Marianist Social Justice Collaborative

November 2015




A Video Meditation from our Lay Marianists in France
They write: The terrible tragedy of the attacks in Paris plunges us into confusion. 
We feel helpless in the face of so much violence. But, our faith in life is stronger than death. It supports us in this time of profound concern. We share this video as a way to unite us in prayer.

Join the Movement for Climate Justice 
First watch the video  at left - Earth to Paris: This is NOT About Jack Black or Lil Bub

Starting the weekend of Nov. 28 (the weekend before the UN Summit on Climate Change in Paris), people throughout the world are coming together for two weeks of action calling for climate justice and an end to carbon pollution. There will be thousands of events around the world. Unfortunately, major marches scheduled to take place in Paris during the Climate Summit have been cancelled due to security concerns.
Creating New Responses for New Times

June 17-19,  2016 at Chaminade College Preparatory  
West Hills, CA
July 22-24, 2016  at St. Mary 's University 
San Antonio, TX
October 28-30, 2016  at Bergamo Retreat Center 
Dayton, OH

Join us at one or all events for a broad engagement process.
Sponsored by:
Marianist Social Justice Collaborative
Marianist Province Justice, Peace, & Integrity of Creation 
These experiences are being developed for Marianist  Family members,  friends, and other "seekers of justice." We will explore how we can  embrace both the challenges and possibilities for economic,  environmental, and social justice now and in the future.
More information is coming soon, but in the meantime,
Save the Dates and we hope to see you at CHANGEMAKERS.

Tell Congress & your Governor to Welcome Syrian Refugees 
We grieve for the many victims of violence and terrorism in Beirut, Baghdad, Paris, and throughout the world. We cannot, however, let our grief and fear blind us to the desperation and despair of millions of refugees fleeing to safety from Syria.  Fear must not be an excuse for inaction, or worse, a rejection of our faithful duty to respond to the urgent needs of our Syrian brothers and sisters. 
As Pope Francis reminded Congress in September, " Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. ...We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal." Click here   to contact your members of Congress and governor and urge them to welcome Syrian refugees.
Archbishop Blase Cupich

Act on Immigration Reform Says Cupich  
Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago exhorted Congress to act quickly to pass comprehensive immigration reform. 

Reflections on the Church's Response to Transgender Persons 
Tony Garascia
Tony Garascia, longtime Lay Marianist and a professional therapist, shares his reflections and concern about the impact of uninformed statements by Church leaders regarding transgender persons.
"One wonders if many Church officials have in fact ever met with members of the transgender community, listened to their stories, their pain, and their attempt to live authentically and integrate who they really are into how they function in the society. If they took the time to meet with the community and consult mainstream researchers and clinicians they would find that transgender people look to their faith and churches for acceptance, often feel alienated from friends, family, and from their churches, face great psychological distress, and are at a greater risk for suicide due to rejection." (Read more...)
Beth Garascia, Dominic Garascia, 
Josh Moran, Brad Leger, Laura Collins, Ish Ruiz, Matt Dunn, 
in front: Tom Farnsworth SM

LGBT Initiative Team Meets in Dayton
Bro. Tom Farnsworth reflects on the recent meeting of the LGBT Initiative:
"We met this past weekend at the U. of Dayton and were joined by two new young adult members and UD grads - Josh Moran and Ish Ruiz. They were both excited and happy to be back at UD. They brought a fresh perspective and such life to our meeting! The older but faithful stalwarts were in attendance as well (see photo). We had productive and fruitful discussion and lots of good humor especially at our evening fellowship. I feel blessed to be a part of this Team and it so enriches my life as a vowed Marianist Brother to be collaborating with these lay folks. We spoke of how we can be a more effective resource for all especially for our Marianist sponsored high schools and their students who may be LGBT. I am very uplifted and edified by our witness and work. May Jesus and Mary continue to bless and guide all our efforts. Praised be Jesus and Mary! NOW AND FOREVERMORE!"

Advocate for LGBT Catholics Dies 
A champion for the rights of LGBT Catholics, John McNeil, died recently. Click here
to read an obituary.
Morrissey_ Paul
Fr. Paul Morrissey

SAVE THE DATE - LGBT Retreat: August 5-7, 2016 
The LGBT Initiative Team is planning a retreat for LGBT persons, their families, and friends/allies. Fr. Paul Morrissey will be the retreat leader. For more information, click here.


Pope Francis on the Death Penalty - September Address to Congress 
Pope Francis "The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development. This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation."
In the U.S., capital punishment remains legal in 31 states. As of this past July, 3002 inmates were awaiting execution across the country.
Team Meeting Focuses on Restorative Justice
On Friday Nov. 6, many members of the Issue Team were able to attend "A New Path to Justice: A Conference on Criminal Justice Reform in the Year of Mercy" held at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. The daylong conference featured three plenary sessions and five workshops One of the plenary highlights was "Restorative Justice in Practice" during which former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske spoke passionately about her work conducting Healing Circles inside a state prison
Other members were able to join the Team on Saturday for its 2015-2016 annual meeting. We were privileged both days to spend time with Karen Clifton, Executive Director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network (a co-sponsor of the Conference) and to view some excellent resources they have recently released, such as a presentation that can be used to introduce Restorative Justice to a parish or other group.

Back row - John Holden, Mary Beaudoin, Brian Halderman, Karen Clifton, Lauren Olson, Zoe Russell. 

Front row - Bob Stoughton, Grace Walle FMI. 

Marianist Call to Advance Justice with Harvest Prayer MLC
On Nov. 14, the members of the Harvest Prayer MLC in Hoyt, Kansas participated in the Marianist Call to Advance Justice program. Some comments from the participants:
  • "Pulling it all together - that was the 'aha' moment for me."
  • "We saw what others are doing (for social justice) and were surprised at the many things we already do."
Is your community interested in experiencing a Marianist Call to Advance Justice workshop? Contact Jim Vogt for more information.
Harvest Prayer MLC - Hoyt, Kansas

RESOURCES chocolate-truffles.jpg
Ethical Chocolate Companies 
In the October issue of Justice Jottings, we listed several Fair Trade chocolate producers as a source for Halloween candy. One reader mentioned that those particular brands were difficult to find. So for all you chocolate lovers, here is a much more extensive list of Fair Trade chocolate so you can indulge your craving guilt-free!  


It is not Paris we should pray for - it is the world.
  • It is a world in which Beirut, reeling from bombings two days before Paris,
    is not covered in the press.
  • A world in which a bomb goes off at a funeral in Baghdad;
    and not one person's status update says "Baghdad" because not one white person died in that fire.
Pray for the world
  • That blames a refugee crisis for a terrorist attack.
  • That does not pause to differentiate between the attacker
    and the person running from the very same thing you are.
Pray for a world
  • Where people walking across countries for months,
    their only belonging upon their backs, are told they have no place to go.
Say a prayer for Paris by all means, but pray more -
  • For the world that does not have a prayer
    for those who no longer have a home to defend.
  • For a world that is falling apart in all corners,
    and not simply in the towers and cafes we find so familiar.
Karuna Ezara Parikh   
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Questions, comments, or feedback for  Justice Jottings can be sent to  Jim Vogt .