By the time you read this, I will be in Barcelona, Spain getting ready for a 14 day transatlantic crossing. As I write this I’m trying to stay focused on all the tasks that still need my attention here at the parish and what I will be missing and looking forward to upon my return.
A special thank you to all those who came out to our information meeting on Renew My Church last Monday evening. We had as many as 60+ livestreaming and a good number of folks who showed up. If you couldn’t be with us, please watch the Live Stream on our You Tube channel. We need your feedback by Monday at Noon. Please email your reactions/vote/questions to AscensionRMCFeedback@gmail.com. Thank you so much!
For the last 2 months, Clare Kalemba, Trudi Goggin, Sue Kaszynski and I have been meeting together to design a series for our Oak Park Grouping on the subject of Racism. Together we watched scores of You Tube videos, listened to podcasts, read a variety of books to get a flavor of the kinds of materials that are out there. After reviewing and discussing, we decided on 2 authors and a variety of media to appeal to different folks. I personally have found there are some put me off; I can’t engage in the style, the presentation, the perspective. What I have learned is that there is always more to learn about myself and about this particular issue. We’ve settled on these two authors/speakers: Fr. Bryan Massingale (Professor at Fordham University) and Emmanuel Acho (Yes, that Emmanuel Acho former NFL player). Google Fr. Massingale and many You Tube videos will show up related to the topic of Social Justice. He’s also the author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. Mr. Acho wrote Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man and has many twelve 20 minute podcasts under that same title.
I want to invite you to consider participating in our 4 week series beginning on October 28, the feast of the Apostles Simon and Jude and running on 4 consecutive Thursdays during Catholic Black History Month. (If you never knew of this designation before, you are in good company; I didn’t either!) The first week will begin with a preached Evening Prayer service at St. Giles followed by breaking into peace circles to share a few questions. The 2nd and 3rd weeks will be on Zoom and the final week will be held at Ascension for peace circles and a closing prayer service. Try putting those dates on your calendar now and see if you can guard them and join us as we work together to understand more deeply the need for truth, justice, and healing on this topic as we connect with the broader Church experience grounded in Catholic Black History month.
I’m not sure if I will be able to write my column while I am away. I’ll surprise you and me if I do.
Continue to pray for our Renew My Church grouping.