With our whole being may we give witness to the
goodness that is all around us.
Gospel Living
Unity in Diversity
FSPA's Anti-Racism Vision
Unity in Diversity

We celebrate authentically unity in diversity by challenging ourselves to unveil our white privilege.

-- declared at FSPA's A Revolution of Goodness, June 2018

We are on a journey to dismantle FSPA racism. Committed to awareness, analysis and action, we are praying, learning and acting with those who grant us the insight and courage to know how we can begin dismantling FSPA racism. Our efforts are:

  • raising awareness of our participation in systemic racism
  • analyzing our congregation's anti-racist vision
  • acting authentically for racial equity

Our work is guided by our FSPA mission to be loving presence through prayer, witness and service, recognizing that all people are children of God and beloved of their Creator.
White Privilege Symposium
Several sisters and partners in mission on staff attended the La Crosse White Privilege Symposium either virtually or in-person at the La Crosse Center Dec. 3-4, 2021. We invited attendees to reflect on their experience and have included Sisters Eileen McKenzie and Maria Friedman's reflections below:
Using words she heard throughout the symposium, Sister Eileen McKenzie created the following artwork...
What word or words stand out to you?
By Sister Maria Friedman

For any event I have an immediate reaction and then something that lingers.

The first night I was impressed with the 600 people registered – some in person, some online, 600 people wanting to assess their experience of white privilege. That was heartening. The next day there was keynoter #2, Jasiri X. I’m not interested in rappers, I said to myself. He turned out to be my favorite keynoter.

Now I look at what images from the conference remain. What sticks with me? I am aware of two striking truths.

#1: A person who is not included experiences deep pain. It isn’t that people are mean – though there is plenty of that – but to not include people in activities, to not invite them in, often causes them – in this case minority persons – to feel like outsiders – forever. One speaker talked of minority people saying to one another, “Why don’t white people care (about our suffering)?” That struck me.

#2: White people and minorities approach racism differently: When white people talk about race it comes from their heads, one speaker said; when minorities talk about race it’s what is in their hearts.

The overall message for me was the pain that minority people experience.
Sister Thea In The News
Having died at her Canton, Mississippi home in 1990 of breast cancer, Sister Thea Bowman is named the "most contemporary" of the six black candidates being considered for sainthood.

"Motivated by the example of the members of two religious communities, Sister Thea [Bowman], at age 15, decided to give up the familiarity of her hometown to join the FSPA in La Crosse, where she would be the first African-American member of her religious community."

Read Catholic Life’s Feb. 10 article "Pause and Reflect."
On The Blogs
Messy Jesus Business

"My most vivid memories of elementary school are from second grade. I had spiked hair (I'm not sure if it was cool back then or not), lost many of my baby teeth (earning a special certificate with each one) and played lots of playground football games. However, these were not my most important or formative experiences.

I attended Saint Mary's Grade School in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. Sister Leonette was my principal, and Sister Maureen was my second grade teacher. Since Sister Maureen had taught young black students on the south side of Chicago, she placed a special emphasis on Black History Month."

Read Father Luke Hansen's 2017 blog post titled "Peace beyond corners."

And subscribe to Messy Jesus Business blog by entering your email address here.
Wanderings and Wonderings

"When I first joined religious life, I remember hearing the term growing edges, referring to where in my life there were opportunities for growth. I couldn’t help but think of a climbing plant continuing to fill in on the edges to grow bigger and more expansive.

I sometimes have a hard time noticing my growth and change. Once growth happens, it becomes a part of me. It might be a better to say that my growth becomes integrated. So maybe for me it’s more like a forest. Given the opportunity, it spreads out with more and more trees on its edges in slow, less perceptible ways."

Read Sister Meg Earsley's blog post from Jan. 30, "Discovering a Growing Edge While Walking in Cochabamba."

And subscribe to Wanderings and Wonderings by entering your email address at the bottom of this page.
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