Second Week of Advent, Dec. 6-12
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Greetings of peace!

As I write this short note introducing our resources for next week, the 2nd week of Advent, my thoughts are on the 40th anniversary of the martyrdom of the 4 U.S. churchwomen in El Salvador -- Ita Ford, MM; Dorothy Kazel, OSU; Maura Clarke, MM; and Jean Donovan. A number of commemorations are taking place throughout the day, and I hope you can find a few minutes to join one of them or another way to remember them and their witness and be present with their spirits and all those resisting oppression and working for justice in Latin America, yesterday and today. You can find some suggestions on our webpage for the 40th anniversary here or in our PSA from last week here.

Ita, Dorothy, Maura & Jean - PRESENTE!

Below you'll find the Pray-Study-Act (PSA) e-bulletin for the second week of Advent, Dec. 6-12. Next week is packed and includes the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (Dec. 8), International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10), and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12). We'll send you reflections for each of those Holy Days as well as a special PSA for International Human Rights Day prepared by our Deputy Director Dianna Ortiz, OSU, in addition to the resources you find below. If you're still looking for ways to pray, study and act this first week of Advent, find that PSA at this link.
For additional Advent resources, we hope you'll visit our Advent 2020 resource page on the website. A special thanks to the more than 100 people from around the Pax Christi USA community who joined us for our first Advent prayer service this past Monday (and continuing each Monday of Advent; more information here). For those of you looking for resources to use in your household or small groups, try out this free download of Advent, Christmas & Epiphany Prayers and Rituals for Families & Small Groups from Pax Christi USA, which includes Advent wreath rituals, Christmas tree blessings, an Epiphany blessing and more.
In Christ's peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Pax Christi USA Executive Director
A reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent, Dec. 6
by Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D.
The following reflection by Shannen Dee Williams, historian and assistant professor at Villanova University, originally appeared in our 2014 Advent-Christmas reflection booklet.

God does not delay the promise, as some regard ‘delay’, but is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (1 Pt 3:9)

Patience is one the greatest and most valuable Catholic virtues. In Galatians 5:22-23, St. Paul lists it among the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Yet, for many of us, patience remains elusive, especially when we are confronted with human injustice and suffering.

How many times have we become disgruntled when someone or some entity called for patience in the wake of preventable human tragedy or a clear instance of racial discrimination? How often have we equated patience with indifference or complicity in social injustice?

In the 1980s, German feminist theologian Dorothy Soelle coined the term “revolutionary patience” to characterize the uncommon faithfulness and resilience of those who struggle against injustice and refuse to give up hope in the face of routine setbacks and defeats...

Dear White Catholics:
It's time to be anti-racist & leave white fragility behind
by Andrew Lyke in America
To my white Catholic brothers and sisters:

As a Black “cradle Catholic” who is highly engaged in the church, I have been driven into deep reflection and prayer by the events of the past several months in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic: the taking of the innocent Black lives of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police.

As I reflect on the Catholic anti-racism efforts in which I have been involved since the 1980s, two conflicting currents of thought come to me. First, I am elated that so many white young people, many of whom are Catholics, have awakened from their slumber to recognize and take action against white supremacy. Second, I feel exhausted by the paucity and tepidity of white Catholic leadership in the ongoing cause for freedom for people of color in this country.

The pastoral letter “Open Wide Our Hearts,” issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2018, was intended to be a message from the church hierarchy that would give substance to Catholic anti-racist activism. Yet the document has no direct references to white privilege and white supremacist ideology. It defines racism in general terms as what arises when “a person holds that his or her own race or ethnicity is superior, and therefore judges persons of other races or ethnicities as inferior and unworthy of equal regard.” There is little consideration given to racism’s purpose, its beneficiaries and its targeted casualties...

Incorporate the works of Black Catholics into the
curriculum for schools, colleges, religious ed programs
Does your child go to Catholic school? Are you a teacher, director of religious education or college professor? High school student or college student? Support the effort to incorporate the work of Black Catholics into Catholic education!

> Find resources by going to this link to the Black Catholic Syllabus by Tia Noelle Pratt, Ph.D.
> Order Olga Segura's new book, Birth of a Movement: Black Lives Matter and the Catholic Church and organize study groups, use it in classrooms, get it in your school's library, etc.
> Download this resource packet from the Archdiocese of Washington, DC's Office of Black Catholics created for the observance of #BlackCatholicHistoryMonth.
> Find more resources on our Black Lives Matter: Pray, Study, Act webpage.
Observe Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 by taking the pledge
December 10th is International Human Rights Day. Look next week for a special Pray-Study-Act e-bulletin from us, but in the meantime, take the "pledge to STAND UP for human rights”. You can take the pledge on your own, with your families as an Advent action around the Advent wreath on Dec. 10th, or with your local Pax Christi group over Zoom.

Please click here to give to Pax Christi USA's Advent-Christmas appeal if you have the means. You can read the special message from our Deputy Director Dianna Ortiz, OSU by clicking on the image to the right and to give securely and quickly online.

We thank you so much for your generosity during this difficult time and wish you Advent blessings of peace!