In case you missed it, check out the Virtual 10 Days Free from Violence 2020 from Twin Cities Nonviolence. There were a number of great events starting September 18 and continuing until Sunday, September 27. More information can also be found at:
https://twincitiesnonviolent.org/

September 22nd, 2020

Many of us connected with the CSJ St. Paul Province attended a powerful Community Assembly last Saturday. There was deep conversation and powerful emotions about many issues, including creating connections. We would like to share the below recording of “Wade in the Water,” shared by Ihotu Jennifer Ali (which was inspired by the Assembly).

September 16th, 2020

The CSJ St. Paul Province Leadership Team issued a statement of concern about the decision of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast’s to award Attorney General William Barr, who has resumed federal executions, the Christifidelis Laici Award.

Read the full statement.

September 11th, 2020

In case you missed it – CSJs across the US and beyond are celebrating the Season of Creation this year, which begins September 1 and runs until October 4. The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.

The Season of Creation will be celebrated through online opportunities to share a common experience that will encourage thought and contemplation, to offer a variety of ways for participants to share their reflections, and to encourage individual and collective actions that flow from the common experience. The Carondelet Congregation and US Federation will focus on increased understanding of the ecological impact of our plastic use and how to take individual and collective action to reduce plastic use.

Visit the Carondelet Congregation’s Season of Creation Webpage to join us in prayers and learning experiences.

September 10th, 2020

The cries of economic, physical, emotional, and spiritual pain from a wounded and hurting people are ever before us in these challenging times. The most recent shooting of Jacob Blake seven times in his back by Kenosha police and the suicide of a young man in downtown Minneapolis sparking further unrest and several nights of cities-wide curfews are manifestations of this pain, racial inequity, civil unrest, political polarization, and more. The charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph reminds us of our deep interconnectedness with all, most especially our dear neighbors suffering.

Read our full statement: 2020 CSJ St. Paul August Statement

August 28th, 2020

As we say farewell to the 2019-20 St. Joseph Workers and welcome the 2020-21 SJWs, we wanted to give the below update from the SJW Program. This includes a reflection from 2014-15 SJW Monica Shaffer about her experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting her path at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

We Welcome the 2020-21 St. Joseph Workers!

We are excited to welcome six St. Joseph Workers starting in early August – Britta, Lydia, Laura, Sarah, Lillia and Karina. We invite you to meet them at our Welcoming Ritual on Thursday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m. (for more information, please contact sjw@csjstpaul.org). We look forward to the year ahead!

Farewell to the 2019-20 SJWs

The St. Joseph Worker Program has been engaged in many transitions these months, as we said goodbye to Bridget, Katie, Katlyn and Chelsea. We have felt so grateful to have them join our community and wish them well on their next journey. Once a SJW, always a SJW. 

A Reflection on the COVID-19 Pandemic and Pursuing Education

I am Monica Shaffer, I completed my SJW year 2014 – 15 and have decided to return to school after spending several years working with women experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities. I will be starting at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in a few weeks. I was asked to reflect on how the pandemic has influenced my education. All of my classes will be online. I’ve been told that traditionally, the first year of law school is kind of like starting undergrad – you get a cohort of students whom you have all your generals with and they become your “family.” However, with this first semester being online, I will never have met any of these people face to face until second semester or even next year. Additionally, I am certainly concerned about what it will be like to study and attend classes at home, with technology rarely behaving the way I want it to, and constant distractions. However, the pandemic (as we know) has illuminated the lack of equity in our world and as I sit safely in my home I know I benefit from our broken system. This severity has served as a reminder of why I’m going to law school in the first place. My plan is to use my privilege (supportive partner, safe home, college education, substantial work experience) to obtain a JD and from there use that privilege (my law degree) to make sure those voices who are silenced can be heard at the table.

August 3rd, 2020

From the Catholic Spirit:

COVID-19 poses a serious threat to Sister Liz Kerwin, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet and retired spiritual director. At 87 and with an underlying condition — chronic lymphocytic leukemia — she’s well aware of her risk.

“I know this could end my life,” said Sister Liz, who lives at the Carondelet Village retirement home in St. Paul. “But I’m trying to focus more on the people around me. Since we only have today, I try to live as fully, lovingly, meaningfully and gratefully as I can. Love drives out fear, and I think gratitude does, too. In the morning, I say, ‘Lord, thank you for another day.’ And whatever it brings, I try to live with that.”

Read the full article.

July 14th, 2020

Celeste’s Dream and our Community Leader student interns continue to work on food insecurity and sustainability initiatives in collaboration with St. Kate’s. One key partnership is the St. Kate’s Food Shelf. See information about May 2020 results below.

June 29th, 2020

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in DACA Recipients’ favor. We joyfully celebrate with all DACA youth who have worked so hard to contribute to this country. Now we turn our attention to Congress for a permanent solution.

Let us use our collective voices to advocate with our U.S. Senators asking them to protect and provide a path to citizenship for DACA youth!  The U.S. House of Representatives already passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, a solution that if the U.S. Senate passed would protect and provide a road to citizenship for immigrant youth, TPS, and DED holders.

Visit the CSSJ Federation website for ways to take action and pray with us!

June 19th, 2020

At 9:35 a.m. on a sunny Minneapolis morning, Bao Phi is on his way to drop his daughter off at daycare. Knowing that they are running late, Bao rolls through a stop sign without waiting the designated 3 seconds, and is stopped by a police officer who approaches the car with his hand already on his pistol. Bao describes the horror of seeing a police officer approach him, ready to fire for a minor offense: “I wonder what the officers thought I could have been doing [..] with my four-year old daughter in the booster seat, that would warrant them needing their guns.”

This story, like so many others, tells a tale of two Minnesota-s.  There is the idyllic Minnesota of our collective imagination, a state ripe with natural resources, economic opportunity and neighborly kindness that extends to every one of us. However, there is a darker version of Minnesota that many of us do not see.  A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesotaa collection of essays edited by Sun Yung Shin, tells the story of a darker Minnesota –  a Minnesota that fails to adequately protect and care for its residents of color, and looks the other way as systemic racism continues to destabilize and destroy their lives. Through their passionate, gritty and impactful story-telling, local artists of color are able to bring light to this side so that it may be seen by all.

This collection of 16 essays conveys the lived experiences of Minnesotans of color in bite-sized pieces, allowing readers an insight into the heaviness of each author’s experience in a poignant and uncompromising way.  Alexis Pate, author and businessman, writes: “[Readers] will not be able to read this book without changing.  Minnesota will never be the same.” Featured authors include poets, independent film makers, activists, writers and elected officials, providing a creative platform to elevate their voices to a wider, white audience. Like Bao Phi, they have a truth to tell: Minnesota is our home, but we are never safe here.

Some of these authors are immigrants and refugees, and some are citizens. They are African-American, Latino, Native American or Asian. Many have advanced degrees and published works, while others did not finish a formal education. No matter their differences, their essays converge into one powerful anthology that will leave readers laughing, tearful, angry and, at times, ashamed at ever having participated in the oppression of their fellow Minnesotans. This is a crucial read for anyone who wishes to gain a deeper and more profound understanding of the experiences of people of color in Minnesota, especially during a time when there is fertile ground for change.

The CSJ Confronting Whiteness and Racism Working Group supports greater awareness and understanding of the ways in which Whiteness and its ongoing systems of oppression and division function in our culture and society, so that we can begin to heal from it and truly move toward love of God and neighbor without distinction.  In the past year, the group has hosted a number of book groups to discuss A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, My Grandmother’s Hands, and White Fragility.  Learn more about the CSJ Confronting Whiteness and Racism Working Group or other community actions to understand and confront whiteness and racism.

June 1st, 2020

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