Living the Gospel is messy: Let’s connect.

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Welcome to the mess.

Here at Messy Jesus Business – the blog and the podcast – we’re exploring the mess of radical Gospel living. We experience Christian discipleship as a life of struggle as we advocate for social justice, live simply, serve others, practice contemplation and live in community. 

For nearly 10 years, this blog has been offering inspiration, resources and reflections for radical Gospel living.  Along with Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Sister Julia Walsh, the Messy Jesus Business guest bloggers offer works of creative nonfiction, poetry, and prayers related to the messiness of following Jesus in our modern world.

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“Saint Therese Doing the Dishes” by Brother Michael O’Neill McGrath, OSFS
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Photo courtesy of Amy Nee-Walker

Discover Our Blog

Our blog includes reflections, prayer, and poetry on all sorts of topics that concern radical disciples. Climate Change. Racism. Gun violence. Poverty. Politics. Parenting. The Works of Mercy. Nonviolence. And much more.

Recent Blog Posts

Hope in hard times is an element of our prophetic vocation

I’ve been catching myself singing and there’s a surprising theme to the songs. Considering the state of things, there’s a lot of reasons why silence might make more sense, why a somber state might be more appropriate than song. In recent weeks, the COVID-19 crisis has become so deadly that morgues cannot keep up. It remainsContinue reading “Hope in hard times is an element of our prophetic vocation”

Michael Okinczyc-Cruz: Where Civic Life and Mystical Life Meet

Season 2, Episode 5 of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh IN THIS EPISODE: In Season 2, Episode 5 of Messy Jesus Business podcast, Sister Julia Walsh and Michael Okinczyc-Cruz discuss how his upbringing and experience as a person of Polish and Mexican ancestry helped bring him to his ministry as co-founder andContinue reading “Michael Okinczyc-Cruz: Where Civic Life and Mystical Life Meet”

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November invitation

after all hallows eve & all saints, all souls i admit my longing for slowing, resting. i name my dreams and groan in prayer. “i sense an invitation in this season.” toss and turn grab the remote recheck the vote count the headlines recheck the heartaches recheck reality lost hopes, now hallowed: the mighty remainContinue reading “November invitation”

Our Podcast

Michael Okinczyc-Cruz: Where Civic Life and Mystical Life Meet Messy Jesus Business

"Robust commitment to civic life should be fed by a robust spiritual life, a mystical life." Season 2, Episode 5 of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh IN THIS EPISODE: In Season 2, Episode 5 of Messy Jesus Business podcast, Sister Julia Walsh and Michael Okinczyc-Cruz discuss how his upbringing and experience as a person of Polish and Mexican ancestry helped bring him to his ministry as co-founder and Executive Director of the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership, which helps people enrich their spiritual lives and connect that to their public lives, and why that's essential for radical discipleship. He remembers graduating from college during the Great Recession and seeking support when making ends meet was difficult. "I remember going to this church, and the line was so long, you know, we got there and there were probably 30-40 people in line, and I remember just this like profound shame hitting me," he said. "And I'm even sad to say that because I know that for so many millions of people in our country today, that's the present reality…they need help…they need food on the table today. Not tomorrow, today. And I remember going and I remember this feeling like I busted my tail the last four years to get through college. This is what my parents told me I needed to do in order to make it, and I just graduated and here I am. And, what's wrong with this picture?" Work Rooted in Faith They also talk about the essential role of relationship building in addressing systemic issues, and define solidarity through this lens, examining the importance of developing authentic relationships that can be transformative in public life, particularly in our current political and economic climate. "Over time, as I've reflected on what keeps me in this work, I think it has so much to do with my faith, it has so much to do with my upbringing, it has so much to do with the vital importance of this work. You know, the ability to work with extraordinary people: parents, youth, elders who have so many aspirations and hopes for their community and being able to achieve some of those dreams and aspirations through hard, deliberate, intense work in public life. It's just remarkable," he says. The Transformative Power of Relationships At its heart is an inherent commitment to the importance of developing relationships. "We're gonna move much further along if people are willing to…develop deep and authentic and meaningful relationships that can be transformative in public life," he explains. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development In addition, this episode of Messy Jesus Business also touches on the 50th Anniversary of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development: what it is, and how you can be a part of the important work of this initiative to create vital systemic change. FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Campaign for Human Development online. Go to the website for the Coalition for Spiritual & Public Leadership. ABOUT THE GUEST: Michael Okinczyc-Cruz is the Executive Director and a co-founder of the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership. As a faith-rooted community organizer with nearly a decade of experience, he has worked to address issues related to criminal justice, mental health, corporate bank accountability, immigration reform, refugee rights, public transportation, and economic justice at the local, state and national levels. He has trained thousands of leaders across the country on the methodologies of faith-based community organizing. Okinczyc-Cruz is also an adjunct professor at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University of Chicago where he periodically teaches courses on Catholic Social Teaching, Christian Ethics and Leadership in Social Justice Organizations. He possesses a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master's in Theology from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and a Doctorat…
  1. Michael Okinczyc-Cruz: Where Civic Life and Mystical Life Meet
  2. Father James Martin: Prayer and Polarities
  3. Stina Kielsmeier-Cook: The Search for Community
  4. Steven P. Millies: Our World Needs All Hands on Deck
  5. Father David A. Jones: The Intersection of Oneness and Rugged Individualism

Discern Your Vocation

Sister Julia companions spiritual seekers and women who are discerning a call to religious life.

The building of God’s reign of peace and justice needs you! We welcome all people into the community as we explore the margins and celebrate the goodness.

-Sister Julia WALSH FSPA

Community

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