Welcome to Wisdom Wednesday.
Labor Day, observed Monday, marks a pivot for many people from summer slowness to a rushing and renewed range of matters — Labor, Climate, Black Lives – and for Wisdom Wednesday, a cluster of “things we missed last week.”
This week we learned that union representation is growing in Catholic institutions, and that Catholic labor leaders are urging the church to practice what it preaches,
The U. S. Bishops September 1 urged Catholics to listen to the call of the earth during Season of Creation.
The Catholic Climate Covenant urges greater action on the part of Catholics in caring for creation.
Dennis Sadowski reports for Catholic News Service on some of the efforts underway in the United States, and Pew Research finds that Climate Change remains the top Global threat across 19 countries.
Relief in Pakistan
Islamic Relief USA is among faith-based and other relief services raising funds and providing emergency assistance to families in Pakistan, where record-breaking floods are estimated to have killed and injured thousands of people and destroyed large parts of the country, including homes and farmland.
Black views on reducing racism
Black Americans have a clear vision for reducing racism but little hope it will happen, according to Pew Research. More than a year after the murder of George Floyd and the national protests, debate and political promises that ensued, 65% of Black Americans say the increased national attention on racial inequality has not led to changes that improved their lives
A most intriguing question
If we can’t portray George Washington as a Black man, why do so many Christians see Jesus as a White man? A guest writer in the Black Catholic Messenger says that all denominations of Christianity should cease portraying Jesus Christ as a White man, because it is historically inaccurate, it gives the idea that the church is exclusive, and perpetuates White Supremacy.
Ruby Bridges, desegregation trailblazer, writes kids’ book
Ruby Bridges was a 6-year-old first-grader when she walked past jeering crowds of white people to become one of the first Black students at racially segregated schools in New Orleans more than six decades ago. Now, with teaching about race in America more complicated than it’s ever been, she’s authored a picture book about her experience for the youngest of readers.
Catching up: What we missed last week
- Saint Phoebe: Last Saturday was the feast of St. Phoebe, mentioned by St. Paul as a deacon. A report published September 2 described the plans of Discerning Deacons to celebrate the feast day in Mexico.
- Women arrested at Vatican: Seven women stood outside the gates of the Vatican dressed in cardinal red, August 29. Each woman carried a scarlet parasol emblazoned with a phrase of female empowerment. “Ordain Women.” “Reform Means Women.” “It’s Reigning Men.”
- Same-sex firing upheld: The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday (August 31) that religious freedom rights protect the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis from being sued by a teacher who was fired from his job at a Catholic high school for being in a same-sex marriage.
- Step toward sainthood: Pope John Paul I, who reigned over the Catholic Church for barely more than 33 days in what is considered one of the shortest pontificates in history, took the first step toward becoming a saint on Sunday (September 3). Religion News Service provides the details.
- Death of an activist: On Aug. 4, 2022, two days short of the 77th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima in World War II, the United States lost a powerful witness against the insanity of the nuclear age when Carl Kabat, O.M.I., died in San Antonio.
- Return to door knocking: After almost two and a half years during Covid times, Jehovah’s Witnesses returned to door knocking September 1. RNS reports on an active couple in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Movies and Music
Mother Teresa arguably was the first great saint in the era of ubiquitous television. A writer for America Magazine reflects:
. . . when we watched footage of her at work with children and the dying, there remained so much we could not see. We had no idea what stirred inside her. We had no knowledge yet of what we would learn after her death: That she felt no personal connection with God for decades.
A new movie about Mother Teresa is coming in October.
Ahead of two Jazz Masses Sunday (September 3) in Detroit, Nate Tinner-Williams dove into the history of Jazz Mass in the Church, a phenomenon dating back to the 1950s and the beginnings of bona-fide Black Catholic liturgy.
Two in-depth essays
- Marriage: How do you explain Catholic marriage, annulment, divorce and remarriage, or same sex marriage? Here is a comprehensive yet readable examination of historical theology by John Alonzo Dick, retired, from the Catholic University of Leuven, published in Today’s American Catholic.
- Cardinal Joseph Bernardin: William Droel writes in America, “amid the ongoing synod on synodality and renewed conversations about church governance, it is worth revisiting the life of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (1928–1996), the most influential United States bishop of his era. A good place to begin is with Steven Millies’s concise though thoroughly researched, positive though fair-minded, clear-written biography for the Liturgical Press “People of God” series.
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We hope you have enjoyed this roundup of recent news about faith, politics, and culture. We will return next week with another edition of Wisdom Wednesday.
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