Here at the Darst Center our bedrooms are named after significant people who have been models for doing work in social justice. Each month we highlight an individual in our newsletter to learn about their lives, the work they have done, and the impact they have made. This month we are highlighting Madre De Los Disaparecidos, or “Mother of the Disappeared,” along with the women who took a stand against the injustices of their loved ones being taken. Here is a synopsis of this important figure and her impact on
Here at the Darst Center we have named our rooms after significant people who have been models for doing work in social justice. We will be highlighting these individuals each month to learn about their lives and work. They are great examples of people who have taken action to address an issue of justice they saw prevalent in their communities and beyond. This month we will be highlighting Jean Vanier. Here is a brief synopsis of his life and work:
“Born in Geneva, Switzerland on September 10, 1928, Jean Vanier is one
TrekNorth High School from Bemidji, Minnesota spent a week with us at the Darst Center participating in our Urban Immersion Retreat. With open minds and hearts, they came to Chicago willing to learn about delve into several issues of social justice. They challenged assumptions with each issue they encountered, organization visited, and person met. Together they broke barriers and built bridges, and now they will carry the fire and passion back to their own community in Bemidji.
One student reflected back on her time here at the Darst Center and wrote
For a week in January a small group of students from Virginia Wesleyan college participated in the Br. David Darst Center’s Urban Immersion Retreat. During this full week they delved into a number of different issues of social justice, which broadened their worldview as well as impacted their personal outlook. One student reflected on her experience at St. Leonard’s, and how this led to a transformation of a particular viewpoint:
“The experience that has stuck with me the most is the experience at St. Leonard’s. This really touched my heart. Hearing the
This month’s Facts on the Fence asks two big questions that encourage people to think more about social justice. The first question is “What do you think is the greatest need in the world?” and the second question is “Who encourages you to do good?” Many organizations, initiatives, and social movements have taken place in order to respond to the many needs that we are faced with as a society, but our opinion of what exactly is the greatest need varies widely because everyone has their individual experience and journey
“I came to the Darst Center because I was looking for a service trip experience. I was a little hesitant at first because I knew that I would be changed “beyond repair,” so to speak. I knew I would not be the same when I returned and I didn’t know what to do with the new experience and knowledge I would gain from the trip. In essence, I was comfortable in my “oblivion” and feared that it would hinder me from pursuing my non-existent, non-clear plans for the future. Yet,
Are you looking for new books to read this year? Would you like to delve more deeply into topics of spirituality, relationships and justice? Our staff has recommendations for you! Here are a couple of books that our staff members, Suzanne and Megan, have enjoyed and think you would too. Keep an eye out for more recommendations to come in the next couple of weeks!
The Book of Awakening – Mark Nepo
From the Amazon description of the book:
“Philosopher-poet and cancer survivor, Mark Nepo opens a new season of freedom and joy—an escape
Since our last Newsletter, we had the pleasure of welcoming Totino-Grace High School from Fridley, MN; Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart from Madison, WI; and TrekNorth High School from Bemidji, MN for urban immersion and self-directed retreats. Additionally, a group studying iconography with the Prosopon School of Iconology stayed with us for several days while participating in a workshop at the Monastery of the Holy Cross here in Bridgeport.
The staff of the Darst Center now begins preparing for groups which will arrive in January, including Wheeling Jesuit University,
As someone who is entering the 24th advent of my life, I am no stranger to the theme of waiting that seems to come up around this time every year. We all hear about how challenging it is to wait, but how much we are able to learn by practicing patience. We are also reminded about how this waiting for the birth of Jesus is something that should not be passive, but active (whatever that looks like for you).
As the predictable blogs and articles surfaced on my predominantly Catholic Facebook
With deep gratitude and a sense of loss, the Board of Directors of the Br. David Darst Center announces that, after careful discernment, Executive Director Mindy Rueden has decided to resign her position effective December 31st in order to pursue new opportunities. Darst Center Board members want to take this opportunity to commend Mindy publicly. Since 2005, she has epitomized the Darst Center’s core values of respect for persons, justice, compassion, service, and care for creation. Her personal witness has consistently reinforced the purposes of the Darst Center.
As Executive Director, Mindy has fostered the