Pope Francis would be one of the influential Catholic voices in recent years reiterating the need to step outside our known world, and reframe it through the eyes of those on the margins of society. It's an idea that lies at the heart of the Passionist movement. Nicholas Postlethwaite from the Passionists, and post-evangelical poet David Benjamin Blower talk about the places they've lived - and while admittedly speaking from their own experience, they discuss their attempts to adopt a new narrative, where they themselves are not at the center. They talk about how that's changed them, as well as discussing the politics involved in self-awareness, privilege and ideology.
rtin Newell has previously spent time in prison after activism with the Plowshares movement, a Christian pacifist and nuclear disarmament group. Martin talks about peace-making and why taking action that can lead to a prison sentence is an appropriate and faithful thing for Christians to do in times of crisis. In the second part, we hear further reflections from Martin on the biblical rationale for risking prison time, and hear from him and some friends about real lived experiences of (brief) prison sentences. Each segment is approximately 30 minutes.
Watch Part 1 - https://youtu.be/h8HZLdX4EtQ
Watch Part 2 - https://youtu.be/v_iyBnhXeJQ
Photo © Sean Hawkey / WCC
In his introduction to the latest newsletter from St. Thomas the Apostle, Vice Province in India, Fr.Paul Cherukoduth CP reminds us that as we reflect on Christ Crucified in our world, we also have our current martyrs for Justice.
On July 5th, Fr. Stan Swamy SJ died while in judicial custody. His crime: "refusing to be a silent spectator!" Fr. Stan spoke strongly against the oppression and inequality, violence and atrocities committed against the most disadvantaged people of India-the Dalits and the Adivasis (the indigenous people) in India. He was arrested in October 2020 and falsely accused of being active in a Maoist group opposed to the government.
Despite the cruel treatments meted out to him in prison and his severe Parkinson's Disease, officials could not silence him. Fr. Paul reminds us as we remember this martyr of our times, "let us stand up for what we believe in. Our faith takes us to the One who endured the passion and death on the cross because he refused to remain a silent spectator."
He concludes his reflection with the words of an American writer, poet and philosopher, Suzy Kassem: “Stand up to hypocrisy, because if you don’t, the hypocrites will teach. Stand up to ignorance, because if you don’t, the ignorant will run free to spread ignorance like a disease. Stand up for truth, if you don’t, then there is no truth to your existence. If you don’t stand up for all that is right, then understand that you are part of the reason why there is so much wrong in the world.” Read Fr. Paul's reflection here from PIANO (Passionist India Activities News Outreacy)
Called “the coolest summer camp in Louisville,” Camp Odyssey immerses children entering grades 1-6 in the three main aspects of the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center mission: spiritual practice, compassion for others and connection to the Earth. As they explore the woodlands and meadows of our 27-acre campus and nature sanctuary, as they work and play with our artists, garden and environmental educators, chefs, yoga and meditation instructors, musicians and many others, kids come to understand how ecosystems work, where their food comes from, and how to be more mindful and compassionate toward themselves, their bodies, other people, and their surroundings. Truly ecological education.
This year the Earth & Spirit Center hosted over 131 campers and about 55 high school students doing their service hours. We were able to provide full scholarships to 25 campers, many from Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Family Scholar House. The goal at camp is to bring children together across cultures and teach them to take better care of themselves, the planet and each other—Laudato Si’ in action.
To learn more about the Earth & Spirit Center and the programs they offer for children and adults, visit https://www.earthandspiritcenter.org/.