As we continue to adjust to the changes that have taken place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing these resources to help our Sisters, Associates, and friends learn more about the virus and its economic effects.
Someone recently asked if I am optimistic that we can redeem the soul of America (as it relates to the racial construct).
I paused before giving my answer: “No. I am not optimistic, but I am hopeful.”
Then, I found myself processing the difference. What I discovered is what I always recognize during these kinds of self-reflection: the difference is in the definition.
I subscribe to the teaching of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks who says “optimism is the belief that the world is changing for the better; hope is the belief that, together, we can make the world better.”
I like the rabbi’s view of hope as an active virtue. I believe that, together, we can create a structure that is beneficial to all Americans; close the “value gap” (which Eddie Glaude Jr. describes as the idea that white people are more valuable than Black people); and find a better way forward.
I can’t be optimistic at this point because I realize that there are people who are invested in preserving the current systemic structure, in sustaining the value gap, and maintaining the status quo.
Are you optimistic or hopeful?
That is exactly what Cathy Buchanan did on Saturday, August 8th when she entered the Dominican Sisters of Peace. With local community gathered around her and an extended community of Sisters, family and friends zooming in from around the country, she reached up, stepped out and took a leap of faith.
Cathy will spend the next year, or so, as a Candidate in our Congregation. During the rite of entrance, our Prioress, Sr. Pat Twohill, asked her, “Cathy, what is your desire?” Cathy replied, “To live as a candidate with the Dominican Sisters of Peace, to learn what it is to be a Dominican, and to continue to answer God’s call.” To this request, the Sisters affirmed that they were willing to welcome Cathy, support her with prayer, share their knowledge and experience with her and receive her gifts. Indeed, we will welcome her gifts and encourage her to find new ones, to accompany her in challenging times, listen to her as she continues to discern God’s call and celebrate with her every step of the way.
It was a powerful witness of the fact that God is calling people to radical witness and to courageous action. In these times of uncertainty, one thing is clear; God is with us in all of it. We just need to listen, reach up, step out and take a leap of faith!
What is your desire? If it is “To live as a Dominican Sister of Peace.” – Then contact us to begin the conversation. Also, please consider attending our Virtual Discernment Retreat, September 11-13. To register, click here, or to get more information, please call/text Sr. Bea Tiboldi at 614-400-1255 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
It was my great honor to preach during Cathy’s Welcome Ceremony. I offer that preaching to you here for your reflection. Please pray for Cathy, and all people discerning their call.
p.s. stay tuned for a video of Cathy’s entrance ceremony.
Could it be that all of us —in search of something to do during the ‘Lockdown at home’—have chosen to go through our closets and drawers to see what we no longer need or want? Have we had any true surprises in the process? Found any true treasures we had completely forgotten about? In Matthew’s Gospel, the ‘Kingdom Parables’ suggest that things hidden or buried can grab our attention and give us renewed purpose. Uncovering something special we had forgotten can refocus our priorities and set us on a renewed path into the coming days. Any chance that happened to you?
For me, it was about discovering things I had simply left in a closet or storage box and not been using or sharing. I was able to put things in a new place, give them away to be used by others, or recycled if at all possible. Some things, of course, have no material value but are reminders of friends and family members and still deeply cherished. The going through things and doing the ‘sorting out’ (like the Gospel ‘catch of fish’!) was a satisfying activity and left me with some space to move and groove.
One of the true blessings of this ongoing ‘retreat’ experience we are having is the ‘slowdown’ and the newly found space for some true family time, some occasional porch sitting time, and hopefully, some time to communicate with God about our lives, our loved ones, our neighbors, our country and our world in need.
Fr. Bryan Massingale is one of the world’s leading Catholic social ethicists and scholars of African-American theological ethics, racial justice, and liberation theology.
He has served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium and holds two honorary doctorates.
Fr. Brian Massingale will be conducting a Zoom webinar on racism on Wednesday night, hosted by Old St. Pats in Chicago. Click here to register for free.
Save Social Security!
This weekend, the White House signed an executive order deferring payroll taxes — and vowed to make these cuts permanent.
According to this analysis from National Public Radio, the payroll deferment will have to be repaid by workers around the country, basically making it useless as a stimulus.
Social Security is 100% funded by our payroll tax contributions. The proposed “permanent payroll tax cut” would gut Social Security, and all the money paid out over our lifetimes would be gone.
Please reach out to your State Representative (click here to find contact information) and your Senator (click here to find contact information) and tell them that a permanent payroll tax will hurt the most vulnerable in our nation.