As Darst Center staff members, our Facebook news feeds have been reminding us, almost daily, of the multitude of opinions out there regarding the future direction and leadership in our country. We have had the privilege as staff not only to engage in those conversations in our own social networks, but to engage with young people from across the country in the last month. Groups have dialogued on questions regarding race, class, privilege, resources, education, faith, (the list goes on), and done so in a way that allows us to carefully
The Board of Directors of the Brother David Darst Center for Justice and Peace, Spirituality and Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Keith Donovan as the ministry’s new Executive Director, effective March 1, 2016.
Chosen after a national search, Keith is familiar to many Darst partners and visitors. He has been a staff member at the Darst Center since 2014, first as Program Coordinator and most recently as Mission and Operations Director.
“My time at the Darst Center has been critical in shaping me to be an effective leader,” Keith says.
As those in the Catholic tradition prepare to approach the triduum next week, in my personal reflections I’m struck once again by the way in which those events still seem so relevant today. Starting with palm Sunday, Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem riding a donkey to be greeted by large crowds of people cheering. I was recently introduced to the idea of Jesus’ arrival as less of a parade and more of a protest. At the time, he was in opposition to Roman authority and wanted to make a
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