Reminds me of our patron.

It has been a challenge to add to this blog. We are so divided mostly because of fear and hate mongered by the media like day old fish. I wanted to offer a JPIC point of view on the question to sign on to the request to the city of Flagstaff to divest from financial institutions that are promoting and funding the destruction of the earth as we know it. I am also reminded that many of these financial institutions are stringing out their profits until it becomes more profitable to be vested in renewable energy sources and industry. Once it becomes more profitable to invest and support renewable energy and industry, financial institutions will follow the money and profits.

This morning I read about Blessed Bernard Licthenberg: While his democratically elected government: the Third Reich was rounding up and murdering Jewish neighbors and citizens, he condemned the attack known as Kristallnacht. He regularly prayed for the Jews publicly. He was the provost of St. Hedwig’s Cathedral. He was a Catholic priest in a position of power and he plainly called out a very dangerous Nazi government in straightforward terms. Most in the Catholic Church remained silent or complicit in the face of torture and death of millions. He named the sin: “euthanasia” He said ” I demand of you that you answer for the crimes that have been perpetrated at your bidding and with your consent and will call forth the vengeance of the Lord on the heads of the German people.”

Much like our own patron Blessed Franz Jaggerstatter, the Gestapo raided his home, arrested him and put him in a camp. He later died on his way to Dachau in on November 5, 1943. The Gestapo found a sermon he was going to give denouncing the Reich’s Minister of Propaganda’s claim that anyone greeting a Jew on the street was guilty of treason. He wanted to remind his community of Jesus commandment: ” You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

To read the complete story find the story in November’s Give us this Day on page 56. We have numerous models of people of good conscience who risked and lost everything both in and outside the Church. They are Blesseds, Saints, Venerables, holy people of conscience. They saw and named injustice. They didn’t mince words or even worry for their own safety.

In retrospect I think we as a Fraternity should have signed the letter proudly in the spirit of Blessed Franz Jaggerstatter and Blessed Bernard Lictenberg who boldly as Catholics let their voices be heard. It is very Christian and fraternal to stand up in the face of power and money that cares not for people, creation or love.

When I am gone from this earth and no one cares about my opinion I want some evidence to remain that I wasn’t neutral or afraid that I firmly supported causes for the oppressed and lepers, that I loved the unlovable and saw the Beloved in people, places and creation.

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Listening to the voice of Creation

As Flagstaff experiences a warmer than average late summer my thoughts and prayers center around the many people and lands that have experienced unprecedented heat waves, killing droughts, and epic flooding across the globe. Drought emergencies are happening worldwide: Northern Italy, Yangtze River, China, Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, Sonora, and Baja States, Mexico, Loire River Valley in France, California, Utah, Texas, Arizona. Yet at the same time 1,000-year rain events have had devastated the lives people and environment in Dallas, Texas, Kentucky, St. Louis, even Death Valley. 1/3 of Pakistan sits underwater as I write this. Climate change disasters are happening now! It is not a matter of if but when. It is our duty and responsibility as a community to have a well-formed conscience about events such as these just as our patron Blessed Franz Jagerstatter had a well-formed conscience about joining the German Army. My mind always goes to the suffering of women and children when I hear of these events. Taking these stirrings from the news to prayer and contemplation is one of the ways I process how this is happening in our lifetimes. What our actions as Secular Franciscans should be in relation to creation and the people most affected by climate disasters comes from awareness, prayer and contemplation. This is the Season of Creation starting September 1- October 4th. Please check out seasonofcreation.org for more inspiration and action.

Prayer from Catholic Charities on September 1- Creation Day 2017

God of all creation, your goodness and glory shine forth through everything you have made. Through the light of faith, help us to see this world as our common home, not as a resource to dominate and exploit, but as a gift to be cherished by all generations. Prompted by your Spirit , we ask this in the name of Jesus, through whom all creation was made. Amen.

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Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation

Good Morning! My name is Cindy McCollum and I am the new JPIC councilor for Blessed Franz Jaggerstatter Fraternity in Flagstaff, AZ. I am writing this blog as a way to communicate with the Fraternity instead of newsletters and emails. I would like to start out with a quote from our National Minister for JPIC: Carolyn Townes OFS. (2015) Caroyln reminds us:

JPIC is our “presence in the world” and is at the heart of our Rule.

“We need to refrain from saying JPIC is something ‘out there’.  

JPIC is not an extra thing that we do – JPIC is part of every single thing we do.” 

As I begin this blog, my mind swirls with all the JPIC issues that we face as humans and Secular Franciscans and the personal and collective grief we are experiencing as we contemplate how to respond to a troubled world and planet in need of healing. In order to be present to the world I think we first need to be present to our own experiences of grief and sadness. Racism, inequality, war, and environmental destruction are “mountain” issues and we feel like we are just one person sitting on a “mole hill”. Yet if we become more aware of our own sadness and grief in an effort to heal ourselves we can become more present to the larger needs of the world and planet. If we can start with presence to ourselves we can move to presence in the world that is justice, peace and integrity of creation.

This blog is humbly offered. My opinions will be evident however I base them on my experiences, studies and contemplation of the Gospel, Rule and Franciscan spirituality . It is only to inform and create a place for dialogue. If there are any topics you would like to see presented please let me know.

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