Showing posts from February, 2014

Peace Begins With Me!

Doves have long been a symbol of peace.  A dove was sent out by Noah to survey the waters of the great flood in search of dry land, returning first with an olive branch and on its second journey never returning which proved to be a source of great joy for Noah and his family.  The Holy Spirit assumed the form of the dove at the baptism of Jesus, signifying the joy of the Father at his mission of bringing peace to the world.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of joining Dennise Burgess and Ana Long in leading the First Grade through the Eight Grade classes at St. John the Baptist Catholic school in San Lorenzo in a lesson on peace.  The students  identified famous peacemakers and we discussed what they did to promote peace.  Most often mentioned was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela.  Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and of course Jesus also made the list.  Each student received a peace dove (see photos at left and below) and was asked to write a sentence on what they believed p…

Reflection on Pope Francis' Challenge for the Church (Audio)

This talk by Kevin Foy, a Maryknoll mission promoter in Seattle, was given as part of an evening celebration of Pope Francis hosted by the Ignatian Spirituality Center in Seattle.  To hear more talks from this event, including the keynote by Fr. Mark Bosco, SJ, click here.

Missionary Discipleship and the Call to Get Involved

Too often, the reality that we cannot personally save the world prevents us from becoming fully engaged in it. I've had countless conversations with people daunted by the poverty and suffering that they have seen around the world or even in their own communities. We ask ourselves, "How do I even begin to solve this?" While the question comes from a place of compassion and discernment, it is ultimately the wrong one to ask. The answer, of course, is that I can't. I can't "solve" all of the poverty and suffering in the world, but it is also not my role to do so.

What if we instead asked, "How am I called to get involved in this?"

I find this question more helpful because it gives us a path to discerning our role in the world without retreating into a sense of insignificance. Of course, it is more challenging for the same reason. It is one thing to say that I am powerless to end human suffering, but another to claim complete powerlessness in t…

Reflections on Volunteering in Oaxaca (Mexico) January 2014

Pat Bader is a member of the Seattle Chapter of the Maryknoll Affiliates.
The Oaxaca Ecology Project ranch where I volunteered for two weeks recently is located in the hills north of the city of Oaxaca that former Maryknoll Lay Missioners Pat and Mary Denevan from Portland Oregon started about 10 years ago.The city of Oaxaca lies in the central mountain range of the country about 300 miles south of Mexico City. 
The ecology project "combines principles of Permaculture, modern technology and the wisdom of indigenous cultures of Mexico to promote efficient uses of natural resources and organic, sustainable agriculture" (from the Ecology Project mission statement) and includes over 30 fruit trees watered by a drip system,solar cells to generateelectricity, solar water heating system, thermally efficient adobe home, rain collection ditches and roof collection system,compostingsystem, ecological dry toilet system, and biointensive gardens. A center for women's integral health …

For Where Your Treasure Is

Tammi Murray is Sister Parish Ministry Chair for Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Bremerton, WA.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth … For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Read Matthew Chapter 6.) For me, reconciliation began first with simplifying. The realization of how much excess stuff I had was just a bit overwhelming and I began bringing box after box, bag after bag, week after week to St. Vincent de Paul. Three years later, I still have too much stuff. For me, it’s a process of peeling away. When Ugandan Sisters visited my home last summer, I became even more aware of the excess – in my refrigerator! Worse yet, I knew that much of the food would ultimately go to waste. I now try to buy less and waste less.
My next realization was just how little of my total income I was giving to the Parish and the poor. I began to slowly give more and more. At first giving began with helping a friend’s b…