October 2020


SONGS OF HOPE - an online sing-along 
Songs of Hope will help to remove the heaviness that many of us are feeling during this election season.
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 7:30pm (EST)
HOW: via Zoom.
WHO: Our song leaders will be the group Good Trouble (Jim Ford, John Wilson & Dan Frey)
WHAT: Good Trouble will perform a variety of hopeful songs from the past 100 years. 

Take a break from these difficult times and join us in singing to experience what Martin Luther believed, "My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary." 

Music is a powerful force in our lives and a gift we can share with each other. Please join us.
"I think music has the power to transform people, and in doing so, it has the power to transform situations - some large and some small." Joan Baez

Catholic Voter Guide
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) releases a document before each presidential election to help Catholics prepare to vote. The document, " Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship", lists 47 issues that Catholics should consider when they vote. This voter guide (https://www.catholicvoterguide.com/) features a chart with all 47 issues and the current political stances of the two major presidential candidates on these issues. The authors of the guide, one of whom is Meaghan Crowley, Adele Social Justice Project Team member, state, "This guide is only a starting point for your discernment. The claims of 'Aligns,' 'Does not Align,' and 'Inconclusive' are opinions based on primary sources."
The Elections - A Time for Prayer 
As people of faith, let us be people of prayer as we draw near to Nov. 3. Use this Prayer for the Elections from Education for Justice and/or Daily Prayers Leading Up to Election Day from the Sisters of Mercy.
Voting and Catholicism: A Critical Discussion of "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" 
Offered by Creighton University, this webinar will feature:
     * John Stowe, Bishop of Lexington, KY
     * Cathleen Kaveny, Professor of Theology and Law at Boston College.
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020 7:00 PM Central Time. 
TO REGISTER: Click here
Protect the Integrity of Our Elections

Read and share this article from Sojourners - We Can Help Prevent an Election Crisis. Here's How. - that gives seven concrete steps to safeguard the integrity of the vote. 


Elections 2020 - Follow-up  
Resources are available to assist with personal election decisions and respectful dialogue with others from the Election 2020 - Justice Signs of Our Times Zoom panel and presentation on Sept. 30. Click here to access. Videos and transcripts are being edited for later availability.

New Community Meeting Kit 
from the Women and Justice Team
Click here to download a copy of the newest Community Meeting Kit on "Seeking Justice and Inclusion for Women in the Church." This and 6 other kits on social justice themes were developed through a partnership between MSJC and the No. American Center for Marianist Studies. You can see all the kits that are currently available here

To Choose, To Love, To Unify 
Shannon Clark
Shannon Clarke, a member of the Death Penalty Abolition and Restorative Justice Team, shares her reflections about how we are each called to live a life of meaning.
Sister Ita Ford, a Maryknoll Sister assassinated in 1980 by the El Salvadoran militia, once said,  
I hope you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for - maybe even worth dying for - something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead. I can't tell you what it might be - that's for you to find, to choose, to love. I can just encourage you to start looking and support you in the search...
We live in a time of divisiveness rather than unity. Whether it be due to differences in politics, religion, class, or a fundamental belief system, it seems easier to point out each other's differences than our similarities. (Read more...)  
Respect Life Month Toolkit  
Catholic Mobilizing Network's annual Respect Life Month Toolkit offers a selection of timely, easy-to-use resources designed to assist faith communities, parishes, dioceses, families, and individuals as they advocate for a culture of life and an end to capital punishment. The toolkit includes:
  • Prayers and vigil templates
  • Infographics and handouts
  • Videos and social media resources
  • Advocacy opportunities
Beth Garascia

LGBTQ Catholic Educators - 
People of Faith, People in Service to the Church 
Beth Garascia, a member of the LGBT Initiative Team, shares her concerns about how the Church treats LGBTQ persons who are employees of the Church.
Why do LGBTQ educators, who serve the Roman Catholic Church with devotion and resilience despite the risk of being ousted, continue to work for the church they love? These amazing young men and women stay in Catholic communities and serve the Church as positive witnesses even though at times they aren't welcomed. The fact that so many continue to live out their calling to be Church ministers is a testament to their courage, love of Christ and His Church, and commitment to their profession and their students. 
National Coming Out Day Prayer 
Loving God, in your wisdom, you created a world rich with
We give thanks for the gifts of sexual orientation and
     gender identity. 
We celebrate with our queer, transgender, bisexual,
     lesbian, and gay siblings who choose to come out, and
     honor those who do not. 
Today, we say "yes" to the diversity among us - within ourselves, our families, our
     neighbors, and our communities. 
We claim that diversity as we come before you and as we go out into the world. 
At times, we turn away from this diversity, fearful of its transformative power. 
We reject that which is different, force it to be silent, or pretend that it does not
We participate in systems that privilege sameness and uproot difference. 
Give us the courage to live boldly into the mystery of diversity, the strength to
     persevere in the face of adversity, and the power to love in ways that go
     beyond understanding. 
Help us create a world where all queer, transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay
     people can flourish. Amen.
Racism in Hawaiʻi: A Faith Response - Fr. Alapaki Kim

Racism in Hawai'i - A Faith Response 
Hawai'i has its own unique form of racism and racist practices. In this video from a recent presentation for the Marianist Center of Hawai'i, Native Hawai'ian priest, Fr. Alapaki Kim, explores racism in Hawai'i and its roots, and proposes how people of faith can respond. Click on image at right to watch.

Our Moral Imperative to Act on Climate Change
and 3 Steps We Can Take 
Click here to watch Pope Francis' second TED talk, released October 10
Click here to read an article that summarizes the talk.

Crossroads Symposium 2020: Faith and Politics 
WHAT: How Does/Can Catholic Social Teaching Address the Issues of Today:
            Voting, Social Injustice, Structural Racism and COVID-19?
WHEN: Wed., Oct. 21, 7-9 pm (Central Time).
WHERE: Free Zoom webinar, sponsored by St. Mary's U., San Antonio. TX
INFO & TO REGISTER: Click here 
Reclaim Armistice Day - November 11
Veterans for Peace has taken the lead in lifting up the original intention of November 11 - Veterans Day but originally called Armistice Day - as a day for peace. Veterans know that a day that celebrates peace, not war, is the best way to honor the sacrifices of veterans. They want generations to come to never know the destruction war has wrought on people and the earth. Click here to get more information on how you can be involved in celebrating peace on Nov. 11 this year.

Frank O'Donnell SM

Bro. Frank O'Donnell 
Bro. Frank is the chair of MSJC and also a practicing attorney.
Read this article from the Archdiocese of Baltimore's Catholic Review that details both the breadth and depth on his ministry. 


John Lewis

Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, 
and redeem the soul of America.
                                                        John Lewis

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