May Issue of Reflections and Connections
The May 2021 issue of Reflections & Connections is now available online for your viewing.
In this issue, you will be inspired by the dedication of Sister Sharon Pollnow, reminisce with high school alumni, celebrate with our new associates, be called to action for digital inclusion, remember sisters who have passed away, and see what happened at our Women's Leadership Breakfast.
Back in 1972, in the message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, Pope Paul VI gave voice to this seminal message of Catholic Social Teaching: “If you want Peace, work for Justice.” The phrase calls us to extend our reach beyond works of charity for alleviating such social problems as hunger and homelessness to also understanding and eradicating the very causes of these problems.
During this past pandemic year, the cracks in the social fabric of our nation have grown more prominent and noticeable. This exposure has led individuals and groups to respond more visibly, more publicly to others in need. On the nightly news, there are often stories of heroic courage and sacrifice in response to situations of need and distress. These presentations bring a hopeful counterpoint to other narratives of racism, hunger, and mayhem that also fill the news. The pandemic calls upon each of us to be our best selves – to respond to the neighbor and the stranger in need. Recognizing our need to acknowledge our complicity in the knotty problems facing our society and culture, the Sisters of St. Agnes issued a public statement about current social ills and committed ourselves to use our voice and our energy to build God’s beloved community.
Peace does not come upon us and our society without effort on our part. In the 1972 statement, Paul VI notes that peace that is not the result of true respect for others is not true peace. He asks what we call this respect, this sincere feeling for humanity. It is called justice. In working toward a more inclusive society, we cannot separate peace from justice or justice from peace. Peace and justice are an interlocking dynamic in the way forward.
We have the gifts we need to create communities of peace and justice, and the Beatitudes are a starting point. We have each other as we start and stop, and then start over again as often as needed on this precious journey of life. Let our desire for peace push our work for justice, knowing that God is always on our side.
In the peace and love of Christ,
Sister Jean Steffes, CSA