the MORE… Online Updates Volume 4.2.8 October 30, 2019

Catholic Nonviolent Action at the Jornada por la Justicia

By Joanne Gallagher, CSJ

Teach-In 2019: Jornada por la Justicia was a three-day gathering of a powerful network of Catholic Latinx organizers, labor leaders, scholars and activists who desire to make real change through concrete action. The Teach-In featured workshops, leadership tools, strategy sessions, coalition building, nationally recognized speakers, and direct public action based on the themes of immigration identity, anti-racism, Catholicism, and local issues. There were more than 400 participants. During this gathering, we joined with about 200 who crossed the border to Mexico at Puente Internacional Paso del Norte and prayed with three families seeking asylum. On the way back they joined with some of the organizers of our group and were able to cross the border into the U.S. This is only one small part of their journey that continues. The four of us from Boston who were privileged to participate are committed to sharing this experience in more detail during the congregation gathering in January. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.

Pictured: Sisters of St Joseph who participated in Jornada por la Justicia left to right Maureen Doherty, CSJ Boston, Nina Mina Rodriquez, CSJ-Congr of St. Joseph, Betsy Conway, CSJ Boston, Suzanne Jabro, CSJ LA Carondelet, Maryann Enright, CSJ Boston, Mary Pung, CSJ-Congr of St. Joseph, Joanne Gallagher, CSJ Boston, and Brigetta Slinger, CSJ-Congr of St. Joseph; while in Mexico, Dylan Corbett, one of the organizers, leads a blessing for Mexicans preparing to cross the border.

Empowering Youth, Ending Exploitation

By Marilyn McGoldrick, CSJ

On Saturday, October 19, the Anti-Trafficking Coalition of the Boston Unit of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious hosted the 11th Annual Symposium entitled YOU SEE ME. Although great strides have been made to combat the evil of Human Trafficking, the human trafficking industry still generates at least $150 billion dollars annually in illegal profits. That makes Human Trafficking the third most valuable illegal practice.

Ann Wilkinson, Survivor of Human Trafficking and Director of Mentoring Services of My Life, My Choice, spoke from her eighteen years’ experience as a Counselor, Group Facilitator, and Mentor to adolescent girls and adult women. She believes passionately in the power and resiliency of the human 11th annual Anti-Trafficking Coalition Symposium spirit, that victims are not defined by their exploitation and that there is always hope.

My Life, My Choice seeks to empower youth to demand a society that does not tolerate the buying and selling of children. As a survivor, Ann believes, that she “…can empower young victims in their journey from victim to survivor to leader and, together, put an end to this horrific crime against children.”

While we have a long way to go, consciences are being awakened, awareness is being raised, and more people recognize that a victim could be the girl or boy next door.

Pictured: Ann Wilkinson speaks to those gathered for the 11th annual Anti-Trafficking Coalition Symposium

Volunteerism: Receiving More Than We Give!

By Carolyn Mahoney, CSJA

The associates gathered in Framingham for our October meeting which included lunch, presentations and sharing of gifts. After a delicious lunch, we met in Bethany Community Center where we heard from four presenters who spoke about their own experience with volunteerism.

Eunice Condrick, CSJ, spoke about her time as a volunteer at The Boston Home. Sister serves coffee and discusses news events with the residents, so they feel a sense of community. She enjoys every moment. Bernadette Kenney, CSJ, discussed her volunteer work at Bethany’s memory care unit. Each day that she visits, she offers a warm, loving greeting to each resident and engages all in her famous sing-a-longs. Margaret Lelakes, CSJA, spoke about having volunteerism in her DNA. Margaret spent 26 years as Director of Volunteer Services at the Cardinal Cushing Centers and shared several heartwarming stories which filled our hearts with love and compassion. The fourth presenter, Judy Swett, CSJA, shared her experience as a volunteer with the Spiritual and Pastoral Care Team at Bethany. She has the privilege of giving the Eucharist to the residents and expressed to the group the importance of being part of something greater. All four women are passionate about their volunteerism, believe they receive more than they give, and want to continue to give of themselves to others. Such a wonderful inspiration! Before leaving, the associates delivered gifts of lotions, soap, shampoo to the Bethany residents and, hopefully, were able to brighten the residents’ day as well as their own!

Pictured: Mary Gaudet, CSJA, and Donna Curtin, CSJ, prepare gifts for residents of Bethany Health Care Center; Juanita Campos, CSJA, Sandra Selvarajah, CSJA, and Gervasi DiGregorio, CSJ, share stories. Quotations on this page are reflections from associates.

Volume 4.2.8 – October 30, 2019

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