March 2021
To Join MSJC's Women & Justice Issue Team
The Women & Justice Issue Team is looking for some new members, both men and women, to support their amazing work. The team is focused on the following:
  • Promoting an increase in women’s influence in the Church so the Church can benefit from all the graces given to her.
  • Addressing issues of gender violence in the world, including human trafficking and sexual violence.
  • Promoting and encouraging women’s leadership roles, especially for young women.
The team is currently working on these projects:
  • Studying and sharing about important women of faith
  • Updating and engaging on their Facebook group
  • Planning a podcast discussion series
  • Advocating for the voice of women in the Church
Are you interested in these areas? Do you know someone else who might be? Please email us at marianistsocialjustice@gmail.com if you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of this team.
To Join the Marianist Creation Care/
Integral Ecology Group 
Are you interested in gathering with others in the Marianist Family who are environmentally concerned or engaged? During this Fifth Anniversary Year of Laudato si, faith-based organizations are invited to plan for seven years of action towards achieving Integral Ecology. 
We want to form a group of Marianists who are interested in:
  • Implementing the vision of Laudato si in dialogue with our Marianist charism
  • Sharing ideas and activities that are underway
  • Understand how Care for Creation/Integral Ecology intersects with the Church's social teaching and the call for economic and racial justice.
We anticipate having an informal meeting sometime in April via zoom to share hopes and ideas. Using the resources of the Catholic Climate Covenant and Global Catholic Climate Movement, in collaboration with the Marianist Environmental Education Center, we will seek to educate ourselves, implement the Laudato si goals, and help care for our local environmental spaces. If you’re interested in more information, submit your name to marianistsocialjustice@gmail.com by April 1.  
To Submit an Application for MLC-NA Director
Are you being called to serve the Marianist Laity with your time, skills, and gifts? MLC-NA is seeking a full-time National Director! Some of the main responsibilities of this position will be:
  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive development plan for MLC-NA
  • Expanding MLC-NA's member communications and support
  • Being a collaborative point of contact for the Marianist Lay Branch
  • Planning annual gatherings for Lay Marianists to connect and engage with the charism.
The complete position description and information on how to apply may be found here. Applications are due by April 1, 2021 at 5 PM ET.

Stations of the Cross - Overcoming Racism
As part of your Lenten practice this year, check out and share these Stations of the Cross: Overcoming Racism, from the USCCB. (available in both English and Spanish. A rich Lenten reflection, this prayer resource can help open our hearts to the persistent sin of racism and the call to overcome it.


Send Your Thanks - Virginia Legislators Vote to Abolish the Death Penalty
Last month Virginia lawmakers gave final approval to legislation that will end capital punishment in Virginia. The bill now awaits the signature of Governor Ralph Northam, who has said he will sign it. This is a dramatic turnaround for a state that has executed more people in its long history than any other.
We encourage everyone – no matter which state you live in - to write or call the three Republican lawmakers who joined all their Democratic colleagues in support of ending the death penalty. These three took significant political risk in casting their votes. They are

Living St. Oscar Romero’s Spirit
in Today’s Climate
WHAT: A virtual 4-part series celebrating the perseverance and achievements of environmental and climate justice advocates.
WHEN: March 24 - April 20
SPONSOR: U. of Dayton and Regional Partners
INFO & REGISTRATION: Click here. It's free.
Features global, national and local perspectives on the issues and challenges. Events include the Moral Courage Project - Poison and Power: The Fight for Water.  
EarthWeek 2021-Restore Our Common Home
Earth Day 2021 is April 22
Sign up for/download Earth Day 2021 resources from faith-based organizations:

Gender, Sex, and the Importance of Listening
Beth Garascia, a member of the LGBT Initiative Team, shares some reflections about the complexity of an issue that at one point seemed so simple – and the importance of listening to those whose experience of sex and gender may not fit the traditional framework.

“It’s a girl!” In the past, these joyful words were offered to us as the initial information we heard about a child after she was born. Today in the US, we sometimes get this information before a baby enters the world at a gender reveal party via pink and blue cupcakes or balloons. In either case, the fact that one’s biological sex is the very first fact we know about another human being is an indication of what a fundamental aspect of one’s identity it is.
The words sex and gender are bandied about in casual conversation as if everyone completely understands their meaning. But we’re discovering today that the definition of these terms is more complex than previously thought. To be accurate, a gender reveal party would be renamed a biological sex reveal party. It doesn’t have the same engaging ring, though, does it? 

Although the concepts are intimately related, gender is understood as a cultural concept while sex is biological. Gender can be defined as one’s innate sense of self. Having this bit of information, we quickly understand how there can be scholars whose life work it is to think seriously about their meaning. (Read more…)

MSJC Letter to Biden Supporting Expanded TPS
At the recommendation of the Immigrant Justice Team, the MSJC Steering Committee signed on to a letter composed by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network to President Biden urging him to expand Temporary Protected Status for 2.3 million immigrants currently living in the US. (MSJC is #88 on the list of signatories.)
Take Action – Support the US Citizenship Act
The Biden administration has promised to make immigration reform one of its top priorities. As an important first step, the administration has sent the US Citizenship Act to Congress. It is a bill that reflects a comprehensive approach to immigration reform similar to what was advocated by the Marianist Family Council statement on immigration reform adopted 10 years ago. Here is a summary of the bill. Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to support this legislation.
President Biden and Congress – Dream Big
Read Neomi De Anda's letter to our political leaders in Washington. Neomi is a member of the Immigrant Justice Team. She urges our leaders to dream big and boldly when considering the immigration challenges facing our country.

Creating a Culture of Life in a Divided Country
WHAT: Conference on how to dialogue on contentious political issues
WHEN: Saturday, April 24, 1:00-5:00 pm (EDT).
HOW: Zoom
FLYER: Click here

My Prison Cell View of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Read this moving, first-hand account by a prisoner in Ohio about the impact of COVID in his “home”.
Martin Luther King
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency asks the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience asks the question, is it right?
And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Wondering what to do with a government relief check? If you don't need it for necessities, consider donating it to MSJC.

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