Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Life is a railway, and my train just got a little longer, and my locomotive is moving faster now. Time to feel the acceleration!

This morning: a meeting of one of my province's internal committees. I am the newest member of the New York/New England Capuchins' Justice, Peace, and Ecology Commission. This group of friars meets three times a year to discuss our efforts as a provincial fraternity to promote our charism of peace-building through social and economic justice and care of creation. We heard updates on two groups with whom we are affiliated, Franciscan Action Network and Franciscans International; learned more about our province's continuing efforts to be socially responsible investors; and got a report on our efforts in global solidarity with brothers in developing regions. We also took a look at internal practices and policies of the province and considered an opportunity to train our friars in ecological stewardship.

Then, for the first time in five years, I went to school. Attended my first class on the Second Vatican Council with Prof. Richard Gaillardetz. It is a lecture and seminar, so we must come as ready to voice our questions and reflections as to listen. I'll be back on campus tomorrow for my first class on feminist theologies and theory with Sr. Mary Ann Hinsdale of the order of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Labor Day? It was just like old times on Monday in Cambridge, with speechifying from janitors and security officers and elected officials and labor leaders. We romped through Harvard Yard to call the university to account for daring to consider layoffs of janitors at the Medical School. On the way to Harvard we stopped at another school, Cambridge College, to assert that their security officers will not be denied a union, and they must be bargained with in good faith.

Just made it home in time for evening prayer! It took an hour and twenty minutes on the subway from Boston College to Jamaica Plain. Rush hour is either the most inapt or most Orwellian turn of phrase, depending on your degree of cynicism. I pledge to keep my balance as this locomotive careens on sharp curves -- school, ministry, and family life. But it's not really the curves that are sharp; it is the velocity at which I go that makes them dangerous. Let us accelerate with care!

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