June 2020


Don't Stop Marching! 
Solidarity with Queer and Black Communities
June is Pride Month. Brian Halderman, co-chair of the LGBT Initiative Team, reflects on his own experience and relates it to both the gay rights movement and the recent protests against on-going racism in our country.
Brian Haldeman
When I came out to myself, close to 30 years ago, I knew little about the gay community or being part of the "tribe." All I knew at the time was I found men attractive and needed to understand what that meant for me and my future. In those days the internet was not as helpful as it is now, so I ventured to the library on campus and checked out a book titled "On Being Gay" by Brian McNaught. I recall reading it quickly as I identified with his experience of a Catholic upbringing and being very involved with church ministry. 
He detailed his own struggle with understanding his sexuality in spite of what his faith and family told him. It opened up new insights and new questions for me. I started reading more and digging into moral theology. I sought out a campus minister for conversation and a year later began coming out publicly to family and friends. ( Read more...)

Outreach 2020: Catholic Leaders Speak with the LGBTQ Community
Catholic  Leaders  Speak with the LGBTQ Community
Watch this new video featuring Fr. James Martin and other Catholic leaders including Ish Ruiz, co-chair of the MSJC LGBT Initiative Team.
Marge Cavanaugh
Frank O'Donnell SM

Welcome Our New MSJC Chair
Bro. Frank O'Donnell, who has chaired the MSJC Steering Committee for the past 6 years and been a member for the past 9 years, will be leaving the steering committee in January. We are pleased to announce that Marge Cavanaugh, longtime lay Marianist leader, will become the new MSJC Steering Committee chair in January 2021.  Marge shared the following comments:
MSJC is a powerful expression of the deep values of the Marianist Family. Not only does it provide education and support for justice actions, it is a concrete work of all three branches. In the way it organizes--with local initiative and responsibility residing with the issue teams - it affirms equality and respect for all involved... I am honored to be an advocate for MSJC.
She will join the Steering Committee in July and use the next six months to "learn the ropes" about MSJC. Welcome Marge!

This monthly series is aimed at helping you become more informed, conscientious, and involved in the November elections. Immigration is certainly one of the most important and divisive issues in the upcoming election.
Ted Cassidy SM

Fr. Ted Cassidy, co-chair of the MSJC Immigrant Justice Team, has written some suggestions about Immigration Issues and Questions to Consider in Voting.  
Click here to read his suggestions to help you know what to consider in evaluating candidates on the immigration issue.
Sr. Nicole Trahan FMI
Sr. Nicole Trahan FMI

TONIGHT - One God, One People: 
A Response to the Sin of Racism 
Sr. Nicole Trahan will be one of two speakers featured  at a livestream event on racism. 
WHEN: Friday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m. EDT. 
WHERE: YouTube live: www.youtube.com/user/imedayton/live 
MORE INFO: For flyer click here
Our new Racial Justice Team, of which Nicole is a Co-Chair, hopes you can attend!              
An Invitation to Work on Personal Racial Equity Awareness
The recent killings of unarmed African Americans, as well as the actions of Amy Cooper, have made us realize that we all need to  work more on race and white privilege.
The Racial Justice Team and Adele Social Justice Project invite you to explore the foundations of "whiteness" and how the notion of "whiteness" continues to harm our world. 
Using the podcast series, "Seeing White," we will dive into questions on "whiteness" including where did the notion of "whiteness" come from? What does it mean?  What does it call me to do?
WHAT:   8-wk series of conversation, reflection, prayer based on Seeing White podcasts
WHEN: Thursdays, July 23 - September 10 from 8:00pm to 9:00pm ET 
     Plan to attend all 8 weeks. 
WHERE: Zoom (link given after registration) 
MORE INFO: To watch the podcast traller, click here  
   OR, Click here  for the series website.  
RSVP: If you're interested please complete this  Seeing White interest form 
Space is limited to 15 people. Series will be repeated later depending on interest. 
Two Actions You Can Take:
1.  Support the Justice in Policing Act 

This legislation is the next step for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other black and brown people who have been gripped by the chokehold of white supremacy. It will hold police accountable and fundamentally change the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they are meant to serve. Email your elected officials to support this legislation NOW! 

2. Ask Local Officials to End Police Violence and Re-imagine Public Safety 

Join our friends at Sojourners and urge local leaders in your community to act on the call for a new model of policing.

Time to Get the Truth Out - Watch the Recorded Event
Over 80 people joined in last night for this racial justice dialogue that featured some great songs, inspiring presentations, and challenging questions. If you missed it, the recording is now available on Zoom by clicking here

Starvin' for Justice...
WHAT: Fast & Vigil to Abolish the                Death Penalty 
WHEN: June 29-July 2
WHERE: Online - Click here to register
MORE INFO: To read more details  see their  website  and Facebook Event Page

MSJC is again a co-sponsor of Starvin' for Justice: Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty. 
Normally, this event brings many abolition advocates together to peacefully protest the death penalty outside the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. Because of COVID-19 concerns, the 2020 Fast and Vigil will be virtual. Thus, anyone who wants to participate can join in without needing to travel!
Please consider supporting this amazing organization that our Death Penalty Abolition and Restorative Justice Issue Team has been working with for many years. You can make a donation and/or attend the Fast and Vigil this year! We need to continue to challenge the systems that oppress people of color and people experiencing poverty in this nation - of which the death penalty is no stranger. 
Hope to "see" you all there!

Urge Congress to Release Detainees  
If you have not yet signed NETWORK's petition  u rging Congress to release vulnerable inmates and detainees, please do so now. 
Call on Congressional leaders to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated or detained and at serious risk of contracting COVID-19.

Supreme Court Upholds DACA - Now the Senate Must Act
The victory for "Dreamers" in the Supreme Court was great, but now the Senate needs to act to make DACA recipients safe permanently. The House passed the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R.6) more than a year ago, but neither H.R.6 nor the Dream Act (S.874) have received a Senate vote yet. Call on the Senate to pass permanent protections for Dreamers.


Acknowledging the Contributions of Women of Color

Katie Brossart
Katie Brossart
Katie Brossart, a member of the MSJC Women & Justice Team, shares some reflections and resources on women of color.
The last few months have been full of challenges and have revealed the layered and systemic injustices of racism in our country. Rather than writing more about my own thoughts on this issue, as a white woman, I want to give space to women of color.
(Read more...)
Special Laudato Si Year Launches - 
An Invitation to Our Marianist Family  
"Truly, COVID-19 has made clear how deeply we are all interconnected and interdependent" said the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in declaring a Special Laudato Si' Year from May 24, 2020 through May 24, 2021.  

A Laudato Si Anniversary program  outlines seven goals and planned celebrations. It invites us to make communities around the world totally sustainable in the spirit of integral ecology during the next seven years.  Our actions help address environmental racism since the impacts of environmental degradation (including pollution and climate change) fall disproportionately on the vulnerable, indigenous and people of color. 
Contact the Marianist Environmental Education Center if you'd like to be involved in planning and sharing initiatives in our Marianist Family.

The Condor and the Eagle - A Special Screening 
Four indigenous environmental leaders embark on an extraordinary trans-continental adventure from the Canadian plains to deep into the heart of the Amazonian jungle to unite the peoples of North and South America and deepen Climate Justice. The film offers a glimpse into a developing spiritual renaissance as the four protagonists learn from each other's long legacy of resistance to colonialism and its extractive economy.
WHEN:  Sunday, June 28, 6:00 pm (EDT)
For more information and to register, click here. Sponsor:  Interfaith Power & Light

Boston College Invites Us to Take their Online Courses!
Boston College has invited anyone connected with MSJC and the Marianist Family to register for free for any of their currently available online courses. Please check here to look over the courses offered.  
Some are taken at the participant's own pace while others are open during specific weeks and offer more dialogue between students. They have courses on theology (including a class titled, Mary, The Mother of Jesus  (running from Nov. 25-Dec.15 this year), healthcare, education, and more.
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Jr.
Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. 
But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? 
  • It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. 
  • It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. 
      • And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than     about justice, equality and humanity. 

And so in a real sense our nation's summers of riots are caused by our nation's winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.

            Martin Luther King Jr.

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