This post was provided by Lydia Regan-Chuckwudebe
A note from Fr. Desmond Drummer:
Lydia Regan-Chuckwudebe's blog post is a testimony and a reminder about the seriousness of suicide and our role to advocate for and support our neighbors. Many of us know people who have taken their own lives. They are our friends, coworkers, and members of our families. In times past, the Catholic Church used condemnatory language when referring to the experience of suicide. This language made the pain of loss so much worse for people who suffered the suicide of a loved one. I deeply lament the pain caused by the Catholic Church in this regard. Thankfully, the Catholic Church has developed its response to suicide and now focuses on the mercy of God:
"We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2283).
If you've lost a loved one or friend to suicide, commend them to God's tender mercy -- God understands them; God does not condemn them. The Catholic Church continues to evolve over time. In changing its understanding of suicide, the Catholic Church caught up to where God has been all along.
If you are thinking about suicide, there is hope. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.8255
If you know someone who has mentioned to you that they are thinking about suicide, believe them and advocate for their life by connecting them to help.
If you are worried about someone's wellbeing, reach out.
Learn more about suicide prevention at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
by Lydia Regan-Chukwudebe
Below is a post I just made on Facebook [last week]. I just want to remind everyone to PLEASE never hesitate to help someone you believe is thinking about ending his/her life. Sometimes, as you already know, the smallest gesture will help!
Please Trust your Gut, that Inner Voice or Feeling that Won’t Go Away, God’s Voice Whispering in your Ear, His Words Tugging at your Heart....
Late Last Night around 1:30 in the Morning, I was reading a Poem posted in a Poetry Group I’m a member of. The poem was so Sad, so Gloomy, so Hopeless, so Morbid, so Full of Despair. It detailed a Horrible Life filled with Bad Choices, Bad Results and being Damned to Hell, and it was titled “Final Words.” I immediately thought, “This guy is going to kill himself!” And I wanted to call him or rush to his house, but I couldn’t; I do not know him personally. So, I panicked and then, I remembered my Grandmother’s words, “LiLi, Where there is Life, there is Hope. Please choose Life.” So, I sent him her words, along with the National SUICIDE Prevention Hotline Number, and I contacted Facebook, and I prayed for him. A few minutes ago, I saw that others in the Poetry Group also reached out to him this morning, and his response was, “I've been better. Came very close to killing myself last night.” Oh My God! Praise God he Did Not! Praise God!
This post was provided by Jenifer Burns
Catholic Standard is the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington. The article referenced below was published on Saturday, July 18.
Archbishop Gregory mourns loss of two Civil Rights icons
In a July 18 tweet, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory mourned the loss of two Civil Rights icons who died the day before -- Rep. John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian.
In the tweet, Archbishop Gregory said, “July 17th two Civil Rights champions crossed over to the fullness of God's kingdom. C.T. Vivian and John Lewis helped our nation realize our calling to be a home for justice for all people. They served our country in many ways -- always with valor and hope. May God grant them rest.”
Read the full article on the Catholic Standard website.
See Archbishop Gregory's tweet honoring C.T. Vivian and John Lewis (retweet if you are on twitter)
Follow Archbishop Gregory on Twitter.
This post was provided by Father Desmond Drummer
As we remember the legacy of Congressman John Lewis, the song "Glory" speaks the sentiments of our hearts. "Glory" is the theme song of Ava DuVernay's Selma (2014). John Lewis was played by Stephan James.
"Glory" won Best Original Song at the 2015 Academy Awards.
written by John Legend, Common, & Che Smith
performed by John Legend & Common
This post was provided by Rose Holmes
Pam Tennell is the Legislative Commission Chair of the Atlanta Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (AACCW) and a parishioner at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Atlanta. Her letter to the editor appears on page 11 of the July 9, 2020 print edition of The Georgia Bulletin (Volume 58, Number 13).
Letter to the Editor | The Georgia Bulletin
by Pam Tennell
I appreciate the National Council of Catholic Women’s email addressing racism and sharing tools to help us have the conversation of racism.
My soul aches!
Racism is a lot to wrap your head around. If you are not a person of color and this is not your experience, it’s even harder to grasp why Black Lives Matter. This is why we must share our stories. There are countless stories that have NOT been videotaped. But for the two that we have seen recently, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, it is a reminder to people of color what can happen on any given day. Their stories give the world glimpses of what happens in America, un-believed or unseen.
The psychological effects of racism and harassment are extremely heavy and even difficult to sometimes speak out loud because they seem so outlandish.
We have taught our kids right from wrong and we don't have a hateful bone in our bodies. But if we don’t speak to injustices toward black men, people of color and all people, we silently agree with injustice. If you have not had a conversation with your family, your friends or your neighbors about what you can do or asked questions about what you don’t understand, now is the time!
Questions to ponder:
- When your children, grandchildren, or family members leave the house, do you worry the police will pull them over? Remind them to speak actions before they move, to keep both hands on the wheel and don’t make any sudden moves?
- Has anyone ever followed you around a store watching your every move?
- Has anyone stopped you at the door of a public meeting to tell you, your meeting must be down the hall? Or that this is a different meeting and yours was cancelled?
Take a moment. Note how you feel or how you would feel. What can you do? If you see something, say something.
If you have a question about my experience or any of your AACCW sisters, ask. In addition to the resources shared by NCCW, schedule an activity similar to Jane Elliot’s blue eyes/brown eyes exercise. Read about efforts from organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Color of Change and the NAACP.
With prayer, commitment and hearts on fire for Jesus, we will get past this and be a better world in spite of structural racism. What a blessing it is to be part of the Catholic Church determined to have the conversation, speak against racism and not run from it.
I look forward to AACCW addressing racism at every opportunity. We can save lives through voting for laws and people who make all Americans a priority.
Peace and blessings of Christ always, through our Blessed Mother Mary!
This post was provided by Deacon Frederick Toca
Parable of the Sower
by Deacon Frederick Toca
“Some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
GOD’s word spoken and written conveys the Lord’s all powerful and dynamic presence in history as well as in our lives today.
Because we belong to GOD we can and do expect to experience happiness – even in this broken world. Yet sometimes we become anxious and afraid. We do not want to let down our guard.
But know that those who take time and make the effort to understand Jesus’ teachings and who live them, will bear fruit.
Blessed are those who hear the word of GOD and understand it, they indeed will bear much fruit.
Blessed are those who have eyes to see GOD working in their lives, they are producing fruit.
The Lord asks that we all go fourth and be fruitful.
He has given us all the answers in the soil of His word.
Frederick M. Toca
This post was provided by Father Desmond Drummer
Each month, the "Pope Video" corresponds with the monthly prayer intention of Pope Francis. The prayer intention of Pope Francis for July 2020 is for Our Families:
We pray that today's families may be accompanied with love, respect and guidance.
Pope Video | July 2020
- See the monthly prayer intentions of Pope Francis for 2020.
- View the Pope Video from previous months.
This post was provided by Monica Woodson
We Are One Body
written by Dana Rosemary Scallon
performed by Norson Fernandez & St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church (Sugar Land, TX)