20/30 Retreat Reportback

by John Freml, Springfield, IL

On July 11-13, Call To Action 20/30 hosted a summer retreat/workshop on the topic of small faith-sharing groups — what they are, how to start one, and how to facilitate meaningful conversation about spirituality with progressive Catholics. One retreatant, John, offers us this reportback.
Some of us came to the Walker House in Boston all the way from the West Coast. Others came from just up the road.

One of us was a college student from Nebraska, who came to Boston to learn how he could build a more inclusive and just faith community for other students on his campus. Several of us are Catholic school teachers, who came to learn how they could reconcile their consciences with the Catholic theology they are asked to teach. One of us is an organic farmer who is discerning her call to the Roman Catholic priesthood. One of us is a lawyer who is actively involved in parish life, but wants to make sure that all voices are heard in the church.

I came as a member of a new inclusive Catholic community that has just started in central Illinois, who wanted to learn more about how I can reach out to other young adults in their 20s and 30s in my area. Continue reading

Progressive Catholic 101: Women’s Equality and Ordination

Post-Vatican II church reform has a rich history — and many of the young Catholics who read this blog may not know it all. The CTA 20/30 Leadership Team sure didn’t. That’s why we are excited to offer a series of Progressive Catholic 101 posts, recommended resource lists on some of the topics of interest to progressive Catholics. The first syllabus comes to us from Kate Conmy, Assistant Director of the Women’s Ordination Conference.
Ordination of women would correct an injustice
This 2012 National Catholic Reporter editorial is a brief and simple introduction to some arguments in favor of the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood.

Background on Women’s Ordination: womenpriests.org
This website run by Dr. John Wijngaards, a former priest who resigned from ministry in protest against Pope John Paul II’s “Ordinaio Sacerdotalis” and “Ad Tuendam Fidem” which forbid further discussion on the ordination of women. The website is a clunky, but the content is really unparalleled online. Resources there include a a useful overview, a listing of Rome’s statements on the ordination of women, and a rundown of major scholars’ positions in favor of and against women’s ordination.
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Lift Your Voice for #JessicasTux



Today, high school students at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prepatory (SCHP) School stood with Jessica Urbina – a high school senior whose picture was pulled from the yearbook for wearing a tuxedo.  Female students are required to wear “drapes” in yearbook photos in San Francisco Archdiocesan schools. 

As one bow-tied student told NBC Bay Area today, “They teach us in Catholic school to be who we are and accept everybody, so that’s what we’re doing.” 
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Lent 20/30: Lucy Mull

by Lucy Mull
Lucy is a CTA 20/30 member living in Massachusetts.
Their exit has no grace or mystery.
It’s a little death, hanging dry and measly
like a fruit inside them that never ripened. 
God, give us each our own death,
the dying that proceeds
from each of our lives:
the way we loved,
the meanings we made,
our need.
For we are only the rind and the leaf.
The great death, that each of us carries inside,
is the fruit.
Everything enfolds it. 
– Rainier Maria Rilke 

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Lent 20/30: Francis Beaumier

by Francis Beaumier

Francis is an IT librarian and young progressive Catholic living in De Pere, Wisconsin – where he’s a member of both the Catholic Church and the Metropolitan Community Church. He is a member of Dignity Young Adult Caucus (DYAC).

I’ve always fought with Lent. Why would the church put such a focus on sin and suffering at a time when so much is happening with the transition to Spring (at least here in Wisconsin)? As part of my cranky reaction to Lent, I generally give a dismissive answer when someone asks, “What are you giving up for lent?” “I’m giving up,” I reply. It’s an answer that’s part “none of your business,” part “you’re asking the wrong question”, and part “oops I’m not quite sure what I’m doing for Lent yet.” But now with Lent more than half over, I’m ready to spill the beans: I’m trying to be more mindful this Lent. (This particular Lenten promise gets really fun when you happen to lose focus on a Sunday morning: “pardon me, I gave up mindlessness for Lent, but it’s Sunday, which doesn’t really count, so I’m really not paying any attention today.”)

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Lent 20/30: Delfin Bautista

Delfin Bautista is a board member of Call To Action, a member of Dignity USA Trans Caucus and the director of the LGBT Center at Ohio University.

As we journey through this reflective time of Lent, reflecting on love, sacrifice, transfiguration, pain, fear, and redemption…this is a time to also ponder our friendships, especially around death.

March honors the legacy and witness of Oscar Romero…a prophetic voice who called for change in church and society, a voice for peace in the midst of a wilderness of violence. A timid and soft-spoken, rule upholding, let’s not make waves bishop, Romero became the Salvadoran’s people messiah of justice, a healing presence at a time in which political and social factions filled streets with blood and the wailing cries of families with relatives who were now “desaparecido.” Like Jesus, like many saints and Saints, like many holy ripple sparkers, Romero came to understand and claim his role not by keeping it safe but taking a risky, radical, revolutionary leap of faith later in life (like many of us, it was a journey of back and forth in understanding his purpose in life). The timid bishop became a lioness protecting her pride.

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Lent 20/30: Alison McCrary, CSJ

by Alison McCrary, CSJ

Alison is a Second Year Novice in the Congregation of St. Joseph and a social justice lawyer. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Systematics Theology and Scripture at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois.

Living Water from a Deep Well: Springing Forth a New Consciousness for Disciples Working for Justice
Lenten Reflection for Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lent is a time of saying yes in a new way: yes to being who we are intended to be and called to be. In today’s Gospel of John 4:5-42, Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well demonstrates his living of a life of loving all that is unloved and erupting the status quo. In the passage, Jesus states that he is “living water” (4:11) and thus creates a new flow, a new way of thinking about God, creation, humanity, and the role of discipleship. After nearly 13.8 billion years of existence in the universe, God in the form of the incarnate Jesus brings a new consciousness into the world that calls us to boundary breaking, to engage in serious conversations with those who are marginalized, and to take on public roles in the following of unioning love. Jesus lives out of this oneness modeling it for us and empowering all who follow him to act in the name of love by healing and reconciling all that is non-love. This new religious consciousness bursts forth from Jesus and is midwifed by the Samaritan woman.
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