Archive for category: Uncategorized

Fall Meditation

24 Oct
October 24, 2011

As we journey through these beautiful days of Fall, it is important to stop and take pause. Maybe I should say, that we’re somehow drawn to stop and take pause. For some reason Fall is a season that draws us inward, to the source of life. As we notice the leaves changing colors and the light becoming filtered something within us calls us to nest, to slow down, to take a moment to be reflective.

I hope that these glorious days of Fall find you with a bit of time to enjoy and to ponder.

Carol

Blessed Marie Rose Durocher

27 Sep
September 27, 2011

Yesterday, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of the foundress of the the Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary, the founders of Marylhurst University.

Marie Rose was not a strong woman, physically; in fact she was ill most of her life and died on her 38th birthday. But during her brief time on earth she touched people deeply.

We remember Mother Rose because she was a woman of passion — passion for God, passion for justice, passion for the needs of the poor and under-served. For me, Mother Rose is a powerful reminder of what happens when we allow ourselves to be transformed by the flame of God’s love. Parents who had been hesitant to allow their daughters to join the newly formed religious community changed their minds after one brief encounter with Mother Rose. Why, I ask? I believe it is because she was so deeply open to God’s love that she radiated God’s presence to those she met. Does this mean that life was easy for her, no. She like the rest of us struggled with misunderstanding, fatigue, obstacles, and injustice — but she had a broad, deep vision which gave her hope, even in the face of despair.

My prayer for all of us, no matter what our faith tradition might be, is that we become alive with the energy of the holy — that we become signs and prophets of God’s peace and justice.

Blessings on your journey,

Carol

08 Sep
September 8, 2011
Prayer is an important part of our ministry at University Ministry.  We’ve received the following prayer requests in the last few days — I invite you to hold these intentions in your heart.

“Please pray for my 2 year old son.  also that I am able to complete fall term positively.  That I can find peace in my relationship with my son’s father.”
“Pray for me, as my future is unclear.  I need a job and a direction.”
“Please pray that my mom’s health improves and that she regains her vision that has suffered as a result of diabetes.  Her name is Gloria.”
“That 9/11/11 will be a day of peace for all peoples.”

Prayer, Justice Cafe, and Homecoming Week

24 Aug
August 24, 2011

Did you know that your University Ministers are here to pray for and with you?

If you have a prayer request please send it to us, and we will be happy to pray for you.  You can send a request via email (chiggins@marylhurst.edu), reply to this blog, slip a request under the door of Marian 104, or leave your request in one of the envelopes located on bulletin boards throughout campus.  No need to use your name, unless you wish for us to pray for you by name.

Coming soon — we are going to join with other young men and women throughout the United States and Africa to discuss justice issues in a program called, “Justice Cafes”.  These cafes are sponsored by IPJC (Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center), an organization dedicated to the work of justice funded by members of Catholic religious orders.  More to come on this exciting project.

Also, on October 4th we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis.  There is a nation wide call for people to “Take the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor.”  You may find out more information about this amazing project via their website — CatholicClimateCovenant.org.  It is a free resource, so feel free to share and pass it on to others you know that care about the earth.

Finally, On Wednesday, October 12th we will be holding the first of five interfaith panels as a part of the Marylhurst’s Homecoming events.  This first panel will be on Sustainability.  We are scheduled for 6:30 pm in the Old Library, with the panel beginning at 7:00.



Many blessings, as we slide into September!


Carol

Prayer, Justice Cafe, and Homecoming Week

04 Aug
August 4, 2011

Did you know that your University Ministers are here to pray for and with you?

If you have a prayer request please send it to us, and we will be happy to pray for you.  You can send a request via email (chiggins@marylhurst.edu), reply to this blog, slip a request under the door of Marian 104, or leave your request in one of the envelopes located on bulletin boards throughout campus.  No need to use your name, unless you wish for us to pray for you by name.

Coming soon — we are going to join with other young men and women throughout the United States and Africa to discuss justice issues in a program called, “Justice Cafes”.  These cafes are sponsored by IPJC (Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center), an organization dedicated to the work of justice funded by members of Catholic religious orders.  More to come on this exciting project.

Also, on October 4th we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis.  There is a nation wide call for people to “Take the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor.”  You may find out more information about this amazing project via their website — CatholicClimateCovenant.org.  It is a free resource, so feel free to share and pass it on to others you know that care about the earth.

Finally, On Wednesday, October 12th we will be holding the first of five interfaith panels as a part of the Marylhurst’s Homecoming events.  This first panel will be on Sustainability.  We are scheduled for 6:30 pm in the Old Library, with the panel beginning at 7:00.



Many blessings, as we slide into September!


Carol

Catholic Social Teaching

18 Jul
July 18, 2011
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable:
Catholic teaching proclaims that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring.  In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt. 25) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
(Archdiocese of St. Paul—Minneapolis)
For many of us this is the great challenge of our social teachings.  It is so easy to pass the blame on to those who are the most vulnerable, without stepping back to look at the structures that we have in place which allow people to fall into desperate poverty.   
No matter your personal political views, the just question to ask is how is the current budget crisis going to harm the most vulnerable members of our society?  How can we:  republicans, democrats, independents, tea partiers, green partiers… how can we reach beyond our own perspective and put the needs of the poor first?  This is the mandate of the Gospel.  There is nothing easy about this mandate, no quick fixes, no magic practices – it requires a change of heart, of focus, of priorities.  While none of us can fix the system alone; each of us can take a small step to positively impact the life of a poor person.  What step might you feel called to take today?
Blessings and peace,
Carol

Catholic Social Teaching

06 Jul
July 6, 2011

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable:
Catholic teaching proclaims that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring.  In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt. 25) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
(Archdiocese of St. Paul—Minneapolis)
For many of us this is the great challenge of our social teachings.  It is so easy to pass the blame on to those who are the most vulnerable, without stepping back to look at the structures that we have in place which allow people to fall into desperate poverty.   
No matter your personal political views, the just question to ask is how is the current budget crisis going to harm the most vulnerable members of our society?  How can we:  republicans, democrats, independents, tea partiers, green partiers… how can we reach beyond our own perspective and put the needs of the poor first?  This is the mandate of the Gospel.  There is nothing easy about this mandate, no quick fixes, no magic practices – it requires a change of heart, of focus, of priorities.  While none of us can fix the system alone; each of us can take a small step to positively impact the life of a poor person.  What step might you feel called to take today?
Blessings and peace,
Carol

Catholic Social Teaching

23 May
May 23, 2011

Wow! It was great to read all the responses to our first blog on the social teachings of the Catholic tradition… I look forward to more fruitful sharing on these essential teachings.

This week our focus is, “Community and the Common Good”

Community and the Common Good:

In a global culture driven by excessive individualism, our tradition proclaims that the person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society—in economics and politics, in law and policy—directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Our Church teaches that the role of the government and other institutions is to protect human life and human dignity and promote the common good. (Archdiocese of St. Paul—Minneapolis)

For many of us this is where the rubber meets the road. When do the needs of my family, friends, or community need to yield to those of the larger community? When does the greater community need to consider the needs of the individual? Being a fan of Star Trek, I am reminded of the death scene of Spock when he states, “sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.” A statement that is reframed in the next movie as Kirk and the crew risk all to bring Spock back to life, “sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many or the few.”

I do not have any easy answers; I think seeking the common good is a delicate balance requiring much prayer and discernment. As a vowed religious sometimes I do have to set my desires aside for the common good of my community—at other times I am aware that my community sets aside time, energy, or resources to meet my needs. Is this not true in marriage and family life as well?

My hope and prayer for all us is that we will continue to make our decisions as individuals and as a nation in light of the common good. Concern for the common good is often an investment in our collective future, meaning that it might cost us time or resources now but the result will be a happier and healthier society.

Finally, I hope as we consider the common good we remember all who share this planet with us—the plants, animals, and natural systems that provide us with a home.

Blessings, and I look forward to your comments!

Carol

09 May
May 9, 2011

Catholic Social Teaching:

Did you know that there are clear ethical teachings on justice? The main teachings concern—

Human Dignity;

Community and the Common Good;

Rights and Responsibilities;

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable;

Participation;

Dignity of Work—Rights of Workers;

Stewardship of Creation;

Solidarity;

Role of Government;

Promotion of Peace.

Human Dignity:

The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the person is at the core of a moral vision for society. Our belief in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.

(Archdiocese of St. Paul—Minneapolis)

What might this call to honor human dignity mean for us? How can we work for human dignity in our social systems, in our communities, in our families, and with our friends and co-workers. What one action could you take to honor the dignity of others? It doesn’t have to be a huge step, maybe it could be as simple as thanking people who wait on you, or as profound as letting other drivers merge in front of you. Or, maybe you are called to take more systemic action such as contacting your representative, or actively working to educate others about the horrors of human trafficking.

Whatever you feel called to do—blessings!

Carol

Easter Greetings

25 Apr
April 25, 2011

Those of us who are Christian have two major feasts which we celebrate each year, the incarnation (Christmas) and the resurrection (Easter). I am reminded this year, with all of the people suffering from natural disasters, war, the economic downturn, disease, and lack of basic human rights that the work of Easter is not yet finished. We, who call ourselves Christian, certainly are called to set time aside to rejoice, but more important, each of us is also called to work for justice. Christ has no hands on earth but ours. If we do not continue his mission of building the Kingdom on earth, who will?

So as we celebrate this Easter season let us remember that God loves us so much that God became one with us through the incarnation. The incarnation celebrates human dignity, we are worthy of the presence of God in our human flesh. God chose to be with us in human form. This gift challenges us to honor the dignity of each and every human person. The resurrection invites us to shake free from the bonds of oppression and to embrace the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. It is through the power of the resurrection that we glimpse the Kingdom and our call to be active participants in creating a world of peace and justice for all peoples — and for all creation.

Happy Easter to one and all, happy serving the needs of your neighbor.

Carol