- Not So Far Afield Vol 18 No 4 – September/October 2009
- Rediscovering the Radical Nature of the Bible
- Cecelia (CJ) Nichols-Pearce
- School of the Americas – School of Assassins
- Celebrating World Mission Sunday
- Volunteer Needed in Namibia
- Repairers of the Breach
- We are All Sons, Daughters of Earth
- Maryknoll Affiliates as Repairers of the Breach
- ‘Got Ahimsa?’
- News from the Knoll
- Brazilian Mission Community Addresses Current Topics and Fears
- All Pages
A Spirituality for Social Change
On April 4, the Boston Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter co-organized an event with the National Catholic Student Coalition (NCSC) under the theme, “A Spirituality for Social Change.” The event, which was hosted by Boston College’s new School of Theology and Ministry, brought together dozens of student leaders and Affiliates to reflect upon the integral relationship between Christian spirituality and social action.
The day-long event began with a meditative prayer led by members of the Inner Room, a recently created group for Catholic contemplation and action. The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Stephen Pope, professor of theological ethics at Boston College. Dr. Pope gave a theological reflection on the present polarized reality of the Church and the need to find spaces of common ground in which spirituality, Church tradition, and social action are all respected.
In the afternoon, a panel discussion continued the morning’s reflections focusing on three subthemes. In the first subtheme, Mission and Social Change, Boston Maryknoll Affiliates Mark and Kathleen Morrison shared their experiences of working as Maryknoll Lay Missionaries in Latin America. Heather Keane, of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, shared her experiences with Service and Social Change. The panel concluded with a reflection by Matt Hamilton, a student at Boston College on Spirituality for Justice.
Over the course of the day, two main conclusions emerged. First, in light of the polarizations in the Church between those who seek a detached spirituality without social action and those who seek engaged social action without much spirituality, there is an urgent need to develop an approach which appreciates both contemplation and social action (praxis). Second, as part of developing such a spirituality, there is a renewed need for dialogue and common ground in the Church, where Christians can learn to be humble and open to the perspectives and experiences of others rather than demonizing them. Interestingly, the event itself was a space for dialogue, not only between Catholics with different faith perspectives, but also between Catholics of different generations.
In the end, the Boston event participated in by the Maryknoll Affiliates and the National Catholic Student Coalition () was a positive event for all involved and hopefully it can inspire other such collaborative events in the future.
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