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OCTOBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
Ever since childhood I have loved the beginning of October with its array of saints: St. Therese of Lisieux, then our Guardian Angels, and wondrous St. Francis of Assisi. A little later, we celebrate St. Teresa of Avila, the great mystic and reformer. These are a prelude to the Solemnity of All Saints, November 1. I have always felt happy to be part of the large family of the Communion of Saints.

Recently a friend suffered the death of her infant son. Afterward, she wrote about the consolation she felt knowing that her baby was welcomed into eternal life by not only family members, but also the whole cohort of God’s holy people who had gone before. “He sees the communion of saints in all its fullness—people from every nation and of every color, together with God. He gets to see the Church as it truly is, in all of its glory. How incredible is that?”

I was struck by the paucity of my notion of the communion saints, of mostly European saints, in contrast to her awareness of the big picture, of saints of every color, even from peoples we have ignored or labeled as “the enemy”. I am challenged to grow in my knowledge and love for the WHOLE communion of saints.

Mary Krolikowski



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Looking for more social justice resources?
Visit the Social Justice Resource Center

TABLE OF CONTENTS

GENERAL


Pope Francis Quote

Visit the Catholic Ecology Center



 

ACTIONS | ISSUES

EVENTS | EDUCATION 


Recurring Events
GENERAL
 
Pope Francis Quote
Now there are only two kinds of people: those who care for someone who is hurting and those who pass by; those who bend down to help and those who look the other way and hurry off. Here, all our distinctions, labels and masks fall away: it is the moment of truth. Will we bend down to touch and heal the wounds of others? Will we bend down and help another to get up? This is today’s challenge, and we should not be afraid to face it.

Fratelli Tutti #70

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Catholic Ecology Center
Come visit the new Catholic Ecology Center! Our new center sits on an amazingly diverse and beautiful 60 acres and is part of a 225 preserve. Enjoy our miles of hiking trails, boardwalk, pond, creeks and the Rubicon River. Come for a retreat, rent our facilities for your next event or join us for some of our great programs happening this fall including a celebration for the eve of St. Francis Feast Day.
 
More information at catholicecologycenter.org

 

ACTIONS AND ISSUES

Taking a Faithful Stance for Equity Campaign
We CAN Handle the Truth!
 
As efforts swirl around our state to rewrite history, many people of faith want to stand up for the truth.  Racism has been a huge factor in every part of America's life, since before our founding.  If we ever want to fix it, we have to first of all recognize that it is real.  And, we need to stand up to those who would try to change reality.
 
Join WISDOM, the Wisconsin Council of Churches, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, and Wisconsin Council of Rabbis in the Taking a Faithful Stance for Equity Campaign. You can join people from around the state and learn about the very concrete things you can do to stand up for equity and an anti-racist future. Join the monthly Zoom conversation on the first Tuesdays at 6:30. Register here. Click here to sign the pledge.
 
We need to learn not just to defend against the current attacks, but to be proactive in promoting an agenda for our schools and communities that matches our values.  There are those who apparently think that white people are too fragile to cope with the history of what others of our race have done to oppress others.  Rev. Walter Lanier of MICAH suggests that we need to let our school boards and other elected officials know that we CAN handle the truth.  As a matter of fact, it will set us free.

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From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Child Tax Credit and parents’ employment:
Recent suggestions that Congress should deny the credit to children whose parents don’t have earnings are misguided. Taking away the full credit from children based on their parents’ earnings would needlessly leave in poverty — or push deeper into poverty — the children who need help the most, injuring their long-term health and educational outcomes and reducing their earnings as adults, while doing virtually nothing to boost parental employment. See more https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/earnings-requirement-would-undermine-child-tax-credits-poverty-reducing-impact
 
Evictions:
With the end of the eviction moratorium, States and localities must act swiftly to protect millions of these renters from losing their homes by employing eviction diversion programs that provide legal representation and help emergency aid reach households struggling to pay rent. And Congress can help prevent future eviction crises by including a major expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher program in recovery legislation to make housing safe and affordable for people most at risk of eviction. The imminent wave of evictions will disproportionately displace Black and Latino renters, reflecting unequal access to stable housing due to longstanding racial disparities in education, employment, and housing opportunities.
 
Criminal Justice and State Budgets:
State budget reform, including eliminating criminal justice fees and reforming fines is step one to an antiracist state revenue policy.

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Pope Francis: Bringing God Back Down to Earth
A September 23 article in America: the Jesuit Review begins with this: “In a Q&A session with Jesuits in Slovakia, Pope Francis revealed that after his colon surgery this summer, some prelates wanted him to die.” [See: Why Don’t the US Bishops Defend Pope Francis from American Media Attacks?]

After getting past the shock of that statement, I felt such sadness that this could be so. I felt so sad that he endures hatred this intense. He has many enemies. Cited in this article is the conservative Catholic media empire, EWTN. Some of this resentment is rooted in traditional Catholic orthodoxy and the lingering opposition to the ways in which Vatican Council II brought the church into “the modern world.” In other words, tried to make it relevant again. That this Pope embraces that line, rather than the conservative line of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, has been a source of friction with those clinging to the old Catholic Church of previous centuries, a church in need of drastic reform, and thus the Council.

Some of the resentment is rooted in power struggles as the Pope has taken measures to shut down some of the corruption in Rome and shake up the power of the Curia and cardinals there. Restoring the integrity of the church has been a big priority in his pontificate.

Read Margaret Swedish's full article here.

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Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees
The Catholic Coalition for Migrants and Refugees needs members to re-register. If you haven't already done so, please join our mailing list here. Visit the CCMR facebook page here. Feel free to contact Alex at 414-736-0969  or alexandernikolai2020@u.northwestern.edu.
 
 

EVENTS AND EDUCATION 


Recurring Events: 

Volunteer Coordinating and Managing - 3 sessions in the series
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee Office for Human Dignity will be hosting a series of virtual trainings on Volunteer Coordinating and Managingfeaturing Jessica Brandt, Volunteer Coordinator for Catholic Charities. 
 
Jessica will be leading three online sessions, each lasting one hour:
 
Wednesday October 13 at 11 a.m. Central
Session 1:  Intro, Recruiting (includes applications and data management best practices)
 
Wednesday October 27 at 11 a.m. Central
Session 2: Training and Onboarding
 
Wednesday November 10 at 11 a.m. Central
Session 3: Recognition, Retention & Tracking success (delegating tasks/ “promoting” volunteers)
 
Online registration is available here.
 
Racial Justice Book Discussion - Tuesdays
Book Discussion: Racial Justice and the Catholic Church by Fr. Bryan Massingale In the author's words, "We all are wounded by the sin of racism... How can we struggle together against an evil that harms us all?” Small group discussion will be held on Tuesday evenings: Oct 12, Oct 26, Nov 9, Nov 30 and Dec 14. 6:00-7:30PM SS. Peter & Paul Church Center. Contact Laura Hancock, FFP Director of Social Justice and Outreach at 414-271-6777x115 or lhancock@ffpmke.org
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St. Mary Catholic Faith Community - Anti-Racism Program
  • One year "Racial Justice Working Team" with the goal of asking our parish to make a covenant to work toward becoming actively anti-racist at some point in the future
       JustFaith Programs
  • Faith and Racial Equity: September - November 2021
  • Faith and Racial Healing: January - March 2022
  • Faith and Racial Justice: April - June 2022
Learn more, and get involved, on the Parish "Exploring Anti-Racism" Website
Truth Be Told Scripture Series – Remembering Who I Am: Getting to the Heart of Isaiah - Mondays, 10/4-11/8, 9:30-11 a.m.
In this Scripture study of Isaiah, we explore our experience of and relationship with God. What does Isaiah say about living in God’s presence and discerning God’s will for me? Join us as we “enlarge the place of our tents” and embrace God as our Lover and Maker. This 6-week program encourages personal reflection and prayer. Monday mornings 9:30-11:00am in-person at First Fruits | October 4 to November 8. Pre-registration is recommended. Cost: $30 for Non-members or $15 for First Fruits members.  Presenters: Joan Carey  and Deb SchneiderRegister at First Fruits.
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Truth Be Told Scripture Series - Discipleship in Luke and Acts - Mondays, 10/4-11/8, 7-8:30 p.m.
In this series of three 6-week sessions, we explore discipleship in the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Here we discover how Jesus continuously invites us to be his disciples in our daily lives and what it means to follow Christ in our fractured world. A perfect Scripture study for beginners as well as seasoned bible readers.  Facilitator: Debra Schneider with Joan Carey. Session One: Monday evenings 7:00-8:30pm via Zoom | October 4 to November 8. Dates for Sessions 2 and 3 TBA.  Each 6-week session stands on its own. Register for one or all three at once. Registration deadline for Session 1 is Sept 27, 2021. Cost: $30 per 6-week session or $15 for Members.  Register at First Fruits. Questions? Contact Debra at djschneider86@gmail.com .
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Gift, Gratitude, and Joy – Finding our roots in God’s Creation – October 5 thru November 9
Join us for Gift, Gratitude, and Joy: a six-week Small Group discussion built on Franciscan spirituality and a Christian foundation for Caring for Creation. Hosted by First Fruits women’s ministry. In person program at First Fruits Apostolate in Elm Grove: Tuesdays 9:30-11am | Program via Zoom: Tuesdays 7-8:30pm. Both programs start Oct 5 and run for 6 consecutive weeks ending Nov 9. Through videos, activities, discussions, prayer, and scripture meditations, we will connect our faith with our actions and experience concrete ways we can impact the world. Register Here for either program.
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Black Lives are Sacred Public Witness Events
Public Witness Events: Each event lasts 1 hour, starting with prayer and including 8 minutes 46 seconds of kneeling in honor of George Floyd and all those affected by police violence. These events are organized by an informal group of Catholic lay people, and we warmly welcome all who want to stand up for the sacredness of Black lives. Follow Black Lives are Sacred on their Facebook page Black Lives are Sacred MKE 
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Weekly Racial Justice Reading group - Fridays, 3 p.m.
Racial Justice Reading Group meets virtually every Friday at 3:00 p.m.: Everyone is welcome to an online reading group focused on racial justice and how our faith can inform and shape us as we work towards racial reconciliation and justice in our world. For more information, and to get the link to the Zoom meeting, email Patrick Conlin at patrick.conlin87@gmail.com
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Siena Retreat Center Events, www.SienaRetreatCenter.org, 5637 Erie St., Racine, WI 53402.
For a complete description of these and other programs and retreats, visit www.SienaRetreatCenter.org or call 262-898-2590. Partial scholarships are available for all programs.
 
 
Peace Action Wisconsin
 
  • Stand for Peace: Every Saturday, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Learn more here. Updates on Facebook
    Attention! Please wear masks and keep a social distance.
    • October 2: Capitol/Humboldt
    • October 9: KK/Lincoln
    • October 16: 51st/Silver Spring
    • October 23: Lincoln Memorial/LaFayette Hill- Special Stand, "Why Should I Care About Julian Assange?"
    • October 30: Brady/Farwell
     
    • November 6: King/North
    • November 13: 76th/North
    • November 20: St. Paul/Water
    • November 27: Port Washington/Silver Spring
 
October and November Events

Nicholas Black Elk: Walking the Good Red Road - Oct 4
Heȟáka Sápa, commonly known as Black Elk, was a medicine man of the Oglala Lakota people who lived on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, nominated for sainthood in 2017. What lessons and wisdom can you learn from his life? In-person Event: Monday, October 4, Offered at 10:00 – 11:15 and repeated at 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. Learn more and register here.
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Rosary for Racial Healing - Oct 5
Join the Racial Justice and Healing Committee as we again offer a Rosary for Racial Justice. Plan for your whole family to join in praying this special intercession to our Mother Mary. October is Respect Life Month and is also dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. October 5, 6:00PM Via Microsoft Teams (online). To register and receive link, please contact Laura Hancock, FFP Director of Social Justice and Outreach at 414-271-6777x115 or lhancock@ffpmke.org
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The Heart's Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience - Oct 8-9
Callings always begin with a stirring of the heart. This retreat will offer an opportunity to consider callings in various areas of our lives.  We will explore the relationship between personal vocation and social conscience, being mindful that callings are not only about our own personal happiness and fulfillment, but about “us” and the common good. Offered in person with public health safety measures in place. Friday, October 8 to Saturday, October 9. Learn more and register here.
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Spotlight On: Urgency & Agency in the Battle to Avert a Climate Crisis - Oct 23
In Celebration of the United Nation’s 76th Anniversary Spotlight On: Urgency & Agency in the Battle to Avert a Climate Crisis, A Presentation by Dr. Michael E. Mann. Saturday, October 23, 10:00 AM – 11: 30 AM. Free & Open to the Public. View the press release, access the zoom link, and register here.
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Journeying with the Saints: Black Catholic Holy Men and Women - Nov 9
November is Black Catholic History Month. Join Dr. C. Vanessa White and be inspired by the lives of Black Catholics on the road to sainthood.
Offered virtually via Zoom. Tuesday, Novmber 9, 2021. Learn more and register here.
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PRAY
 
Prayer for Justice

Father, you have given all peoples one common origin.
It is your will that they be gathered together
as one family in yourself.
Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love
and with the desire to ensure justice for all.
By sharing the good things you give us,
may we secure an equality for all
our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
May there be an end to division, strife and war.
May there be a dawning of a truly human society
built on love and peace.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord.
Amen.

From Catholic Online
 
REFLECT
 
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Desmond Tutu


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