HOPE summer 2017 — I’ll meet you in the field
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is
too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the
phrase each other doesn’t make any sense. — Rumi
Sister Ann Sullivan reflects on the spirituality of coming together across divides.
- Do something concrete. Trust in your power to make change, even if the results aren’t immediately obvious.
- Create beauty. Sing, dance, paint, draw, garden, play an instrument or write.
- Ask questions of others who have different views.
“Sister Barbara looks at each of us and doesn’t see an addict. She looks at us as human. Every person feels welcome.”
As we engage in difficult conversations, … ask ourselves why we have made the assumptions we have and whether they are valid. What beliefs do we hold that have influenced our thinking? Have we really considered all the facts?
Clarity: Be clear about your reasons for reaching out, what kind of conversation you have in mind, and what you hope those involved will have experienced by the time it ends.
Collaboration: Invite your potential conversation partner(s) to join you in making key decisions about the conversation …
“Now, we must all become disruptors.” Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego addressed a crowd of nearly 600 clergy, women religious, and grassroots activists at the first regional meeting of the World Meeting of Popular Movements. Bishop McElroy called on them to disrupt apathy and injustice, racism and rejection of the stranger.
“This is not a moment for us to stay on the sidelines,” Sister Tracey Horan said. “The gospel calls us to step up.”
Unity and difference: blessings of engagement for local church members and the Sisters of Providence
To date, 11 members of Central Christian Church have become Providence Associates or are candidates, including the pastor! Karen Sagraves says many synergies exist between Central Christian Church and the Sisters of Providence. “We’re both very inclusive, related to ecumenical issues and relationships with others. We’re both justice-oriented and progressive.”
“He’s always felt remorse. I’m not condoning the evil that he has done. But he’s also a human being who needs support. He needs someone who is a positive influence in his life and can help him improve.”
So, why must we change? Drought, floods, fires, extreme weather, uninhabitable places, rising sea levels, species extinction, refugees, disease, food insecurity, inescapable heat … I could go on. Virtually nothing that we know about Earth is untouched by climate change. And no one.
I started thinking about everything I had seen from Sister Kathleen during my time at 8th Day. What I saw was Providence Spirituality in action. In our conversations over those two years, I had heard many of Sister Kathleen’s stories, her thoughts and her prayers. I found a woman willing to put herself on the line for the greater good time and time again.
We find in joining with others to effect real social change that we ourselves are more hopeful, more able to embrace diversity, and more willing to engage others who look, think, or act differently than ourselves. As a nation, we have experienced quite a shift these days. Contributing to our democracy by joining a local Indivisible group, I experience the deep joy of contributing to the common good.
Trustee Alice Shelton said the retreat was very important. “The public tends to view Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and the Sisters of Providence as being very close together.”
Thank you so much for your sharing. It is such a blessing to learn about your connections to our mission and to read your stories.
You bring HOPE
to people in need when you support the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Providence.