Bi-monthly e-newsletter giving witness to our Precious Blood Spirituality,
grounded in Catholic Social Teaching and Gospel values
Meet our peace, justice and ecology coordinator
Hi friends! My name is Jen Morin-Williamson and I am the Congregation’s new peace, justice and ecology coordinator. Even though my first day was just a few weeks ago, I know that God has prepared our journey together. To begin, I grew up in Celina, Ohio, and attended Immaculate Conception Parish. As a child, I didn’t know what it meant to be a Precious Blood Parish, but I was well formed by the Sisters and priests. Looking back, I realize how unique and special it is that I had, from a very young age, instilled in me a deep appreciation for the Eucharist and the Passion of Christ.
While my passion for justice, peace and environment has been lifelong, my path has not. I have tried to listen to God’s nudging throughout my life and respond with “yes.” (I am a lay Marianist, so that makes sense!) I am coming from the University of Dayton where I served for 10 years as a campus minister in Residence Life and for the LGBTQ+ community. Prior to that, I served for a dozen years as a youth minister at St. Susanna Parish in Mason, Ohio. However, I got my start in the workforce as an architect! Read More
That’s where my husband comes in. We met at the University of Cincinnati in the architecture program. We got married and started building a family and a business — which I left when I responded to the call to ministry. Chip and I have been married for 38 years. Our family includes our six children, their four partners and two grandchildren. I truly enjoy working, crafting and chatting! It has been delightful getting to meet many Sisters. They are fantastic role models for living a just and intentional life!
By Jen Morin-Williamson
Peace, Justice and Ecology Coordinator
Slider photo, Jen’s family at her son’s wedding in Chicago.
Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth
“Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.” (Canticle of the Creatures, in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents; quoted in Laudato Si 1.)
Nearly seven years ago, Pope Francis wrote an encyclical titled Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home. Many have read this letter and appreciate the attention brought to reversing the damage humanity has had on our ravaged planet. In May 2021, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development officially launched the Laudato Si Action Platform. This initiation is intentional in being relational in nature and action oriented. There are many resources online to assist specific groups including religious communities. Read More
There are seven goals synthesized from Laudato Si to help focus and organize efforts. They are:
- Response to the Cry of the Earth.
- Response to the Cry of the Poor.
- Ecological Economics.
- Adoption of Simple Lifestyles.
- Ecological Education.
- Ecological Spirituality.
- Emphasis on Community Involvement and Participatory Action.
While many of these areas are woven into the charism and spirituality of the Precious Blood and are specifically indicated in the Congregation’s Directives for 2019-2023, the Sisters are committed to joining this global action.
So, we will follow the suggested process beginning with a solid period of reflection, and followed by creating and publishing a one-year action plan, with an emphasis on local collaboration. Like any important set of goals, we will evaluate our progress in order to be intentional in creating the next one-year action plan. And we will celebrate our successes!
As a part of the reflection process, we are collecting reflections or prayers connecting the Laudato Si goals and Precious Blood spirituality. All are welcome to share their input! Please email your reflections to email@example.com by April 1.
By Jen Morin-Williamson
Peace, Justice and Ecology Coordinator
Frozen branches photo in slider by Sister Joyce Lehman
Virtual prayer service for those affected by gun violence
Traditionally, the Community Homicide Prayer Vigil group has held an annual memorial prayer service in March to remember the victims of gun violence from the previous year, as well as their families. This year’s service will be held at noon March 5 on Facebook Live, broadcast from Salem Heights, the Congregation’s central house in Dayton. Joining in the remembrance will be members of the World House Choir. Read More
In March 2006, the Sisters of the Precious Blood reinitiated prayer vigils at the sites of homicides in Dayton. As most homicides were occurring in specific neighborhoods, sites were expanded to include Trotwood and nearby Harrison and Jefferson townships. Since 2006, the number of vigils has exceeded 500. While the Sisters continue to coordinate the vigils, prayer leadership is provided by members of churches such as Baptist, Church of the Brethren, Presbyterian and other denominations.
All are invited to watch the prayer service at https://www.facebook.com/CHPVDayton and, as always, please continue to pray for all affected by gun violence.
God of the sorrowing, we pray for family and friends of all affected by gun violence. May you wipe away the tears from their eyes. May they be comforted by the fact that nothing can separate them from your love. For each victim, death came as a thief in the night. We trust that they are now experiencing new life in your kingdom. From these tragic deaths may we find the courage to overcome the violence that seeks to destroy families and neighborhoods. We make this prayer trusting in the power of Jesus’ Precious Blood shed for all humankind. Amen.
Photo above right, Tom Bensman and Sister Marita Beumer at the annual prayer service in 2019; slider photo, participants of the annual prayer service in 2019.
White Privilege and me
Racism was a topic all of us Precious Blood Sisters reflected on during the last year, and the recent Leadership Conference of Women Religious Virtual 2021 Assembly also discussed it. This complex topic continues to need attention, so this short piece continues our conversation about race.
An African-American woman I knew in my ministry in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati told me this story. When her mother was growing up in the South, she used to play with a little white girl. One day the girl told her, “I can’t play with you after eight o’clock at night.” “Why is that?” “Because after that, you grow a tail.”
This was just one story of many I heard that contributed to my awareness of the advantages of being white. I took for granted living in a world dominated by white: my family was white; I attended a white Catholic church and school; all my friends were white; I joined a white religious congregation; movie and TV stars were basically white; etc. I didn’t notice that white people also made up the majority of power in business, government, even the church. Read More
Privilege is defined as a right or immunity granted as a peculiar advantage or favor. For those of us born white, that we had privilege was something we never considered. Today the term white privilege — defined as the set of social and economic advantages that white people have by virtue of their race in a culture characterized by racial inequality — has become a phrase that can generate anger, denial, feelings of guilt, defensiveness and other negative emotions. On the positive side it can raise awareness and understanding, generate conversations, and lead to collaborative actions that bring about personal, cultural and even systemic change.
In facilitating white privilege workshops as a member of the Dayton Catholic Social Action anti-racism task force, composed of both black and white participants, I found how meaningful such workshops could be. Viewing Tim Wise’s “White Like Me” YouTube presentation served as the springboard for conversations. In a nonthreatening way, participants were led to an awareness of how white our world is, what that has meant, and what it continues to mean, for persons of color. Evaluations following the workshops revealed that attendees had initial fears about coming to the workshop: will I be judged; will Black members be angry; will I feel guilty or defensive; will I honestly share my experiences; will others share theirs? Almost unanimously the highlights identified as the most valuable were the video and the conversations that followed. Conversations are key to understanding differences and coming to respect one another’s experiences. We fear what we do not know.
Pope Francis often speaks of the need for a “culture of encounter.” What better way to encounter than to “converse”?
To take advantage of the many, many varied ways of learning about white privilege, I’m suggesting the following as resources that could make great starters for initiating conversations with family and friends:
Article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
Novel: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Film on Netflix: American Son
Nonfiction bestseller: Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. For a good overview of this book, I recommend this article from The New York Times.
By Sister Jeanette Buehler, C.PP.S.
Photo above right by Lan Johnson on Unsplash; “Change” slider photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash.