JPIC News -- September 2014

This month, I had many experiences which made me think about our common commitment to identify with the poor and marginalized. This seems to me to be the essence of our profession and of our way of life, solidarity with the poor and love of poverty as opposed to social climbing, status seeking and hobnobbing with the rich, the well-educated and the privileged classes.

When I wrote about the children at the borders last month, little did I know that I would soon meet them face to face living near to me in South Jersey. I now understand that tubing has a different meaning for immigrant children, who when they have walked from El Salvador to the U.S. Mexican border, jump on tires which are tied together across the Rio Grande River and then, they walk across the desert. I have come to know children who were shot at in their home in Guatemala, who have gone hungry and who live in fear of the immigration authorities taking their parents away and leaving them orphans. Then there are those whose political status is in limbo because they were born in the U. S. although their parents lack the proper legal papers. Luckily, there are provisions for these children to get financial aid and go to college in some instances. » Click to continue reading “JPIC News — September 2014” »

JPIC News -- August 2014

One of the benefits of this new regional website is the synergy that can be created . I read Mattie Ward’s inspiring words about being how we are taught to hate and I can pick up on that with the thought that there is just so much rhetoric and hostility in our world today. This website ought to not only encourage us to think about things with a more Christ like attitude but also it can stir us out of lethargy and into action as we as Secular Franciscans are called “to be in the forefront of bringing about a more peaceful and evangelical world “. How is it that we are not talking about this more in our fraternities ?

Over the last few weeks, I have heard such vitriol about the immigrant children at our borders. Perhaps because I live in a very diverse community, I have a different view. I also participated in a web chat last week produced by Catholic Relief Services in conjunction with the USCCB. People are looking for someone to blame for this humanitarian crisis. The upshot of the webchat was we can blame ourselves and our fellow Americans who are clamoring for more drugs. This is one of several of the root causes of this crisis. Another tack to take when attacking that problem is working with disenfranchised youth in the Third World who turn to violence. The real work being done at the community level in Central America is giving those young people alternatives to violence and alternative careers away from the drug cartels.

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