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Today in my religious tradition is the First Sunday of Advent. This seems a good day to introduce three topically related items for your reflection, if you are interested: 1) Journeying Towards Healing through Listening and Truth-Telling; 2) the new film, Till; 3) Frank Kroncke, “Captive and Captor”
Johan van Parys, Basilica’s Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts had an excellent column on the topic of Advent in todays Basilica newsletter. It is here: Johan VP Advent 2022.
1. Journeying Towards Healing…: If you happen to be in the Twin Cities, the morning of Dec. 3, my Church, Basilica of St. Mary, 1600 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, is having a retreat on the issue of race.
Details follow. Note that registration is required. I plan to attend.
Invitation: We invite you to attend an important event for our community as we listen and reflect together on this Advent.
There are three phases of the event.
1. Listen to Learn (Mind)
Listening in Prayer (Heart)
Reflecting on our Heart and Mind (Action)
2. Till. We watched the new film “Till” Friday. It is very powerful. Details about the film are accessible here.
This is a film about American history, which continues in many ways to this day. Perhaps ironically, it was also this year when Congress finally passed, and the President signed, anti-lynching legislation, motivated in substantial part by Emmett Till’s death at age 15 in Mississippi 67 years ago.
I always try to get at least a little personal perspective when dealing with matters of history and geography. Emmett Till died in the summer of 1955, at age 14.
In the summer of 1955, I had just turned 15. We lived in the country in southeast North Dakota. We would not get television for another year. The odds are almost zero that I would have heard, then, about Emmett Till.
It was also that summer, however, that we made our first ever long trip by car, to Chicago, to visit our Uncle and Aunt who had very recently moved to the near west side suburb of Broadview. Life happens differently for everyone, so while its conceivable that Emmett Till had not left Chicago by the time we arrived for our short visit, we could have been there….
By the summer of 1955, I doubt I had ever seen a ‘black person’ though racism was no stranger to we country folk in the rural midwest. The killing of Emmett Till only brought the horror to public view. Forty years later, in 1995, I tried to summarize my own history: Race, a personal view.
But that’s another story. See the film.
3. Frank Kroncke: Captor-Captive. This is a 15 page extraordinary personal account of going from peace activist to prisoner, 50 years ago. Frank is a good friend, and this is passed along with his permission. This is very powerful. I need say no more.
What our society will become is up to each of us. What will your part be?