Just Embrace


I never know who I’m going to meet or run into at my local Starbucks. One surprise came when the barista suggested one morning that I try something different, like the dark roast. “OK” I replied and so began a two plus years getting to know Sher.

Sher Sheets I discovered lives right down the street from me in a large old frame home where she and her fellow companions live in an intentional community. When I was invited to join the Passionists’ of Holy Cross Province’s committee on community, I knew, I had to somehow share Sher and her community in our deliberations and so today’s interview and post.

Eight years ago after having taken a course in “The New Monastics” in the seminary Sher says she knew her calling. She wanted to live a simple life among the poor. Many of us have dreams while attending school. I don’t think many of us follow those dreams like Sher.

Today Sher tells what the Just Embrace Community stands for, how that stand becomes reality and her and the community’s hopes for the future.

Posted by Dan O’Donnell, a layman who has covenanted with the Chicago Community of Passionist Partners. 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


If You Want Peace…

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Gary Haugen reports a failure of compassion. While he specifically addresses the developing world, I wonder if there isn’t a lesson for us regarding what is happening in Baltimore, New York City and Ferguson?

Today in the developing world according to Gary Haugen, we have more people in slavery than in any other time in history and that most violence against women never gets reported let alone remedied. He relates these two facts not to poverty, but to the lack of justice for the poor. He credits compassion for the great strides made in addressing poverty, but through his encounters with Venus and Griselda learns the real causes of poverty that we have yet to address.

He doesn’t leave us hopeless, but gives us two actions that we can undertake today to stop these injustices


Number one: We have to start making stopping violence indispensable to the fight against poverty. In fact, any conversation about global poverty that doesn’t include the problem of violence must be deemed not serious. 

And secondly, we have to begin to seriously invest resources and share expertise to support the developing world as they fashion new, public systems of justice, not private security, that give everybody a chance to be safe.

This kind of reminds me of Pope Paul VI (1897 – 1963) If You Want Peace, Work for Justice.