THE WOMEN’S TABLE
Peace Begins with Me by Mary Rita Weschler, CSJA
The Women’s Table hosted a day-long program entitled “Peace Begins with Me” for mothers and caregivers on Saturday, November 7th, 2015 in the Penthouse. The CSJ Unity & Non-violence Grant helped support this effort, which provided participants an opportunity for self-care, relaxation and guided stress-reduction exercises throughout the day. Twenty women participated in a variety of self-care options, including head and neck massage, foot massage, gentle yoga, adult coloring and Zentangle, journaling and guided meditation/relaxation strategies.
So many gifts were evident in our “upper room” that day! Kathleen Short, CSJ, and Anne Marie Garrity, CSJ, and Gloria Davila, CSJA, offered massage. Charlene Favreau, CSJ, and Doris Gagnon, CSC, guided women in the process of focusing through adult coloring and Zentangle®, a relaxing and intuitive art form using structured patterns. Barbara Fingold, Back to Balance consultant, guided small groups of women through meditation and breathing exercises, and emphasized the importance of the “Loving Kindness” meditation in our lives. Lisa Connor, a founding member of the Circle for Mothers of children with special needs, led women in gentle yoga postures and breathing techniques.
Several members of The Women’s Table Advisory Committee assisted with registration, welcome and hospitality, clean up and more. The response from participants was very positive and several suggested that we host this again in the future!
Jeannemarie Gribaudo, CSJ, Authors Book About Developing Theology in the 20th Century
edited from interview with Jack Minch, writer and editor at Merrimack College. Used with permission.
Jeannemarie Gribaudo, CSJ, has published her first book, A Holy Yet Sinful Church through about significant developments in the theology of the Catholic Church’s holiness and sinfulness during the 20th century. Jeannemarie recently discussed the book and her hope that, by naming the church as both holy and sinful, it will help it regain the credibility it seems to have lost since the sexual abuse crisis came to light.
In discussing her book, Jeannemarie said that a handful of theologians in the early 1900s started the evolution of theology known as ressourcement. Ressourcement theology, has Christianity go back to its roots and examine the teachings of the early Fathers and scripture. Ressourcement scholars have included renowned theologians such as Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, and Karl Rahner. Those theologians noted that “the church, because it is the body of Christ, is ever-holy but the church would be nothing without her members and every one of us from Pope Francis down to the littlest child is a sinner,” she said.
Ressourcement recognizes the danger of forgetting the holiness and joy of the church. Without that sense of joyfulness, young people couldn’t be expected to have a passion for the Catholic Church. “If this generation only sees the church as sinful there’s no reason to join something,” she said. “It’s critically important that we also show them the church at the same time is ever-holy.” There’s a balance in the church, she said. “It’s not either/or; it’s both/and.”
NEW ENGLAND REGION ASSOCIATES’ 21ST GATHERING
Laudato Si’: Associates Respond
Associates and sisters from ten different New England congregations of women religious gathered at Mercy Medical Center, Springfield, MA on November 7, 2015 for the New England Region Associate [NERA] 21st gathering. Six Boston CSJA’s and Mary Ellen O’Connell, CSJ, were present. The day was built around ways in which associates and their congregations are responding to encyclical, Laudato Si’. During the morning Patty McGovern, ASP, gave a snap shot view of the history of the Sisters of Providence’s focus on land and care for the earth with special mention of Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center. This was followed by table dialogue facilitated by Gail Furman, ASP, and Fran Popko, ASP.
Through the lens of CSSJ spirituality, Judy Swett, CSJA, and Kathy Tighe, CSJA, led the afternoon session by offering a wide-lens view of Laudato Si’ and using the Peer Spirit Circle process discussed in The Circle Way, by Christian Baldwin and Ann Linnea. During their presentation they made reference to the Laudato Si’ discussion groups at Fontbonne Convent and the Motherhouse. They also pointed out the prayers based on the encyclical that are on the CSJ Boston website and the long time work of our Earth Committee.
All participants received a copy of Pope Francis’ prayer true riches which concludes, “...only when we are able to share do we become truly rich; everything that is share is multiplied.” The sharing of this day certainly multiplied the reach and awareness of how associates and their congregations are furthering the message of Laudato Si’.