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News & Announcements
Director of Parish Faith Formation
St. Ignatius Parish is accepting resumes for a full time Director of Parish Faith Formation.
As you know, Fr. John and I traveled with parishioners Maria Boden and Harry Hutzel to El Salvador last month to visit our sister parish, Parroquia San Antonio. We also took the opportunity to learn more about the realities of the broader situation in one of the many countries that is America.
While it’s true we were hosted by the entire parish, that task was mostly born by the pastor, Fr. Estefan Turcios, and the various members of their half of the Las Vecinas ministry. (We have the other half!) Harry and Maria were housed with some of those families, and Fr. John and I stayed in a small house with the associate pastor, Fr. Mauro. It would be unjust not to tell you that their hospitality was unparalleled: meals, ferrying us around, house calls with food and medicine for the sick (yours truly was struck with Montezuma’s revenge and out for a day). Several even took vacation days to host us. Fortunately, we will have the opportunity to return their many kindnesses when several of them will visit us in November.
San Antonio is the only parish in the sprawling, bustling, densely crowded and poor Soyapango, a suburb of the capital city San Salvador. The parish covers a large territory and includes several outlying communities in rural areas. Most have their own chapel and very active and committed parishioners, to which Frs. Estefan and Mauro travel to say Mass and attend various other functions on Sundays and during the week. The parish complex is a beehive of activity every day and night of the week: literacy classes, outreach to at-risk youth, ministry to married couples, prayer groups and Bible study, an extremely effective medical clinic and much, much more, in addition to the usual committees and commissions for finance, worship, administration and so on that you might expect.
Among those many activities are the three workshops that St. Ignatius currently sponsors: clothing design and construction, artificial flower making and a bakery. Over the years, we have supported these and several other projects. We have raised money through our Annual Pancake Breakfast and other means to pay instructors and purchase sewing machines, professional baking equipment, materials and supplies. Both parishioners and people of the local neighborhood attend classes wherein they learn skills that enable them to earn money that provide some of the very basic needs for their families. Some workshop graduates have gone on to open their own shops.
We also provide scholarships for nine young people that enable them to attend local public and private elementary and high schools. Those who attend San Antonio, a private high school where the quality of the education is high and the local gangs have no presence, must meet high standards for admission (marks of 8 out of 10). But, to be clear, we’re not talking about St. Ignatius College Prep or Convent, University or Stuart Hall, when it comes to tuition – that is only $28 per month.Each student receives $30 a month, without which he or she simply could not attend school. While some use it to pay for tuition, most apply their scholarships to supplies, making copies of the textbooks, paying for breakfast and lunch at school and transportation by bus. I am told that there are another fifteen qualified applicants, currently for whom there are no scholarships.
It was a delight to meet the students in the workshops and those who receive scholarships. It was a privilege to receive their gratitude, on your behalf. It was inspiring to witness their faith and their hope. I hope to keep their examples with me when I am tempted to be overwhelmed by the responsibilities and vagaries of my life.
In the next weeks, I will write more of our experience. Stay tuned!
Please, please, please add our sisters and brothers of San Antonio to the list of those you pray for. Their lives are difficult, their faith and hope a model for all of us.
Oremus pro invicem,
July 4th – Independence Day – Parish Office Closed
July 9th & 10th – Shelter Meals
July 10th – Tom Reese Talk 10:50 am Xavier, Fromm Hall
July 16th & 17th – Non-Perishable Food Drive
July 23rd – Summer Film Series 6:00 pm Meier Rm, Fromm Hall
July 23rd & 24th – Shelter Meals
July 30th & 31st – Brown Bag Lunch
Aug. 6th – Summer Film Series 6:00 pm Meier Rm, Fromm Hall
Aug. 7th – Tom Reese Talk 10:50 am Xavier, Fromm Hall
Discernment Session Report
ADVOCACY: AN ACTIVITY BY AN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP THAT AIMS TO INFLUENCE DECISIONS WITHIN SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SYSTEMS AND INSTITUTIONS.
IT IS DISTINCT FROM DIRECT SERVICE IN THAT IT SEEKS TO ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSE OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE.
This past year, the Advocacy Committee sponsored five Adult Faith Formation talks that presented the issues of ecological justice, human trafficking, immigration, restorative justice, and economic justice. These talks can found on the website under Adult Faith Formation. Look for Sunday Talks.
On June 3 parishioners came together to listen and pray about God’s desire for how our parish community could work together to promote justice. The session began with a guide to the discernment process by John Coleman, S.J.( John Coleman’s discernment notes). It also included short presentations on the five topics listed above. Excerpts from the talks:
Economic Inequality: An Increasing Challenge in Contemporary San Francisco
Where Do We Observe Inequality: homelessness (approximately 8,000 living on the streets), sky-rocketing evictions, lack of affordable housing
What are the consequences of inequality: ill effects on societies and individuals, including on a spiritual level
What drives inequality: persistent disparity in wealth – the 1% vs the 99%; so little have so much and so many have so little; egocentrism, selfishness, greed (Pope Francis’ view)
How do we address or reduce inequality:
Embrace Catholic Social Teaching:
- Always be on the side of God and the poor
- Engage the poor and directly advocate for their causes
- Turn our institutions into instruments of justice
- Accept Jesus’ challenge: “To act not with Charity but also with Justice.”
Advocate for initiatives such as minimum wage and affordable housing
Slavery isn’t dead. Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. It is a form of modern day slavery. Human trafficking enslaves at least 20 to 30 million men, women, and children each year.
Concrete steps that can be taken to stop human trafficking: advocate for improved laws, policies, and protocols. Advocate for victims rights.
More than 1 in 100 adults were in prison last year. The United States has 25% of the prisons in the world.
Root causes: poverty, lack of education, absence of a family who cares.
What can be done: advocate for prison reform and for repeal of the death penalty; advocate for sentence reform; change emphasis on rehabilitation, increase employment opportunities, provide job training.
1)The notion of “illegal immigration” and especially deportation is something recent.
2) The laws changed before; they could change again. As a nation, how we spend our money and set up our political infrastructure ought to reflect our values.
3) The values ought to serve Catholic Social Teaching, not the other way around.
A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world”. Pope Francis – July 14, 2014
How can you help: Education, policy, and advocacy work( examination of US immigration and refugee policies) root causes analysis.
Prince Ea in his video, An Apology to Future Generations: “I’m sorry we put profits above people, greed above need, and the rule of gold above the golden rule… I’m sorry we listened to people who gave us excuses to do nothing… The thing about truth is it can be denied but not avoided.
Those who participated in Saturday’s session will pray over the course of next week and share their reflections with the Advocacy Committee. You are invited to join them.
Below is a guide for your prayerful reflection.
Set aside some time for quiet and prayer.
I begin by asking God for the grace to be internally free (indifferent), that I be open God’s will for St. Ignatius Parish.
In that context, I prayerfully read through the notes of the group discussions from Saturday.
I pay attention to my affective reactions as I read the notes. I notice where I am hopeful, excited, fearful, and so on. Then I ask myself the question, “Why am I feeling this?” I note, too, where I feel resistance and, conversely, openness. Again, I ask why the resistance. (It could be a lack of courage, for example, or it could be a sign of what God may not want. I try to notice the distinction.)
I do this as I prayerfully read through all the notes.
When you’re done, you may or may not be clear as to what God wants for St. Ignatius Parish. But your experience in prayer is important to the process.
If you have a sense of what God wants, please let us know what that is and how your prayer led you to this conclusion.
If you don’t have a sense, we are still interested in what happened in your prayer. Please email us your consolations and desolations, along with why you felt that way.