Democracy is collapsing, but let’s imagine how the church could change that

I was in another Zoom meeting with my friend, another Catholic sister who is a professor on a college campus. Together we were lamenting the extreme polarities in the church and society. Rubbing our foreheads. Sighing. Praying right out loud: God, help us. Together we were bemoaning how the tensions impact our freedom to loveContinue reading “Democracy is collapsing, but let’s imagine how the church could change that”

Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement

In the June burst of green and sunshine, I am taking a bike ride through the historically black neighborhood where I live in Chicago. Along the way, I encounter a heron and a flock of geese; I see wrappers and plastic bags littering the sidewalks, discarded in the gutters. I smell freshly-cut grass and waveContinue reading “Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement”

Hannah Bowman: Prison Abolition

“Fundamentally prisons are not broken; they are designed to do something that is wrong.”
–Hannah Bowman,
Founder of Christians for the Abolition of Prisons

In episode four, Sister Julia speaks with guest Hannah Bowman about how Chrisitans are called to work for Prison Abolition.

Lessons learned in liminal spaces

this is the space of chrysalis– of break-downs & becoming something something better something more true (we hope, we imagine) this is the crazy time (some say) this is what they warned us about: “remember, you are more prone to accidents and illness. remember to breathe.” no maps are available no one has been hereContinue reading “Lessons learned in liminal spaces”

Hope and heartache on this side of the grave

I understand that my death could come any day. My own life experiences have etched this understanding into the channels of my heart. I carry a consciousness of my mortality into all my ordinary actions. Knowing that the potential of death looms nearby influences what I think about, dream about and do with my days.Continue reading “Hope and heartache on this side of the grave”

Franciscan prayer for all of us: a conversation with Jon Sweeney

What does it meant to pray like a Franciscan? This question is one that I reflect on regularly. It’s part of my tendency to informally self-evaluate, to ask myself how I am doing at living my vocation. Typically, the question leads me right to Jesus on the cross. As modeled centuries ago by Saints FrancisContinue reading “Franciscan prayer for all of us: a conversation with Jon Sweeney”

Letting the pandemic change us for the better

When I was 24 years old, I fell off a cliff and shattered my face. Surviving a life-threatening accident at a young age transformed me. Afterwards, I had no more illusions about my mortality or the sacredness of time. I discovered a new urgency to live well. My long-term goals came front and center. FromContinue reading “Letting the pandemic change us for the better”

Has social distancing put us in a double pandemic?

About four years ago, before any of us had been encouraged to practice social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic, I moved to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. My family and friends worried I’d be lonely, but I embraced the peace and quiet and found myself feeling very happy among the trees and lakes. It didn’tContinue reading “Has social distancing put us in a double pandemic?”

Lent in a pandemic

I’ve been inside since Wednesday afternoon.  It all started when a friend, who ministers in New York, texted me to say that someone in his parish was being tested for the coronavirus (or Covid-19) and everyone who attended liturgy with them could be quarantined. I was alarmed. I realized that the epidemic was no longerContinue reading “Lent in a pandemic”

penitents and elements

ash sand air wind flame land repent repent penitents and elements children of God children of earth repent repent skin spit breath bone flesh fire repent repent change convert transform trust humble mortal repent repent these bodies hold histories hopes mysteries every one weak broken all made for union communion penitents and elements children ofContinue reading “penitents and elements”