Above: Standing with my friend Jacques in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol – Friday, November 2, 2007.
I visited Jacques in Madison while on my way to Milwaukee for the Call to Action National Conference.
Above: The focus of this year’s national conference of the Catholic reform movement known as Call to Action, was “From Racism to Reconciliation: Church Beyond Power and Privilege.”
Above: Journalist, author and commentator Richard Rodriguez chats with Sister Jeannine Gramick.
Rodriguez, acclaimed author of Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2003), Hunger of Memory (1983), and Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father (1992), was one of the conference’s plenary speakers.
Writing about Rodriguez's talk for the December issue of The Progressive Catholic Voice, my friends Tom and Darlene White note:
The scandal of the [institutional] church, as [Richard Rodriguez] sees it, is: “They know not love . . . to love would mean to become a learning church not a teaching church.”
He finished his presentation by telling us something about Jim, his partner of 20+ years. A street person, an older man named Phil, would frequently approach Jim for money outside the bookstore Jim owned. Jim always obliged, though he knew it made some customers uncomfortable. As Phil lay dying, Jim visited him in the hospital and these are the last words Phil shared with his benefactor: “I used to think you gave me money because you wanted sex. Then I thought you gave me money because you wanted drugs. Now I know: it was because of Jesus!”
Hopefully, more and more of our own stories are lived out “because of Jesus.”
Above: Dolores Huerta, the co-founder with the late César Chávez and the late Philip Vera Cruz of the United Farm Workers of America, was honored with Call to Action’s 2007 Leadership Award.
Above: On the evening of Sunday, November 18, a number of concerned Catholics gathered at The House of the Beloved Disciple for a special meeting to discuss and strategize a response to Coadjutor Archbishop John Nienstedt’s comments on homosexuality in the November 15 issue of The Catholic Spirit, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis.
From this initial meeting was born the idea to hold a “Vigil of Solidarity” with LGBT Catholics, their families, and supporters.
Above: Another planning meeting – this one in the small theater of the Arcadia Café in Minneapolis! – Sunday, November 25, 2007.
Above: Celebrating Thanksgiving with my friends (clockwise from left) Sue Ann, Ken, Carol, Paul, Cass and Kerry.
Above and below: Blooms in my back garden, wilting in the cold air of approaching winter. They still hold a certain beauty, though, don’t you think? I hope I can age (and fade) as gracefully.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• Back in the USA
• It Sure Was Cold!
• An Energizing and Spirited Weekend
• Out and About – April 2007
• Out and About – May 2007
• Out and About – June 2007
• Out and About – July 2007
• Out and About – August 2007
• Out and About – September 2007
• Out and About – October 2007