April Newsletter-The whole world watches and prays.
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As the storm brewed - March 2020


A long-anticipated national JPIC gathering in March 2020 was moved from Las Cruces, NM, to an online gathering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The gathering featured dynamic panels of speakers addressing critical aspects of immigrant justice and asylum.  Following this virtual gathering, the group which included the Passionist Solidarity Network and other religious communities issued a powerful and compelling statement, Envisioning Gospel-Based Solidarity and Flourishing with Migrants. The statement reads in part:

"...we looked at how racism, economic injustice, climate change, militarization and migration are all interconnected, just as we as a human family are connected to our migrant sisters and brothers. An intersectional lens helps us to see how these issues not only exacerbate each other, especially forced migration, but how getting to the root causes of forced migration requires us to address each of these issues together."  --From the gathering's final statement

The final statement is here.  Please share it broadly within your communities and consider some of the action steps and to share them with each other for encouragement, collaboration, and momentum.
 
The collected links for the conference are here. The individual sesssions included 
  • Accompaniment and Solidarity from a Pastoral Lens
  • Economic Justice and Migration
  • Climate and Migration
  • Militarization and Migration
  • Envisioning Gospel-Based Solidarity and Flourishing with Migrants
  • Building a National Network and Strategic Campaigns
The PowerPoint slides from the panels can be found here.
Passionists Responding to COVID-19:
The Earth & Spirit Center

"...we have the opportunity to be courageous. I'm not thinking here of the warrior charging bravely into battle, but rather, I'm remembering that "courage" has its roots in the Latin "cor," which means "heart." So in a time like this, to be courageous means to be whole-hearted and open-hearted. With so little clarity, with plans and projections so useless, we must lead with our hearts, responding with love and compassion to the needs and suffering of others - and ourselves." 

-- Kyle Kramer, Executive Director of the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center, Louisville, KY 
Read Kyle's whole statement here.


Please click here for a list of resources that the Earth and Spirit Center has created and curated for cultivating mindfulness, equanimity, and compassion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Today, I hear many stories that give me hope as they speak about God affecting our lives through the service of our sisters and brothers. When I see the many caregivers, the first responders and medical volunteers stepping forward and risking their lives as they offer to serve those in need, my heart is filled with hope. We, too, are called to be instruments of hope and love for others, to give of ourselves as often as we can and in whatever creative way possible. Hope is alive and beckons us to do what we can, even as we stay at home. With the disruption of our everyday routines and life’s distractions, we Passionist men and women of hope are called to use these times to rediscover God’s graces and lovingly and creatively embrace the opportunities before us." --Fr. Joe Moons,  Provincial Easter Blessing 2020  (photo credit: La Croix International)
How is your community holding up in response to the pandemic?  How are you staying safe and healthy? What unique challenges are facing you? What are you finding you can do to support your surrounding communities? What is inspiring you in these times that effects the entire Passionist Family and our world so much?  Contact me, David Horvath, and share your experiences.  My email is jcip@passionist.org.
Interfaith Responses to COVID-19 

The UN Environment Programme’s Faith for Earth has compiled a list of resources for actions and guidelines by faith communities in response to COVID-19. See these resources here.  As they note, “Faith-based organizations and religious institutions have been in the frontline mitigating the impacts of COVID19 and providing communities with much needed guidance and support.” You can read a recent email here from Faith for Earth that shares more news about interfaith responses to COVID-19.  (Thanks to the Forum of Religion and Ecology at Yale)
Looking Back:  Passionists and the 1918 Pandemic

Rob Carbonneau, C.P., Ph.D. Passionist Historian, St. Paul of the Cross Province, has compiled some very fascinating primary source documents and reflections from the 1918 Pandemic.  In our current crises, we must stay vigilant as we relax our social distancing, because during the 1918 crisis, restrictions were relaxed too quickly and the pandemic lasted over two years.

Learn about the Passionists reality of that pandemic 
Get small, go slow and care...

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

– Wendell Berry, ‘Our Real Work,’ 1983


It didn’t behave
like anything you had
ever imagined. The wind
tore at the trees, the rain
fell for days slant and hard.
The back of the hand
to everything. I watched
the trees bow and their leaves fall
and crawl back into the earth.
As though, that was that.
This was one hurricane
I lived through, the other one
was of a different sort, and
lasted longer. Then
I felt my own leaves giving up and
falling. The back of the hand to
everything.
 But listen now to what happened
to the actual trees;
toward the end of that summer they
pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.
It was the wrong season, yes,
but they couldn’t stop. They
looked like telephone poles and didn’t
care. And after the leaves came
blossoms. For some things
there are no wrong seasons.
Which is what I dream of for me.

-- Mary Oliver, 'Hurricane' 


During these times which are particularly dark for asylum seekers stranded at the border, The Way of Asylum Stations of the Cross: A Community Experience of Compassion and Empathy, was created by by Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera via Kino Border Initiative.  

Passionist Solidarity Network - Endorsements

As supporters of the Faith4Asylum campaign, the PSN signed onto a faith organization letter to federal leaders, calling on them to include immigrants and asylum-seekers in all COVID-19 recovery plans; end detention and deportations; and take other measures to keep families and communities together in this crisis. 

Linking Justice and Peace in the Lectionary

Justice and peace homily resources are available from various religious communities. The Passionist Solidarity Network collaborates with other community justice and peace offices and we would love to see other homily resources coming from the Passionist charism. Contact the Passionist Solidarity Network office if you would like to contribute.

Additional homily resources from the Ignatian Solidarity Network

The Franciscan Action Network weekly newsletter has homily and petition writing resoures.  Sign up here:  https://franciscanaction.org/resources/fan-weekly-newsletter-archive

The Holy Cross Passionist website features wonderful daily scripture reflections from the Passionist Family.  Three regular contributors are members of the Passionist Solidarity Network Advisory Board. 

The Catholic Climate Covenant has homily helps incorporating Laudato Si’ as well as weekly tip bulletin inserts (including Spanish).  
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