Lay down the weapon of good intention

A few years ago, my partner and I were invited to speak with a small group of white Catholic North Americans visiting Bolivia. My partner, from Bolivia, was asked to speak briefly with the group about Andean spirituality, and I was asked to translate his words from Spanish to English. (I am sharing this storyContinue reading “Lay down the weapon of good intention”

We need each other, not more consumption

Every year around this time, companies ramp up marketing campaigns that do their best to connect contentment with consumerism. Feeling lonely? Buy a candy cane latte. Feeling grief? Buy more holiday decorations. Feeling afraid and anxious as you watch the daily news in a world plagued by family separations, endless wars and mass shootings? BuyContinue reading “We need each other, not more consumption”

What’s whiteness got to do with it?

“You don’t dismantle white supremacy by ‘learning about other cultures.’ You dismantle white supremacy by deconstructing whiteness. – Benita Grace Joy I saw this quote the other day. As any good meme does, it deeply resonates with my own experience. As a white woman who chose to move to South America, originally serving as aContinue reading “What’s whiteness got to do with it?”

Whitewashed Mary and White Supremacy

What image of Mary. the mother of God, do you remember seeing as a child? When you close your eyes and imagine Mary today, who do you see? What color is her hair? Her eyes? Her skin? What type of clothes is she wearing in your imagination? As a kid growing up in a tight-knitContinue reading “Whitewashed Mary and White Supremacy”

Serving up accountability this holiday season

Thanksgiving in the United States is often a time to come together with family, friends and whomever else we call community. My favorite memories of Thanksgiving are around the table sharing food, memories full of warmth, comfort and a feeling of belonging. But as I grew up, I also learned about the real history behindContinue reading “Serving up accountability this holiday season”

MLK Day and choosing white discomfort

I don’t believe that remembering Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement that he represented is supposed to be comfortable for us white folks. And I wonder what we might learn if, on this national holiday created in his honor, we were to sit with his speeches that most challenge — not affirm — ourContinue reading “MLK Day and choosing white discomfort”

#MeToo, #ChurchToo and the hope in breaking the silence

The courage and resilience of survivors of sexual assault choosing to share their stories gives me hope. The wave of very public accounts of sexual assault and misconduct sweeping the United States, for many, has made what once seemed safe and certain seem suddenly dangerous and frightening. For those recently opening their eyes to theContinue reading “#MeToo, #ChurchToo and the hope in breaking the silence”

Finding St. Francis and choosing to stand on the margins

It was early 2013 and I was fresh from three months of formation with Franciscan Mission Service. I had just arrived in Bolivia, South America, to live and serve for at least the next two years as a Franciscan lay missioner. I had spent the autumn months of 2012 in daily classes learning about FranciscanContinue reading “Finding St. Francis and choosing to stand on the margins”