America has a history of oppression of "the other" that renews itself over and over, unfortunately with the approval of our country's citizenry. As once we oppressed slaves, now we oppress refugees. A most painful suffering for slaves in the past and refugees in the present is separation of families.
In Justice Matters, sisters find their grounding in Catholic Social Teaching.
The government shutdown says to Americans that some leaders are willing to forsake hardworking peoples' lives of dignity in exchange for a monument to fear, power and selfishness.
Spending time on the U.S./Mexican border in Texas working with those seeking asylum during the Advent season was, perhaps, one of the best preparations for Christmas. In the eyes of the men, women and children seeking shelter, I could see so clearly the face of Jesus whose parents, Mary and Joseph, were also seeking a place of refuge.
On Sept. 4, 1838, 859 members of the Native American Potawatomi Nation began a forced relocation march from their home near Twin Lakes, Indiana, to Kansas. Three years later, on June 29, 1841, four Religious of the Sacred Heart departed from St. Louis to found a school for native girls at the Jesuit mission in Sugar Creek, Kansas, where the Potawatomi had ultimately settled. Every five years since 1983, the Potawatomi have organized a caravan to retrace the Trail of Death.
Direct action is just one part of any campaign. Legislative lobbying, op-ed columns and careful essays like Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" all work together to gain the prize.
The Catholic Church has never opposed science, but then what prevents the church from embracing modern science? Pope Pius XII opened the door to evolution in his 1950 encyclical Humani generis, and Pope John Paul II spoke of the need to reconcile science and religion, saying they can mutually enrich one another.
The space of spiritual direction and accompaniment is so profound! In it I have the grace to touch the sacred space of the people I accompany. I was fortunate to be there for the visit of Pope Francis in Chile — and specifically, in the women's prison in Santiago.
Female head porters are unskilled, uneducated migrant women, usually from poverty-stricken families of northern Ghana who move down to southern Ghana for work. They generally live in very poor conditions and lack social protection; they are exposed to all forms of sexual and physical exploitation, resulting in unplanned pregnancies and children being raised on the street. Because their job involves lifting and carrying heavy goods for long distances, most of them suffer physical ailments.
As a white person, what happens when you make the conscious decision to stare racism in the face, to wake up? What happens when you make a commitment to be vocal and call out racism when you see it? As a white woman, heading an agency that has made a commitment to rout out racism, I am learning the consequences, personally and institutionally, of these two actions.
The problem with social justice is that we have made it a human work when in fact social justice is, in a sense, a definition of nature itself. Social justice cannot exist as an independent phenomenon because it is the underlying principle of all phenomena. By highlighting social justice as a particular area of concern, we unwittingly confess our deep disconnect from nature.
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