Spiritual Hero ~ Joan Chittister (1936 – )

 Joan Chittister is an outspoken advocate of justice, peace and equality — especially for women world-wide — and has been one of America’s visionary spiritual voices for more than 30 years.  For the last 40 years she has passionately advocated on behalf of peace, human rights, women’s issues, and church renewal.

A much sought-after speaker, counselor and clear voice that bridges across all religions, she is also a best-selling author of more than 50 books, hundreds of articles, and an online column for the National Catholic Reporter.

She is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA. She is executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality and the founder and animator of Monasteries of the Heart, a web-based movement sharing Benedictine spirituality with contemporary seekers.

Children’s Church Service Project

Do Unto Others is partnering with our Children’s Church for a service learning project to create “busy bags” for the kids served by Westside Cares.

These packets will help kids pass the time while their parents are signing up for services.  From now through Sept. 16, we have a chance to help fill the packets.

The back-to-school sales provide a great opportunity to purchase crayons and small, snack-size Ziploc bags. We also can use packaged snacks, juice boxes and items that can be used to make bags of trail mix or gorp, such as cereals, pretzels, chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, and M & M’s. Our children will be assembling the packets and putting together the trail mix bags each week during Children’s Church.

If you do not have time to shop, you may also donate money in the church office or to Trudy W. or Amy K., PPMCC’s lay representatives to Westside Cares.  As always, thank you for being so generous!

Spiritual Hero: Gustavo Gutiérrez

Gustavo Gutiérrez (1928 – ) is a Roman Catholic theologian and Dominican priest who is considered the father of liberation theology, which emphasizes a Christian duty to aid the poor and oppressed through involvement in civic and political affairs.

The author of numerous books and articles, Gutiérrez is perhaps best known for his Teología de la liberación (1971; A Theology of Liberation), the foundational text of liberation theology.

In that work, Gutiérrez developed a new spirituality based on solidarity with the poor and called on the church to help change existing social and economic institutions to promote social justice.  Although liberation theology had great impact, especially in Latin  America, it was less welcome in Rome because of its Marxist overtones, and Pope John Paul II accordingly sought to limit its influence in the 1980s.

According to Gutiérrez true “liberation” has three main dimensions:

  • First, it involves political and social liberation, the elimination of the immediate causes of poverty and injustice.
  • Second, liberation involves the emancipation of the poor, the marginalized, the downtrodden and the oppressed from all “those things that limit their capacity to develop themselves freely and in dignity”.
  • Third, liberation theology involves liberation from selfishness and sin, a re-establishment of a relationship with God and with other people.