Fr. Greg's Pastoral Letter-February 24, 2019

Dear Sisters and Brothers –

As a Parish Community, we already do much to break down the walls that can exist between different communities.  From Simple Needs Sundays and Get on the Bus, to Las Vecinas de El Salvador and our Solidarity Network, many parishioners are active in building bridges.  And, yet, many of you have told me you are looking for even more ways to meet the challenge and educate yourselves on social justice issues, to advocate for others, and to take more steps to help God bring about the Kingdom more fully.

In March, we have an opportunity to do all that and more.  March is Ignatian Family Advocacy Month, in which our wider Jesuit network and community will be considering issues of migration justice; to think about ways we stand with and for the vulnerable and persecuted, or when and how we advocate for children and young people left on their own in our nation's custody and care.

St. Ignatius Parish will be hosting a number of events over the next few weeks to get us thinking, praying, and moving on building a more just migration system, as God calls us to.  It kicks off next Saturday, March 2, from 9 am-12 pm;  then, we will host a gathering space in Xavier Chapel in Fromm Hall for a teleconference of the first-ever nationwide Virtual Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice.  The Teach-In will feature Father Pete Neeley, S.J., who has been involved with the Kino Border Initiative (a work of the Society of Jesus) in Nogales since 2008, and Marrisa Montes, the Founder of the Loyola Immigration Justice Clinic.  It is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn more of what is happening at the border and its causes, as well as to reflect prayerfully on the current state of affairs.

Later in March, over several Thursday and Saturday evenings, we will have panel discussions, film nights, and advocacy activities to grow our understanding of migration issues and see where we can each play a role in making a change.  All are welcome, and we hope you will take part.  Please check the church bulletin, website, or e-newsletter for the full list of dates and times.

On another note, our high school youth group is running a coat drive in two weeks.  They are partnering with our Simple Needs Sunday ministry to give us the opportunity to live out John the Baptist’s instruction: “Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none.” (Luke 3:11)  So let’s look through our closets and see what we honestly don’t need.  (I don’t think my high school letterman’s jacket is going to make the cut again …)  Please bring those coats to Mass for collection during the first two weekends of March, when they’ll be “taken” up with the offering of bread and wine.  If, however, you cannot bring your coats at the weekend Masses, you may also drop them off in the Shop of St. Ignatius (to the left of the main altar) when the Shop is open.

Thank you all for the caring ways you approach these important and sensitive issues.  Let us continue to pray for all those whom we seek to serve.  And, of course,

Oremus pro invicem.

Fr. Greg