There is a lot going on in the Church of SoNoGo

South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Bishop Robert Barron Jan 16, 2022

North Park Presbyterian Church Jan 16, 2022

Young Black Catholics confront nature, racism and the church's way forward

What Howard Thurman can teach Catholics about responding to racism today

"What if the key question for Catholics to ask this Martin Luther King Jr. Day isn't whether Black Lives Matter is a pseudo-religion, but whether Catholicism itself in its response to racism in the United States is representative of the religion of Jesus Christ?" asks NCR contributor David DeCosse in a new commentary. 

This question could reframe the issue raised by Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez's November speech on Black Lives Matter and contemporary social movements, which has been criticized for being indifferent to the racist injustice that prompted the largest protests in American history. 

"The speech raises another matter that warrants the self-critical attention of the church: whether Catholicism itself is fit to respond to the challenges today of racism and white supremacy," DeCosse writes, adding that Catholics can turn to examples outside of their denomination, such as African American Protestant theologian Howard Thurman.

Read more of DeCosse's commentary here

More background:

Young Black Catholics confront nature, racism and the church's way forward

Growing up in rural South Carolina, a lot of outdoors time spent by Byron Wratee's family revolved around food. His community in Williamsburg County spent much time hunting deer and fishing for mussels. They also grew fruits and vegetables in their garden, including snap peas, collard greens and watermelon — what Wratee proudly called an indigenous African fruit.

"I'm really very proud to be Black. And what it means for me, to be Black, is to just have a really close connection to the land, to grow your own food, to be in connection with nature," he said.

The personal stories were part of a 90-minute virtual conversation Jan. 10 hosted by the National Black Catholic Congress. The event, titled "Imagining our Ecological Future: Black Life and Laudato Si'," positioned four young Black Catholics, all pursuing doctoral degrees in systematic theology, to talk their own experiences with nature, church teaching on ecology and what they see as the contributions they bring to the environmental conversation, both within the church and beyond.

Read more of the story here.

More background:

More headlines

  • In the quiet farming village of Thigio, Kenya, Our Lady Hospice-Thigio, run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul, has helped treat terminally ill patients since 2010. Read more at Global Sisters Report.

  • Michael Sean Winters clarifies what Pope Francis actually said about cancel culture and asserts that the pope will never fit into America’s ideological categories. Read the opinion piece here.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Growing old with grace and kindness

Growing old with grace and kindness: The life and lives of Sidney Poitier

On January 6, award-winning actor Sidney Poitier died. Poitier, who was raised Catholic and the first African-American to win the Oscar for Best Actor, "portrayed characters who had the qualities the actor sought to cultivate in himself: intelligence, competence, dignity and strength," writes Greg Garrett, adding that the 94-year-old actor "was a gift to all of us during his life well lived, and he remains a gift even after his departure."

Read the rest of his tribute here

ICYMI: Disney's 'Encanto' teaches us to see God in ourselves and others

Facundo Gonzalez Icardi reviews the latest Disney film about a magical Colombian family, "Encanto." He writes that the film "tackles intergenerational trauma and the pressure to uphold family expectations among complicated family dynamics and relationships" and invites viewers to watch "characters learn to embrace and love their true, authentic selves through intergenerational familial healing."

Read the rest of his review here.

10 things to know about Pope emeritus Benedict XVI


Friday, January 14, 2022

Volunteering has not returned to pre-pandemic levels

Volunteering has not returned to pre-pandemic levels . While churches are still struggling to recruit help, some ministries have seen a boost in interest.

The health care system in Zimbabwe is a mess, but one orthopedic surgeon has followed his faith back home.

Russell Moore’s response to recent remarks from John MacArthur: Pluralistic society is not an enemy of the faith.

Among CT’s coverage of Martin Luther King Jr. over the years, our colleague Ed Gilbreath reflected on King’s model to dream of a society “informed by kingdom values of grace, reconciliation, and justice.”

In other news

Pig heart transplants could save human lives. But are they ethical?

Archeologists in Norway have discovered what appear to be medieval Christian prayers written in runes.

In 1922, a prominent modernist preacher excoriated conservative Christians and, in a now famous text, demanded to know “Shall fundamentalists win?” One hundred years later, what’s the score?

A man in Wisconsin is going to prison for breaking into a church and taking $250. He burgled the same church in 2003, 2004, and 2006.