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Face the wind and scatter seeds...
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By the tragic gap I mean the gap between the hard realities around us and what we know is possible — not because we wish it were so, but because we’ve seen it with our own eyes.” —Parker J. Palmer

Hello Passionist Family,

We hope you will be informed, inspired, challenged and moved to action from some part of our newsletter.  The world needs each of us to continue our vigilance for social justice as we move into this new year with some anxieties and fears--standing in the tragic gap.  Because we know that as Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."  

There is much to console the Passionist Family including our charism, our community and our deep hope that rises from them.  As for hope, it is for me, as Howard Zinn has expressed: "to be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.  What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

As always, you can contact me directly anytime via email or phone with ideas or feedback for the Newsletter.

In peace and solidarity, 



David Horvath
jpic@passionist.org
502-435-3265

CONTENTS:
  • Responses to violence in US Capital
  • Laudato Si': A message from the Laudato Si' Vision Fulfillment Team 
  • Weekly Lenten gatherings for the Passionist Family: The Passion of the Earth
  • Food bank in Haiti
  • Report back on conversations about race
  • Laudato Si' Corner:  The Glasgow Agreement
  • Justice and Peace in the Lectionary
A Country Divided: Responses to Violence in US Capital
Thanks to Franciscan Action Network, Maryknoll and NCR 
Image: https://unsplash.com/@rstone_design
The value web and the planetary boundaries
by Lissa Rommel, Cochair of the Laudato Si' Vision Fulfillment Team

The Laudato Si' Vision Fulfillment Team has been busy working to engage Holy Cross Province following the call of Pope Francis to create a culture of sustainability, care of the earth and integral ecology for all.  Team Co-Chair, Lissa Rommel sent the following reflection as part of an update for the province.  The PSN is a strong supporter of this initiative and urges everyone in the North American Passionist Family to dig deeply into the beauty and powerful call of Laudato Si'.

"...the beautiful thing is, we, as a Passionist family, are already in motion, already responding to Pope Francis’s call to “hear the cry of the Earth” and the 'cry of the poor.'  From the rain garden at St. Paul of the Cross in Detroit to the food ministry at Mater Dolorosa in California to the Waking Up Conversations on Race on Zoom, we have been engaged in reading the 'signs of the times' and actively birthing together what the Laudato Si’ Anniversary website describes as 'a new way of living together, bonded together in love, compassion and solidarity, and a more harmonious relationship with the natural world' and each other.

"This ultimately is the charge of Laudato Si’—from the Pope, from the General, and from our Provincial. To remain rooted in the love of Christ crucified. To be prophets of this love. From this, all action flows. ... And we, on the Laudato Si’ Vision Fulfillment Team, offer ourselves as yeast and a resource for the Passionist family, individually and collectively, to meet this charge—and are grateful for the opportunity."  Read Lissa's full reflection here.

Image credit: International Civil Society
The Passion of the Earth:  
Weekly Lenten Gatherings for the Passionist Family

Wednesday, February 24
to Good Friday, April 2
11am-noon Pacific/1-2pm Central/2-3pm Eastern


Six sessions: the first five sessions will be every Wednesday, February 24 through Wednesday, March 24; our final session will be an Ecological Way of the Cross on Good Friday, April 2.

A series of weekly gatherings during Lent for the Passionist Family exploring Laudato Si’ and the Passion of the Earth as we journey together toward the Passion of our Lord.  Each meeting will be grounded in prayer and the Passionist charism, and will make use of a recent series of videos on climate feedback loops which we will connect to issues facing the communities in which Passionist entities are located (like the drought and fires in CA, the Flint water crisis for Detroit, etc.). Opportunities to live into Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving will be offered. In our final Holy Week gathering, we will accompany each other on an ecological Stations of the Cross.  The series is for the whole Passionist Family and will include individual and small group opportunities for reflection.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqcOisrD0iGtI6ne6znxncs7P7m-_ZkM-l 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Image:  Melanie Weidner, Passion of the Earth Series https://listenforjoy.com/ 
Laudato Si’ In Action: Fr. Hugo’s Food Bank in Haiti

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to be more physically active in 2021 AND answer Pope Francis’ call to hear and respond to “the cry of the poor” (LS 48)? Join the Passionist Alumni who are conducting a “Road Tour Around Haiti” fundraiser to support “Fr. Hugo’s Food Bank.” Imagine you could travel across Haiti by just getting out of bed or getting off the couch. What if almost every activity you performed, (walking, fishing, exercising...) helped take you to new places where you could learn about both Haitian culture and the work of Passionists Fr. Rick Frechette and Fr. Hugo Esparza-Perez in trying to deal with the health, education, and food needs of the Haitian people? To find out more about participating in the tour and to watch a video on how “Fr. Hugo’s Food Bank” started, visit this webpage.

To donate financially to Fr. Hugo’s Food Bank, click here

Do you have additional questions about the Road Tour Around Haiti or would like to join as a fan and follow the mission’s progress? Email: Mike.Kruger@outlook.com with the subject “Haiti.”
How Fr. Hugo's Food Bank began



Last fall, The Passionist Solidarity Network offered  4 sessions of “circle” gatherings for the Passionist Family to engage in conversations about racial justice.  33 people registered and participated during impactful 90 minute sessions.  Anchored with prayer and reflection, sessions also incorporated spoken word, music and video as we confronted the historical foundations of the culture of whiteness.  It was a safe-space for deep listening and speaking our truths.  Resource materials between sessions stressed taking small steps toward personal change and action ending with the questions “How do we move forward from here?”  “How do we stay in motion?”  Read the report from this discussion series here

The PSN hopes this conversation will be continued by each of the individuals who participated who have learned more about the issues and feel more comfortable talking about race in their own circles.  In terms of the larger Passionist Family, we want to help make sure that a racial justice lens is used whether we are working with Ladauto Si' programming or with our retreat, governance and committee work.  We are encouraged to help the provinces look more to becoming a committed anti-racist organization.  For a peek as to what that involves (and it is a long process and commitment) read Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization, a document developed by Crossroads Ministry in Chicago and further adapted. 
Laudato Si' Corner

“God is intimately present to each being, without impinging on the autonomy of his creature, and this gives rise to the rightful autonomy of earthly affairs. ... Creating a world in need of development, God in some way sought to limit Himself in such a way that many of the things we think of as evils, dangers or sources of suffering, are in reality part of the pains of childbirth which He uses to draw us into the act of cooperation with the Creator.” (Laudato Si par 80) 

Question:  As Fr. Ray Sanchez CP asks in his recent post, "'She (the Church) must above all protect mankind from self-destruction.' This remarkable statement caught my attention on re-reading Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si. He was quoting Pope Benedict (XVI)’s encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. It is remarkable to me because I had never considered this to be ‘the’ primary mission of the Church – to save humanity from itself. Wow!"  How can we save the world without arrogance and megalomania and instead become a part of the pains of birthing with God's creation?  

Actions:  

Linking Justice and Peace in the Lectionary

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

NEW:  Scripture reflections by Maryknoll missioners starting in the new liturgical year, beginning Nov. 29. Click here to subscribe.

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). 
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.
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