Saturday, April 28, 2007

Meeting with CRS US Operations folks

Yesterday I had a fascinating conversation with members of the US Operations team of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in their Baltimore Headquarters. Our discussion focused on the ways that CRS can reach out to the growing Latino Catholic community to invite them into a deeper appreciation and participation in Global Solidarity. The fact that so many our our newcomers to the States hail from Latin America makes them an ideal community to both exemplify and further promote ways of understanding migration, global trade agreements, and processes of globalization as a complex of social, economic, cultural and religious dimensions which cry out for a more human and comprehensive approach to social justice throughout the world. The connections between CRS projects around the world and Jesuit works and institutions of higher education continue to grow and deepen, to our mutual benefit. This is a conversation that will certainly continue into the future.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Leadership Retreat, Sparks, MD

On April 21-22, 2007 some 15 Spanish speaking youth and young adult leaders met for a weekend of prayer, reflection, rest and bonding among themselves at the Msgr. O'Dyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. Led by Ms. Georgina Vaca, of the Youth and Young Adult Department of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Fr. Charles McDonnell, C.S.S.R., and me, they had the opportunity to learn a number of prayer forms and styles which could help them grow in their own spiritual lives, as well as share with their parish groups.

This is one more important step in the process of helping provide these leaders with tools and skills for their own use, and to help others grow in familiarity and friendship with God.
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Thursday, April 5, 2007

One of the things I do to keep active in the ministry, as opposed to the more bureaucratic aspects of my life, is help out with the parish of Our Lady of Pompeii. It is an Italian national parish located in the Highlandtown section of East Baltimore which is becoming increasingly Hispanic.

Last night was a Sacrament of Reconciliation service in Spanish at the church. Fr. Luis Cremis, an affable Italian priest who spent many years in Peru, is the one in charge of the Spanish speaking community there. What a moving experience, praying with people who are struggling to put their lives together, find themselves in a strange land and culture, and like all of us, seek healing for past hurts which continue to haunt us.

It is even more moving to hear their confessions. Simple people carrying heavy burdens. Old folks with resentments over past harm done to them. Young people in school who are bored, and become lazy and despondent. Today is Holy Thursday, and I am ever more mindful of the gift of the Lord to us, and how his passion, death and resurrection continue to play out in our lives.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Welcome to my blog. This is new territory

Hello! My name is Bill Rickle . I am a Jesuit Catholic priest. The formal name of the Jesuit Order is the Society of Jesus, usually abbreviated S.J. Currently I am wearing two hats. I am Assistant for Latino Ministry of the Maryland Province Jesuits. . In that capacity, I coordinate the Jesuits who are engaged in Latino ministry within the province, from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, and facilitate our partnerships with our Latin American provinces.

The other hat is as Director of the Institute on Migration, Culture and Ministry. As a sociologist, I have always been interested in race and minority relations here in the U.S. and in the immigrant experience, both historical and contemporay. As a priest, these interests have intensely practical pastoral implications. With the help of generous colleagues, we are establishing the Institute as a means of communication, reflection on ministry, resources for Ignatian spirituality for leadership, and ultimately, we hope, research projects. The Institute Blog can be found here.

This will be my personal blog for keeping abreast of ideas and trips. The Institute blog is intended as a much more communal enterprise.