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
The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest and most biodiverse tropical rainforest, covering an area larger than the continental United States. It houses one-third of the Earth’s plant and animal species and produces one-fifth of all its fresh water. Like all rainforests, it helps regulate the global climate and is vital to maintaining the earth’s fragile balance. Yet at the current rates of deforestation (global deforestation contributes 20-25 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions) nearly 50 percent of the Amazon could be lost or severely degraded by the year 2020, and the vast majority will no longer be in a pristine state.
The Amazon is also home to nearly 400 distinct indigenous peoples who depend on the rainforest for their physical and cultural survival. Because we believe that all life is sacred, it is essential that we take action to protect the Amazon and its people. We may be the last generation that has a chance to protect this precious gem of our world’s cultural and ecological heritage – an irreplaceable source of life and inspiration.
For a beautiful reminder of this global treasure watch this video from Amazon Watch. (5 minutes)
Interview with Fr. Jesús Maria Aristín. The epic journey of the Basque Passionists in Peru (en español)
The following video is an interview with Fr. Jesús María Aristín, the bishop of the Vicariate of Yurimaguas. This is part of the series of events to pay homage to the 106 years of Basque Passionist presence with the priests who worked in the jungles of Peru, "determined to create a better world that was inhabited by people free of the chains of misery, people with dignity."
As part of the Passionist Solidarity Network support for projects affiliated with the two U.S. Provinces, a new pilot program in Haiti designed by Fr. Hugo Esparza CP has been funded with a $5000 grant.
The grassroots initiative called Konbit Pierre Toussaint, is a program that will enable young Haitians to serve their community and to receive human, religious and professional formation. Fr. Hugo says the project is "inspired by the Passionist Volunteer programs in the USA to create the same opportunity for young Haitians. We started our pilot program with seven young men and women. All of them are formers volunteers at our Kids-Youth Program called Little Stones. All seven of them will volunteer for 10 months part time"
The Project is aptly named for the now Venerable Toussaint who was born in Haiti and brought to New York City as a slave. Pierre died a free man and one of New York City’s most well-known Catholics. In New York, plantation owner Pierre Bérard made Toussaint a house slave and allowed his grandmother to teach her grandson how to read and write. It is fitting that Fr. Esparza's project in Haiti will work with young men and women as "alphabetization agents" who are aiding adults that need to learn or improve their capacity in reading and writing. Konbit is a Creole word that reflects rural life in Haiti. A Konbit is a coming together of friends and family members to work in each other’s garden or farms.
Watch this video of Fr. Hugo report on his work in Haiti during the 2019 Holy Cross Provincial Chapter.