism permeates our society, and the part I play in allowing it to exist in myself, in society and in the Catholic Church. After listening to her presentation, I felt sad, guilty and angry. " Sr. Nicole Trahan FMI shares her reflections on the challenges of being a Black woman in the Catholic Church of the Midwest and the challenge facing the Church to become truly integrated and anti-racist. Watch her story here.
Other stories in the March 2021 Newsletter on racial Justice
The most recent encyclical from Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, and the challenges he poses in it, deserves time and spiritual work for all of us. It also deserves more than “checking the box” for something we've read and filed away. That would be to avoid the very thing Francis warns of: a "desensitized human conscience."
As we emerge from the Lenten cycle, yes, make sure we've read the encyclical, and then make a covenant with ourselves to lean in into the challenges posed by Francis. Reflect on the parts that can lead to personal growth or even transformation. Francis doesn't hold back and the challenges feel overwhelming, but as we know through our communities and charism, that joining others in the work, “acting together in the common good” raising our voices, ending our silence is after all, the solution to nearly all the wrongs that face us. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but allowing us the wholeness of feeling that we have done enough. We have done what we can.
What projects call you? What causes do you already support; how you are already in motion? How will you communicate with those who disagree? How you will respond as a citizen, as a follower of Jesus and a compassionate human being?
Pax Christi International hosted one-hour webinars for reflection and discussion on the meaning of Fratelli Tutti in local contexts.
How can it be a resource for peacebuilding and impact the practice of peacebuilding? Does it change teaching on just war? How does it open dialogue on peace with Muslims? How does its Franciscan influence deepen the understanding of peacebuilding? The recording of the event is here.
Image: NCR Tim Mossholder (UnSplash)
When the dark powers seem to be winning, our impulses tell us to get angry, fight back, win the argument of the day. As human as such reactions may seem, there is a stronger, more profound response necessary: that we respect our opponent, pray for our enemy and speak truth with love. And again, this can only happen with prayer.
Jim Wayne is a member of the JPIC Committee and is retiring from nearly 30 years of service as a Kentucky legislature where he was a tireless witness for peace, justice and a moral public policy.
The instant-news overload wears on the most serene among us. The slaughter of high schoolers, the weeping Syrian mothers bent over the stilled bodies of their children, the lies pouring out of Washington, the rising rate of poverty among American families, the barking threats of world leaders pushing the world to nuclear destruction, the environment growing more deadly each day and the severe tribalism around the globe can deplete hope in the most faith-filled among us.
As followers of the Gospel, our immediate response to news of suffering and destruction must be to turn to prayer. It is in prayer that we reconnect to our center: Christ living within us. In our deepest centers we find serenity, confidence and hope. It is from prayer… in our quiet moments focused on God, in our rooms with our doors closed…that answers and actions form. In prayer we discern, as best we can, the will of God. In prayer we decide which actions fit our life and circumstance for our moment in history.