October 2023


Coming Soon: MSJC's 2022-2023 Annual Report!

Next week we will be releasing our public Annual Report in a special newsletter and via email. Make sure to check your inbox! We cannot wait to share this document with you, to celebrate all of our accomplishments this past year, and to look to the future.

Embrace - A Marianist Watch Party & Discussion

When: Tuesday, November 7 at 3:30 PM HT | 5:30 PM PT | 6:30 PM MT | 7:30 PM CT | 8:30 PM ET

What: MSJC's Adele Social Justice Project (ASJP) is hosting a watch party and discussion around MSJC's video called Living Our Marianist Charism: Embracing the LGBTQ+ Community. Come watch the video with us and respond to discussion questions together in small group. All are welcome!

Register Here!

An Evening with Retreat to Broadway and the LGBTQ+ Initiative

When: Monday, November 26 at 2 PM HT | 4 PM PT | 5 PM MT | 6 PM CT | 7 PM ET

What: A virtual retreat for all members of the Marianist family focusing on the positive impact of faith, justice, sexuality, and the performing arts. There will be time for reflection, education, prayer, small group sharing, and a panel discussion. This event is co-sponsored by Retreat to Broadway and MSJC's LGBTQ+ Initiative. Thanks to the generosity of a seed grant from the Marianist Visitation State Community, this event is free to all members of the Marianist family.

Confirmed panelists include Tony-Award winning Broadway actor and Stages podcast co-creator, Stephanie J. Block; Editor-at-Large for America magazine, Fr. James Martin, SJ; Broadway actor and playwright, Douglas Lyons; PhD in Theology student and Marianist, Gabrielle Bibeau; and actor/LGBTQ+ Initiative team member, Miguel Ochoa. 

Register Here!

Save the Date: Join the Marianist Family Conversation on Laudate Deum!

When: Wednesday, November 29th at 3 PM HT | 5 PM PT | 6 PM MT | 7 PM CT | 8 PM ET

What: All are welcome to join our Integral Ecology Team and members of the Marianist Family for a broader educational event on Laudate Deum, Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation that was released on October 4, 2023. This discussion is timely as it will occur just before the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference meetings (Nov 30 - Dec 12). Look for registration details in our November Justice Jottings.


All of us here at the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative recognize that the violence occurring in Israel and Palestine is weighing heavily on so many in our community and world. While MSJC does not currently have an active volunteer group working on anti-war efforts (as we have in the past), and we honestly share that we are not experts in this century-long conflict, we feel we must speak and pray together.

We know our words may not be enough, or may be too much, and can't heal the wounds of so many in the world that are hurting right now. We choose to center humanity, and so we speak:

  • We denounce anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
  • We denounce systemic oppression, in all its forms.
  • We denounce the killing and hostage-taking of each innocent civilian. 
  • We denounce military occupation and apartheid. 
  • We denounce celebrating death.

(Some phrasing above adapted from @laylafsaad on Instagram.)

There cannot be justice where there is oppression. We call for an immediate ceasefire on all of Palestine today, for a returning of all Israeli hostages, for food, water, medicine, and other resources to be delivered to those in Gaza, AND we pray for peace. To some, peace may seem naive. And still we gather to pray:


(Adapted from Sojourners)

God of Comfort,

send your Spirit to encompass all those whose lives

are torn apart by violence and death in Palestine and Israel.

You are the Advocate of the oppressed

and the One whose eye is on the sparrow.

Let arms reach out in healing, rather than aggression.

Let hearts mourn rather than militarize.

God of Justice,

give strength to those whose long work for a just peace

might seem fruitless now. Strengthen their resolve.

Do not let them feel alone. Show us how to support their work

and bolster their courage. Guide religious leaders to model

unity and reconciliation across lines of division.

Guide political leaders to listen with their hearts as they seek peace and pursue it.

Help all people choose the rigorous path of just peace and disavow violence.

God of Love,

we lift up Palestine and Israel — its people, its land, its creatures.

War is a monster that consumes everything in its path.

Peace is a gift shared at meals of memory with Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

Let us burn incense, not children. Let us break bread, not bodies.

Let us plant olive groves, not cemeteries.

We beg for love and compassion to prevail

on all your holy mountains.

God of Mercy,

even now work on the hearts of combatants

to choose life over death, reconciliation over retaliation,

restoration over destruction. Help us resist antisemitism and islamophobia in all its forms,

especially in our own churches. All people, Israelis and Palestinians,

deserve to live in peace and unafraid, with a right to determine

their future together.

God of the Nations,

let not one more child or elder be sacrificed on altars of political expediency.

Keep safe all people from unjust leaders who would exploit

vulnerability for their own distorted ends.

Give wise discernment to those making decisions to pursue peace.

Provide them insight into fostering well-being, freedom, and thriving for all.

Teach all of us to resolve injustices with righteousness, not rockets.

Guard our hearts against retaliation, and give us hearts for love alone.

Strengthen our faith in you, O God of All Flesh,

even when we don’t have clear answers,

so that we may still offer ourselves nonviolently

for the cause of peace.


We have officially released two podcast episodes with NACMS to celebrate MSJC's 25th year.

Episode 28: Marianist Social Justice Collaborative's 25 Years

This podcast is a recording of a Zoom conversation that took place between MSJC Director Sarah Gray and three people who were present at MSJC's foundation: Sr. Leanne Jablonski, FMI; Jim Vogt; and Fr. Ted Cassidy, SM. These three Marianists reflect on the origins of MSJC, its accomplishments over the years, and how it has been a model of collaboration in the Marianist Family.

Episode 30: Marianist Social Justice Collaborative's Present & Future

This podcast highlights a panel of current volunteers serving on the MSJC’s Issue Teams. Maureen O’Rourke (Racial Justice Team), Ish Ruiz (LGBTQ+ Initiative Team), and Julia Love (Adele Social Justice Team) share their passion for social justice, the MSJC’s impact, and their hopes for the future of the MSJC. This episode compliments our previous episode that explored the MSJC’s origins and history. 

Listen at the links above, and check out all of the NACMS podcast episodes below.

All NACMS Podcast Episodes



Amazing Presentations at the National Catholic Conference on Restorative Justice - Reflection by Team Chair Mary Beaudoin

I had the great opportunity to attend the National Catholic Conference on Restorative Justice in Minneapolis on October 5-7. The conference, entitled “Journeying Toward Restoration,” was co-sponsored by Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN) and the Initiative on Restorative Justice and Healing at the University of St. Thomas. Having attended CMN’s virtual Conference on Restorative Justice in October 2020, I was primed for another stimulating and inspiring conference, but this year’s conference truly exceeded my expectations.

The line-up of presenters for the conference was quite remarkable and included RJ practitioners, church leaders, professors from several universities, scholars, legal experts, and directly impacted persons. The presence of two Catholic bishops highlighted the need for restorative justice within the Catholic Church, and provided hope that it can be embraced and utilized within parishes and (arch)dioceses. The prayer experiences were varied and beautifully led. They provided time and space for deepening and reflection.

The conference was held during the first week of the Synod on Synodality meeting in Rome. As noted in the welcome message: “It is fitting that our conference coincides with the Synod, because restorative justice is a tangible expression of synodality in action. With principles that create space for the Holy Spirit to do its transformative work, restorative justice equips us to reach out to those on the margins and bind up unhealed wounds – the very essence of a synodal Church.” [Read more here...]


Despite ongoing rhetoric of the opposite, new data actually shows that the United States is NOT seeing an unprecedented immigration surge. Read more about the data and its implications in the USA Today article below: 

USA Today Immigration Article


Laudate Deum was released by Pope Francis on October 4th to all people of faith and good will on the climate crisis, challenging us to transformation and action at personal, institutional and government levels.  

Read, Reflect and Take Action - Catholic Climate Covenant has gathered video & print resources on Laudate Deum here.

Read the commentary in America Magazine by University of Dayton Professor Vince Miller. 


In a letter made public on October 2nd, Pope Francis expressed openness to blessing same sex unions. He stated that objective truth involves pastoral charity in addition to 'kindness, patience, understanding, tenderness, encouragement' and for this reason, discerning the possibility of other forms of blessing aside from marriage for such alliances is important. Read more at the article by America Magazine below:

America Magazine Article


Marianist Family Thursday Dinners at the University of Dayton

When: Every Thursday of the school year

Where: 301 Kiefaber at UD

What: Continuing the tradition from last year, Marianists of all 3 branches will have an opportunity to share a meal and discussion with UD students each Thursday. Dinners are 6-8p with a set-up crew arriving at 5:30p. This is a great opportunity to witness what our charism is about to UD students, so please consider joining for an evening. Contact LeeAnn Meyer at lmeyer1@udayton.edu with any questions.

Sign Up Here!

Widen the Space of Your Tent: An Interfaith Weekend Retreat for LGBTQ+ Persons, Their Families, and Allies

When: November 3-5, 2023 at the Feliciana Retreat and Conference Center in Norwood, Louisiana

What: Ancient nomadic people normally traveled in groups with their tents and pitched them together at night for support and security. Travel in the wilderness was often a precarious one, with one’s very life depending on the hospitality of those familiar with the area. It required the hosts to generously widen the space of their tent, where strangers were transformed into guests.

As members of the LGBTQ+ community, how have we been extended hospitality from strangers in our journeys? As well, how have we widened the spaces of our own tents and provided support to members of our own community along with the stranger, as they navigate this sometimes-precarious trek through life? Join us in a weekend of community-building in a beautiful, restful setting as we reflect on how strangers are transformed into guests.

Register by printing the brochure below and sending in your registration forma and payment by October 17th. We hope to see you there!

LGBTQ+ Retreat Brochure and Registration

Catholic Prison Ministries Virtual Conference

When: Friday, December 1st

What: Join the Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition for Restored by Compassion: Given & Received, an impactful day of formation, reflection, and sharing highlighted by Helen Prejean, CSJ, Greg Boyle, SJ, Bishop Bill Wack, CSC and other ministry leaders. Attendees will have a chance to learn about training opportunities, to share experiences of ministry, to be inspired, and to network with ministers and supporters from across the country.

Read More and Register Here
Questions, comments, or feedback for Justice Jottings can be sent to us at info@marianistsjc.net.