What the heck do the Jarretts do on the border anyway?

In case my last few posts about immigration had you asking this question, I thought I’d share an article written by our diocese about our mission.

Immigration. Liturgy of Life

The first thing you notice about the Lower Rio Grande Valley is the wide open sky above scrub brush and low-lying buildings, interspersed with chain-link fences and frequently, a pack of roaming dogs. Every Monday the Rev. Michael Jarrett, a C4SO priest and founder of The Trinity Mission, drives his truck through this landscape to La Posada Providencia, a residential transition shelter for immigrants and asylees after they have been processed through U.S. Customs.

Since moving to the area last September, Jarrett has volunteered his time to the Sisters of Divine Providence who staff the shelter, offering himself as a sacramental presence of the body of Christ on America’s southern border. Each month, hundreds of families fleeing genocide, political oppression and cartel control in Cuba, Central America, Africa and Asia arrive at the border asking to be protected, overloading the government’s current system.

“It may be a threshold to a land of opportunity, but for many our southern border is a holding cell,” Jarrett says. “It can be a place of complete upheaval of hopes and expectations.”

 

Check out the rest of the article here.

 

 

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Are Refugees Dangerous? A repost from the Public Discourse

 

immigration

Immigration remains a decisive issue for our nation and I remain far too uneducated to have much to say about it.  The Witherspoon Institute’s weekly online publication, Public Discourse has been a great resource for me on issues of morality, culture and politics. This article, Are Refugees Dangerous? is no exception. It does not deny the significant risks and challenges in managing the refugee crisis, but offers a thoughtful look at some of the downsides of the current immigration ban and paints a picture of what a healthier approach might look like. It also asks us to rise to the challenge, that we would be a country who seeks to care for those in need of help.

I’d love to hear your thoughts after reading. Do you have a personal story to share about immigration? What questions would you like to have answered as I plan for more posts in this series?

 

 

For more from Liturgy of Life you can subscribe to get monthly emails, like me on facebook, or join our facebook discussion group. Thanks for reading friends I look forward to connecting with you.

 

 

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Discussion Questions: The Death of Ivan Ilyich Liturgy of Life Reading Group

Liturgy of Life Reading Group
This happened! The first physical meeting of the Liturgy of Life Reading Group. We had a small but mighty gathering and we are looking forward to more. If you are thinking about a book club consider gathering a few friends to read along with the Liturgy of Life Reading Group.

 

For those of you who are reading along in Tolstoy’s, The Death of Ivan Ilyich with the Liturgy of Life Reading Group, I wanted to share the questions we used in our discussion.  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

1. Is the moment of Ivan’s death a triumph or a failure? For example, he declares: “Death is finished. It is no more.” Is this a positive or negative statement?
2. Discuss the significance of the title. If the work professes to be about Ivan’s death, why is it almost entirely dedicated to Ivan’s life?
3. Is Gerasim a type of Christ? What do we learn about caring for the dying from him?
4. What did you think of the black bag as a symbol?
5. What has been/is/should be the Christian response to an illness that can not be cured?

6. How does our society view/treat those at the end of life is this consistent with the Christian faith?
6. Do you think Ivan would have reached the same conclusion at the end of his life if it had not been for the suffering that came with his dying? Is suffering good? Is it bad?
7. How does this story inform our approach to suffering among the living? Among those who are in their last days? Do you think the last days of someone’s life can be meaningful/valuable even if they involve suffering? Does this inform our response to the movement towards physician assisted suicide?
8. Was Ivan’s suffering primarily physical, spiritual or emotional? What about in your own experience or in watching others, what type of suffering is most significant or is this an impossible separation?
9. How does suffering when it does not result in death affect our spiritual life? What should the Christian response be to suffering?

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For more from Liturgy of Life you can subscribe here for monthly emails, like me on facebook, or join our facebook discussion group. Thanks for reading friends I look forward to connecting with you.

 

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Accidental Poetry: Tolstoy and Me Liturgy of Life Reading Group

I haven’t intentionally written a poem since graduating high school. While I have come to love reading poetry aloud with my family it remains mostly a mysterious art. So it took me by surprise when I was preparing for the Liturgy of Life Reading group and looked down to see several poems on my page.

As I read our latest book Tolstoy’s, The Death of Ivan Ilyich I jotted down phrases and ideas that seemed to characterize each chapter as I went along.  I enjoyed seeing how my highlighted phrases told the story of Ivan’s progression.  Liking what I saw I narrowed the words and phrases down even more to create a simple summary. Unexpectedly  what appeared on my page looked like several simple poems which had originating in Tolstoy’s words and had been edited down by me.

If you are a real poet I don’t know that this process is much to get excited about, but I felt like I had discovered an entirely new way to interact with my reading material and as if I was collaborating with the great mind of Tolstoy on a new project.  I am sharing a few here not because they are great works but rather as an encouragement and a hope that new ways to love learning will sneak up on you. And that this book in particular would challenge you in some new direction.

Chapter 4

It was his own rage killing him,

it was his fault,

edge of destruction

alone.

Chapter 6

Constant despair

all is exposed

face to face

staring at death

it could penetrate anything

stare at it and go cold

Chapter 8

Hateful death

dirt disorder

anguish

loathing

terrified of being alone.

Chapter 9

Tears like a child,

helpless

alone

pleasures melted to something disgusting.

Maybe I didn’t live as I should have?

Chapters 10, 11 and 12

What is this?

Life is a series of increasing sufferings.

Have I really been wrong?

all wrong?

Struggling against the black sack,

terrified.

What is the right thing?

It could still be put right.

Instead of death there was light.

 

For more from Liturgy of Life you can subscribe here for monthly emails, like me on facebook, or join our facebook discussion group. Thanks for reading friends I look forward to connecting with you.

 

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