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  • Writer's pictureSrs of the Precious Blood

Together to the Fount...

by Sr. Marita Beumer

Originally published in This Good Work.

As I pondered the term “racism” and how racism affects each of us individually and in society, I reminisced on some of my experiences, and I’ve come to some new conclusions.

In an article that I wrote a few years ago, “Precious Blood Spirituality: The Dynamic of Intercultural Ministry,”* I shared some of my experiences that were negative at the beginning but were channeled to a positive outcome.

One of the experiences shared in the article related how one of our Spanish-speaking youth where I was in ministry was shot and abandoned in San Diego. He, Juan Luis, had just become a member of the church youth group and was trying to distance himself from gang membership and activity.

After this incident, the members of the youth group channeled their anger with the help of our local community organizing group. They were empowered to make a difference for other youth by meeting with school officials to initiate a change of attitude and communication of the school system with Spanish-speaking families. As well, new programs were added to the curriculum which facilitated young Spanish-speaking youth to be educated in vocational and professional fields needed in the San Diego area.

Why does there need to be a tragedy before “something good” can happen? As I ponder this question, I recall the many efforts being made in some areas and church communities to promote the acceptance of diversity regardless of race, culture, language, etc. Just last year, I participated in just such an endeavor. It was the Easter Vigil in our church here in Dayton.

That evening, over 50 members of different races and languages came together in the same ceremony to be baptized, to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. All were treated equally; all came to the Fount of Baptism with the same desire and the same result. Everyone sang and celebrated the occasion using the same liturgical programs that were in English and Spanish.

For me, this was a wonderful celebration during which different expressions of diversity were permitted and appreciated. Yes, it took extra time and effort, but there was an acceptance of one another that surely helped all of us live a Resurrection experience of new life together as the Body of Christ. Hopefully such an experience will help us live more acceptance in our daily lives.

So I challenge myself, and anyone else, to ask ourselves: How can we be more proactive in continuing the Good Work of our foundress Mother Brunner through the acceptance of one another through positive endeavors, uniting us as one?

*”Precious Blood Spirituality: The Dynamic of Intercultural Ministry” is a chapter in the book Precious Blood Spirituality: Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Father Tim McFarland, C.PP.S., and published in 2020 by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood’s General Curia.

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