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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

943: Let your yes mean yes! (And 6 more amazing announcements -- something for everyone)

Day 943: Saturday, October 15, 2022

Let your yes mean yes!

Ramoncita was legendary in the Dolores Mission community. I think she was 103 when she died. When she was a spritely ninety-nine, she did the readings often at the daily Mass. She was so tiny that she needed to pull out this portable step tucked into the ambo. She moved quite quickly and with a storehouse of energy as she galloped in her pink tennis shoes to read. Once she elevated herself behind the podium, she turned to the tabernacle behind her, winked at it, and saluted, like she was the president descending the stairs of Air Force One.

When she was done, she lowered herself from the step, turned again to the tabernacle, and shot both arms energetically in the air, like she was announcing some gospel touchdown. And she did not own a single tooth in her head. It made the readings a challenge for the congregation but never hampered her resolve to deliver the message.

The word was that Ramoncita had at one time sported perfectly aligned dentures, until one day in the projects she spotted a young mother trying to corral her kids. This mother had no teeth. Ramoncita approached her, pulled the entirety of her dentures out of her mouth, and said, "Clean these up, they should work fine. You need them more than I do."

At the end of the letter of James, he writes, "Let your yes mean yes." There's "yes" for you, with authentic clarity. And all of it out of doors.

Announcement #1: Laudato Si Film:

From Steve Lyman: Here's the link for the movie "The Letter" from the Laudato Si movement. It is worth viewing.

Announcement #2: Community Celebration!

Announcement #3: From John Dear

Dear Friends, Christ’s peace!

The other day I participated in a zoom conversation with a bishop friend and urged him to help organize the U.S. bishops to support Pope Francis’ persistent calls for peace. What should they say? We call upon President Biden, his Administration, and the U.S. Congress to do everything possible to get an immediate ceasefire and a diplomatic end to the Russian war on Ukraine; to make sure nuclear weapons are not used; to stop NATO’s aggressive stance; to pursue diplomatic peacemaking with Russia, China and the Koreas; and to aggressively pursue nuclear disarmament and sign the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty (look it up!).

As followers of the nonviolent Jesus, we need to help stop ongoing war preparations, spending trillions on war and weapons, and making war inevitable, and instead pursue peace, disarmament, global justice, and a new culture of nonviolence.

This is what Dorothy Day called for throughout her entire life. Long before anyone in the U.S. Catholic Church publicly called for peace, Dorothy advocated the Sermon on the Mount position against all war and called for universal love, even love for our enemies. We all need to learn his lessons of Gospel peacemaking and nonviolence.

I’m very pleased to welcome my friend Martha Hennessey to offer a zoom session for the Beatitudes Center about her grandmother, Dorothy Day, on Saturday, November 12th (11am Pacific/ 12pm Mountain/ 1pm Central/ 2pm Eastern) to talk about all this.

Martha will share what she learned from Dorothy and her childhood memories. She will examine Dorothy's life of faith and love in action for lessons about following the nonviolent Jesus. Together, we will learn from Dorothy Day how to better promote Gospel nonviolence and peace.

Martha Hennessy lives on her family farm in Vermont and volunteers part time at Maryhouse Catholic Worker in New York City. She speaks regularly on the issues of war, poverty, the works of mercy, and nuclear weapons. She has traveled to Russia, Iraq, Iran, Palestine/Israel, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Korea to witness the effects of U.S. foreign policy around the world. She recently served time in a federal prison for protesting nuclear weapons as part of the King’s Bay Plowshares.

To register, visit

Note, registration closes Monday, Nov. 7th. You will receive the zoom link on Nov. 9th, so be on the lookout, and a recording link a few days afterward. If you have questions, email Kassandra at

May the God of peace bless us all! -- Fr. John

PS. Carolyn Whitney-Brown’s zoom on Henri Nouwen has been rescheduled for Sat., Nov. 19th (2 pm eastern/11 am Pacific). If you had registered for it previously, you will receive the new zoom link on Nov. 16th. If you would like to register for this, visit the website or contact Kassandra, thanks!

Announcement #4: Video Available:

Neglected Voices in the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis

View the Video

"When you have institutions and individuals that had that kind of power and they are responsible for your salvation, and they go and impact the spirit of who you are as a person, they shatter that spirit, you have nowhere to turn," said Elsie Boudreau in last week's discussion of the clergy sexual abuse crisis' impact on communities of color. Conversations about the abuse crisis all too often neglect the voices of those within Native, Latino, and Black communities, even as members of those communities suffer disproportionately from abuse. This October 5 dialogue included five leaders who have worked to improve our understanding of how clergy abuse and its cover-up happens, and how we can work together to strengthen protections for vulnerable people and communities and take steps towards justice and healing. We are pleased to share with you the video of this important conversation on Neglected Voices in the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis: The panelists were:

  • Maka Black Elk, executive director for Truth and Healing at Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota

  • Elsie Boudreau, a proud Yup’ik Eskimo from the village of St. Mary's, Alaska, and a survivor of childhood clergy abuse

  • Fr. Bryan Massingale, James and Nancy Buckman Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University

  • Deacon Bernie Nojadera, executive director of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

  • Dr. Deborah Rodriguez, general pediatrician with specialty training in trauma-informed care, and a survivor of childhood clergy abuse

This dialogue was the twelfth gathering on the clergy sexual abuse crisis organized by the Initiative. Other gatherings are available online. This dialogue was part of and supported by the Taking Responsibility Initiative coordinated by Fordham University.

Thank you for your interest and support of the Initiative’s unique mission to promote dialogue at the intersection of faith and public life, encouraging young and Latino leaders, and sharing the message of Pope Francis and Catholic social thought in a divided nation and wounded Church.John Carr

Co-DirectorKim Daniels


Announcement #5: "Conversations of Hope:

Ending the Death Penalty with Sr. Helen Prejean."

Please remind everyone that next week, CMN will host a FREE webinar, "Conversations of Hope: Ending the Death Penalty with Sr. Helen Prejean."

Join us virtually on Thursday, October 20 from 2–3 p.m. ET to hear from three engaging speakers on the Catholic call to ending the death penalty, in honor of Respect Life Month.

I hope to see you there!

Register Now!

Join us on October 20 for a special one-hour webinar, "Conversations of Hope: Ending the Death Penalty with Sr. Helen Prejean," to learn more about faith-based death penalty abolition.

Sr. Helen Prejean will be joined by Kwame Ajamu, death row exoneree, and Deacon James Booth, Director of Prison Ministry for the Nashville Diocese. The panelists will share their perspectives on the death penalty and discuss how capital punishment denies the gospel call to uphold and honor human dignity. Please join us for this special webinar as we commemorate Respect Life Month this October.

In hope, Emma Tacke Director of Community Engagement

Announcement #6: Future Church video on the Synod:

Here is the video link from the Synod session with Kelly Meraw.

You can find all the links on our synodality page at

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