Newsletter - Passionists in the Inner City and Other Secrets
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Passionists and the Inner City 

[This is the first part of several forthcoming JPIC Newsletter articles featuring the work of the Passionist Family in our inner cities]
Nicholas Postlethwaite CP and Austin Smith CP moved to Toxteth, Liverpool, in 1971 as part of a wider Passionist movement to Britain’s inner cities. Their mission was to be in solidarity with the Crucified among us, suffering injustice and deprivation and to "join them in the struggle for life and justice."

Nicholas concludes these powerful narratives this way: "As state and church worry about whether “the centre” is holding – or are things “falling apart” – perhaps there are hints and pointers in the Passionist Inner City Mission which may encourage others to step outside safety zones and rediscover the wonder and beauty at the heart of human mystery. I began this article with an Austin quotation: I conclude it with another from his book Mersey Vespers, page 148: 'Liverpool had this impact on me. It did not offer a new form of ministry. Rather I was offered a new beginning to understand the radical Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth.'”
Read Part I of their story here
Read Part II here

Nicholas Postlethwaite CP and Austin Smith CP at Crosby Beach

Catholicism's "Best Kept Secret"

Since publication of the 1985 book from the Center of Concern, Our Best Kept Secret: The Rich Heritage of Catholic Social Teaching, the phrase has been repeated often.

The reality of course is that the Catholic church is deeply blessed with more than 100 years' worth of outstanding social justice and peace documents authored by popes, the second Vatican Council, world synods of bishops and national conferences of bishops. But sadly, these documents, compiled in the weighty Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, "attract more dust than readers." (NCR)

Louisville's Bellarmine University student, Alexander Reeves was given the challenge of encapsulating on a bookmark the "7 pillars" of Catholic Social Teaching. The bookmark is distributed through the campus ministry office.  Alexander enthusiastically gives us permission to use this design as we wish.  If anyone would like him to help with your project he can be reached at 

Download a PDF file of the bookmark here
Youth Manifesto on the Environment

Just prior to the recent meeting in Panama City, Panama, for World Youth Day, Catholic youth presented a "manifesto" proclaiming the launch of the "Laudato Si' Generation,"  a new network of young Catholics committed to care for creation.

An excerpt from the Manifesto:  We, young Catholics from World Youth Day in Panama, would like to raise our hearts and minds in praise, joy and gratitude for the beautiful gift of our beloved "sister Mother Earth" in the beautiful words of St Francis. At the same time, we are painfully aware, as Pope Francis reminded us, that "our common home is falling into serious disrepair" (Laudato Si' 61). Convinced that "all of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation" (LS 14), we call on everyone, ourselves first, to urgently act to protect our planet and the poorest and most vulnerable people.

Read the full manifesto here.

Commit to Living the Change for Our Climate

As described in the January JPIC Newsletter, in order to change the big things we must make a change in our own daily lives.  The Franciscan Action Network and the Global Catholic Climate Movement have partnered to invite you to "live the change" by signing the interfaith statement, "Walk Gently on the Earth" and, more importantly, committing to living sustainably. "Living the Change" is an invitation to be part of the climate change solution by making changes in the three areas of our lives that are the most carbon-intensive: transportation, home energy use, and diet.

Check out the Living the Change website

Watch the short trailer for the Living the Change documentary here
Retreat Centers and Parishes: 
Earth Day 2019 Program Available

The Catholic Climate Covenant has developed a program for Earth Day 2019. All Creation Gives God Praise: Protecting Biodiversity in a Time of Climate Crisis is grounded in scripture, Catholic social teaching, and Pope Francis' Laudato Si'. It will mobilize the Passionist Family and the broader Catholic community to take urgent action to protect all of God's creation.  The educational program is one hour and includes prayers, readings, a short video, and suggested activities.

Pre-order the Earth Day Program

The World Counts - Awareness Leads to Change

A new web based resource is surprisingly compelling, given the hard news it presents. World Counts presents real time counters for a number of markers which show how current consumer society is based on a system that is not sustainable. The resources also lead to a showcase of how visionary green companies are leading the way to create positive changes. The data used on the website is well documented by the various reputable organizations, research institutions or news services that provided the data.  The counters use different algorithms to provide "live" numbers.  Data sources can be found for each counter in the counter's "Sources" menu tab. Click here to view a counter.

Recommended Book

For 40 years, Alice Major has lived in Edmonton, Canada, on the edge of Alberta’s boreal forest. She "feels" the change in the environment. She is the poet laureate of Edmonton and her latest book is titled Welcome to the Anthropocene, which is the name given to this moment, this epoch, when humans have planetary impact.

From the publisher: "Alice Major observes the comedy and the tragedy of this human-dominated moment on Earth. Major’s most persistent question—“Where do we fit in the universe?”—is made more urgent by the ecological calamity of human-driven climate change. Her poetry leads us to question human hierarchies, loyalties, and consciousness, and challenges us to find some humility in our overblown sense of our cosmic significance."

Now, welcome to the Anthropocene
you battered, tilting globe. Still you gleam,
a blue pearl on the necklace of the planets.

This home. Clouds, oceans, life forms span it
from pole to pole, within a peel of air
as thin as lace lapped round an apple. Fair
and fragile bounded sphere, yet strangely tough—
this world that life could never love enough.
And yet its loving-care has been entrusted
to a feckless species, more invested
in the partial, while the total goes unnoticed.

— from “Welcome to the Anthropocene”

Linking Justice and Peace in the Lectionary

JPIC homily resources are available from the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) and other religious communities. The Passionist JPIC office collaborates with other community JPIC offices and we would love to see other homily resources coming from the Passionist charism. Contact the Passionist JPIC office if you would like to contribute.  If you yourself do not give homilies please consider sharing these resources with a local homilist.

Sunday Feb. 10th by Daniel Horan, OFM, PhD
Sunday Feb. 17th by Dianne Bergant, CSA

Additional homily resources from the Ignatian Solidarity Network

Finally, the Holy Cross Passionist website features wonderful daily scripture reflections from the Passionist Family.  Three regular contributors are members of the North American Passionists JPIC Board. 
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