December 2020
Mary in Advent – Tiffany Hunsinger
(Women & Justice Team)
“And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Child of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.’ Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:35-38)
As we continue to trek during this season of Advent, I have reflected on the role of Mary within this season. The Annunciation, the moment Mary (a woman) said yes to allow God to become incarnate, begins the entire Gospel story on which all of Christianity is based. 
This moment, more than any other, shows the strength of that woman. Mary freely chose this role and did so with an amount of courage unfathomable to most of humanity. Her agency represents her power and strength, something that should dispel any myths of her docility and mildness. She willingly accepted this life, one full of pain, suffering, and hardship. This entire season would not exist without the “yes” of that powerful moment.
For a poem that captures the feminist spirit of the Annunciation click here
Seeking a Better World – Sherine Green
(Immigrant Justice Team)
More and more, society seems to cry out for salvation. Who will save us from the perils of our time? What must we do to move beyond this fate? These are my theological ponderings as I seek meaning in the mysteries of life in 2020.
As we begin this new season, we wait on the Lord to ready our hearts. The words “a clean heart create for me” and “renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps 51:12) bring healing and comfort, and call us to be light to our brothers and sisters, especially those who struggle. We have seen, heard, and endured so much over the last months. In this time of pandemic, may we seek to experience a fuller vision of faith, one that includes diversity and inclusion. May our hearts deepen in empathy, compassion, and service for a suffering world in need of prayerful embrace and righteousness. We search for the Savior in the most despairing circumstances. The day is coming when “God will wipe away the tears” (Is 25:8) of those who suffer as they seek justice and mercy. May we rejoice in righteousness. God be our light of goodness for a better world.
John the Baptist – Brad Leger
(LGBT Initiative Team)
Most of us have this image of John the Baptist as this very imposing “wild man” figure who was clothed in camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, eating nothing but locusts and honey, and crying in the wilderness with a booming voice for us to recall the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Prepare the way of our God. Clear a straight path.” ….
What made his message even more profound was that he was speaking truth to power: to the occupying Roman forces and the religious authorities…. He was the great precursor of Jesus – this Jesus who challenged all to embrace and fulfill the Spirit of the Law rather than merely following the Letter of the Law. As he reminds us, the Law is ultimately based on love…. For those of us who are members of the LGBTQ+ community and all who work for our full acceptance and inclusion within the church and greater society, the bold, prophetic words and life of John the Baptist should speak loudly to us. (Read more)
Janet, Tom and April are new members of our issue teams.
Welcome and thank you for your commitment.
Janet Hoben
Immigrant Jus. & Death Penalty...
Bro. Tom Spring, S.M.
Women & Justice Team
April Risteff
Racial Justice Team
Virtual Prayer Vigils for Upcoming Executions
In July, the federal government restarted the practice of capital punishment following a 17-year hiatus from executions. Since then, the Dept. of Justice has executed eight people, more than doubling the total number of executions administered by the government in the 57 years prior.
Catholic Mobilizing Network’s Virtual Prayer Vigils for Federal Executions offer a space to pray and lament as a faith community in the face of these attacks on human dignity. Vigils feature prayers, petitions, and Scripture reflections from Catholic bishops, Church leaders, and other allies from across the abolition movement. Upcoming vigils:
  • Vigil for Lisa Montgomery Tuesday, Jan. 12 | 2-3 p.m. EST
  • Vigil for Cory Johnson Thursday, Jan. 14 | 2-3 p.m. EST
  • Vigil for Dustin Higgs Friday, Jan. 15 | 2-3 p.m. EST
Bro. Frank O’Donnell will lead a Scripture reflection for the Jan. 15 vigil.

Virtual Prayer Vigils are held on Zoom and livestreamed on CMN's Facebook Page. 
To receive upcoming vigil links sign up here.

Join “Virtual Posadas” on Dec. 16-24
The tradition of Las Posadas is a reenactment of the eve of the first Christmas, when Joseph and Mary searched for room at the inn, but none was to be found. While this year, many Las Posadas celebrations will be canceled or amended due to the pandemic, the Ignatian Solidarity Network invites you to join in Virtual Posadas. They will not only honor the traditional celebration of Las Posadas, but will invite participants into a daily experience of music, art, prayer, reflection, and action as we virtually journey with the migrants on the U.S-Mexico border in search of shelter and protection, just as the Holy Family did on Christmas Eve. Join Las Posadas here.
Marianist PULSE is accepting applications for our 2021-2022 year of service. Young adults interested in solidarity, intentional community living, and full-time non-profit service experience, partnered with spiritual and professional development as servant leaders through the Marianist Charism, are strongly encouraged to apply! Click here for more information.
We are confident the needs of our communities will only continue to grow in the midst of the pandemic. Please invite young adults you know to share their time and talent! 
Photo of PULSE volunteers Rafa Lopez and Felicity Nolder
 serving meals at a Dayton homeless shelter..

Three Seconds
Watch this 4 1/2 minute video at right
to get a new perspective on how long
3 seconds is.
2020 Winter Solstice Sunrise Celebration & Prayers for Peace
For more than 25 years, the MEEC community has gathered at Mount St. John in Dayton to observe the longest night of the year with prayers for world peace and candlelight reflection.
This year we invite you to light a candle in your own place as we gather virtually for a half-hour of prayer, blessed by images of Mount St. John in winter and the bonfire.
We’ll also reflect on the words of Pope Francis for the World Day of Peace. Download the prayer service to use with the live-event or at a time you choose. Our prayer will be followed by an optional time of sharing. All are welcome. Join MEEC:
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 am EST
RSVP: at info@meec.center to get information and Zoom link
World Day of Peace Message
Pope Francis releases his message each December for January 1st,
connecting justice and integral ecology themes. 
Read the press release about Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Peace on Jan. 1, which connects justice and integral ecology themes. You can read the entire message here.  

MEEC Christmas/Winter Season Cards Available
Cards feature Marianist and local Dayton artists and inspirational quotes by Pope Francis and others. Online store link
Good Trouble

Christmas Concert with GOOD TROUBLE
Join us for this free concert to celebrate with Good Trouble’s original songs and traditional Christmas hymns.
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 - 7pm (CST)
WHERE: ZOOM: Click here, Passcode: 792691 
OR FACEBOOK: Click here.
GOOD TROUBLE (Dan Frey, John Culver Wilson, and Jim Ford on the computer screen at right) is a group of educators and musicians who express their feelings about social justice through music. Their mission is inspired by human rights activist John Lewis who challenged all Americans, “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and redeem the soul of America.”
WHAT: 2 night event on the racialization of America
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 21, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
The Racialization of America
Thursday, Jan. 28, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
History of housing segregation, especially in St. Louis
INFO: Click here for more information and to register

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."
Helen Keller

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