Latest Newsletter: JPIC Update Ash Wednesday 2021
Feb 17 2021
Today is Ash Wednesday and we are focused on the Cross. My reflection centers on the seemingly endless numbers of people who feel like the Cross they are carrying is not leading somewhere--and that for them, there is no Resurrection. I believe it is our role, as people of the Resurrection, to intervene and change outcomes for the world's most vulnerable people when and where we can. The Season of Lent enables us to go deeper, to pray, to learn more, and to take action. Here are a few opportunties.
We have two opportunities during Lent to reflect and learn from Pope Francis' latest encyclical. The first is February 24, which will be an introduction to the document and reflection through the lens of Sacred Heart charism and spirituality. I will introduce the document, and the reflection will be led by the RSCJ Artisans of Hope Community. We already have 85 registered, and I think it will be a rich conversation. It's not too late to join us, and registration information is here.
The second event will be on March 24. The theological foundation of Fratelli Tutti involves the Holy Father's reflection on the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Chapter 2. Pope Francis invites each of us to reflect on how we are all of the characters in the parable and to become more like the Good Samaritan. Join Anne-Marie Conn, rscj (Halifax, Nova Scotia); Shelley Lawrence, rscj and Amarylis Serrano-Juarez, rscj (Ottawa, Ontario) and Sally McLean, rscj and Mary-Ann Bates, rscj (Prince George, British Columbia) for a reflection and discussion on Chapter 2 as well as a conversation about their ministry of hospitality with refugees in Canada, as an example of one way to answer the Pope's invitation to be the Good Samaritan. Those who register for this gathering will receive suggestions for reading and reflection as preparation for this event. Registration is here and just went live yesterday!
Both events will include ample time for small group reflection and discussion, and will be recorded in case you are unable to make it.
Other Resources for Lent
The RSCJ JPIC International Team is developing weekly Lenten reflections, starting with today, Ash Wednesday. I have attached today's reflection, and will post future reflections on the Stuart Center Facebook page as I receive them. The Province Formation to Mission Team will also create weekly Lenten reflections, under the theme " Washing Each Others' Feet," starting today, and posted here.
Many of our partners have created reflection resources for Lent. Here are some links relevant to our Justice priorities:
Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns offers a Lenten reflection guide on Fratelli Tutti, in English and Spanish, here. Ignatian Solidarity Network is offering daily Lenten reflections on our Call to Love that "transcends all prejudices, and cultural and histrical barriers, all petty interests". You can sign up for them here. Franciscan Action Network has developed a series of short videos for Lent to reflect on key values, such as care for creation, the dignity of life, and others. You can find them here. Catholic Mobilizing Network is offering a five-week Lenten series on Restorative Justice in Light of the Lenten Gospels. Information is here. Global Catholic Climate Movement is offering #LaudatoSiLent, beginning with an ecological examen to reflect on our relationship with creation. A number of our partners are sponsoring the Shine the Light Human Trafficking Conference March 8 and 9. You can register here.
Migration and Climate Action
The Province signed a letter from the United Nations NGO Committee on Migration to incoming US officials on the issue of climate migration. You can read the text of the letter here. The Society of the Sacred Heart is a member of the NGO Committee on Migration. We also signed a letter initiated by organizations working on the US border with Mexico, religious and secular, urging the US administration to cease detaining and deporting asylum seekers without processing their cases. Migrants from majority-Black countries are treated differently than other migrants, and being sent to countries where there is serious and violent civil unrest. In general, the policy risks lives, and such deportations have increased, not decreased, since the inauguration of the new administration. You can read the letter here.
We continue to maintain a robust set of anti-racism resources on the Stuart Center webpage. We just added a new resource, The Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation, a digital academic journal that publishes datasets and accompanying data articles about the lives of enslaved Africans and their descendants from the fifteenth to the early twentieth centuries. We are also about to add a new section, on Indigenous Justice, so check the page in a few weeks. Sending appreciation to those of you sharing ideas for resources with us!
Let us continue to hold the vulnerable and marginalized in prayer as we move into these 40 days of reflection and fasting. I am very grateful for each of you and for the opportunity to serve. Wishing for you a grace-filled Lent. In solidarity,
Kim Lamberty, DMin
Director | Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation |