Recognizing Revolutionary Redemption

Tom Roy, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Corrections

A few days ago my co-worker and I took a flight from the Twin Cities to the east coast in order to participate in futuring sessions of the justice and peace personnel of the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  At 33,000 feet her eye caught sight of the cover of the airline magazine which featured a teasing description for one of the lead articles.  It read, “A Shot at Redemption:  Life, like golf, is all about how you play out of the rough.”  Although amazed at the commercial use of the word “redemption” her mind went immedicately to the up-coming October 3, 7 :00-8:30 p.m. event at Carondelet Center, 1890 Randolph Avenue, Saint Paul.

To my colleague it seemed incredible that the concept of redemption has re-surfaced in everyday parlance.  How interesting it will be to hear Commissioner Tom Roy of the Minnesota Department of Corrections and discover whether he makes parallels.

Sponsored by the Criminal Justice Working Group of the Justice Commission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates.

Posted by: Joänne Tromiczak-Neid, Justice Coordinator

Leonard Pitts: First Amendment is worth the trouble it causes – Post Bulletin

At the last meeting of the Justice Commission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates, the subject of “hate speech” and the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution were topics of discussion.  This column by Leonard Pitts, a columnist for the Miami Herald weighs in on the issue.

Leonard Pitts: First Amendment is worth the trouble it causes – Post Bulletin.

Posted by:  Ginger K. Hedstrom, Justice Associate


Marie DennisBy Marie Dennis
Pax Christi International Co-President

(This is the third in a series about civil discourse, respectful dialogue across difference, and nonviolence. Read Marie’s first post here and second post here. And join in the conversation by posting comments on the website below this post and future ones, as well as participating in the dialogue on our Facebook page and Twitter.)

One of the great blessings of my life is family – six strong minded, politically astute and opinionated children and their six spouses who are also strong minded, politically astute and opinionated.  All children and children-in-law are truly good human beings who care deeply about social justice and are contributing in amazing and very different ways to a better future for the whole “earth community.”

Despite their common roots; what I thought was a pretty similar “up-bringing;” and my serious attempt at brain-washing, my six do…

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“Treat others the way you would like to be treated. It’s not hard”

Some things are certain in every day.  One is that I begin each day with coffee and the Pioneer Press. I read it carefully with an eye to my work as Justice Associate.  And I never give the Sports Section so much as a glance, it goes immediately into recycling.  Today was different, very different.  The articles headlining the Sports Section immediately caught my eye and I read them both from beginning to end.

I want to highlight today Out of Bounds Blog by Chris Kluwe, punter for the Minnesota Vikings.  His blog was published in the Pioneer Press today (September 20, 2012) and speaks potently for equality for ALL American citizens, rooted in human rights and justice for all people, noting that gay people, regardless of age, are not treated equally.   He begins by saying, “I would like to share some of the things I thought were important from the Vote NO MN gathering I attended this past Friday.”

In particular, he quotes a teacher he met at the gathering who said “I want to thank you for speaking up.  What you did will save children’s lives.”  Kluwe reflected on the teacher’s statement, then continues” … “a man who interacts with our youth every day, who sees their struggles, and their triumphs, and their failures, told me that my words meant a child might find hope for the future instead of despair, might dare to believe he or she could be accepted for who they are, not what someone else said they should be.” He states that no child should ever think that suicide is their only option to end torment and bullying and that “unthinking viciousness adults so unwittingly pass along to the young” is suicide.

Kluwe closes his blog with “I stand for gay marriage.  I stand for the end of segregation.  I stand for a woman’s right to vote.  I stand for equality under the law, for treating others how I want to be treated, for the fundamental human right to live a happy life free of tyranny.”

His closing words are “I stand for my children.”

Posted by:  Ginger K. Hedstrom, Justice Associate

President Obama Speaks at Ceremony for Benghazi Victims | The White House

It has been a very full and busy week.  So much has happened.  I have been present to much and distant from still more.  I was sorry to miss the live broadcast of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton welcoming home and honoring the four Americans killed by the attack on the U. S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

Tonight I found the video.  It is a little more than 23 minutes and potent.  It is honest.  It is painful. It is reverent.  It is testimony to the mission of the U. S. Department of State and the four men who lived to carry out the mission of caring about people around the world and in-so-doing, gave their lives.

I hope you will give yourself the gift of making time to watch President Obama Speaks at Ceremony for Benghazi Victims

Posted:  Ginger K. Hedstrom, Justice Associate

Standing Together: A Prayer of Gratitude for Women Religious

The doors to the Chapel of Our Lady of the Presentation (Sisters of St. Joseph, 1890 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul) opened shortly after 5:00 to welcome people to this prayer of gratitude for women religous in Minnesota.  The first arrived shortly after 5:15 for the 6:30 prayer, beginning a steady stream of eager-to-share in this prayer of gratitude prepared by Call to Action-Minnesota and the Justice Commission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates.

By 6:20 p.m. all 300 worship aids and prayer cards had been distributed and the chapel, atrium and balcony were filled with the joyful sights and sounds of the more than 340 people gathered.  One woman was overheard excitedly saying, “I have seen some people tonight I have not seen in 40 years!”

The prayer was woven seamlessly together beginning with Meg Gillespie, CSJ, member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Province Leadership Team warmly welcoming everyone, to Joanne Tromiczak-Neid, Justice Coordinator telling the story of receiving a call from a Pioneer Press reporter after the tragic events of 9/11/2001 that led to the CSJ commitment to offer public prayer monthly as a peaceful and hopeful response.  Mary Novak, Call to Action-Minnesota then led us in Standing Together:  A Prayer of Gratitude for Women Religious. Three witnesses told stories of the impact women religious had on their lives and throughout the State. Fr. Jan Michael Joncas, composer of “On Eagles Wings” was inspired to compose a special song for the ocassion, “Hold On.” He led the congregation as his gift was sung for the first time publicly.  Marilaurice Hemlock led the Litany of the Saints which she adapted to include the names of the 44 communities of women religious in Minnesota.

The service ended with the chapel ringing again with all voices raised singing “Blest Are They” after which the planners, the Province Leadership Team, Ruben Rosario and participants were presented with a commemorative poster by artist Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ.  The greeting of peace continued this great opportunity for people to come together in gratitude.  As a gift the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates, commemorative posters were available to guests as they left the chapel.

Posted by:  Ginger K. Hedstrom, Justice Associate