Why the name?

"Holy Conversation" does sound like an exceptionally pious name, even for a parish blog. And we can't guarantee that everything here will meet the high standard the name implies. But the phrase comes from the story of our patron saint, and we think it fits. Here's why.

St. Scholastica was a sixth-century abbess who, according to the Dialogues of Pope Gregory I, used to meet once a year with her brother, St. Benedict. On the last occasion they were together, they spent their time "satisfying each other's hunger for holy conversation about the spiritual life."

We hope that this blog can become a place where the members of our parish can find a taste of the companionship and conversation that Scholastica and Benedict enjoyed so much. Welcome!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Anawim--and Us

      You may have heard Fr. Ken's homily last weekend on the "anawim"—the little ones of God—widows, orphans, strangers in the land, the poor. [If you missed the homily, you can find it below.]
      Fr. Ken told of his experience of shopping for cargo shorts, only to discover that they were made in Bangladesh. He wondered if any of the 1100 women who were killed in the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh on April 24 had stitched those shorts.
      The Bangladesh disaster raises the question of the moral significance of our involvement in an economic system that supplies cheap goods to the West at great human cost here and abroad. It is certainly a huge and complicated question. There is a danger that we will see it as so big and our own potential contribution as so small that we do nothing. In doing so, we risk turning our backs on the anawim—the very ones our Lord calls us to serve.
      We may not be able to do a great deal, but we can do something. If you have an Internet connection, you have the means to make a difference. Here are some places you might start: The Clean Clothes Campaign is dedicated to "improving working conditions and supporting the empowerment of workers in the global garment and sportswear industries.You can find them online here.
      One of the principles of Catholic doctrine in relation to the economy is that people who work deserve—by their God-given human dignity—to be paid a just wage, a wage that supplies what is needed for a decent life. You can learn about efforts to support a living wage for Asian factory workers by checking out the YouTube video "Asia Floor Wage—the animated story" or by visiting the Asia Floor Wage site here.
      One of the main ways that workers around the world try to improve their condition is through unions. Catholic doctrine supports these efforts.  LabourStart is an excellent British site where you can learn about and support the efforts of workers all over the world to defend their human right to join unions and gain fair wages and better working conditions.
      If you would like to learn how all of these efforts are related to our Catholic faith, visit the site of the Human Life and Dignity page of the website of the United States bishops.  The links on that page will take you to information on many areas including "Economic Justice."
      The U.S. bishops also sponsor an organization called Catholics Confront Global Poverty that focuses more on issues of trade, international aid, and migration than on workers' rights.
      If you are interested in joining with others at St. Scholastica who want to make a difference for the anawim of our day, please send me your email address. No meetings (unless we want to later on)—just trading information and support. We can, by the grace of God, be the hands of Christ reaching out today—even through our computer keyboards!

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