Click on video above: "Pastor's Corner - May 3, 2021"
As mentioned at the end of Mass, here are links to two articles on voter suppression. One documents the efforts of right-wing Catholic groups to support efforts at voter suppression. The other details the lack of any statement from the Archdiocese of Atlanta, The Georgia Catholic Conference, or the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As author John Gehring comments, “The silence from Catholic bishops when it comes to systematic, partisan, and racist efforts to undermine voting rights is a failure to apply Catholic social teaching to one of the most brazen injustices of our time.”

Both of these articles are worthy of a close read.
On another note, we are increasing the number of tickets available for the Sunday Mass. To maintain social distance, we have 50 pews that can hold four people. Until now any folks sitting in the same pew had to be from the same household. As more folks are fully vaccinated, we will be asking fully vaccinated folks to share their pew with other fully-vaccinated folks. If you are attending as "one individual," we certainly will add others to your row - fully vaccinated, of course.
Gospel Reflection
Editor's Note: Next weekend’s Gospel reading is from John 15:9-17 where Jesus adjures us to “abide in my love” (15:9). I wanted to share an essay on this passage, written by Andrew DeCort, PhD. Andrew is the founder of the Institute for Faith and Flourishing (iffglobal.org) and the Neighbor-Love Movement (nlmglobal.org). As such, much of his ministry focus is on human value and non-violence in Ethiopia – as is his perspective in interpreting this passage last year. I thought you would enjoy his take on “Abide in My Love” as his group ministers in a dangerous and war-torn environment.
Abide in My Love: How Jesus Teaches Us to Respond to Polarization, Conflict, and Violence

by Andrew DeCort, PhD. 
When the editors of Ecumenical Trends invited me to write this essay, I was receiving dozens of death threats. My initiative in Ethiopia called the Neighbor-Love Movement works to promote seeing others as precious neighbors across polarized identities, and some people were not happy about the bridges we were attempting to build. Sadly, many of the most hateful threats came from neighbors who claimed a Christian identity.

As I prayed, I asked Jesus if he had a word he wanted to speak to my wife and me as we journeyed through that disturbing season. What I heard was “Remain in my love.” Thus, it was deeply meaningful to me that the editors asked me to explore this precise passage without knowing my situation. I share this to say that my essay is not meant as abstract theology from the ivory tower. It is meant as an attempt to listen to Jesus’s heart as we obey his command to remain in his love and love one another in real life, no matter the cost.

Introduction
How should followers of Jesus live in the midst of escalating polarization, conflict, and violence?

This question has growing relevance in the two countries I call home, Ethiopia and the United States, and many other places. We see intensifying culture wars, religious divisions, and deadly conflicts across the world. READ MORE
Spotlight on Ministry
The St. Ignatius Interfaith Committee is focused on three primary areas:
  • Organizing the annual New Year’s Eve Interfaith Service
  • Developing actionable activities with other faith communities in Baltimore.
  • Promoting educational opportunities
With respect to the latter, we’d like to recommend the various programs at the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS.org), which is located in Towson, MD.
VISION
An interreligious society in which dialogue replaces division, friendship overcomes fear, and education eradicates ignorance. 
MISSION
To dismantle religious bias and bigotry, ICJS builds learning communities where religious difference becomes a powerful force for good.
  • We believe that dialogue around religious difference deepens understanding and is an essential tool for connecting communities.
  • We endeavor to create learning spaces where productive discomfort stretches us toward mutual discovery and deepens relationships.

Recent ICJS programs include the following:
  • Religious Bias & the Capitol Insurrection: A Conversation on Rhetoric, Truth, and Coming Together
  • Exploring Major Themes of the Qur’an Through the Writings of Muslim Theologian Said Nursi
  • Law and Freedom at the Border of Christianity and Islam
  • Imagining Justice in Baltimore
  • Interreligious Dialogue and Exclusive Claims to Truth, Reading John 14:6 in Our Time
  • Film Discussion on the Life and Legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Visit the ICJS website at: https://icjs.org

The next St. Ignatius Interfaith Committee Meeting will be on June 9th via Google Meet. Contact Donna Price for the Meeting Login information at dprice4270@gmail.com.
In case you're interested:
May 8 - 8 PM
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch and ICJS Jewish Scholar Ben Sax for a discussion of the life and legacy of Rabbi Heschel in anticipation of the PBS May airing of the first full-length documentary (in which Branch and Sax both appear) on this important figure.

Spiritual Audacity: The Abraham Joshua Heschel Story (MPT -  8:00pm - Saturday, May  8, 2021) - Click here for information.
Upcoming Events
May 11 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
(Via Zoom)


May 13 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
(Via Zoom)


May 13 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
(Via Zoom)
Spiritual Growth Opportunity
In the Media
by Tyler Huckabee

For many teenagers raised in the church, going overseas is sort of a rite of passage—a “Global Perspective” you achieve like a challenge in a video game.

For me, that challenge was in Japan. I made a few friends over there, but none closer than a boy about my age named Ken, who was positively giddy about the idea of freedom. He said the word “freedom” like a magic spell, and told me of the ways he felt trapped in his own native country and dreamed of living in a different country.

“When I go back,” I told him when we said our goodbyes, “I’ll tell people your story.”

“Or,” he said, “I could come to America and tell my own story.”

They Already Have a Voice

I was too young then to grasp the importance of what Ken had told me, but recent events have brought it to my mind again. As hashtag activism has gone from an Internet oddity to a full-on force for change, we have become enamored with what what we either call “being a voice for the voiceless” or “giving a voice to the voiceless.” READ MORE
Offerings and Prayer
HOW TO GIVE  
How to contribute during this
COVID-19 season.

PRAYER LIST
A list of those who have been added to our weekly prayer list.

READER NOTIFICATION:  

Parish: 'the thought' is a publication of St. Ignatius Catholic Community-Baltimore. Each edition contains articles and news feeds that are included for awareness of current topics in our world today. The positions expressed by outside authors and news feeds are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of St. Ignatius Catholic Community or its staff.

 - This e-zine was designed and compiled by John C. Odean