Spring is here and along with the blossoms comes the Spring issue of The Way. Here you’ll find my latest contribution, “Franciscan Roots of American Catholic Social Justice Ministry.” It shows the way American social ministry was informed–wittingly or not–by key elements from the Franciscan Tradition: transformation, Christ, community, mercy, compassion, and gift. I hope it gives you some thoughts and inspiration for bringing some healing to our world!
Just wanted to let you know that my new article in The Way, “Our Lady of Guadalupe: What’s in a Name?” is out. It explores the significance of Our Lady of Guadalupe and shows what an apt patroness this is for our the new province emerging from six of the current OFM provinces in the United States. The four points of overlap of Our Lady and the Franciscan charism I lift up are: 1) she gathers and includes everyone, 2) she wants a deep encounter with us, 3) she is tender toward the most vulnerable, and 4) she opts for the poor. Happy feast day on the 12th!
After an intense, beautiful, challenging, amazing experience of fostering a mama dog and her litter, I share my reflections on the experience in “Catholic Tales: Insights from Fostering a Pit Bull and Her 10 Puppies” in the National Catholic Reporter. It focuses on the themes of surrender, happiness, and discernment. “Catholic Tales” comes complete with photos and you have to check out the 23-second video that is linked in the article… the ten puppies charge me and lick like crazy. Let me know if you want to adopt Zod; we still have him!
Happy to pass you some summer reading with my new article that just came out in The Way of St. Francis, “Franciscan Lessons from Mom: Poverty.” The hopes is that this is the first article in a series that more deeply explores the intersection of women and the Franciscan tradition. It was truly an honor to be asked to author the seminal piece.
Excited to share that my article in The Way of St. Francis, “Entering Lent from a Hermitage,” received a Catholic Media Award! It was awarded second place in the “Best Essay – Religious Order Magazines” category. The comments left by the awards committee are below:
Just a really smooth personable writer, with a very, very timely column. Great concepts – QuaranTeens and Blursday, being in Covid quarantine as a spiritual hermitage. Graceful writer, who really turns nice phrases with ease.
I’m excited to share the report on Journeying Together with you! Journeying Together is a multi-year effort to better understand the experiences of race and ethnicity among youth and young adults in the Catholic Church and society more broadly. I was on the editorial team and, wow, it’s been a really amazing gift to be a part of these efforts. This report will be the working document for the 350 youth, young adults and their ministers who will gather in Chicago this June; I’m very honored to be on the opening plenary there, too.
Here’s to one more step in creating a more just, inclusive and beautiful Church and world.
As you might know, I gave a keynote address (shared with Cardinal Blaise Cupich) this summer at a Catholic climate change conference co-sponsored by Creighton University and the Catholic Climate Covenant. That address, “Responding to the Invitation: Fostering a Bolder Response to Laudato Si’,” has just been published in the Journal of Moral Theology. This was a great conference that generated a lot of needed momentum on responding to climate change. Please share the address with those looking to understand some of the obstacles to Catholic engagement in the climate change issue as well as some ways we might foment a more robust Catholic engagement here.
I’m happy to share with you Dr. Jane Curry’s positive review of my latest book in Reading Religion, a book review publication for the American Academy of Religion. Curry currently teaches at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale and has much to say on the ways the findings caused her to reflect on her own teaching; she goes on to also discuss the insights the book offers to ministers and Church leaders. She ends her review by noting some of the major themes in the book:
“[T]he book inspires approaches that help people challenge structured inequalities, motivates readers to explore the implications of Christian individualism contextually, and emphasizes the power of hope, community, and compassion within this journey.”
Important themes for understanding Catholic engagement as well as human life more broadly. I hope you enjoy the read!
This summer I went on an amazing 10,550-mile road trip to connect with loved ones after the pandemic. I talk about how my experiences helped me reflect on hope in “Pandemic Pilgrimage: What a Cross-Country Road Trip Taught Me About Hope” in America. May it give you some ideas (and cautionary lessons for rural driving!) for your next trip as well as some new eyes for the everyday.
Lucas Sharma, graduate student at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, has offered an insightful review of Catholic Activism Today in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion; thanks to Sharma for his time in this! I appreciated two of the book’s takeaways that Sharma identified: the way contemporary Catholics are bringing their faith and citizenship together in public life and the complex ways individuals, meso-level institutions (like parishes), and the Catholic hierarchy interact with one another. Sharma closes by identifying the multiple audiences that would find this book useful:
In conclusion, Day should be commended for an excellent book that contributes to a great legacy of Catholic sociology of religion. At the same time, the findings and questions raised above suggest that Catholic Activism Today could be helpful not just for sociologists, but for pastoral programs, church planning offices, seminaries, and schools of theology and ministry across the country.