Twice, I Cried Tears of Joy

From "Now You Know Events"
Picture From “Now You Know Events”

I don’t ever remember crying tears of joy in church except for this past Sunday’s AGLO liturgy and the previous week’s as well. This comes from a guy who doesn’t miss Sunday Mass, one who in fact was a daily mass attendee for many of the last 71 years.

At the end of Mass this Sunday, the 47th Annual Pride Sunday here in Chicago, Fr. Bob announced that Pope Francis today said the Church should ask forgiveness for their marginalizing of gays and of women. There followed a thunderous round of applause and I cried for the second week in a row. As soon as I got home I searched Twitter to confirm Fr. Bob’s announcement. Sure enough, there it was all over Twitter. The Catholic News Service wrote quoting Pope Francis in part:

Catholics and other Christians not only must apologize to the gay community, they must ask forgiveness of God for ways they have discriminated against homosexual persons or fostered hostility toward them, Pope Francis said.

I said this was the second week in a row, I cried tears of Joy. On the evening of the Pause Night Club tragedy I cried my first tears of joy. After Mass, Fr. Dennis, the celebrant, read a letter from Chicago’s Archbishop Blasé Cupich. It read in part:

“…For you here today [I took that to mean us assembled at AGLO] and throughout the whole lesbian and gay community, who are particularly touched by the heinous crimes committed in Orland, motivated by hate, driven perhaps by mental instability and certainly empowered by a culture of violence, know this: the Archdiocese of Chicago stands with you. I stand with you.”

I truly didn’t know that, i.e. that the Archdiocese of Chicago, that Archbishop Blasé stands with us. I cried tears of joy the first time. Two weeks in a row, I’ve heard from people representing the institutional church that has been very good to me and that I have loved in return, that they love me and stand with me. Wow!

Yes, I know, it’s not all about me and it’s not even just about the gay community or the tragedy of the Pulse Night Club. It’s about all of us. We are one people despite all our many differences. When I send love to anyone, I sent it to all, but it sure is nice to be a recipient of that love and hear my name. It’s made me cry, twice now.

If you are wondering where the Church can go with this you might enjoy Bondings 2.0’s response written by Bob Shine of New Ways Ministry. I was especially impressed with Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, thoughts which sounded like they came right out of the catechism I studied when I made my first confession, 1952:

“In order to bring about the full healing of the relationship between the Catholic Church and LGBT people, the Church must not only acknowledge the wrongs of the past, but take concrete actions that demonstrate its commitment to treating LGBT people justly from now on.  For example, Catholic institutions must stop firing LGBT people simply because their sexual orientation or marital status becomes known.  The Church must stop conducting public campaigns that seek the right to discriminate unjustly against LGBT people in the civil arena on the specious grounds of ‘religious liberty.’  It must cease campaigns against same-sex civil marriage and LGBT civil rights protections around the globe.  And it must speak out strongly and clearly against the horrific violence and discrimination that is often directed against LGBT people in countries around the world, including our own, many with substantial or majority Catholic populations.”

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

 

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Can We Feed 7-plus Billion and Be Green?

This past week I spent three days with an old high school chum–actually a lot of old high school chums–but this post is about one in particular. We were both attending a Passionist Assembly focusing on Laudato Si coordinated by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim. the directors for the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. Mary Evelyn and John were students of one of my favorite Passionists, Fr. Thomas Berry. They actually met in one of his classes at Fordham University, got married and now spend their lives sharing the New Story, The Dream of the Earth. It’s a fascinating story filled with lots of hope and an actual plan of action for the earth into the future.

In the discussion that followed one of Mary Evelyn and John’s presentations, my high school chum challenged: “This earth stuff is all well and good, but how does that answer the question of how we feed the 7 plus billion people who get up hungry every morning?” (talk about being practical!) I don’t think Bill, the questioner ever got a satisfactory answer.

Andrew Youn does claim to have a part of the answer in his amazingly understandable and enlightening February 2016 Ted Talk “3 Reasons why we can win the fight against poverty. He answers a question I’ve been mulling over for quite sometime now, what will be the jobs in the future. He says they will be four:

  • Health worker
  • Teacher
  • Farmer-trainer
  • Sales agent

He also talks about using levers, a trick taught to us by Archimedes of ancient Greece. He mentions three levers:

  • Making farmers more productive
  • Pulling farmers out of poverty
  • One-acre farms

That last one really fascinates me, almost to the point I think I’d like to try it. Anyone interested?

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believe transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

Relating to Each Other

Every time I saw Mike, a wise old man, he would share the same time-worn testimony: “Don’t waste time seeing how you are different, but take the risk and time to see how you are alike.” That was in the 80’s. Mike is dead now and I wish I could tell him how much I appreciate that sage advice, and what a difference following it has made in my life.

My Dad’s mother and father were betrothed to different people when they asked their priest uncle to marry them and then tell their parents after they had time to elope. Leaving family and friends in Ireland they dared to follow their dream. They ended up in Chicago around 1909. Today, they have passed on leaving me with six fantastic siblings, 45 beautiful first cousins on my Dad’s side and god knows how many great cousins. Just today on Facebook, I read of another being born.

Thanks to Global Citizens for the above great YouTube video of couples willing to share their love no matter what their families or others may think.

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believe transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

Ramadam

Garima Bakshi wrote an enlightening article “Ramadan has begun, and here’s what you need to know about it“.  I’ve gleamed the following points that I personally find fascinating, but you might enjoy going to the real article to learn lots more. Thanks Garima!

  • Most importantly, Ramadan is a spiritual cleanse of the body, mind, and soul. It is about compassion, honesty, and kindness.
  • It’s ultimately a joyful celebration of a rich history that goes back several millennia.
  • It is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims and celebrates the very origin of Islam.
  • Non-Muslims or Muslims unable to fast are welcome to partake in the festivities at the Iftar feasts.
  • Muslims are instructed to refrain from any sinful behaviour that might negate the rewards of fasting. These include gossipping, cursing, impure thoughts, altercation, and fighting. While it sounds simple, training your mind to avoid negativity can be harder than training it to not crave water and food.
Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believe transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey