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
We were grateful to have Totino Grace spend a week with us at the Darst Center this November! During their time here they learned about issues such as homelessness, poverty, mass incarceration, food insecurity, and immigration. Each student was willing to engage with these issues, ask questions about why they exists, and heard stories from multiple people in our partner agencies. During the closing reflection they expressed their motivation to take what they learned here and bring it back home in order to share with others and open their eyes to the
In the months since the last newsletter, the Darst Center has been incredibly busy hosting urban immersion retreats and other programs. There are a number of schools and parishes which have been coming to the Center for years. We are forever grateful to those ministries and the students and staff who we have met along the way. At the same time, we have been able to foster some new relationships in the last few months. As new groups, we have welcomed:
City Academy, St. Paul, MN
St Agnes Parish,
When you hear the word advocacy what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe people in business suits at the capitol? Or perhaps activists protesting at a community board meeting? We often think of a very specific set of people, in a specific location, taking part in a specific action. While these are definitely examples of advocacy, they sometimes imply that only those people should be participating in advocacy work. Despite this idea, it has become increasingly clear that we are all called to be involved in advocacy efforts.
The theme for the month of November is Incarceration – Restorative Justice. The school to prison pipeline is a term many might not have heard before. The pipeline refers to inadequate resources starting from a young age for students, such as overcrowding in classrooms, lack of qualified teachers and little to no funding for extra activities. There is pressure to push schools to expel or suspend their low performing students thanks to policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act. Because of this, students are more likely to be