July 2022

Bi-monthly e-newsletter giving witness to our Precious Blood Spirituality,
grounded in Catholic Social Teaching and Gospel values

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Gun Violence Statement

In May, in the wake of mass shootings in New York and Texas, the Sisters of the Precious Blood issued a statement condemning gun violence and white supremacist violence and hatred. We continue to pray for victims of gun violence and their families, and we are asking our legislators to take a courageous and vocal stand by supporting red flag laws, universal background checks for all gun purchases, restriction of civilian access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, improved access to mental health care and other services for those in need, and funds for programs that dismantle racism and all propaganda of hate.

The Congregation released the following statement on May 25:

The Sisters of the Precious Blood stand in prayer and solidarity with all who have lost loved ones to gun violence.

In response to Buffalo’s mass shooting on May 14, we denounce white supremacist violence and hatred, and we stand with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious as they assert: “In the wake of the horror of Buffalo, we rededicate ourselves to LCWR’s commitment to dismantle systemic racism and white privilege and effect transformative change in our hearts, our organization, and our society and we pledge anew to build God’s beloved community.” Read More

Justice Committee Reboot

By Jen Morin-Williamson
Peace, Justice and Ecology Coordinator

The Sisters of the Precious Blood have a long legacy of working toward peace, justice and care for creation. Prior to COVID, the Council had established a Justice Committee to focus on educational and action opportunities for the Sisters within the Congregation’s 2019-23 Directives. In my role as peace, justice and ecology coordinator, I had the privilege of regathering this committee per Council’s direction. I read through the archives of This Good Work and Grassroots to deepen my understanding of the Sisters’ advocacy, and I began inviting Sisters who had been involved in the past. (However, this is an open committee, and all Sisters are welcome to participate in our meetings twice a month!) As we began meeting in February, it became apparent that it would be helpful to focus the committee’s work to have a mission statement. After much robust discussion, and by approval of Council, the Justice Committee’s mission statement was created: Read More

Why is Pride Month important to Catholics?

By Jen Morin-Williamson
Peace, Justice and Ecology Coordinator

As June has ended, you may have heard a lot about Pride Month, which occurs during June every year. Pride Month celebrates people who identify as LGBTQ+ and their allies. Originally, the Pride movement grew from a remembrance of the Stonewall uprising in June 1969, which is considered the beginning of the gay rights movement. Read More

Street Bags

By Jen Morin-Williamson
Peace, Justice and Ecology Coordinator

We drive by. We walk past. We are uncomfortable and try not to make eye contact. But we see “them.” We are not even sure what to call “them.” We want to show that we acknowledge their dignity and that some names may not reflect that. The name may seem demeaning, or it may not be accurate at all. But still we try. We call them “the poor,” “people experiencing homelessness,” “people with mental illness or addiction.” In some places, the term “street people” may seem more appropriate. We are not trying to assess their situation; rather, we want to have some way to indicate how we have interacted with them – on the street. Many are holding up signs or asking for money. As Catholic Christians, we feel compelled to respond. Scripture is full of exhortations to care for the poor (Proverbs 19:17, Hebrews 13:16, Deuteronomy 15:7-1, Luke 6:38). However, we are skeptical. We do not want to enable addictions. So what can we do? Read More

Book review — Pastoral Song: A Farmer’s Journey by James Rebanks

By Sister Mary Garascia, C.PP.S.
Care for “our endangered earth” is in our Congregation’s second Assembly directive. If, like me, you would like to read something about ecology without being overwhelmed by lots of statistics and technical information, consider Pastoral Song by James Rebanks. It’s the story of three generations of family farmers in England. The story is told in charming descriptive language. It lays bare a central conundrum farmers face. The farmers are asked to provide product as much as possible from their lands in order to feed a hungry world. But in doing so, great damage is done to the soil and the earth itself.

The story begins in the mid-20th century when small family farms with mixed farming were common in Britain. This period seems to the author to be “backwards” as he matures from a boy into adulthood. Then more “American” methods begin to be adopted, with increased use of fertilizers and pesticides, the enlarging and flattening of fields, specialization in one crop, etc. But Rebanks and his father notice changes, including the disappearance of birds. They work with government programs to begin to reverse course, for “a farm is a once-wild place that was tamed for our purposes,” part of an ecosystem that too often becomes broken or impoverished. He notes that farmers must rely on the shopping and voting choices of the rest of us, and he invites readers to participate in nature-friendly, sustainable agriculture through their choices and votes. The title comes from a moment when he gazes out on his land and hears the “music of this valley” where “buttercups bend their heads down in submission to the night” and “dandelions are bedraggled with dew.”

Photo in slider above by Ariana Prestes on Unsplash

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