In this issue
- Walking Together Toward a New Leadership Model
- Personal Reflection on the Major Themes of Holy Cross Province
as we Approach the 36th Provincial Chapter
- Through Hell to Hope: Migrants Trying to Reach the USA
- What is Privilege?
- VIDEO: An Exercise in Privilege
- Join Us for Walk with Us Thursdays
- Prayer for the 36th Provincial Chapter
Walking Together Toward a New Leadership Model
"...the role of the prophet is to keep the ministry
of imagination alive - imagine another way."
We walk together and imagine a more synodal leadership model - let us continue the conversation.
Personal Reflection on the Major Themes of Holy Cross Province
as we Approach the 36th Provincial Chapter
By David Colhour, CP
I am curious. As you have aged, what has been the biggest surprise for you in a positive, wonderful way? I would invite you to think about this question beyond just changes in your physical body. Rather than aches, pains and diminishment, what has bloomed for you as you have aged and matured? Has a particular virtue or spiritual advancement surprised you?
Several years back, I found myself fascinated with the issues and questions around solidarity. What is the value in finding solidarity with others? How can I be in solidarity with people who are outside my proximity? Is it possible to be in solidarity with people I have not met? As I have aged I certainly have wrestled with this moral puzzle. To my astonishment, I was not expecting it to challenge me like it has.
The news media has reported on numerous conflicts over the years, yet specifically, when the war broke out between Russia and Ukraine I was really torn up. I found myself reading the Russian newspapers in an attempt to glean even the slightest glimpse into something that did not make any sense. This daily exercise led me into the life and stories of people who were suffering, many of whom were not allowed to freely speak about their suffering. Solidarity was taking on a new meaning. After several months of the stories and images of this war before me, I was re-reading the Passionist Rule and Constitutions. This time, even though the words were the same, they sounded different.
We are aware that the Passion of Christ continues in this world until he comes in glory; therefore, we share in the joys and the sorrows of our contemporaries as we journey through life toward our Father. We wish to share in the distress of all, especially those were poor and neglected; we seek to offer them comfort and to relieve the burden of their sorrow.
Even the introduction in the recently promulgated Passionist Way reminds us,
We understand that Christ’s Passion and death are “no mere historical events. They are ever-present realities to people in the world of today, ‘crucified’ as they are by injustice, by the lack of a deep respect for human life, and by a hungry yearning for peace, truth, and the fullness of human existence”
Through Hell to Hope: Migrants Trying to Reach the USA
Submitted by The Migration Commission
FEBRUARY 28, 2023 BY ANONYMOUS
On September 23, 2022, my husband, my daughter and I decided to undertake a journey for a better future, for a better quality of life. We are from Venezuela, but had been living in Peru. Everything was going well when we started out in Peru, then Ecuador. Our nightmare began in Colombia. We entered into the Darién jungle on September 27. No one told us the horrible truth that is hidden in this jungle. We saw the dead left by their family members. Some children who did not have money were raped or even killed by paramilitary personnel.
I especially suffered due to being overweight. It was very difficult for me to climb the mountains. I was always the last one. It was always my nephew who waited to help me, because my husband was in charge of carrying the bags with our food and what little clothing we decided to keep after the first mountain.
I lost all of my toenails. I suffered a lot because no sooner had we started and my feet were already in bad shape. I crossed 2 mountains in only my socks because my toenails hurt so much and the bottoms of my feet were covered in blisters. It took us 12 days to traverse through the jungle. We ran out of food on day 10. For 2 days we drank water from the river and what we begged off of passersby. We were tired and weak, distressed because our daughter was weak.
We decided to take a shortcut across the river. It was a terrible decision because when I was halfway across the river a strong current caused me to lose my footing. I was slapped against a rock, in peril of drowning. My husband realized I was swallowing lots of water. He grabbed me by the hand the best he could and began to cry for help. Then a young man helped him to get me out of the river.
What is Privilege?
Submitted by The Cultural and Racial Diversity Committee
"Privilege" refers to certain social advantages, benefits, or degrees of prestige and respect that an individual has by virtue of belonging to certain social identity groups. Within American and other Western societies, these privileged social identities—of people who have historically occupied positions of dominance over others—include whites, males, heterosexuals, Christians, and the wealthy, among others.
An Exercise in Privilege: Watch this Video
Join us for Walk with Us Thursdays!
The Chapter Planning Committee (CPC) invites you to join us for Walk With Us Thursdays to prepare for the communal discernment that will take place at our June 2023 Chapter. These conversations will be held via Zoom at 4:30 pm, PDT; 5:30 pm, MDT; 6:30 pm, CDT; 7:30 pm, EDT.
Walk with Us Thursdays Zoom Link
Our next Walk With Us Thursday will be May 4, and our topic will be Migration.
As baptized Christians, educated in the Catholic faith, we are called to reflect on and have a comprehensive understanding of the sacred scriptures and the principles of Catholic social teaching. Our Passionist charism and mission enables us to give a Christ-like compassionate response to our suffering sisters and brothers in the world today. The desperate and painful cry of suffering migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers calls us to be conscious of their human and spiritual needs and mercifully meet them where they are. We need to respond with the open mind and heart of the Good Samaritan, as we hear Christ saying to us: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, NABRE).
Please, join the Migration Commission as they help us reflect and have a conversation on the migration crisis event from the perspective of our gospel values and God-given call to serve our Crucified brothers and sisters. Be ready to share your faith experiences and discuss your community resources to help make this vision of our Passionist charism and mission come true.
Walk with Us Thursdays Zoom Link
We thank you, for You have led us
to grow together in the Passionist Way.
You have called us, not only as individuals,
but together as a Passionist Family,
juntos como hermanos y hermanas,
to recognize more and more the crucified of today.
We hold in our hearts and minds
all of crucified creation: migrants and refugees,
and those beset by poverty and violence, systemic racism,
injustice and oppression, pain and distress.
As we prepare for our upcoming Provincial Chapter,
keep us forever on the path we pray.
Help us to continue to hear the cries of the crucified,
as we work together as the visionaries You have called us to be.
Foster in us the leadership required to meet the needs of our times.
May whatever conclusions we draw, whatever actions we take,
be done en el amor de Cristo Crucificado, and in His name, we pray.
We Want to Hear from You!
As we prepare for Chapter 2023, please feel free to reach out to the members of the Chapter Planning Committee with any proposals, thoughts, questions or suggestions. You can reach all members of the Committee at any time by emailing [email protected].
The Chapter Planning Committee
Faith Offman, Chair
David Colhour, C.P.
Phil Paxton, C.P.
Jim Strommer C.P.
Robert Choiniere, Facilitator