Volume 9.01 | January 19, 2021
In this Issue:

Dwelling Place Reopens Following Renovations

Canticle Farm Receives Assistance from USDA Program

Resources for Reflection on Capitol Violence

Do Black Lives Matter?

In Memory
The Dwelling Place of NY Reopens Following Renovations
After much work by the new director, Deborah Pollock, her staff, the members of the Board of Directors, and with the able assistance of volunteers (especially Sister Nancy Chiarello), the Dwelling House building has been cleaned, repaired, and redesigned for use in these Covid times. It is now in compliance with guidelines from all Departments of Health - city, state, and the CDC. With all safety protocols in place to ensure the protection of both staff and residents, the TDP can admit women.

A number of women have been interviewed and three of them will move in on the 19th, with one more joining them the following week. We decided to start small and monitor the new approach, and take in more residents as it seems appropriate. New staff members will be in place to welcome the women and assist them in their transitions.

The Wednesday night dinners have been happening on a take-out basis for several weeks and will continue in this manner for the time being.

Much food has been donated including donations that will provide more healthy food options for the residents. The online fund raisers have been effective and the annual Gala is scheduled for March 25, 2021 as a virtual event.

Please pray for the women and for the safety of all involved at the Dwelling Place as they begin, in our name, this new phase of ministry to women who are homeless!
The USDA, Cattaraugus County Farm Service Agency and Canticle Farm
By: Melissa Scholl OSF, President, Canticle Farm
This past November, the task of achieving a balanced budget for 2021 was agonizingly difficult for the Finance Committee and Board of Directors of Canticle Farm.

However, miracles do happen!

In early December, the Cattaraugus County Farm Service Agency newsletter provided information concerning the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance (CFAP) Program 2. This second version of the CFAP made many more commodities eligible from “… yam to alpaca farmers- and everyone in between,” and that included Canticle Farm! I immediately downloaded the paperwork and began the phone calls to the Farm Service Agency program staff.

After three days of repeated phone calls to the agency, research into our 2019 year-end finances, and a Zoom meeting with the Farm Board of Directors, all was ready for delivery to the County Farm Service agency parking lot in Ellicottville, NY. All masks were on, documents were delivered for inspection, and I waited in the car. Fifteen minutes later, masked and expectant, I signed a bunch of documents on the hood of the car. Did I mention that I wasn’t allowed into the building? 

When finished, I was shown an estimate of the support based on the income from produce grown and sold by the farm. WOW! Four days later approximately $20,000 was direct deposited into the Canticle Farm bank account. I had it spent in 3 minutes; for part of a barn, half of a tractor, heat in the Market, payroll... but ultimately figured a balanced budget would make the Finance Committee happier, and it did!  
Resources for reflection on the recent events at our U.S. Capitol
We offer the following resources for your reading, reflection and sharing on the most recent events in our U.S. Capitol.

Amy Uelmen published an interesting article, Whither Dialogue after the Capitol Riot, about political dialogue and religion. You find the article here.

Amy Uelmen writes, "What if the goal of dialogue were to be reframed as listening to understand? Listening to understand entails creating the space in my own mind and heart to receive the other as they are, so that they might articulate their ideas in the way that they would like to express them, with their own words and concepts.”
 
 America Magazine podcast with Rev. Bryan Massingale: The Capitol Hill rioters co-opted Jesus. How should Catholics respond? Click to listen: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2021/01/15/jesuitical-us-capitol-riot-christian-catholic-239726
 
Fr. Massingale states, “We’ve allowed Christianity, Christian symbols, Christian faith, Christian language to be hijacked in the cause of a human ideology of exclusion and division.”
 
“How should Christ-believers counter insurrectionist cults?” by Sr. Christine Schenk, a Sister of St. Joseph and an NCR board member: https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/spirituality/column/simply-spirit/how-should-christ-believers-counter-insurrectionist
 
Sr. Christine wrote, “Of all the shocking images that flooded our screens on Jan. 6, I am most outraged by a flag bearing the name of Jesus carried by insurrectionists as they mounted their assault on the U.S. Capitol.”
In Solidarity With Democracy, Equity & Justice
Mary Beth Gallagher, Executive Director, Investor Advocates for Social Justice
Yesterday’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump insurgents attempting to undermine the results of the 2020 election was disturbing and deeply sad. In a culmination of the denial of the election outcome, damaging and false rhetoric, these attacks on the democratic process by white supremacists were enabled or incited by President Trump and other elected officials. Those responsible must be held accountable, and we are encouraged by leaders in the public and private sector calling for this. Any attempts to undermine free and fair elections and the values and ideals of our democracy must not be tolerated. The United States must move towards a peaceful and orderly transition of power.

This emboldened insurrection, and the apparently permissive response to it by law enforcement, is yet another troubling manifestation of the long history of white supremacy in America. We cannot ignore the disparate police response to peaceful racial justice protests. To reinvigorate our collective journey towards peace and the common good, Investor Advocates for Social Justice (IASJ) is committed to promoting respect for human rights, racial equity, and peace. IASJ acknowledges that all actors in society must oppose white supremacy culture as it manifests and uphold the fundamental pillars of democracy.
Do Black Lives Matter? Relearning American History
By: Margaret Magee OSF
The following is one in a series of reflections submitted by Sisters in conjunction with St. Bonaventure University/BonaResponds Brothers and Sisters to All project.
How do we remain attentive to the ongoing need for racial justice and continue to educate ourselves and work to change our cultural attitudes of white privilege? The protests sparked by police violence have died down. The voices crying out that Black Lives Matter have become quiet. This happens too often. The outrage and cries of racial disparity become dimmed until the next painful injury or death. Are we addressing the painful silence of oppression and the collective memories that continue to hold a large portion of our American citizens in fear of racial stereotyping which leads to unjust treatment and death, as well as in conditions of poverty?
 
Yes, too often after violence periods everything calms down and life seems to return to “normal”. However, more and more there is a growing awareness that change must come. We must hear the voices that history has silenced. We must hear the stories of people enslaved, oppressed and made subservient in a country that proclaimed and still proclaims freedom, liberty and justice for all. If we refuse to hear these voices we become deaf and blind to the other forms of slavery, oppression, inequity and the abuse of human trafficking that continues today.
 
“Today, as in the past, slavery is rooted in a notion of the human person that allows him or her to be treated as an object… Whether by coercion, or deception, or by physical or psychological duress, human persons created in the image and likeness of God are deprived of their freedom, sold and reduced to being the property of others.” (Fratelli Tutti, 24)
 
Some months ago, CBS 60 Minutes aired a segment on the Clotilda Slave Ship which brought hundreds of enslaved Africans, human beings to be sold as merchandise and subjected to inhumane treatment. Let us listen and learn of the untold stories of American oppression and racism. Let our listening move us to work for an end to the injustice of racism and proclaim liberty and justice for all!

Franciscan Center Upcoming Events
Centering Prayer via Zoom
Tuesdays; 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Led by Nicholas Nitch and Kathleen Moore

Monthly Enneagram via Zoom
Tuesday, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Jan 12, Feb 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8
Presenter: Tim Flood

Once a Month Interfaith Devotional via Zoom
Wednesdays, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Jan 20, Feb 17, March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16
Facilitated by Farah Khorsandian-Sanchez

A Zoom Women’s Spirituality Book Club
Deepening Engagement: Essential Wisdom for Listening & Leading with Purpose, Meaning & Joy by Dine Millis, Ph.D.
Thursdays, Jan 7, 14, 21, 28 Feb 4, 11, 18, 25
2:00 ~ 4:00 p.m.
Led by: Maureen Connors & Ruth Dyer

A Spiritual Journey To Peace via Zoom – Series
Wednesdays: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Starting in September and ending In March, this five­ course series offers a path to peace and can be taken as individual courses or as a full series with the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Peaceful Practices.
Each course is 4 weeks, 1 hour each session, for a total of 4 hours per course, and 20 hours for the entire series.
Facilitated by Nancy Mercurio

Full Moon Labyrinth Walk on the Franciscan Center Grounds
January 28
6:30 ~ 8:00 p.m.
Facilitated by Maureen Connors, Ph.D.

In Memory
Sr. Dorothy Dwyer
Date of Birth: October 16, 1933
Entered Eternal Life: January 1, 2021
Sr. Ruth Barthle
Date of Birth: April 14, 1923
Entered Eternal Life: January 11, 2021