Marianist Social Justice Collaborative

August 2016



Don't wait to register

The second Changemakers weekend will be  October 28-30 at Mt. St. John's in Dayton. 

78 people participated in the first Changemakers weekend last month in San Antonio. It was a great mix of

young & old,

religious & lay,

many Marianistbut a number who were not, 

different racial & ethnic groups. 


Participants were inspired and challenged by keynoter, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda. Organizers are preparing a report on the gathering and next step possibilities that surfaced. 


For those of you who did not attend the San Antonio event, don't wait to register for Dayton. We already have about 50 registered, and the deadline is September 28. Go to for information and to register online. 

Can't attend in person? Then sign up for live-streaming of parts of the weekend. Questions? Contact Jim Vogt.

PS: Please visit & LIKE Changemakers on Facebook.
Calling the Marianist Family to Action

For a while, especially with the election of President Obama, there was a growing feeling of hope that we in the US had moved into a post-racial society. However in the last several years that hope has been dashed, especially by the killing so many unarmed black males. We are now very much aware that racism is alive and all too well in America. In response to this situation, the MSJC Steering Committee decided to revise and re-issue its 2006 statement, Calling the Marianist Family to Renounce the Sin of Racism. We hope that all who read it will be motivated to determine in what way each of us is called to counter racism. We will soon have a printed version available for easier distribution.

First-Ever LGBT Retreat a Great Weekend Experience 
The LGBT Initiative sponsored a retreat, "Room at the Table: LGBTQ People and Families-a Gift of God to the Church" on August 5-7 at the Marianist Retreat Center in Eureka, MO. 
It was a wonderful experience for all 25 who attended. Fr. Paul Morrissey OSA, who was the presenter, did an outstanding job of creating an atmosphere of honesty and support, setting a model for a weekend of trustful sharing. Fr. Paul used stories of his own experiences, Scripture passages, readings from St. Augustine, and poetry, as well as large and small group sharing at the retreat. It was a perfect fit for the members of the Marianist family and our guests who were gathered. Participants all went home with a deeper understanding of our sexuality and our spirituality.

Ish Ruiz
In Remembrance for the Victims of Orlando 
Ish Ruiz, a member of the LGBT Initiative Team, shares his reflections about those killed in the recent terrorist massacre in Orlando.
June 12, 2016 will forever live in my memory. I remember waking up to read the tragic posts on various social media pages expressing condolences, grief, anger, and devastation over a shooting in Orlando. I recall my initial shock as I learned about the shooting in a gay club, the victims, and their nationality. I recollect the initial confusion at the lack of information as the different media reports hypothesized about the number of victims, the motivations of the shooter, and the details of the attack. My emotions registered disbelief and denial. I remember praying, "Dear God, please tell me I'm dreaming." It was not a dream.  (Read more...)

Season of Creation - Christians Pray and
Care for Creation Together
The Season of Creation will be celebrated by Christian communities around the globe, beginning on September 1, (The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation) and ending on October 4, (The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi). 

The Global Catholic Climate Covenant provided this resource,  Caretakers of God's Creation, last year. It's a nice prayer and reflection guide for communities. 

See the new Season of Creation website , focused on uniting the Christian family worldwide to care for creation during this important time.

Mike Morton, Sr. Grace Walle, and Gerry Goldstein JD
Innocence Redeemed: 
Former Convicted Murderer Tells Story of Exoneration 
Sr. Grace Walle, a member of the Death Penalty and Restorative Justice Team, shares in this article her experience of meeting a person who was convicted of murder, sentenced to life imprisonment, and after 25 years in prison, exonerated of the crime.
They say, "Everybody has a story to tell," but Michael Morton's story took a dramatic turn from his otherwise ordinary life to become front page news, sadly, because of being accused of killing his wife in 1986... At the time of his arrest, he lived in a suburb of Austin TX, was a supermarket manager, with a beautiful, loving wife and young child. Then one day in 1986, he returned home to find his wife had been brutally attacked and murdered. The rest of the story unravels, as if a plot in a TV movie.  (Read more...)
Good News about the Death Penalty - Even in Texas!
  • The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear two death penalty cases from Texas.
  • Smith County prosecutors dropped capital murder charges in the 40-year death penalty case of Kerry Max Cook.
  • A Bell County jury rejected the death penalty in the case of David Risner, a former police officer convicted of killing Police Chief Lee Dixon.
  • The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed both executions scheduled for June based on questions about scientific evidence.
  • Judge Elsa Alcala of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals wrote a dissenting opinion questioning whether the death penalty is being fairly applied and should still be deemed constitutional.
  • Three conferences of the United Methodist Church in Texas passed resolutions affirming the church's position against the death penalty and encouraging clergy and lay leaders to become involved in the issue. This means every region of the UMC in Texas is united in opposition to the death penalty.
Dayton Area Folks - Is the Death Penalty an Idea Whose Time Has Passed?
Former Ohio Governor Bob Taft will address this question at a gathering on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Summit Christian Church in Trotwood. Click here to read the flyer that has all the details. Co-sponsored by MSJC.

Urge the U.S. to Lead by Example on 
Refugee Protection & Resettlement
On Sept. 19, world leaders will meet at the U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants. The next day, President Obama  will host a Leaders' Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis.  Sign this electronic postcard  that will be sent to President Obama and Congressional leaders, urging them to make the US a leader in addressing the global refugee crisis.
Take Action - Stop the Deportations 
Send a letter to President Obama asking him to declare a moratorium on deportations of undocumented parents with children who are U.S. citizens.

Ten Things Speaker Ryan Could Do to Address Poverty Right Now 
Some reasonable recommendations from our friends at NETWORK to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives..
Join in the Global Unity Games 
- Sept. 11-21
Teams and individuals will be organizing creative  service projects to give back to their communities and performing  acts of kindness to promote the unity of the human family.  More information here .

Justice and Peace Calendar - 2016-17 
Click here for the new Justice and Peace Calendar (Aug. 2016 through July 2017) fr om our friends at Education for Justice.

I cannot do everything, but I can do something. 
And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can.
                                                            Edward Everett Hale

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Questions, comments, or feedback for  Justice Jottings can be sent to  Jim Vogt .