As I attempt to enter into the stories of others and contrast them to my own, safe, experience of the unknown, I weep for the state of our world and particularly for those who are most vulnerable. We may not be able to stop the war in Syria, but we can stem the bloodshed and provide real life and an offer of humanity to those victims of the Assad regime, ISIL, and the warring rebel factions. We can offer sanctuary to those who, like Jesus, were forced to leave their homelands.
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A few weeks ago, the Giving Voice Core Team, along with Communications Coordinator Ryan Hoffmann, gathered in Racine, WI for our annual planning meeting. While we typically meet via Zoom, the longer, in-person time is valuable for relationship building, evaluating and direction-setting of the overall organization. I’d like to share highlights of this meeting.
Yesterday, we had the opportunity to kick-off National Catholic Sisters Week with a prayer service at Catholic Theological Union. Together with four other organizations, Giving Voice celebrated the lives and ministry of our Sisters in faith.
We are pleased to announce we have launched an online store where constituents can purchase Giving Voice branded apparel and other items. Fleece jackets, polo shirts, knit tops and more can be purchased through the new online store and delivered directly to you. Click on the link below to purchase your Giving Voice gear!
I recently stood in a prayer circle of about thirty interfaith activists. We processed down the street towards the border checkpoint, calling out the names of some of the estimated 6,000 migrants who have died along the nearly 2000-mile U.S./Mexico border. We held up white crosses and named them present - presente - proclaiming their lives as dignified and their deaths as worthy of commemoration.
For the ninth year, a number of sisters in their 20s and 30s from multiple communities gathered to pray and play together at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Phoenix, AZ. I write every year because I believe what we pray, discuss, and dream as young sisters, grounded in our charisms and histories, is both the present and the future. I know the way we organize and lead is a collaborative leadership model that works for the small, capable, relational groups that characterize what religious life is becoming.
People often ask me about my life as a young religious and why I have chosen this path. At the Giving Voice 20 and 30s retreat earlier this month, no explanation was needed. In this space, there is an understanding of our lives. There is a sense of coming home.
In today's world, it seems rare when you find a sense of acceptance and trust immediately when meeting people for the first time. It is the gift of the sisterhood, especially as young Catholic sisters in Giving Voice.